Win7 uses more than 4GB

By St1ckM4n ยท 19 replies
Apr 2, 2013
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  1. I'm sick of seeing some variation of the following on the web:
    "8GB RAM is fine, you won't ever use more than 3GB and I've never seen my rig go above 4GB."​

    Is that so? Below are pics of my 8GB RAM work laptop, showing some things I have open. Note the following: it's pretty much idle; nothing open in PS; it's not even really demanding stuff.

    inb4 memory leak



  2. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TS Maniac Posts: 350   +112

    To be fair though, you do have a fair bit open. 15 Techspot tabs!?! :p

    I think the "you'll never use more than 3GB" comment is more often than not used to convince a builder to put more money towards other, more important components, such as a CPU or an SSD. This makes a lot of sense, as memory is probably the easiest component to upgrade.

    If somebody is building a PC or buying a laptop to be used as a workstation, then maybe 16GB is the way to go. But if you have four slots, why not populate two and see how you go? PERSONALLY (bold and underlined for affect) I have never seen my memory usage go above 6GB, and I use my rig for gaming, as a basic workstation and for everyday browsing (sometimes all at once :p ). The day I see it hit 8GB, I'll go down and buy a couple more sticks, and It'll be as easy as that.
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630

    Yeah, I have a decent amount of tabs open, and Opera is using 2GB RAM by itself haha. :D In a sense, yes I have a decent amount of stuff open, but it's also not anything extravagant.

    I have no issue with people suggesting the standard 8GB over 16GB kits to general people, but they always use the same "oh 3GB is most you'll see" excuse, which is what bothers me.

    8GB is the default lowest option these days, no doubt about that.
    learninmypc likes this.
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Well if you do a reboot and clean startup it'll be more in the realm of <2GB.
    Most people I think won't be using as much as you're using :), I rarely have over 3-4 windows open.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    It's also not Windows 7 using up over 4GB. When I say I rarely ever see my memory usage over 4GB, I need to include these two lines.
    • I never have more than 6 applications open at one time.
    • I never keep more than 1 tab open for more than it takes to complete my 30 minute research.
    At the moment I have 2 apps running and 2 tabs open in Opera, which has my memory usage at 1.6GB. When I want another app, I will open it then and close it when finished.

    Keeping a clean room makes it easier to move around. If you fill this room with junk, you would have no excuse as to why there is no place to put something of need. And if you actually do need everything in the room, maybe its time for a bigger room.
    Cobalt006 likes this.
  6. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    same here. I tried to reduce memory usage by unchecking unneeded start up items and servies in msconfig. That saved me 25% of my memory. Plus restarting helps a lot. Windows 8.1 is rumored to use very little memory since it is optimized for tablets. That may be a plus for you stickman lol.
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Absolutely this will happen. I've been trying to say this for years here. Windows 7 does NOT handle memory like XP. Nor does Vista, but everyone loves to hate Vista. Vista and 7 handle memory TOTALLY different from a task manager viewable perspective than XP and prior did. That is what everyone complained about, but then people that didn't know any better just kept jumping on it, and the complaints continued until everyone hated vista so much that 7 HAD to be better right?

    No, 7 is either exactly, or very similar to Vista, everyone just had hardware too slow when Vista came out. Ok that isn't true, Vista shipped on some slow hardware and people didn't like it. Problem is, Vista ran fine, hardware was the issue. XP came out in 2001! even with the best efforts of service packs, MS couldn't make XP that terrible, it's core was still designed to run on machines that were around 2001 technology.

    Vista was fine. UAC was intrustive, I'll give you that, but you could turn it off. Now you may say Vista runs worse than 7 on the same hardware, well, ok maybe, but was 7 out then? Things get optimized over time. Look at any console platform game launch, then fast forward a few years, look at that game on the same console, and tell me what looks better.
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    Hmm; Memory use is all about how the system is used by the user.

    Like even a Boeing 747, load enough into it and it will never leave the ground - - same is true for a system abused by the habits of the user. In the commercial world, this is the arena of Capacity Planning; how do you configure a system for the intended use?

    Ignoring XP, Vista, Win/7 & Win/8 comparisons, the "minimum" ram can be seen in two boot configurations:
    • Safe Mode
    • Normal Mode
    In Safe Mode, the absolute minimum services are started (ie: making it as safe as possible) and thus using absolute minimum ram for that OS on that hardware. With such heavy reductions in services, MS can't do too much except play with itself (aka maintenance).

    In Normal Mode, all of the enabled and autostarted services are started along with the user Autorun programs creating a larger use of Ram.

    When the desktop becomes available - - the system is in the hands of the user to use or abuse.

