Windows Server Troubleshooting - Cache Size

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 Cache Size

Both the file system cache and the process working sets require memory. Optimal performance dictates that the operating system must balance these two uses of memory.  The File and Print Sharing properties dialog allows you to specify your preference.

  • Minimize memory used will increase process working sets
  • Maximize data throughput for file sharing will increase file system cache

The File and Printer Sharing dialog controls Registry setting described below.

Settings that Manage Cache Size in the Registry

User interface Description
0 Maximize data throughput for network applications Optimizes system for applications that typically do their own memory caching (such as SQL Server, which sets this option by default). This setting  favors the working sets of processes over the working set of the file system cache.
1 Maximize data throughput for file sharing Optimizes the system for file and printer sharing resources. This is the default set by Windows Server Setup.

The default memory-management settings for your system are optimal in most situations and do not need to be changed. However, the system can provide a much larger working set and additional virtual address space for the system cache if some settings are manually tuned. These settings include the following registry entries in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \System \CurrentControlSet \Control \Session Manager\Memory Management subkey:

  • LargeSystemCache. A value of 1 maximizes the size of the system cache's working set and, with PagedPoolSize set to 192000000 and SystemPages set to 0, provides a large virtual address space for the cache, provided that Terminal Services and the /3GB switch are not used.
  • PagedPoolSize. Changing this to 0xFFFFFFFF or leaving it at the default of 0 maximizes the size of the virtual address space used for the paged pool. To set aside extended virtual address space for the file system cache, change this value to 192000000, set LargeSystemCache to 1, and set SystemPages to 0.
  • SystemPages. Changing this to 0xFFFFFFFF provides an additional 464 MB of system page table entries for the virtual address space. Notice that making this change prevents expanding the system cache by 464 MB (limiting it to 512 MB) and limits the paged pool size to 192 MB, provided PagedPoolSize is not set to 0xFFFFFFFF to obtain the maximum virtual address space for the paged pool.