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Why is not most of my RAM not being cached for use?


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#1 cat1092

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 04:20 PM

I've noticed this for some time, though until now haven't really decided to see what's going on.

 

What I want to know is, why do I have so much free memory not being cached on my computer? Speccy specs are below in my sig, but here it is again for easier glance.

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/2j7i5zEZD8HDN5b5XV0Xx5p

 

Here is the snapshot of Task Manager. This computer dual boots Windows 8 on the same SSD, plus Linux MInt 17 on a smaller SSD (the 120GB Samsung 840 EVO). When Windows 8 is running, it's the same.

 

Attached File  Capture (Win 7 Pro Task Manager).PNG   58.55KB   0 downloads

 

On my other two computers that also dual boots Windows 7 & 8.1 Pro, these has 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM & all except a few MB (less than 20 usually) is cached. In other words, the bottom line where it says Free is less than 20MB, most every time I check, on either OS. Both of these are also Intel based computers, an i3-370m & i5-480m.

 

Please correct me if I'm misunderstanding this, I've always been told that the Free line should be very little, that when cached the OS makes better use of the RAM.

 

I've tried an app that was recently recommended here (CleanMem Free), system is a little more responsive, but still don't see the RAM being cached. And before anyone asks, I did have the Samsung Rapid App activated, of course benchmarks were faster, but in real usage, it seemed buggy between booting different OS's. Windows 7 & 8 is just as fast w/out it (other than benchmarking), so I disabled it.

 

Attached File  Capture WEI Windows 7 SP1.PNG   140.91KB   0 downloads

 

Is this a lot of ado over nothing, or do I have a real concern here?

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 05 June 2014 - 04:22 PM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


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#2 wpgwpg

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 04:33 PM

 Cat, in the screen shot you posted, I see you'd only been up running 5 minutes.  Could this be because you haven't visited enough places or started enough apps to put a demand on RAM yet?


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#3 cat1092

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 04:41 PM

wpgwpg, the screenshot was taken earlier. Here's one created as I'm posting.

 

Attached File  Capture Windows 7 SP1 Task Manager (3).PNG   33.91KB   0 downloads

 

Thanks for advising. :thumbup2:

 

Cat

 

 


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#4 hamluis

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 04:47 PM

Well...if you are not using anything that requires a great deal of RAM...I would expect the Free line to be always at 2GB or more, depending on how much RAM is installed.  My seldom used notebook only has 4GB of RAM and it reflects 1800MB free right now...this desktop would reflect more if I booted into Win 7 right now...as I am in XP on this one, I still have 2GB free.

 

IIRC...even when rendering .mpg files...that pretty much remains constant on my systems.

 

Louis

 

The only variable that I can think of in normal usage of a system that would reduce the FREE amount...probably would entail elimination of the pagefile and I don't believe its impact would be more than 1GB.  Eliminating it (theoretically) forces the system to use existing free RAM...I can't say, since I always have one (i've plenty of hard drive space and RAM for what I do).


Edited by hamluis, 05 June 2014 - 04:51 PM.


#5 wpgwpg

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 05:14 PM

 Cat, I see between your two screen shots that your cache has increased from 2226 MB to 5304 MB.  5304 is a whole lot of cached RAM - it's more than Louis has in total and more than half of my 8 GB.  Windows will try to retain programs you've run in RAM as well as buffers and who knows what else.  Below is a screen shot of my laptop which has 8 GB total.  Heck, I only have 929 MB cached.  With 12 GB you just have more RAM than Windows knows what to do with!   :graduate: With that hardware you've got, you'll be ready for Windows 10 when it comes out.  :thumbsup:

 

 

E1PxxlS.jpg?1


Edited by wpgwpg, 05 June 2014 - 05:20 PM.

Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#6 cat1092

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 05:15 PM

Thanks for your input, Louis! :thumbup2:

 

On this system, the pagefile was set to 200MB per Samsung Magician recommendations, for whatever that's worth, last night increased it to 1024MB. More as a safety measure than anything, SSD's of today will typically outlast most HDD's & there's no real need to baby them. Just no defrag & I've disabled hibernation via cmd. This was a clean install of Windows 7 that was cloned over from the smaller 840 EVO that Linux Mint 17 is residing on today, the Windows 7 installer knows how to adjust to the environment.

