Possible to Set BOINC Such that It Will Not Use Page File?

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Radish

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Message 106147 - Posted: 19 Nov 2021, 18:19:04 UTC

BOINC 7.16.11 x64 (PortableApps)

Is there a setting that can be made for the BOINC Manager to stop it using the page file on a Windows system?

Please note that I have read this old thread from 2015 and it doesn't actually answer my question and I'm wondering if BOINC has been improved in this respect since 2015.

I am not asking about turning off my page file in Windows. I am also not asking for advice on moving the page file to another drive. I am only asking if there is a setting in BOINC that stops it from using the page file?

I did think that setting the percentage value for use of page file to 0% would prevent use, doesn't work, minimum value is 1%.
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Bryn Mawr
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Message 106149 - Posted: 20 Nov 2021, 0:21:24 UTC - in response to Message 106147.  

BOINC 7.16.11 x64 (PortableApps)

Is there a setting that can be made for the BOINC Manager to stop it using the page file on a Windows system?

Please note that I have read this old thread from 2015 and it doesn't actually answer my question and I'm wondering if BOINC has been improved in this respect since 2015.

I am not asking about turning off my page file in Windows. I am also not asking for advice on moving the page file to another drive. I am only asking if there is a setting in BOINC that stops it from using the page file?

I did think that setting the percentage value for use of page file to 0% would prevent use, doesn't work, minimum value is 1%.


It might help if you said why you want the page file to be available to other programs but not to Boinc?
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Profile Dave
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Message 106150 - Posted: 20 Nov 2021, 8:37:25 UTC

Haven't used Windows for 20 years but I suspect there isn't a way for BOINC to do it. Can other Windows programs be set to avoid using the page file? If not, I suspect the issue is more about Windows.

(To avoid use of swap on my Linux box, I am about to increase the amount of RAM I have as a testing task is using over 12GB of RAM at its peak. I imagine running 8 at once would result in a large performance hit if too many were peaking at once.)
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Radish

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Message 106151 - Posted: 20 Nov 2021, 13:13:57 UTC - in response to Message 106149.  
Last modified: 20 Nov 2021, 13:14:56 UTC

It might help if you said why you want the page file to be available to other programs but not to Boinc?

In what way would that help to answer my question?

The question is straightforward; it's either possible or not possible to prevent use of the page file via some configuration setting in BOINC.
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Profile Dave
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Message 106153 - Posted: 20 Nov 2021, 14:47:47 UTC

The question is straightforward; it's either possible or not possible to prevent use of the page file via some configuration setting in BOINC.


Giving the reason might give hints as to other solutions.
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Bryn Mawr
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Message 106155 - Posted: 20 Nov 2021, 16:20:38 UTC - in response to Message 106151.  

It might help if you said why you want the page file to be available to other programs but not to Boinc?

In what way would that help to answer my question?

The question is straightforward; it's either possible or not possible to prevent use of the page file via some configuration setting in BOINC.


There might be alternate methods of achieving the desired end that do not involve the impossible.
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Profile Jord
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Message 106157 - Posted: 20 Nov 2021, 16:24:38 UTC

As long as you do not use "leave the suspended applications in memory" (or whatever the present wording), the page file isn't used. Well, maybe by science applications themselves, but that's something you have to take up with the projects.

Only leaving applications in memory when suspended uses the page file to store the full status of the running tasks. That's CPU tasks, as GPU tasks will always leave memory no matter what state when suspended.
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Radish

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Message 106160 - Posted: 20 Nov 2021, 18:38:52 UTC - in response to Message 106157.  

Only leaving applications in memory when suspended uses the page file to store the full status of the running tasks. That's CPU tasks, as GPU tasks will always leave memory no matter what state when suspended.

Okay, thanks, that sounds like a step forward.

The current setting in 'Computing preferences > Disk and Memory' is: "Leave non-GPU tasks in memory while suspended". So my question now is, what does suspended refer too? Is 'suspended' when Windows is in Sleep Mode? Or is 'suspended' when Windows is in Hibernate Mode? Or, is it both Sleep and Hibernate mode?

I have my system setup so that it will never hibernate. However, I do use sleep from time to time.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 106161 - Posted: 20 Nov 2021, 19:11:30 UTC - in response to Message 106160.  

This is where you have to explain how you're using BOINC. By design, BOINC expects you to be connected to multiple projects - more than your computer can run concurrently. So, it switches between tasks from different projects, depending on the resource shares you've given each project, and your Task Swap Interval. Any task which has started to run, but been swapped out of 'running' status so another project can take a turn before it finishes, counts as 'suspended', and will display status 'waiting to run' in BOINC Manager. Do you have any of those?
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Profile Jord
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Message 106162 - Posted: 20 Nov 2021, 19:33:17 UTC

Added to what Richard said, when you use one of the Suspend options in BOINC, be it completely (Suspend CPU), on tasks (Suspend individual tasks) or use the Snooze option. All these will suspend tasks to virtual memory when you have "Leave Tasks in Memory when Suspend" set. Again, if you haven't got this set, BOINC isn't using virtual memory but will instead exit tasks and science applications and save their state to disk.

Windows' Sleep option saves the state of the complete operating system into RAM and then goes into a low power mode. On power loss, you'll lose this state and everything in it.
Windows' Hibernate option saves the state of the operating system to disk and then powers the computer down.
Neither of these uses virtual memory.
If BOINC is running when either of these states is invoked, it'll be paused in place and continue where it left off when the computer comes out of Sleep or Hibernate mode.

Virtual memory is a page or swap file on the hard drive or SSD. It's about the size of the amount of RAM one has in their system and is used by the operating system to swap into when main memory is full and more memory is needed.
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Radish

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Message 106163 - Posted: 21 Nov 2021, 14:38:02 UTC - in response to Message 106162.  

Thanks for the responses.

I have been using Windows 'Performance Monitor' to get some idea of writes to Page File and it turns out that writes are (a) rare, and (b) when they do occur, are small in size.

I also tried using a CPU stress tester program to hog the CPU, thus forcing BOINC to suspend computation. I found that even during the suspension the Page File (a) (mostly) doesn't get used, or (b) if it does get used the write is small in size.

On the basis of the two tests above I'd say that Page File usage is minimal and only occasional, so not a concern for me.

Thanks very much for the help in getting a handle on this.
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Message boards : Questions and problems : Possible to Set BOINC Such that It Will Not Use Page File?

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