Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit Physical Memory Question

By OpticalOrange99 ยท 13 replies
Jul 27, 2007
  1. Hey.

    Right now Windows Task Manager says that I am using 50 per cent of my physical memory (1.51GB out of 3GB). Why?

    I only have Steam, Windows Live Messenger and McAfee running and everything else running I assume is OS-based. So why the big drain?

    I used to run my old pc with only 512MB of RAM and could have 3 aforementioned programs running and it was just about as fast as this. What's with the big memory drain?

    I had a game crash because it said there was no more memory available! This is unbelievable! What the hell is wrong with Vista!

    EDIT: I just restarted the pc and it was using up 1.51GB of RAM for a while and then it dropped down to 0.99/1.1GB around now. That's more like it. I have no idea why it was up that high. One third of my RAM being taken up is fine but not half. I don't mean that I've answered my own question though. I'd still appreciate some help and maybe an explanation of how I can improve my RAM usage.
  2. OpticalOrange99

    OpticalOrange99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    Anyone? As of this moment 1.41Gbs of RAM is being used, not to mention the page file that's being used up. Is this normal for Vista? I have 3Gbs of RAM! Why is so much being used up!? I uninstalled Mcafee and got AVG Free Edition 4.75 and it's still enormous!

    Please help!
  3. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    As I understand Vista will use about all the RAM it can. It's supposed to be faster that way because it does not need to use the hard disk as much. I don't think you can look at memory usage the same way as you would with Xp.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,000   +2,532

    I don't know if it's the same in Vista but.....

    Punch up the task manager >(Cntrl) (Alt) (Del)< Click on processes the tab to see who the culprit(s) is(are). This is the way it's done in XP. I don't know if M$ has "complified" or "simplicated" the process in Vista. Vista is becoming notorious as a resource hog, but you still could have a lot of "crapware" running at startup if this is a new machine.
    Also, Vista has what they're calling "Superfetch", which (in my limited understanding of it) decides to go get apps and whatnot based on what it thinks you MIGHT want. Vista's there for you, even when nobody else is.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Mirob is right.

    I've said it time and time again on these boards but people that didn't know this tend to ignore it so they can bash Vista, and people that do know it aren't pointing it out. Vista handles memory much differently than XP.

    Many of you guys are caught up in a lot of virtual **** measuring by looking at who's processor runs the coolest, who has the highest benchmarks or framerates, and apparently to some extent how much free RAM you have. What is the point of having all that RAM if you aren't using it?

    Now back to my original point, Vista has a superior memory management system to XP. With Vista Microsoft started handling RAM more like Mac OS X. It is trying to keep things loaded in RAM that it expects you are going to use again, if it dumps that out of RAM sure you get to see your free RAM go up, which apparently makes you guys think you are awesome, but next time you load up that program it has to pull data from the hard drive back into RAM. That is much slower than having it already there in RAM waiting to be used.

    Microsoft thought up a fancy name for it and calls it Superfetch.

    This guy wrote up a better thing about it than I did, hopefully some of you will read it and then point it out when someone bitches that Vista is using so much more RAM than XP:
  6. OpticalOrange99

    OpticalOrange99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    I have been taught a lesson. :'( I will not bash Windows again. I am sorry SNGX1275 :'(.

    :p Anyways, thanks for answering my question. Maybe I shouldn't have uninstalled McAfee. :'( Poor McAfee. I blamed it for this and it was Vista all along. :'( I'll never get my free trial back now. :'(
  7. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    I think the more appropriate point is, with the higher RAM usage, is you system running faster or slower? If it's running fast, then Vista is working. If the memory use is high but the system response is slow, then there's a problem, i.e. runaway process hogging memory or hidden spyware.
  8. OpticalOrange99

    OpticalOrange99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    Well a game of mine crashed saying there was "no available memory". But it's a buggy game anyways so I don't think it was Vista's fault.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,000   +2,532

    And the Winner Is...........?

    My son has a Mac Mini with 256MB of RAM it runs fine with OS 10, with Vista the grumblings are like 1GB bare minimum. (OK, in fairness here, he's not trying to do anything difficult with it).

    I said that.

    I went to and read a great deal of the blog in your link. The author was mostly positive about Vista. Many of the response posts were negative.
    It was, IMO, not a clearcut victory for either side.
  10. Hmm.. to use up that amount of ram is crazy in my opinion. I'm running two systems on Vista.. well, on my desktop, it never goes beyond 570 MB when idling. I only have 3 things running on my taskbar icons.

    On my laptop, it use about 700 ++ but because of the laptop's OEM softwares...

    You may want to take a look at your startup programs and see which one uses the most. See which process use up more than 100MB of ram, kill the process. That will free up your ram.

    NOTE: Don't kill system process.
  11. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    A lot of those guys were like the people here that don't understand it. I don't understand it all that well either, but I do understand it well enough to know that you can't compare Vista's memory usage to XP's.

    There seems to actually be a clearcut winner (that superfetch is better) if you read enough to see useful comments explaining how superfetch works and what happens if it 'guesses' wrong. But in the context of this thread I linked it to prove that Vista and XP don't handle memory the same.
  13. OpticalOrange99

    OpticalOrange99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    I'm having other problems with the game such as graphics problems and frequent crashes. I'm getting the lead designer of the game to check it out via e-mail. He hasn't got back to me yet but when he checks out my crash reports I'd say he'd definitely come to the conclusion that it's either faulty drivers (the DX10 cards like my nVidia Geforce 8800GTX may have been built for Vista but seemingly they're still very buggy) or the game itself. I doubt Vista had much to do with the memory problem.

    I've pretty much had my question answered regarding the memory usage. I was just curious why Vista on my laptop only consumes 350MB of RAM while it eats up 1.5GB on my Desktop. The Superfetch feature seems to be the reason. Whether it's good or bad, I'd err on the side of it being more useful than detrimental, seeing as I like to frequently use the same programs again and again.

    EDIT: Sorry Mictluntecuhlti, I didn't really answer your question. It's a game that came out in 2006. It's called Garry's mod 10 or gmod10. It is a modification that went commercial for a game called Half-Life 2 which came out in 2004. The reason I tell you this is that it's really a 2004 game as far as technical requirements are concerned, so I doubt it would have 2GB RAM usage or anything close to that.
  14. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    That's *DEFINITELY* a possibility! I use to be a high tech engineer and let me tell you, video games are some of the most complex programs in existence! It's not that I ever worked on a video game per se, but I did work on video type programs with human interaction and it's *HAIRY*!! It's not straightforward and mistakes are easy to make!

    If you see the same problem with other games, then it's not a bug in the games. It's something to do with your system.
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