Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Newbie question on Win8 RAM usage..

  1. #1

    Posts : 3
    Windows 7

    Newbie question on Win8 RAM usage..

    Hi all... I read somewhere that Windows 8.x doesn't really close desktop apps but sends them to the background (unlike previous Windows versions) and not all apps give an "X" or close and a clean remove from RAM option...

    which stops me in my tracks a little - on my older Windows laptop I have installed about 100 different apps that I use from time to time, probably most of them are pre-Windows 8 and many not available on the MS Store. (All sorts of things from database programs to open source audio editors such as Audacity, PDF merge utilities, etc). I don't have any app that's particularly heavy, i.e. Bay trail could probably run them all, if it has to deal with just one of them at a time (concurrently). i.e. I don't expect a current Windows 7 i5 ultrabook to be able to run all those apps in the background at the same time, either.

    I, perhaps naively, want the tablet to be an ultrabook replacement, and expect, since its an x86 OS, to be able to install and run all of these apps straight off the bat (of course not concurrently), whether they are on the MS store or no, and with no background residue nonsense - I want them to load only when I run them and when I quit them they should clear the RAM. Otherwise I would need not 2GB these tablets have but 8or 16 even, whereas my current older Windows manages great on 2GB RAM.

    So my questions are:
    1) Is Windows 8 radically different in the way it uses RAM (i.e. it makes apps stay in the background) so that 2GB RAM on a bay trail laptop isn't really comparable to 2GB on Windows 7 PC, in terms of the user experience after having many apps installed in the OS?

    2) Is there a general setting to tell Windows 8 to not load any app in the background unless I specifically start it, and then completely remove it from memory when I quit it?

    3) Is it possible to install pre-Windows 8 apps and have them run the old way, i.e. to be called into RAM only when started?

    4) Is it possible to use the tablet if I don't want to use MS store at all? how easy it is to install apps not in the MS store and what are the disadvantages of that

    Should I forget about getting a Windows 8 tablet at all in this scenario and stick to a new Ultrabook instead? i.e., am I misreading the aim of tablets and they are really only intended for MS office type work with sanctioned apps from the MS store?

    I appreciate any guidance... thanks

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64

    If you press Alt F4 the app will close just like a desktop application. Although some stuff is active in the Start Screen. Like the Weather tile will show you the current temp and weather conditions if you have initialized it with a location.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 3
    Windows 7

    OK much obliged..!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10

    Hello tabletish, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    In Windows 8/8.1, you have desktop apps and modern apps.

    Desktop apps are the usual installed programs that run from your desktop just like in previous versions of Windows. They will still completely close as usual when you close them.

    Modern apps are the ones from the Windows Store that run in the new modern UI and not on your desktop. These apps will be suspended instead unless you use a method in the tutorial below to completely close them. When suspended, they are only suspended to RAM and do not use any additional resources. If something needs the RAM, then suspended apps will automatically be closed to free memory as needed. Suspended apps just allow them to open faster since they are already in memory versus loading from scratch.
    Hope this helps,
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    1. There is nothing radically different about how Windows 8 manages memory. There are changes but the fundamentals remain the same. Modern apps work as Brink has described. Desktop applications operate as they always have.

    There are no settings that make major changes in the way Windows 8 works. Neither is there any need.
    Out of the box Windows 8 tends to be more efficient in memory usage than previous versions. It was designed to be. Be aware that memory management in a modern OS is vastly more complex that most people realize.

    Edit: Modern apps are not preloaded in memory at bootup. They are loaded only when you start them. How long they stay in memory depends on how much memory you have and system usage. As it should be.
    Last edited by LMiller7; 16 Nov 2013 at 18:00.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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