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Windows 7: RAM Allocation


31 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
 
 
RAM Allocation

I have 6GB RAM but the task manager only shows around 2GB being used even when doing heavy duty tasks such as video file conversion. Is there a tweak to ensure the RAM is fully utilized?

Dell Inspiron 580s
Intel Quad Core i5 2.66GHz, 8MB
6144MB DDR3 Dual Channel
1GB ATI Radeon HD 5450
1TB Serial ATA

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 May 2010   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by prospero View Post
I have 6GB RAM but the task manager only shows around 2GB being used even when doing heavy duty tasks such as video file conversion. Is there a tweak to ensure the RAM is fully utilized?

Dell Inspiron 580s
Intel Quad Core i5 2.66GHz, 8MB
6144MB DDR3 Dual Channel
1GB ATI Radeon HD 5450
1TB Serial ATA
Pretty sure you are using more than 2. Can we get a screen shot of task manger showing the performance tab as shown in the picture.


Thanks


ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Ken, I like mine blue

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A Guy


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31 May 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Why do you think video file conversion (aka video encoding) takes up alot of RAM? I've done alot of video conversion, even for video at FULL HD sizes and it certainly doesn't take up RAM. The OS and program has no reason to load more data into the RAM then the processor can process. Encoding is a processor heavy task, ie. it takes alot of processing power just to process a small amount of data. Therefore, even if the data were to be fed directly from the HDD to the CPU, it would still be fine since the processing rate doesn't exceed the HDD transfer limit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #5

Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 6.01.7600 SP1 (x64)
 
 

hi
i have the same amount of ram and i never have seen it all used i dont think you will, i feel the more system resources you give the machine the better, it will run under stress of heavy loads on ram better because the resources are there if needed, i use readyboost as well (16 GB) and i have lots of feedback about how it does not work, but the tests i have done on my machine shows in the results that it does. saving the paging file on the hard drive doing all the work and using flash memory makes sense less strain again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReadyBoost

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...res/readyboost
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
 
 

Thanks to all for the interest. I was worried that my system had a problem. Screen shot attached.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #7

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

There's no problem here. 7 says it sees and is using all 6GB's of RAM.

You do however have a few more processes running than I do. You show 75 to my 46 processes; 24k to my 14k handles; 1000 to my 600 threads... but... you're probably doing stuff.

I do have to ask though... 6GB's on an LGA 1156 motherboard? How did you arrive at that configuration and why have you sacrificed running dual channel?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
 
 

I don't understand what "dual channel" means but would appreciate some guidance. The rig is a Dell Inspiron 580s but I don't know the MOBO spec.
Another question - would it be appropriate to disable the page file? I've currently allocated 4096GB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #9

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote:
Integrated memory controller enables two channels of high-speed DDR3 1333 MHz memory. This memory controller's lower latency and higher memory bandwidth delivers amazing performance for data-intensive applications.
Intel® Core™ i5 Processor - Overview

The i5's have two memory "channels". You can set your board up to run in single channel mode (which is what you've done by having that odd third stick of RAM), but because the i5's have so much bandwidth, they benefit from using two channels at the same time.

However, in order to get dual channel to work, you have to place your RAM in the right slots. The dimm slots are colored differently for this very reason, so as to identify which channel is which. LGA 1156 motherboards (and that's what you have if you have an i5) use either 4GB's of RAM for dual channel, or 8GB's; they do not use 6GB's. 6GB's of RAM is typical of an LGA 1366 motherboard which has a triple channel memory controller.

Since you're using 6GB's of RAM, you have an extra stick populating the second channel, only because that second channel is not full (ie, not a fourth stick of RAM making 8GB's) your board defaults to single channel. In short, you're not getting the most out of your memory.

I thought that was odd, especially since this came from Dell. If you mistakenly have an i7 (an lga 1366 and not an lga 1156 i7) then your memory configuration would make perfect sense, but since you have an i5, it's a puzzler how Dell let you configure the machine this way?

You will get better performance if you remove the odd stick of RAM or add the fourth. Yes, generally speaking the more RAM you have the better your machine will perform, but not in your case... either remove the odd stick or get another bringing you to the full 8GB's.

If you're a gamer, then don't waste your money on a fourth stick as you will see no performance gains at all... no game uses more than 2GB's of RAM. If you can actually use all 8GB's of RAM, like with some CAD program, then get it, but if you can't, then don't bother.

As for disabling your page file, that is one huge internet myth that refuses to go away. It really won't bring you any sort of performance gains whatsoever... besides, no matter what you do trying to disable the page file, Windows will always create for itself a page file... so you can end up actually decreasing performance. Some guys have said that it's better to have the page file on another drive (not another partition on the same drive, but on a separate drive), yet, despite their insistence that performance increases, nobody, nowhere has actually ever demonstrated that with benchmarks that prove the point. If they had, everyone would be doing it who could benefit from it.

Windows does a very good job of managing the page file all on its own; let it. With the size of hard drives today, and the large amounts of RAM in most people's systems (4GB's or more) there is absolutely no need for this.

As for ReadyBoost: there is no performance gain to be had if you have 4GB's of RAM or more. RB is/was for systems that had less than 2GB's. http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/a...eadyboost.aspx
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01 Jun 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fumz View Post
As for disabling your page file, that is one huge internet myth that refuses to go away. It really won't bring you any sort of performance gains whatsoever... besides, no matter what you do trying to disable the page file, Windows will always create for itself a page file... so you can end up actually decreasing performance. Some guys have said that it's better to have the page file on another drive (not another partition on the same drive, but on a separate drive), yet, despite their insistence that performance increases, nobody, nowhere has actually ever demonstrated that with benchmarks that prove the point. If they had, everyone would be doing it who could benefit from it.

Windows does a very good job of managing the page file all on its own; let it. With the size of hard drives today, and the large amounts of RAM in most people's systems (4GB's or more) there is absolutely no need for this.
You were doing well until you got into some dangerous territory. Disabling the page file will disable the system's ability to overcommit memory allocation and can cause processes that do not heed the return values from Windows memory allocation API calls to fail -- sometime spectacularly. That's not the fault of Windows. The same thing would happen if the system were using a system managed page file with a small initial size under very low disk space conditions where that file was not allowed to grow.

While setting a page file size of zero does not increase performance, it can prevent performance degradation by preventing writes to the page file during memory allocation calls under overcommited memory conditions. Without a page file and under those conditions Windows will trim the working set of all processes in an attempt to recover some free memory. If it cannot recover enough from processes then the allocation will fail and the calling process will be notified. If that process does not handle the failure, caveat emptor. In any event there will be no performance degradation due to committing pages to disk.

At least under Windows 7, Windows does NOT create a page file, temporary or permanent when told not to. I run with no page file at all and routinely use WinDirStat to manage storage on my boot/system SSD and profile HDD. Windows 7 does not create a page file for me and is not designed to. Maybe you're using Adobe apps that create their own?

It's ALWAYS better to have a page file on a drive other than the boot/system drive especially if that drive is an SSD. The reasons and are numerous and I'll gladly go into them in detail if anyone is interested.
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