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Available physical memory, XP

By abbasi
Jul 9, 2014
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  1. Hello all,

    I installed a Windows XP x86 on my PC. But when I open the system information window in the System Summary tab, in the right-hand pane and at bottom the following are written:

    Total Physical memory 768.00 MB Available Physical memory 270.41 MB !!
    Why Available Physical memory is 270.41 MB please?

    PS: My system is very slow and also very slower when start up. Isn't that less Available Physical memory the source of that slowness?
  2. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Maniac Posts: 431   +46

    You have only 1Gb of ram installed on the motherboard and XP is using 768Mb which isn't leaving much over. You need to install more ram. It depends on what you are using the computer for but I'd say you want at least 2Gb ram.
  3. abbasi

    abbasi TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 322   +14

    You didn't get my question. What can I do if I want to use that 768 MB?
  4. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Maniac Posts: 431   +46

    The only information given for my XP desktop ram under System Information is the total amount of ram installed. I'd check how much ram you have plugged into your motherboard. Sorry that's not a direct answer to the question but you are attempting to improve the slow performance of your system. If you don't want to buy more ram you'll have to look at things like stopping programs starting up automatically when you boot into Windows. When XP came out computers running it typically had 500Mb ram but XP expanded over the years to Service Pack 3 and became much more resource intensive requiring additional ram. 32bit Windows XP (x86) will only recognise around 3.5Gb of ram but I find 2.5Gb gives me good performance. There's a good chance you'll receive a theoretical explanation of what is going on in subsequent posts. Best of luck.
    abbasi likes this.
  5. abbasi

    abbasi TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 322   +14

    Thank you very much
  6. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,466   +622

    Looks to be like you have 1GB RAM. Some is system reserved and used for Integrated GPU. Which leaves you with 768MB. Then the OS is using a bit and leaving you with 200MB free, which isn't much at all.
  7. abbasi

    abbasi TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 322   +14

    I reinstalled XP and now I have about 560 MB available RAM. Probably the problem had to do with the XP OS.
  8. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Maniac Posts: 431   +46

    That's still pretty poor and may not be a good guide. Have you done all the updates because the original basic XP is a different OS to fully updated XP with SP3? The fully updated OS will eat up the ram available. That's just Microsoft Windows for you. Windows bloats with updates, patches and Service Packs but they are all needed.

    Bear in mind that XP is no longer being supported by Microsoft so it's not a good idea to use it for your main computer. If you are not going to connect with it over the internet you could manage without updating XP and that would leave you more available memory. I suspect that's where you are now.

    Installing more ram would significantly improve your computer. It's a sensible upgrade and usually affordable. A higher spec computer running Windows 7 or later would be ideal but you may already have one and be experimenting with XP.
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,466   +622

    Download Speccy and show us what it says under RAM details. 600MB available RAM on fresh XP install seems normal if you have 1GB RAM only.
  10. abbasi

    abbasi TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 322   +14

    @bazz2004 :
    I have that Windows XP SP3 CD from few years ago. And I installed XP because my PC hardware don't meet to 7's hardware requirements.
    Thanks to both of you.


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