Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8: Never uses all of my memory

  1. #11


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    ^Off what whs said,

    12GB is often more than a computer will use. RAM is not your processor. Your processor will often spike to 100%, and back down, and around...
    But RAM depends on the application/system. It rarely fluctuates (much), so with a lot of RAM, it just means you are ready for more Memory sucking applications to be open at the same time. 4-6GB often does the trick (for fast systems), and 8GB may be perfect for heavy gaming. I bought my computer when I was nave, so I have 16GB with 8% in use, up to about 12... lol

    XBOX One comes with 8 GB Ram... you can also buy faster RAM...

    I'm not saying more RAM is BAD, just most of the time you won't (ever) use it all.

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  2. #12


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I wish I had 16GB. Then I could run all my virtual partitions in parallel.
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  3. #13


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    I wish I had 16GB. Then I could run all my virtual partitions in parallel.
    Remember the oft criticized "XP Mode" with Windows 7? I used that for a moment till I realized I hated XP, and there were better ways to get XP in a virtual environment.

    If you'd like to borrow my RAM sometime, I've little use for it ...
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  4. #14


    I see nothing unusual or cause for concern in either screenshot. I wouldn't change anything. It is all a matter of proper interpretation.

    The 54% usage reported is rather misleading in that it doesn't account for all usage. It was never meant to. Look at the "Memory composition" display in either screenshot. The item that is second from the right is the standby list. This is not part of the 54% but is very much in use. It acts as a kind of cache and is a major contributor to overall system performance. Only the rightmost item is free and doing nothing. This is less than 1/6 of the total or about 15%. In actuality more than 10 GB is being put to a useful purpose. In a system with 12 GB RAM that is good by all normal standards.

    The ideal would be zero free memory at all times. But we are not there yet. At the present time there is no OS in use that can achieve this at all times, particularly in systems with a large amount of memory. With 12 GB RAM it takes a very heavy workload to achieve this. The reason why full usage is not reported is that in systems with 4 GB and less RAM usage would approach 100% much of the time. This obviously would not be very useful. But the portion shown is by no means arbitrary but very closely defined. But it is not simple and I will not attempt to describe it.

    Without much more information (which would take considerable effort to provide) there is no way to tell if the current usage is "normal". That is if "normal" has any real meaning, which I would question. There are a large number of legitimate explanations for the usage being what it is. Memory management in any modern OS is enormously complex, such that even many computer professionals do not understand even the basic concepts.

    Edit: Within reasonable limits adding memory will improve performance. But there is always a point of diminishing returns where adding more memory provides little benefit. That point is heavily dependent on the workload but is typically between 4 and 8 GB. When running multiple virtual machines it can be much higher. With 4 GB RAM running even 1 modern OS in a virtual machine is constraining to either the host, client, or both. My experience tends toward the latter.
    Last edited by LMiller7; 01 Dec 2014 at 00:07.
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  5. #15


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    There is this common misbelief that a lot of RAM will make a system run faster. There are few circumstances (e.g. CAD or Video encoding) where that is true. For normal bread and butter applications 4GB are completly sufficient with 6GB or 8GB as 'nice to have'. And going from 7 to 8.1 to 10 it looks like the footprints are getting smaller.

    If you look for performance, it is usually better to invest into a good SSD than into acres of RAM.
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  6. #16


    There might be some other benefits of having more physical RAM but up to a point. With a slower HDD, if you have more RAM you can turn PF off so it would do less swapping to disk. You can also make a ramdisk to use as scratch file for some programs and so speed them up. Photoshop for instance, makes use of scratch files a lot. Autocad too. There are other uses for ramdisk, like for temp files, even PF in some cases. Of course there is a price to be payed for that, longer boot time, having to set programs to do that etc., but once you start working with it, it may make a difference. SSDs made ramdisk almost passe though but there could be some uses for ramdisk still.
    In normal use, 1GB of RAM per processor core is about minimum with 2GB per core I (and many others) have found to be a "sweet spot".
    Large games (for now) that require 8GB are somewhat different "animal" bat rarely will somebody use such a game and do some normal work at same time, so even in that case some 8GB of RAM should be more than enough.
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  7. #17


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Where does page file come into play ?

    Virtural memory should play a part in memory usage,?

    Perhaps one could speak about this RAM/pagefile relationship ?
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  8. #18


    Virtual memory, paging file can be set to ramdisk so it runs in memory instead on HDD. Drawback: takes longer to BOOT as it has to set ramdisk first and set PF on it.
    Used to do that many moons ago, when HDDs were really slow, largely outdated with SSDs.
    A program like this can make it easier to set up: https://www.softperfect.com/products/ramdisk/
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  9. #19


    Posts : 2
    windows 8.1


    i have only 4G ram ,and my ram used 56 percents too, maybe its the windows merchanic that keep a half of ram usaged to keep the system stablely to run.
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  10. #20


    Quote Originally Posted by liammau View Post
    i have only 4G ram ,and my ram used 56 percents too, maybe its the windows merchanic that keep a half of ram usaged to keep the system stablely to run.
    There is no mechanism in Windows to use only 50% of memory. In this case it is simply coincidence. In the screenshot in post #10 the usage is about 25% and I have seen less. My system has 4 GB RAM and usage is currently at 73% (with a virtual machine and a number of programs running) and I have seen it higher. On an old computer I have running Windows 2000 with 256 MB RAM I have seen it over 95%.

    Windows will always try to maintain a reasonable value for available memory, but always considering the needs of applications. The goal in Windows memory management is to provide the best overall system performance, not to maintain some arbitrary percentage or value for available memory.

    As I said in my previous post this is enormously complex.
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