Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Why does Windows 8.1 reserve so much RAM for itself?

  1. #1

    Posts : 2
    Windows 8.1 PRO

    Why does Windows 8.1 reserve so much RAM for itself?


    So I have 8GB of RAM and I was playing Dying Light np, I disabled paging file because I only have SSDs and I heard that's bad for them...

    But then I get this error message telling me that my computer is low on memory, then I open up the task manager and my PC is using 50% of my RAM, with Dying Light using 2GB, so at 50% I get the error message that Dying Light is using too much RAM?

    I don't believe this, so I check the problem in greater detail aaand, as my memory is "only 50% being used" I see that my commit is 7.8GB out of 7.9GB, WITH WINDOWS STEALING AS MUCH AS IT CAN FOR NO REASON.

    Now you might say it's okay cause Windows will release enough RAM if it's needed and there won't be a problem.

    Wrong, dead wrong. As soon as that commit reaches 7.9 out of 7.9, Windows automatically closes the game without any prompt and 3.7GB of RAM "available" (but reserved for "performance reasons which you don't need to bother with").

    Is there any way this issue can be fixed? I mean, how exactly do I have half of my RAM available, if I can't use it?

    I mean, here's a screenshot if it helps at all

    Click image for larger version

    Yes, I am a bit salty about this, I'm sorry.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Welcome to the forum.

    The problem has nothing to do with a shortage of RAM but everything to do with hitting the commit limit. The commit charge can be hit even when there is plenty of RAM available or even free. This has nothing to do with memory being reserved by the system. The commit charge and memory usage are not related in any real way.

    The commit charge is a difficult thing to understand. Doing that requires a good understanding of how a moder OS manages memory and that isn't simple. And it doesn't help that many (more like most) explanations you might find on the Internet get it wrong. I won't try. All you really need to know is that the commit can't ever exceed the commit limit. If it hits the limit and the pagefile cannot be expanded (or there is none) then bad things will happen.

    The commit limit (in this case 7.9 GB) is the size of RAM, plus pagefile size, minus a small overhead. With no pagefile it will be slightly less than RAM size.

    For your current workload you must have a pagefile. It is possible there is a memory leak but that is impossible to tell with the information available.

    I always hated that error dialog because people almost always misunderstand what it means. It rarely has anything to do with a shortage of RAM. RAM shortages rarely cause a problem other than poor performance.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    If you also had researched more when you were "told" that Pagefiles were bad for SSD's you maybe would have also read that you can force the pagefile to be a single size..

    And what about D drive? put your page file there.. and force it to 1-4 gigs..

    "pictures uploading"...
    like so..

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Research more if you want to be a hardcore gamer...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 2
    Windows 8.1 PRO


    Thank you for your answers.

    I already know exactly how I can set my pagefile to be a single size, after all, in order to disable paging file you already need to access the virtual memory options and set to "no paging file" from the default system managed size.

    As I previously stated, both C and D drives are SSDs and I do not have an HDD installed.

    Regardless, I will enable paging file and ignore the potential risks, as RAM has become too expensive now for me to do a beneficial purchase.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    I'll give you a point for knowing how to disable the page file.. but you still can set it to be one size with min and max... then it would be writing all the time a difference file size at-least..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    A pagefile will not harm a SSD, certainly not a modern (last 5 years or so) model.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    SSDs do have limited writes but that number is so high that it would be difficult to reach under normal circumstances. SSDs have wear leveling that spreads the pagefile writes over the entire drive. Most SSDs fail for other reasons long before limited writes becomes a factor. Or in many cases the drive is replaced because it is too small, not because of failure. A 250 or 500 GB drive may seem large now but in 5 years it will seem very restricting.

    A fixed pagefile size serves no useful purpose and prevents resizing in exceptional circumstances. Contrary to many claims, even a system managed pagefile will not be continuously resized. Under normal circumstances it doesn't happen at all.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    I don't disagree with you Lmiller7,

    And I'm sure this can't be used as a "general for everybody" rule..

    but My "fixed" page file of 1024MB has never once caused me a BSOD or error?

    It maybe because of I"m not running AutoCad, or something similar, but I do run many many programs old and new.

    It also maybe because I have 16 gigs of Ram too..

    But whether it does anything fixing the Page file size or not, I feel better with it fixed ha...

    You can see my settings in the above posts in pictures.. and I should up it to maybe 4 gigs..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Why does Windows 8.1 reserve so much RAM for itself?
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