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#373910 - 11/10/2022 00:41 RAM usage in Windows
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12309
Loc: Sterling, VA
Is task manager supposed to somewhat-accurately reflect actual RAM usage? Because it seems like the percentages just don't add up. It'll say my RAM usage is in the upper 90%, but looking at the numbers in that column it won't add up to half of what my system has installed.

Granted, this is on an older laptop with 8GB and I can't upgrade it. I'm not expecting it to be a gaming rig. But it bothers me that the numbers to add up. Is there some way to figure out where my RAM is going to? Performance Monitor doesn't seem to have much more to say, either.
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Matt

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#373911 - 11/10/2022 07:22 Re: RAM usage in Windows [Re: Dignan]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5900
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
I've had that problem with every modern OS I've ever used. With the complexity of caching, shared memory, virtual memory etc the totals never add up.

Linux and macOS are just the same.
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#373912 - 11/10/2022 12:27 Re: RAM usage in Windows [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12309
Loc: Sterling, VA
It's so annoying. It essentially makes the information useless. I mean yeah, I can see that Chrome is taking up a bunch of memory (of course it is), but it's hard to get too mad at it for taking up 2GB when I know I have 8GB and the rest of the stuff seems to add up to another 1.5GB.

So what's the point of telling me I have 3.5GB of programs running, Microsoft? Just to give me a vague idea?
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Matt

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#373913 - 11/10/2022 14:08 Re: RAM usage in Windows [Re: Dignan]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
Most likely the rest of the "RAM usage" is in the page cache, keeping inactive stuff around in case it is needed again in the near future.

You really do want your RAM usage to be near 100%, as otherwise the hardware is being wasted. smile

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#373919 - 14/10/2022 02:58 Re: RAM usage in Windows [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12309
Loc: Sterling, VA
The system is slowing to a crawl though.
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Matt

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#373923 - 24/10/2022 21:07 Re: RAM usage in Windows [Re: Dignan]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5671
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: Dignan
The system is slowing to a crawl though.


That's only (indirectly) related to RAM usage. The PC being slow is down to (basically) three things: (1) lots of CPU usage; (2) things needing to be paged-in when they're needed; (3) programs blocking on synchronous I/O.

Only (2) is RAM-related. And, yes, you might be right that something's taking too much RAM and squeezing other programs (or itself) out, but you should check that assumption first.

All of these values are in Task Manager, as optional columns in the Details tab. However, you might find Process Explorer easier to read.

Or you can poke around in Performance Monitor. It's been a while since I've had to look into any of this stuff, so I don't remember exactly which metrics you need to be looking at.
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