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Windows 7: RAM going to hardware

08 Oct 2009   #21
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SquonkSC View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post
Sorry, was kinda busy. Now let's get back to technical arguing in a respectful manner
If I was in some way not respectful, I apologize. I wasn't aware of it.
No, no, you weren't disrespectful at all. On the contrary. That was more for my benefit, to proactively seek forgiveness for my personal tendency towards being incessantly argumentative on a technical level

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SquonkSC View Post
There are more tips and tweaks out here that when not applied wisely could endanger stability.
I think disabling the pagefile when you have 8gb of RAM is one of the least dangerous.
I agree, it's not likely to be"dangerous", but I would question whether the additional risk - slight though it may be - should be recommended or undertaken without first understanding the environment-specific usage patterns. After all, you'd never advise a corporate client to make pagefile size changes without first examining their servers' stats. Why would home users be more likely to benefit from making changes just because they now have some arbitrary amount of RAM?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SquonkSC View Post
From your theory it seems the pagefile just sits there just in case you run out of RAM, and shouldn't have any adverse effect on the systems performance.
No, that's a misunderstanding between us. The pagefile is certainly utilised way before RAM "runs out", even at relatively low pressure levels. The magic part of the Mm, and the reason why many of the smartest developers working on any OS are frequently to be found on that team, is the way it reaches a decision as to what is appropriate to page out and what's not. On a simplistic level, the scenario you portrayed would be a bug because pages which were getting repeatedly "touched" were forced out for no good reason. The trimmer algorithm ought to be a lot smarter than that.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SquonkSC View Post
You could try disabling it and see if and how it affects your system's performance.
And then maybe you could use your knowledge to find an explanation.
People who claim knowledge without demonstrating it generally rub me the wrong way, so I will resist my initial impulse to confine myself to "believe me"

Diagnosis: placebo effect.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SquonkSC View Post
Greetings.
Greetings to you too. I have some excellent friends in Amsterdam. You remind me a lot of the way they operate. That's a compliment


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Oct 2009   #22
SquonkSC

Win7 Build 7600 x86
 
 

I watched my laptop on which I am working tonight very carefully.

Two hours ago, there was 170mb of the kernel in VM.

Total free physical mem was around 825mb all the time, and all I have been doing is reading posts here.

Now there is 176mb of the kernel in VM.

Why would the kernel be offloaded to VM without any proper cause like increased ram pressure?

825 free mem seems no reason to start offloading, right?

PS. Thanks for the compliment
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #23
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SquonkSC View Post
I watched my laptop on which I am working tonight very carefully.

Two hours ago, there was 170mb of the kernel in VM.

Total free physical mem was around 825mb all the time, and all I have been doing is reading posts here.

Now there is 176mb of the kernel in VM.

Why would the kernel be offloaded to VM without any proper cause like increased ram pressure?

825 free mem seems no reason to start offloading, right?

PS. Thanks for the compliment
Ah, the Task Manager. I have a lot of respect for the way that successive versions of Windows always try to improve the way they express complex and multi-dimensional data in that simple utility. Inevitably, there are compromises.

The "kernel memory" counters do not correspond to the kernel(!). Their full names would be "kernel-mode pool paged bytes" and "kernel-mode pool non-paged bytes". As you may be aware, the distinction between the two is important for driver developers who need to choose between pool pages they can access at elevated IRQL (at or above DPC/dispatch level), the so-called "non-paged pool" because it's guaranteed to always be resident, and the (bigger) "paged pool" areas which are only accessible at "software" IRQLs below 2 because there is no guarantee that those pages will be resident. (IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL is what happens when a driver gets it wrong.)

I just re-read that explanation and it sucks. Another angle...

The "pools" are analogous to a kernel-mode version of heap. Drivers can allocate from either the "paged pool" or "non-paged pool", depending on how they intend to use the memory, but the kernel itself (NTOSKRNL) does not live in either of the memory pools. Hence, the TM's counters which you referred to are more accurately thought of as memory temporarily assigned for drivers' needs.

More importantly, just because something has been trimmed doesn't necessarily mean it's no longer in RAM. The explanation is not trivial. I don't wish to sound patronising, but I don't know anything about your background so I'll talk as if I was presenting to a varied audience...

Once the Mm decides that a resident page in a WS can be safely trimmed, the act of trimming first places the page on the "standby" or "modified" lists, depending on whether the contents of the page have been flagged as altered since the last time they were read from their source (usually the disk). In the simpler case, an unmodified page goes to the standby list where it continues to reside in physical memory, though it is no longer counted in that process WS (TM would show a smaller "mem used"). Should the page be touched again while it is on the standby list, it is "soft-faulted" almost instantaneously back into the WS without incurring HDD access. Modified pages are a bit more complex because they are waiting to be flushed when workload allows.

The "cached" TM counter in Vista and Win 7 is like a catch-all that includes the standby and modified lists, among several other quantities. On machines with lotsa RAM, like the OP's, that "cache" tends to grow to the point where it frequently causes concern among those keen to have their OS "not use up so much of their RAMZ". In fact, the cache contains trimmed pages, so that the effective overall resident process size is composed of the TM-reported WS plus cached portions which are not visible in TM.

Lastly, even if a page is trimmed from the WS and completely purged from every cache level, that's not a problem in situations where the page in question is not being used.

Superfetch and prefetch heuristics obviously add much more complexity on top of all this.

Thanks for a very interesting discussion

======================================

Quote:
Two hours ago, there was 170mb of the kernel in VM.
As an aside, I'd suggest not using the term "in VM" in that manner. All of this stuff is always "in VM". It's more accurate to refer to pages as "resident" or "paged out".
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08 Oct 2009   #24
SquonkSC

Win7 Build 7600 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post

Thanks for a very interesting discussion

======================================

As an aside, I'd suggest not using the term "in VM" in that manner. All of this stuff is always "in VM". It's more accurate to refer to pages as "resident" or "paged out".
Likewise.

Although I could understand your elaborate explanation.
The matter itself is outside my field of knowledge.

Like my favorite quote from Clint Eastwood:
A man's gotta know his limitations.

I do hope you will run a test with pagefile disabled, and see if you can reproduce some of my findings I mentioned about the music machine.

Maybe instead of an audio/midi app you could use some other heavy application.

Good night.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #25
Coolness

Win 7 pro 64-bit, Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KtotheFC View Post
I understand that it's relocating the video RAM, but I'm still missing a GB of RAM somewhere.

I have 1GB on my video cards combined, then 8 GB installed. Why would the video cards be taking away from the 8GB? Wouldn't it be adding to make it 9 instead?
Video card RAM has nothing to do with the actual one. This RAM is used by the GPU (the Graphics Processing Unit), and does not go to your CPU. The "missing" of RAM can be explained by the fact that your hardware simply uses it to make the system faster. Like ZigZag said, Se7en allocates RAM diffirently. If you have loads of RAM, it will use it to make the system faster.

EDIT: LOL, this tread has three pages? LOL, well maby this helps.
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 RAM going to hardware




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