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Windows 7: Windows 7 64 bit only uses a small amount of the memory available

27 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
 
 
Windows 7 64 bit only uses a small amount of the memory available

Hi.

I am running Windows 7 64 bit Enterprise on a Dell Precision T5500. I have 51 GB of DDR3 memory. According to two different memory "meters" I have installed (one is the Windows 7 gadget), I can only seem to max out at using about 13% of this memory.

First, is this normal?

Second, does anyone have ideas on how I can allow the OS to use more memory? I have tried allocating more memory to applications (mostly Java applications, Netbeans, Tomcat...) and still it does not go above this amount. I've also tried Adobe Photoshop 64 bit, but still no luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Scott

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Sep 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Well firstly I'm confused, I'm pretty sure that system has a max supported RAM of 48gigs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for the reply. This is what I have

Precision T5500 Tower Workstation with Xeon Processor | Dell

It supports up to 72 GB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Sep 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

...but it only has 6 sockets.
Whatever, at any rate windows 7 really only needs about 2 gigs to play in.
Despite the arguments on the internet disabling the page file to try and force windows to reside solely in memory generally leads to having a bad time. It's been tuned so thoroughly to function the way it does messing with it doesn't really grant you any better performance or stability.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
 
 

Thank you. I'm not sure I know enough about how Windows works to completely understand your answer. So it sounds to me like you are saying Windows itself only needs 2GB to run. I guess what I am asking is - how do I get my programs (such as Adobe Photoshop, or if I open a lot of programs at once) to use as much of the remaining memory as practical? Perhaps there is not a good answer for this. Thanks again for your replies.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

To be perfectly honest the levels of ram you are currently dealing with are only useful for massive projects.
Dreamworks /pixar level stuff, that requires a render farm to actually resolve.
What's the largest thing you've tried to manipulate in photoshop?
If you are using a recent version it is not shy at all about consuming all the ram it can find , when it actually needs it.
If you are dealing in images or small medium projects not exceeding typical 1080p or so resolutions.
These things do not require massive amounts of ram to process.
A system with 8 gigs of ram could easily handle the job 90% of the time.
I only have 16 myself and with gaming, digital editing, and all the stuff I ever do on this system I never consume more than about 6 of it. This isn't because windows is being stubborn and not using the memory, it's because it is using the memory, and that's really all of it needed.

To be perfectly honest with you I consider myself to have personally gone full overkill just getting 16gigs.

There is also the problem that the more stuff you keep active and floating in ram the higher the probability of processes going rogue/stopping under a fault, and the system becoming unstable.
This is the reason most applications and even windows itself somewhat limit their footprints.

If you really insist on making photoshop flood your ram as much as it possibly can, there are actually some settings to make it do that though.
Optimize performance | Photoshop CS4, CS5, CS6
Root around through there for a bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #7

Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit
 
 

Ok. This all makes sense and thank you very much for your detailed response. I was only using Photoshop as an example (and probably an incorrect one to use) because I thought it used a lot of memory (I guess I was off quite a few magnitudes on that thinking). I do quite a bit of web application development with Postgresql DBs housing data. I do not currently have it running locally, only on one of our servers that is linux. I will play around with Postgresql to see if it uses more RAM or if even that would not. I will also try playing around with some of its settings. Experimenting with performance in DBs, performance of Java Servlets in Apache Tomcat... - that's some of the stuff I'm after.

Thanks again for your help and explanation as it has been very helpful. I will mark this as solved because this explanation is what I was looking for. I am new to this forum, so let me know if there is anything else I should do with this thread for you.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

well if you ever get into VM boxing you might actually find a way to use all that ram.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

First off, that is an incredible amount of RAM!
Secondly, you will probably never see Windows 7 use a notable amount of this Memory. I have 16GB of RAM and Windows uses max. 4 at high times. As an added perk, you could roughly install Windows 7 twice just on your RAM ;-)

By the way, do you even have any performance problems?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit
 
 

You could setup a RAM drive and instal programs and files there that are often read from or written to to speed up that process. Have a backup copy of the RAM drive on the HD, and back it up before shutting down, when needed. This can work alright for video games too that have different areas to load when changing locations in the game, or similar.
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