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Old 20th November 2005   #1
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Can someone explain RAM usage to me. The windows task manager
has a tab called performance. I have no idea how to put picture here.

CPU Usage 8%
PF usage 265 MB

Physical memory total 514740
Available 193712
System cache 214756

Commit charge (K) total 272284
limit 1255956
peak 364696

Kernal memory (K)
total 61156
paged 35696
nonpaged 25460

I have 512 ram memory. Do you wthink another 512 would do anything?

80GB HD

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Old 20th November 2005   #2
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Hi Alicia!

You have opened the proverbial can of worms. A while ago, there was a discussion about what Task Manager does and does not show and what it means. Have a look at the thread Ram Upgrade

Understanding Memory Usage in Windows 2000 is discussing the Task Manager in Windows 2000 but it is similar to the one in Windows XP.

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Old 21st November 2005   #3
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Thanks. I'll check it out. So much for my search attempt.

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Old 21st November 2005   #4
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Hi,

As a general comment, because we don't know how and what maybe running at the time, 193MB Available RAM (physical memory) would seem reasonable to me. It depends on what sort of programs you have running. If you want to run programs that are memory intensive (example, editing programs) you may find that this level runs down and the system needs to use the Page File (virtual memory) as well. (Christer knows more about reading the usage of Page File than I do).

Run the monitors. Run some of the programs you think will "tax" the system (if in doubt find the system requirements for your programs). Example, Photoshop will be more memory intensive than MS Word, but not if you decide to open MS Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint or maybe several other programs at the same time (they all have to be loaded into the memory when you open them).

It can depend on programs that are running in the background. These are all loaded at startup (or when you run certain programs). You can look at stopping "startup" programs from running to give you more available RAM...open the programs in your System Tray, you may be able to disable them in the Tools -> Options menu. Nowdays it seems every program wants to load something at startup (boot). Unless you normally need it, if you disable it at startup, you can still run the program when it suits you from the Start -> Programs menu.

If you want to run BIG programs (memory intensive programs), shutdown any programs you are running beforehand. This will allow the maximum amount of memory to be devoted to that (big) program.

Some badly written programs may have a memory "leak". I cannot remember the details, but I think it is because memory should be released when the program is closed, the leak is when the memory is not released (if you suspect this, search for leak at the MS knowledgebase).

What you have posted is a "snapshot". You need to get the overall picture, especially if you run, or plan on running, memory intensive programs.

Matt


Last edited by mattman; 21st November 2005 at 07:32.
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Old 21st November 2005   #5
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Thanks Mattman. I'm off to do more reading. Especially the part about how to interpret the task manager performance.

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Old 21st November 2005   #6
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Hi Alicia,

FYI:


Physical memory total 514740
Total amount of physical RAM installed in the computer, measured in kilobytes. Divide by 1024 to convert to megabytes.

Available 193712
The total amount of physical RAM, measured in kilobytes, that Windows will make available to programs before swapping data to virtual memory. Windows will always try to reserve some physical RAM for additional applications, even when the total commit charge exceeds the total amount of physical RAM installed.

System cache 214756
The total amount of physical RAM, measured in kilobytes, used to store recently accessed programs and data. Windows will try to use as much physical RAM as possible for this function, but will release RAM from the file system cache when needed for programs and operating system functions.

Commit charge (K) total 272284
Total amount of physical and virtual memory currently in use by the operating system and all programs, measured in kilobytes. (This value is also displayed in the lower right corner of the Task Manager window.) Commit charge increases as you open additional programs and data files and should decrease when you close programs and files.

limit 1255956
Total amount of physical and virtual memory available for use by the operating system and all programs, measured in kilobytes. (This value is also displayed in the lower right corner of the Task Manager window.) To raise this limit, add more RAM or increase the size of the page file, or both.

peak 364696
The highest amount of memory that has been in use during the current session, measured in kilobytes. If this value regularly approaches or equals the Limit value, your system might need more memory.

Kernal memory (K) total 61156
The total amount of RAM, measured in kilobytes, used by core components of the operating system, including device drivers.

paged 35696
The total amount of memory, measured in kilobytes, used by Windows core components and mapped to pages in virtual memory.

nonpaged 25460
Amount of operating system and driver code, measured in kilobytes, that must be run in physical memory and cannot be paged to virtual memory.


