BUFNO System Option: Windows

Specifies the number of buffers to be allocated for processing SAS data sets.

Valid in: configuration file, SAS invocation, OPTIONS statement, SAS System Options window
Category: Files: SAS Files
Default: 1
Windows specifics: Default value
See: BUFNO= System Option in SAS System Options: Reference


-BUFNO n | nK | nM | nG | hexX | MIN | MAX
BUFNO= n | nK | nM | nG | hexX | MIN | MAX

System Arguments

n | nK | nM | nG

specifies the number of buffers in multiples of 1 (bytes); 1,024 (kilobytes); 1,048,576 (megabytes); or 1,073,741,824 (gigabytes). You can specify decimal values for the number of kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes. For example, a value of 8 specifies 8 buffers, a value of .782k specifies 801 buffers, and a value of 3m specifies 3,145,728 buffers.

For values greater than 1G, use the nM option or specify MAX.


specifies the number of buffers as a hexadecimal value. You must specify the value beginning with a number (0–9), followed by an X. For example, the value 2dx specifies 45 buffers.


sets the number of buffers to 0, and requires SAS to use the default value of 1.


sets the number of buffers to 2,147,483,647.


The number of buffers is not a permanent attribute of the data set; it is valid only for the current SAS session or job.
BUFNO= applies to SAS data sets that are opened for input, output, or update.
Using BUFNO= can improve execution time by limiting the number of input/output operations that are required for a particular SAS data set. The improvement in execution time, however, comes at the expense of increased memory consumption.
Under Windows, the maximum number of buffers that you can allocate is determined by the amount of memory available. To request that SAS allocate the number of buffers based on the number of pages for the data set, use the SASFILE statement.

See Also

Optimizing System Performance in SAS Language Reference: Concepts