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Windows 7: Computer recognizes 8GB of ram, but only uses 30% of it?

17 Mar 2011   #1
Mistle

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Computer recognizes 8GB of ram, but only uses 30% of it?

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Intel Q9550
ATI radeon 5770
P5QPL-AM ASUS motherboard
OCZ 8GB (2x 4GB) Platinum series RAM. pc2-6400 DDR2, 240 pin, non ecc, unbuffered

I have installed 8GB ram into my computer. Both my BIOS and system properties state I can use all 8GB of it. However- even when I put my computer under huge strain, I've never seen it go higher that 30-31%. It idles on about %20, so that means when I put strain on it, it only ever goes up by %10! I have not set a limit in msconfig either.
It's frustrating me why my computer isn't using all my ram. If anybody has any suggestions, let me know!

Here's an example: I open photoshop with a huge canvas (A0), and went crazy with a large brush. I've allowed PS to use %75 of my memory. PS lags heavily, yet my ram will not budge higher than 30-31%. Here is a screenshot of it. The ram is the steady blue line.



I would be extremely thankful if anybody could share any thoughts/information. Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #2
fireberd

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Is the photoshop a 32 bit or 64 bit application? If it's 32 bit that could be why.

I have 8GB of RAM and rarely see it go above about 30% even when using my recording studio program (Sonar) and large music files - and I've using the 64 bit version of Sonar.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #3
Mistle

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It's the 64 bit version. I guess I wouldn't be too concerned if Photoshop wasn't lagging. It's just that I would assume Photoshop would utilize the remaining 60-70% of RAM instead of slowing down and only using 20-30% of it :/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #4
yowanvista

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote:
However- even when I put my computer under huge strain, I've never seen it go higher that 30-31%. It idles on about %20
Windows7 will aromatically allocate the requested amount of memory that a program will use. There is nothing abnormal with that, so no need to worry


Test your RAM if you think that it has defects
RAM - Test with Memtest86+
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #5
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

I think you can manually set the memory usage in the Performance section. See the performance preferences part on this page.

Perfecting Images in Photoshop CS5 > Setting Preferences
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #6
Mistle

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Ah, okay then. So it's perfectly normal to idle around 15-20%, and go up to only 30% under strain?
While that is great news, I'm still curious as to why Photoshop continues to lag when I have a free 5700+ MB ram to use.

Quote:
I think you can manually set the memory usage in the Performance section. See the performance preferences part on this page.
I checked that out. I set my memory usage in PS to use 75% of it, which is about 6GB. However, as I've said, Photoshop continues to lag with large canvases/brushes, and never uses more then approx. 2500 MB ram.
That's my main concern. I assign a potention 6GB for photoshop to use, yet as shown in the pic, it never goes over 2500mb. I believe if there was a way to let photoshop REALLY use 6GB, it would stop lagging and run smoothly ^^' is this correct or am i misguided?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #7
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Read this excellent article on optimizing PS.

Optimize Photoshop performance | CS4, CS5 | Windows 7, Vista, XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #8
jimbo45

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
In any OS REAL RAM usage is a very difficult parameter to determine.

Th OS will allocate paging and swap files and there is often very little relationship to the actual RAM used at any one time compared to the amount of available RAM in the system.

All you can say is that in normal circumstances more REAL RAM will mean you can run more CONCURRENT applications before serious paging occurs.

Most typical applications such as MS Office etc don't even reallt tax a 1 GB machine.

If you load up say a few Virtual machines then the 8 GB will be gobbled up in no time at all --Virtual Machines just EAT RAM like there's no tomorrow.

To understand how memory allication works you need a basic tutorial on Operating Systems 101.

At the base level they all tend to be fairly similar in managing Virtual Memory, scheduling tasks, handling I/O etc.

The GUI part is where the OS's start differing a LOT from each other.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2011   #9
GeneO

Windows 7 64 bit SP1. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot.
 
 

A lot of photoshop operations write to its scratch disk no matter how much memory you have. For instance, if you convert a layer to a smart object it will write hundreds of MB to its scratch disk. Unless you have your scratch disk on an SSD with very fast writes, this takes 5 seconds, you can sit there and watch it! So I suspect something like that is happening. You can monitor the scratch disk for activity to see if the is the culprit.

Another example. I can write full speed to my scratch disk at about 100 MB/s. I have photoshop configured to use up to 5 of my 8 GB of memory. I just opened up a 10MP RAW image in PS CS5. That wrote about 100 MB to my scratch disk for about 1 second. I duplicated the layer. Another 100MB and 1 second to complete. I then smart sharpened the image. The scratch space jumped up 370 MB more or about 4 seconds to do the sharpening because of this. I am sure the sharpening itself takes no time, it is the writing to disk that does.

It is a real disappointment.

If I had the extra cash right now, I would get one of the new Intel 510 SSD explicitly for use as cache for Photoshop scratch, ACR and Bridge Cache, and Browser Cache. Maybe I would make it my system disk. But you need something that can do much better than HDD write speeds (>> 100MB/s) to see the difference. Many SSDs do not have write speeds that are any better than Hard disk drives. the Intel 510 claim to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2011   #10
Zepher

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

If you have Premiere CS5, see if you can get it to use all of your ram,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Computer recognizes 8GB of ram, but only uses 30% of it?




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