Friday, February 27, 2009

System.OutOfMemoryException Part 3

It's not every day you come home and plug 8GB of physical memory into your home PC. Before now, I wasn't completely aware that there was even a limit to the amount of memory you could usefully install on a Windows XP machine. There are all sorts of hurdles it seems. Luckily, Windows Server 2008 x64 has no problem with addressing it all. Bonus. But can you imagine the size of the swap files you would start to rack up if you ran a bunch of memory hungry processes simultaneously. Processes only see virtual memory... Windows is smart about whether this memory is backed by physical memory pages, or pages allocated on a system file called the swap file. As we move to the wider 64-bit addresses, we're not going to get another System.OutOfMemoryException; instead we'll run out of disk space for the swap file or spend so much time thrashing that we'll want the small address space back!

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