Looking at your numbers, you do not need more RAM, certainly not another 512. If you look at the commit charge/peak and what's available, plenty left.

Regards - Charles

All the answers are quoted from Microsoft WINDOWS XP Inside OUT by Ed Bott and Carl Siechert.

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Old 21st November 2005   #7
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Hi Charles!

You edited out the part about "PF Usage" which I planned to comment on. I had my old parents come visiting so it had to wait but now, it's too late.

Since the previous discussion, I have tried to figure out the reason for some of the discrepancies and today I had a thought (just one ...... ...... so, you don't have to go: Oh no, not again):

Virtual Memory = RAM + Pagefile, which in my case is 512 MB + 768 MB = 1,280 MB. I have wondered why in Task Manager, in the lower right hand corner, it is reported as 1,250 MB? Who nicked my 30 MB?

Well, if you take 1,280 MB and divide by 1.024 then you get 1,250 MB. Could it be that simple, an arithmetical error?

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Old 21st November 2005   #8
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I was watching the graph pictures in Task Mamager. It would spike to app 50% CPU usage every few seconds.

So I went experimenting ( BAD thing for me to do LOL ) But I found that Microsoft Anti-Spyware was causing the spikes. I shut it down and a very nice smooth straight line appeared. At least until I opened something else. THen its' behavior depended on the program.

Now a question.

Could this be the cause of an occasional hangup on this and other Web Sites ? I think so because I did not get any while I had it shut it down.

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Old 21st November 2005   #9
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Hi Christer,

Sorry about that, but I thought it was explained in the paged heading so thought redundant.

Well, if you take 1,280 MB and divide by 1.024 then you get 1,250 MB. Could it be that simple, an arithmetical error?
By the the example you give - apparantly.






Hi BB,

I know PeteC had trouble of this kind with MS AS - cpu spikes. If he reads this he can tell you what the symptoms were. I use MS AS as a scanner only.

Regards - Charles

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Old 21st November 2005   #10
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Thank you Charles.

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Old 21st November 2005   #11
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A lot of applications hit the CPU periodically. Start Everest and open Computer > Sensor, then it will hit the CPU every few seconds, even if minimized.

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Old 22nd November 2005   #12
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Charlesvar,
Thank you for all that info. Saving money is a good thing.

BillyBob,
I have MAS running in the background. When I open it's interface, the CPU peaks to 50% then drops to 1 or 2%. MAS is now doing a scheduled scan and CPU usage is at 30%.

Still working thru the info in your links Christer.

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Old 22nd November 2005   #13
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As of right now I have un-installed MAS. I ran regSeeker and it found well over 100 entries in the Registry. I cleand them out. Restarted Windows and ran RegSeeker again and it found 20 more items. I cleaned them out. Restarted Windows again and this machine is running at least 25% faster and much, much SMOOTHER.

But also when running RegSeeker I saw the possibility that I had MAS installed twice and in two different places. A search of the HDs with PowerDesk proved it. They are both now gone.

Taskmanager sits right at about 2% now untill I start something.

Christer
I did as you suggested and see the results you mention.

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Old 22nd November 2005   #14
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'Start Everest and open Computer > Sensor, then it will hit the CPU every few seconds, even if minimized.'

Can you explain this to me Christer. What is Everest?

BillyBob,

When I uninstalled MAS once to re install, I ran Regsupreme Pro. There was lots of stuff it left behind in the registry! If you don't have a good reg. cleaner, it would be nothing short of a manual registry exorcism.


Last edited by Alicia J; 22nd November 2005 at 03:02.
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Old 22nd November 2005   #15
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BillyBob,
there is a registry entry for MAS in the run section. Remove that entry and it will no longer run in the background. It can still be invoked manually and that's how I have used MAS. Never found anything, though. When updated to a new version (not definitions but program) the reg entry gets put back. At the end of the year, this version is history anyway.

Alicia,
Everest Home Edition is freeware and a "downgraded" version of a "system surveillance utility" that you have to pay for.

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