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10.6: Completely Disable Virtual Memory in Snow Leopard
Authored by: kaih on Jun 08, '11 02:56:47PM

Having virtual memory on actually causes your OS to use less physical RAM.
With the dynamic pager active, if a program needs to load some code at some later time, it can nominate memory pages to load, but leave them on the disk and not actually load them.
If this memory gets used, then the dynamic pager automatically loads the code from the disk.

If you disable the dynamic pager, then the OS can't perform these tricks, so all code needs to be loaded into physical RAM, taking up more RAM.

Also, as other posters have mentioned, with a modern OS, you should never see an "Out of Memory" error - it can page some more. As a result most software doesn't do proper sanity checking in low memory situations - if you run out of physical RAM with the pager turned off, you will crash.


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