Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Low memory warning with plenty of free RAM left

  1. #1


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8.1

    Low memory warning with plenty of free RAM left


    Click image for larger version

    The picture says it all. Usually when I have as "low" as 4 gigabytes of free RAM remaining (25% of my total RAM), that's when Windows starts crashing programs all over the place (no blue screens, just application crashes), to the point where I have to restart my computer. I would really like to know why Windows is doing this, because essentially, right now I can only utilize up to 12 of my 16 GB of RAM, whereas I already get warnings at 10.

    (Note: I know where each megabyte is going.)

    Thanks for any insight in advance!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,576
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Asagrim,

    Usually this happens when you are either extremely low on free space on your C: drive, you disabled the paging file, or set the paging file to low.

    Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

    Hope this helps for now,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Out of memory errors are rarely ever caused by a shortage of RAM. It is highly unusual for such a condition to cause any problems other than poor performance. A too small pagefile could cause such an error but with 16 GB RAM that would seem unlikely.

    Post a screenshot of Task Manager - Performance tab so we can see what is happening.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    It's pretty well a generic response when a particular program tries to access memory wrong way or in some protected area. Does it happen all the time or just with some program/s ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8.1


    What I see this message with

    It happens every time I reach 6-5 GB left, and pretty much 80% of my applications (including svchost) drop dead once I reach the 4 GB mark. Whenever I get low memory warnings, Windows suggests me to close the one software with the highest memory consumption, and that program could be anything, typically games, GIMP, Blender, Sketchup, video editing software, every other process uses up to 250 MB only. The more RAM consuming activities I do are 3D modeling, graphic design, video tutorials, remote computer assistance, and "gaming". Quite honestly I could get by using only 12 GB of RAM most of the time, but this issue needs to be dealt with nonetheless, because actually having 16, while only being able to use 12 GB of RAM is a compromise I won't accept.


    Free space, Swap

    The free space on C: never went so far below 27 gigabytes, and I really hate the idea of having a page file with 16 GB of RAM. My system drive is a Samsung 840 Pro, and I can get as high as 1 TB written a month, where Google Chrome is doing 80-90% of those writes.

    Here's a screenshot to attest to this, though right now I'm only using 4-5 GB of memory:



    I could easily install it elsewhere, but I won't, because with my browsing habits, it usually took me 10-20 seconds with Chrome on an HDD to get the save dialogue to pop up, it was so much disk intensive (I know for a fact that disk I/O activities were the cause, because I have a sysinfo bar always visible on the top of my screen, that I coded myself in rainmeter, where I - amongst other things - query perfmon once every 100 milliseconds to give a visual cue about I/O activities on each drive). We're speaking 250+ opened tabs and 6+ GB of memory consumption on a regular basis, and that is fairly easily reached, all I have to do for example is visit an image board like wallhaven.cc, and open a couple of hundred pictures in background tabs to save (but that's beside the point, I get a lot of disk writes, it's mostly Chrome, can't move it off the SSD, all the more important that I don't have anything else on the SSD degrading its life cycle.) I'm also having concerns that having a page file of "sufficient" size on an HDD would hog my overall system performance.


    Performance, Other

    I have used RAMmap and several other utilities in the past to diagnose any possible memory leaks, but I have none. I have no performance problems per se, it's only what you can expect from trying to utilize 16GB of RAM with an old Phenom II 955BE clocked to 3.8 GHz (in some applications I use day to day it performs on par with an FX8350 at base clock speeds, I tried that myself with a CPU I "borrowed" quickly for a couple of tests from a client build I did a year ago, so I elected not to waste money on an upgrade). I don't ever get so much as an unexpected crash or programs not responding for a couple of seconds, my system is completely stable ever since I reinstalled it two months ago, I wouldn't even need to restart my computer if things like Windows Update wouldn't prompt me to do so. This memory issue is literally the only persistent issue I have left to sort out that carried over to my new Windows install, that's why I'm asking for help only now.


    Sorry if I got off topic here and there, I just wanted you to get the whole picture of how I use my computer, that might give you an idea why it has this memory management issue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 179
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with Media Center


    You don't have to worry so much with your ssd writes. Even with a terabyte per month you can still get decades of life out of it and by that time you'll definitely have a much faster storage with different I/O interface.

    I'm pretty sure if you follow Shawn's post, your error should disappear.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Note that I asked for a screenshot of Performance tab, showing memory information of course. There is important information there not found anywhere else.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8.1


    theveterans

    I guess I have no other options, I consider this however a by-design fault of Windows, and a major inconvenience.


    Shawn

    Thanks Shawn, that was quite a read, and helped me to understand what's going on.

    After reading pretty much everything in your links I've come to the realization, that the necessity of a swap file has nothing to do with any amount of RAM. If I understand this correctly, Windows commits more available RAM to each process than it's actually consuming (wish I knew why that's necessary), and when Windows runs out of free memory to commit, that's when instead of revising the amounts of already committed memory, it just starts crashing applications. I never learned programming, so it's not my place to judge the choices behind this approach, but it doesn't make any sense for me.

    Basically what's happening is, that I have more than a hundred processes with minor to negligible memory usage, and Windows is reserving so much completely unnecessary memory for each of them (441 megabytes commit for a process that never used more than 11, really?), that it starts running out of memory to reserve for them, at as low as 62% actual memory consumption.

    The only question that remains is:
    Will Windows start using the page file instead of the gigabytes upon gigabytes of free memory left before it's actually full, or will I be able to use my computer without Windows bottlenecking my performance with the page file? Or should I just go offline where applicable, quit my browser, exit my Antivirus, firewall, and a dozen other programs before using a "big one", like I did back in 2010 when I had only 4GB of RAM? Or maybe I should upgrade to 32 GB so Windows will have more free RAM to waste.

    Anyway, excuse the sarcastic undertone, I'm just getting more upset with each passing minute, I'm really not looking forward to microlags in 64-bit games, and ~20 GB less space on my 118 GB SSD.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
    Note that I asked for a screenshot of Performance tab, showing memory information of course. There is important information there not found anywhere else.
    It wouldn't tell you much, since right now I have 12 GB free, but here it is:


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Trnava
    Posts : 683
    Win 8.1.1 Pro x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Asagrim View Post
    Basically what's happening is, that I have more than a hundred processes with minor to negligible memory usage, and Windows is reserving so much completely unnecessary memory for each of them (441 megabytes commit for a process that never used more than 11, really?), that it starts running out of memory to reserve for them, at as low as 62% actual memory consumption.
    Try to use Cleanmem, it releases unused RAM, regardless of Windows complaints.
    Additionally you might try to disable pagefile temporarily to see, what will happen.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Low memory warning with plenty of free RAM left
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