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The size Windows takes from RAM

By Tomy
Mar 9, 2015
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  1. Hello all,

    I've heard that Windows (say 7) X86 gets about 1GB of RAM for its loading and X64 gets about 1.5GB of RAM. But how it's possible to install a Win 7 x86 on a machine with 512 MB of RAM and work with it while the OS needs more RAM for itself to be loaded and further more some more RAM for apps please!?
     
  2. Spykezxp

    Spykezxp TS Addict Posts: 290   +73

    The minimum requirements for Windows 7 are modest by today's standards:
    • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
    • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
    • 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit) -- just for the OS, not applications or data files
    Theoretically you can install Windows 7 on a computer that has 512MB of RAM, but the overall system will run slow and running applications will be sluggish. You could turn off a lot of its "extra" features to get the operating system to run better, but with not having the sufficient amount of RAM, its still not going to run smooth.
    I would not recommend installing Windows 7 on a computer with less then 1GB of RAM (go higher to 2GB or 4GB for overall better performance).
     
    cliffordcooley and LNCPapa like this.
  3. Tomy

    Tomy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    OK, thank you for your reply but please tell me how it's possible to run win 7 within 512 MB RAM while the OS itself needs more of it!?
     
  4. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    By turning off many/all optional services, as well as any interface enhancements, it should be possible. Whether you'd count that as a fully operational OS is a different story. :p
     
    Tomy likes this.
  5. Tomy

    Tomy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thank you.
     
  6. Tomy

    Tomy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Please let me ask another question;)
    Is it true that win 7 x86 gets 1 GB and x64 1.5 GB of RAM to be loaded?
     
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,555   +2,898

    I just performed a fresh install of Windows x86 Starter Edition to a netbook. The netbook has 1GB memory, and I believe the netbook would perform better with 2GB. There were a considerable amount of Hard Faults, the numbers were in the thousands. If you don't know (which I didn't before the installation), hard faults are basically information that couldn't be found in memory so the process had to go elsewhere to get the data. I interpret this as the more memory you have, the less Hard Faults your machine will have, and in turn less dependent on page file.

    Regardless of what the recommendation MS has set for Windows, I say 2GB memory is a necessity for smooth performance of x86 or x64.
     
    Tomy likes this.
  8. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    I completely agree with having a minimum of 2GB of RAM, if even for half decent performance. As for Win7x64, I'm about to reload a Dell Latitude 6420 with that, I can see how much memory it idles on after I finish the basic updates.
     
  9. Tomy

    Tomy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    OK guys. Thank you. What you said were valuable and great but I was looking for something else as well. Let ask the question this way. How much more memory (that's RAM) does the x64 version gets to be loaded in comparison with the x86, say a 7 OS? I'm going to know how much does each one get from RAM exactly.
     
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,555   +2,898

    Lets say it this way. Either version will need about the same amount of memory to function. There is no set amount. The OS will operate under very little memory, with heavy usage on a pagefile. The more memory you have the more your OS will use. I've noticed an increase in memory usage by simply adding more memory (this I don't understand). With 2GB memory, your usage will be 1.2GB or more. With 8GB memory, your usage will be 2GB or more. With only 1GB memory, your OS will manage somehow. The bit version of OS is a tad bit irrelevant with the minor differences is usage between the two.
     
  11. Tomy

    Tomy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    It's very odd to me!! You say both of win 7 x86 and x64 takes same amount of the RAM!? for example RAM is 4GB.
     
  12. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    Windows will generally use as much RAM as it is allowed. Previous experiences for me is that without a lot of added on services and background programs, Windows 7 in general regularly uses around 1.0-1.5GB of memory (give or take). If the system does not have that much memory it unloads less used data from memory into the page file so it can use that active memory for something else. That's how an operating system can get by with less than ideal amounts of memory. Of course the trade off is performance since you're constantly unloading and reloading data to and from memory, rather than just leaving it in memory. This behavior is regardless of it's instruction set. If anything, the instruction set (x86 or x64) dictates how much memory a system can access (under normal circumstances), as well as how much memory an individual program can access.

    My question is, why are you so tripped up on the actual amount of memory?

    edit: I've got a system that, if you kill svchost when it's trying to call home for updates, the total system with programs running only takes about 800MB. It really all depends on how the system is set up, how much pagefile you have (And how much of it you are using), and what the system thinks it needs. There is no real "It must use x amount of memory" outside having too little.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,555   +2,898

    Minimum and maximum amounts are two different things. As far as I can tell you were only asking about minimum amount of memory that Windows needs. That is the first time you mentioned anything about 4GB which would be the maximum amount x86 can address.
     

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