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Defining Terms

By SageOfTheWabash
Apr 22, 2007
  1. When I look in System info, under memory I see...

    "Total Physical Memory 2,048.00 MB

    Available Physical Memory 1.55 GB

    Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB

    Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB"

    What exactly do these terms mean?
     
  2. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    --According to this

    Total physical memory is how much RAM you have installed.

    Available physical memory is how much RAM is not in use. So apparently you're currently only using about 450MB of RAM.

    --So by the same token, the following is probably also true:

    Total virtual memory is how much virtual memory there is.

    Available virtual memory is the amount of virtual memory not in use.

    It seems, from what I've gathered, that virtual memory is your physical RAM and the parts of your hard disk operating as RAM combined, but I'm not sure. Not all the articles made sense to me :eek:
     
  3. SageOfTheWabash

    SageOfTheWabash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Thanx Kitty. That was very helpful.
     
  4. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    Cool. Glad to know it helped.

    Regards :)
     
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,690   +1,879

    Mysterious Ways of the Swapfile Fraternaty

    The "swap file", and "virtual memory" are the same. When your computer runs out of RAM RAM (the DIMM guys (the black plug in thingys that start most of the arguments around here)), it takes whatever it needs from the HDD swap file. The path to virtual memory management is this: right click "My Computer" >click "Properties"> a tabbed window "system properties" appears. Then Click on "Advanced" in the "Advanced" tab (Yes this is the second one) you will see a button under "Performance" allowing you to allot virtual memory to the system most people set this value to 1 1/2 to 2 times the amount of installed RAM. This assumes you are running XP.

    Just kidding about the arguments, although...... The term "Virtual Memory" only applies to the HDD paging file, it has nothing to do with the electronic RAM (the black thingys again).
     
  6. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    OK, thanks for the clarification.

    Regards :)
     
  7. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Lawl. Of all threads, you linked straight to that :D
     
  8. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    Yeah, well, we just ignore people who post like that...:D
     
  9. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    What leads to confusion is this type of report from Windows itself (system information):

    OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
    OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
    System Name DEATHSTAR
    System Manufacturer To Be Filled By O.E.M.
    System Model To Be Filled By O.E.M.
    System Type X86-based PC
    Processor x86 Family 15 Model 3 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~3613 Mhz
    BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 1014.001, 10/13/2005
    SMBIOS Version 2.3
    Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
    System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
    Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
    Locale United States
    Hardware Abstraction Layer Version =
    User Name DEATHSTAR\CCT
    Time Zone Eastern Standard Time
    Total Physical Memory 2,048.00 MB
    Available Physical Memory 1.56 GB
    Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
    Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
    Page File Space 4.85 GB
    Page File D:\pagefile.sys

    In fact, I have the page file on drive D: (none on C:) set at 3070 min/max - adds more confusion. I read that Windows creates a page file on C: even if you don't assign one. Oh well!


    Thus, Page file space = system assigned virtual + user assigned page.


    :)
     
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