    Less we forget, today's OS is a Virtual Memory model and real ram supports the VM, not the applications. This says that we expect more and more ram to be used and when necessary, VM pages move to the pagefile so running programs get better performance.

    On other platforms, real ram is consumed to the 80-90% level almost immediate. The object is to use available resources, NOT to reserve or miserly parse them out. The beauty of a VM model is the system tunes itself to the load imposed upon it. When or if the Performance Specialist sees that the original Capacity Planning assumptions were exceeded frequently (not just once on one day last month), then more resources can be added - - OR less work can be imposed by waiting to another time when less demand is present.

    To make the claim that the cited example is normal, expected and therefore sets a minimum ram configuration imo is absurd.

    My laptop runs extremely well with 4gb ram and I use several programs concurrently.

    We all have our opinions and this is mine :)
    [edit] Taskmgr resources added [/edit] Win-7-Resource_Usage.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    Bump; Task mgr resources now shown above
  10. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Posts: 143   +18

    Most I've seen is around 8GB used for a Minecraft Feed the Beast LAN game out of 16GB :)
  11. I agree with St1ckM4n, granted though he has a lot of stuff open, but I like, his dislike, of that statement. With 4 GB sticks common and 8 GB sticks almost common, unless you are using laptop, see no reason on a desktop not to have 8+ GB. So inexpensive, modern OS cache programs, just started up 1,7 GB in use 1,6 cache, 14,1 available. Cache will grow as day progresses. Read an article recently that suggested that the caching of stuff in dram today results in less writes to SSD prolonging life. Also for next upgrade to Z87 chipset on LGA 1150 socket going to install 32 GB (4x8 GB sticks) because you can allocate almost as much as you want of it to make a RAMDisk. That ought to give the computer some oomph
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  12. elliscg

    elliscg TS Rookie

    Well the only thing I can talk you is that the problem is not the windows is you :S also how old is your system?? do you use ccleaner or something similar??
    And another thing in special for windows 7 141 processes is way too much....... opera is basically chrome now, so for example I have 2 windows open with 10 tabs + music + League of Legends running and I don't get over 7.5gb there is just no way you can :S.
    Either way maybe you should use better programs because just for a example Acrobat use too much memory for what it does, internet explorer is the browser that eats out more memory went open even if is just one tab also try to have your tabs from opera in to windows helps too, same stuff with outlook just eats too much memory for no reason.
    Now the most important thing how many background programs is your pc running??? a lot of the memory also go there.
    And last just to correct the people that said that windows 7 where the same thing than windows vista: they are totally different systems vista management of memory and cpu where totally wrong win 7 32-bits takes 540mb alone but vista went it come out was over 800mb. The only reason why some people say vista is good is because they provably didn't try the system when it come out but did it after the SP1 were it got a little better and then SP2 where finally MS had it's system ready. Is kinda hard to talk about this with my english so I will just stop here hahaha.
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I just noticed, you have 3 browsers open lol. That is your problem xD.
  14. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630


    Heh, need IE for ActiveX, Opera is main browser, and Chrome was running some other junk that I wanted in a separate instance.
  15. Your title is wrong,because technically it's all the browsers that are getting so heavy with RAM usage not 7.
    I have 3 tabs open in Chrome now and Chrome is using about 400MB's of the 1,8GB's that's been used.
    I do agree though that 8gb's is a minimum,even though the only time I've gone above 6gb's is when I am doing a stress test,which is hardly ever.
  16. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    How about gaming, is there a single game that would put you over 4 gig? I think people really want to know the min ram requirement for gaming. Opening a bunch of programs for no reason will of course stress your ram. How about having one game open?
  17. Why are people so stressed about trying to get by with so little RAM. It's not expensive. 16 GB is easy if you have a desktop computer, 32 isn't really a problem either. Provides the system with plenty of space to cache often used items speeding access, creates less writes for your SSD and applications such as from ASUS allow you to create a RAMDisk out of some of the extra, speeding things up even more. For what you pay for gear, why so cheap on DRAM?
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Dude, duke. think about your question. not everyone is running rigs with motherboards that came out in the last year or two. a lot of people are still running **** where the max ram is 4 or 8 gigs. even if you had an old board that could support 16, it may be ddr2 which is expensive.
    St1ckM4n and cliffordcooley like this.
  19. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,922   +630

    When I was running 6GB RAM, 1.2GB or so was idle on desktop. Hitman Absolution put me over 5.5GB total used.
  20. True enough SNGX1275, like Win XP has what? something like 40%+ of market share still. I assembled what I have in 2011, LGA 1155, i7-2600K, max. I can use is 16 GB, but I can still dream!

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