 

It just may be that on my other computers, there is more demand on them when running, as those are mobile CPU's & that usage is much higher (percentage wise) than on this desktop. About the only times the CPU on this one goes over 20% is at startup & when browsing and a scheduled AV/AM scan takes place, it'll bump up briefly, then fall off. Most of the time it's at like 1 to 3%, like it's on cruise. There is also more demand on RAM on those, as there are several VM's being used (one at a time) on them.

 

As I noted above, this may be ado over nothing & a wrong assumption on my part. And as I pointed out in another topic, just because something is Internet pages, doesn't mean it's 100% accurate, or may not apply in all situations.

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#7 cat1092

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 05:35 PM

 Cat, I see between your two screen shots that your cache has increased from 2226 MB to 5304 MB.  5304 is a whole lot of cached RAM - it's more than Louis has in total and more than half of my 8 GB.  Windows will try to retain programs you've run in RAM as well as buffers and who knows what else.  Below is a screen shot of my laptop which has 8 GB total.  Heck, I only have 929 MB cached.  With 12 GB you just have more RAM than Windows knows what to do with!   :graduate: With that hardware you've got, you'll be ready for Windows 10 when it comes out.  :thumbsup:

 

 

E1PxxlS.jpg?1

I'm beginning to get the picture here, have only had this system since October & everything other than the SSD's & GPU are stock. Not bad for a $699 Costco special, though I wasn't pleased with Windows 8. The odd thing was, there was a Windows 7 Pro model of the same computer, but only 8GB RAM for $100 more. I figured having an OEM copy of Windows 7 Home Premium, I'd take the extra RAM & buy a SSD with the leftover cash, which was the cost of the first (smaller) one.

 

Was also fortunate in having a Windows Anytime Upgrade Key to 7 Pro on a dead PC, so was able to convert to Pro in minutes, though it required a phone activation, being it was used on another system. These keys aren't tied to the system of the original install, but needs to be removed from the prior before reusing. That key cost nearly $100 in 2009 & I have one other such key in use on another Windows 7 install.

 

As to Windows 10, or even 9, thanks but I'll likely pass, though I *may* accept 9 if it's free as an apology for the Windows 8 fiasco. The lack of privacy is bad enough w/out MS watching over my shoulder. Windows 10 won't happen here, period.

 

Linux Mint is my favorite OS & it gets better with each release, now at version 17 with 5 years of support (April 2019). By the end of support for Windows 7 comes around, I'll likely be a 100% Mint user.

 

Many Thanks to those who has responded.    :thumbup2: At least now I have peace of mind. Evidently I need to lean on this computer (put it under some load) a bit & see what it'll do.

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 05 June 2014 - 05:43 PM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#8 hamluis

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 06:15 PM

Upon further review :)...

 

It appears to me that Windows will automaticlly cache whatever RAM it needs...when it needs it.  I just did a small rendering on my 2-core laptop and my 8-core desktop and each reflects 3.4-3.5 available.  Once the rendering began, cached memory on the laptop increased to about 2.5GB and 2.3GB on this desktop.

 

When rendering was done, cached memory decreased to the figures I quoted before.

 

That tells me that 4GB of RAM is more than adequate for any tasks that I may elect to do on my systems...and anything over 4GB is just "fields lying fallow".  It also tells me that anyone with 4GB of RAM has no need for anything purporting to be a memory optimizer., especially so when one considers that anyone with less than 4GB of RAM still has the swap file to be used, if necessary.

 

I don't game and my thoughts may be invalid when it comes to that arena....(or any arena, for that matter) :).

 

Good question, forced me to pay attention to things I usually just ignore, thanks :).

 

Louis



#9 cat1092

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 07:05 PM

Is that what CleanMem is, another gimmick? Seems that the app has been brought up a couple of times on this forum in the same number of days.

 

I have & still do use Process Lasso Pro, it was one of those Giveaway of the Day apps, one of their more popular ones. However this is installed on low end hardware, trying to squeeze what performance that can be gained for these systems. There are other optimizers that I wouldn't dare install on anything, mainly all of the ones that comes with "cleaning" or "tune-up" utilities, such as Glary Utilities, WinUtilities, IObit, ASC & 10+ more. All are more or less junk & can cause a lot more harm that would negate any good done, if any.

