Before I start, it's best not to say "RAM memory," as "memory" is made redundant by the "M" in the ancronym. (Random Accessed Memory)
Originally Posted by chris1neji
When I was a kid, I wasn't exactly rolling around in cash, so I had dated parts, but it taught me to greatly appreciate what I had, and more importantly, to make the most out of it.
Rather than spend ages typing out an article on RAM management, I'll just breeze over a couple of methods:
1. Prioritise and clean your startup programs. You'd be surprised how many times I've seen someone complain of a slow computer, when in-fact it was down to them having an army of junk terrorising their computer every time they turned it on. Long before Windows 8.1's time, it was a case of using MSConfig, but alas, we're not allowed to use that method anymore. Luckily, it's even easier! Just load up the Task Manager and click on the Start-up tab from which you can right-click and disable (or enable) executables.
2. In Windows Vista, 7, and 8.1 we have services, from Micrsoft and third-party programs, which is wonderful, but for those of you short of RAM, you are best to disable them. I have 8GB RAM and have no need ('though admittedly a slight desire) for more, however, I still disable a bunch of pointless services, because I love to tweak my system! Here are some services you can disable, for general performance as well. For a more exhastive list, consider Google:
a) Secondary Log-on
No use to you unless you wish to start a "process under alternative credentials."
b) Security Center
Not much use to someone who doesn't need a message telling them everything they already know. This process has always been a resource-hog, and I very much dislike it. I'd say this would be the most-recommend item to disable, but if you like the messages and don't feel confident without it, then you can keep it running.
c) Smart card
This may already be set to disable, but if it isn't, disable it. Alternatively, set it to manual. If you're unsure about a service, set it to manual. Disable is only when you're certain you don't want to load something.
I remember, when I was a kid, I once disabled a ton of services in Windows XP and had to get someone to reinstall Windows, which cost me £40 as I didn't have a Windows installation DVD and no Internet from which to acquire it. From mistakes, come lessons; from lessons, comes advice.
d) Windows Firewall should be disabled if you have your own firewall; this is to avoid confusing between the two, which can and often does cause performance degredation.
e) Windows Search isn't much use if you have an SSD (same with Superfetch) so disable that. On a particularly low-RAM system I would just disable it anyway.
3. Split the pagefile over your physical storage mediums, except any non-permanent external devices. I've always noticed an improvement when setting the minimum and maximum range to the same variable.
4. On an especially low-RAM system, it would be a good idea to tweak the settings in the Performance Options window, found on the Performance section of the Advanced tab within the System Properties. This is more of a general performance tweak, but it may save a little RAM as well.
5. Consider switching your regular software to something more RAM-efficient. Typical resource-hoggers include antivirus suites, clients, and functional and/or aesthetic tools for the desktop, such as pretty navigation bars.
6. Have you installed a metric crap-ton of fonts? Consider cleaning up that fonts folder, as they will take up more RAM.
Also worth noting that some viruses (malware, spyware, adware in particular) can suck up system resources, so it's worth checking thoroughly if you notice a real lag in performance relating to RAM.