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Total physical memory much lower than it should be

By Skoberlink ยท 4 replies
Mar 7, 2009
  1. I've got a 5 yr old compaq that lately has been running really sluggish. I run regular virus/spyware checks using AVG and of course it's also doing real-time scanning. There aren't any processes running that I'm not expecting and none of them are hogging all that much memory. I noticed that my total physical memory is around 391 MB and it should be 512. I don't really know the expected difference between what the manufacturer states and what is given but I would guess it's less than 100 MB. I'm running Windows XP SP3. Are there any known problems that might be causing a sluggish computer or are my instincts correct in that I have a problem with my physical memory? I would also appreciate any other suggestions you might have for such a sluggish computer.
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    You're most likely using a video card that requires using part of main memory instead of providing all of its own private memory. (so it allocates a chunk of memory for the video card at system boot)
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    1. Your OS eats ram
    2. if you have integrated graphics, that eats ram too
    3. Other software eats ram
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    All true. But i think when looking at Total Physical Memory one sees memory available AFTER a video adapter takes a chunk but before the other running software takes its fair (or unfair!) share. (and note to Skoberlink: this only occurs w/video adapters that don't provide 100% of their own on-board memory). The other stuff (like the OS and other software) also eat memory but that's reflected typically reflected in Available memory (vs. Total)
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Remove AVG8 for a start, then run the removal tool (as it never fully uninstalls properly)

    Then install Avira free AntiVirus (way less resource hungry, and a much better scanner anyway)

    Then get another 512Meg of Ram (Read Updating ram & troubleshooting in the Guides forum for help with this)

    I agree the Video memory is using the computer Ram (which is an unavoidable issue on your computer, being an old Compaq)
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