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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Re: Did DellEFI somehow disable or really shrink swapfile? - 04-13-2009, 03:13 PM
OS X uses dynamically-allocated swap files. Upon booting, there's one empty 64 MB swap file. If you fill up your RAM, it will start swapping out and allocate more files as necessary. When you free RAM and data is swapped back in, the system deletes empty swap files.
Incidentally, OS X is a bit too aggressive in swapping "unused" data out before the RAM is even remotely full, apparently preferring free RAM for file cache. I find that this behavior slows my system when running several virtual machines or manipulating huge data files, even though my main system has 4 GB of RAM. It seems to annoy others as well. This guy hacked dynamic_pager to use only the single 64 MB swap file, so swap is effectively disabled. I've been running it for a long time and I can say that my system is a lot more responsive. Keep in mind, though, that if you actually do run out of RAM, the system will freak. I haven't seen that yet, because 4 GB is enough for everything I do.
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