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Windows 7: HELP: Task Manager!!!!!

19 Mar 2010   #1

Win7 & Linux FC8
 
 
HELP: Task Manager!!!!!

Hi all,

I have been doing allot of research on Windows 7's Task Manager, in particular the Performance Tab because I am getting issues I am not understanding. I read an older thread on here explaining the Manager

(user:Brink - 18/01/09)
  • Total is the amount of RAM installed on your computer, listed in megabytes (MB).
  • Cached refers to the amount of physical memory used recently for system resources.
  • Available is the total of standby and free memory from the Resource Monitor.
  • Free is the amount of memory that is currently unused or doesn't contain useful information (unlike cached files, which do contain useful information).

What I don't understand is how is it possible to have almost NO 'Free' memory but have loads of 'Available' memory. I have attached a screen shot below. We are running Windows 7 on a Dell Precision 690.

Can anyone explain in more detail or suggest a link about these values I would be most grateful. Much appreciated.

Many thanks,
Nick.



Attached Thumbnails
HELP: Task Manager!!!!!-tm_syscrash.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 Mar 2010   #2

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by niic View Post
What I don't understand is how is it possible to have almost NO 'Free' memory but have loads of 'Available' memory. I have attached a screen shot below. We are running Windows 7 on a Dell Precision 690.

Can anyone explain in more detail or suggest a link about these values I would be most grateful. Much appreciated.

Many thanks,
Nick.
Hi Nick... It's possible because of the ultra silly "Superfecth" service. What this does is pre-load a mess of stuff trying to predict what you will need next as a means of improving apparent performance. All it really does is thrash heck out of your disk drive. The memory is considered "releasable" in that loaded modules not currently in use can be over-written (released) on demand.

If you go into Control Panel / Admin Tools / Services, find the Superfetch service... Right click on it, select properties and set it to "Disabled" then restart your computer you'll find most of your "available" memory will be shifted to "free" memory. You will also find your hard disk is considerably less active and, as a result, your system will run a little smoother.

(It's one of those "What WERE they thinking??" kinda things....)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2010   #3

Win7 & Linux FC8
 
 

Hi,

I see so 'Available' also deals with SuperFetch? I thought Cache was what SuperFetch dealt with?? Confused!

I read a few forums with people saying that Available = Standby + Free? They are not directly related?

What is the difference between 'Cache' and 'Standby' then?

Thanks for the help, much appreciated.

Cheers
Nick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


19 Mar 2010   #4

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by niic View Post
Hi,

I see so 'Available' also deals with SuperFetch? I thought Cache was what SuperFetch dealt with?? Confused!

I read a few forums with people saying that Available = Standby + Free? They are not directly related?

What is the difference between 'Cache' and 'Standby' then?

Thanks for the help, much appreciated.

Cheers
Nick.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure... Perhaps one of the local gurus can jump in and give us both some good information....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2010   #5

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
...your system will run a little smoother.
How will it run smoother?

Standby == Memory that contains cached data and code that is not actively in use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2010   #6

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
...your system will run a little smoother.
How will it run smoother?
Because it's not thrashing the hard disk so much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2010   #7

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
Because it's not thrashing the hard disk so much.
Uh huh...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2010   #8

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
Uh huh...
Ummmm... I'm here for two reasons... To share what I might know and to learn some of what I don't. If you can explain to me why I am wrong, please do so (Politely, of course) otherwise I'll just go right on assuming I'm right...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2010   #9

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

The disk trashing you are referring to. This is caused by the initial loading of the system, while you are installing your various application and others. After a while when the system is no longer in such a high level of flux any disk trashing will subside. However, this disk trashing should not have an impact on the system if it is SuperFetch that is trashing the disk. Any I/O operation that SuperFetch preforms is done so at a low I/O priority, meaning it will only use I/O resources when it will not effect the performance of the system.

Second the data cached in RAM is never paged out of RAM. If an application requires the space occupied by the cache it is simply overwriting with zero overhead. There is no speed-up or getting a smoother system when you turn off SuperFetch, all you get is wasted RAM.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/m...stakernel.aspx
Quote:
Whenever memory becomes free-for example, when an application exits or releases memory-SuperFetch asks the Memory Manager to fetch data and code that was recently evicted. This is done at a rate of a few pages per second with Very Low priority I/Os so that the preloading does not impact the user or other active applications.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2010   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
Uh huh...
Ummmm... I'm here for two reasons... To share what I might know and to learn some of what I don't. If you can explain to me why I am wrong, please do so (Politely, of course) otherwise I'll just go right on assuming I'm right...
You are actually wrong - I think. Cached memory is available memory. Before you would get any hard page fault, the system would first have to populate all free and cached memory (the light and dark blue in Process Monitor). In a 3 or 4GB system with normal duties this will practically never happen - and I said "normal duties". If you throw some CAD at it, that is another story.

It is also a big mistake to disable superfetch (unless you operate on an SSD - and even then). The time to fetch an instance from RAM is many thousand times faster than getting it off the disk (even the SSD). And if your LOR (location of reference) is very narrow (meaning that you are using more or less the same applications all the time), then superfetch does a good service. It must be a weird operating environment where superfetch would be counterproductive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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