 

Speaking of CleanMem, oh crap:

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/248767/slow-startup-after-uninstalling-cleanmem/

 

I let my guard down for one moment & got duked into installing that.

 

Hope the removal doesn't provide any nasty after effects, it's going now.

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#10 Platypus

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 10:04 PM

Someone with an interest in Cleanmem has been promoting it, and has been warned about being over zealous in presenting it. There can be a possible use for such utilities to assist in dealing with issues like applications or drivers with memory leaks, but it's still better IMO to eliminate the cause of the issues, or you can just do a zero-cost reboot...

 

A common touted virtue of memory utilities is to reduce memory usage, which does highlight their dubious nature, since simply causing a reduction in memory usage does not necessarily equate to a performance improvement for Windows. (If it did, you could improve Windows performance by taking memory out, forcing it to use less memory...)


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#11 jhayz

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 10:41 PM

A common thread here regarding cleanmem has also been discussed with the creator of the program :)


Edited by jhayz, 05 June 2014 - 10:42 PM.

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#12 cat1092

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 11:25 PM

Someone with an interest in Cleanmem has been promoting it, and has been warned about being over zealous in presenting it. There can be a possible use for such utilities to assist in dealing with issues like applications or drivers with memory leaks, but it's still better IMO to eliminate the cause of the issues, or you can just do a zero-cost reboot...

 

A common touted virtue of memory utilities is to reduce memory usage, which does highlight their dubious nature, since simply causing a reduction in memory usage does not necessarily equate to a performance improvement for Windows. (If it did, you could improve Windows performance by taking memory out, forcing it to use less memory...)

Thank You! :thumbup2:

 

I had suspected this to be the deal, as I had done some researching & this isn't the only time that the CleanMem app has arisen on BC Forums.

 

Fortunately, I was able to remove it w/out after effects with Revo Uninstaller Portable.

 

There is no substitute to adding extra RAM for when needed, if possible. I have enough RAM that if Firefox uses 300-500MB, so what? Would rather see some of the 12GB used than not. If needed, can upgrade to 32GB.

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 05 June 2014 - 11:26 PM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#13 Willy22

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:46 AM

Here's what I have learned in the last months: It's rather complicated.

 

- the amount of memory of "Free" memory (see Task Manager ( TM )) is the same "Free" as in Windows' Resource Monitor (RM). From Vista onwards Windows tries to keep the "Free" memory as small as possible IF (!!!) the Superfetch Service is enabled !!!!. (it's disabled with an SSD installed).

- "Cached" ( TM ) equals the amount of "Modified" (RM) + "Standby" (RM). Superfetch also uses the info/data from the "C:\windows\prefetch" folder to load as much data/info as much upon start up & after start up. When one disables Superfetch the amount of "Standby" won't grow (too much).

- "Available" ( TM ) memory equals "Standby" (RM) + "Free" (RM). Memory from "Standby" (RM) can be made available when needed.

- "In Use" (RM) is the part of the memory where all the programs, drivers, the filecache and other buffers are "hanging out".

 

If you want to see the "Standby" memory grow like mad then one should run e.g. the ESET Online virusscanner. The program must scan A LOT OF files and all those files are loaded/"cached" into the "Standby" memory. Windows thinks that the user will use those files at an later stage and acts accordingly.

 

Cleanmem uses a Windows' API ("EmptyWorkingSet") tries to release memory from running programs. It also can collapse the file cache. That info/data is moved (by Windows !!!!) to the "Modified" (RM) part of the memory and can be reclaimed instantly when needed.

Filecaches can become VERY large as well. I have seen file caches as large as 2.5 GB.

 

When a program releases memory (no, I am NOT talking about closing a program), then that part of the memory ("in use", RM) is added to the "Modified" (RM) or "Cached" ( TM ) part. If a program wants that info/memory back, then it can reclaim that memory instantly. After a while Windows removes the data/info, in a slow pace, from the "Modified" part of the memory.

 

When a program is closed then all the info/data released is moved to the "Standby" part of the memory.

 

Problems arise when the amount of "Free" memory ( TM + RM) is (very) low. Then Windows wants to keep "Standby" (RM) as large as possible. And that goes at the expense of "Modified" (RM). Windows then tries to write that "Modified" info to the swapfile with a higher priority before being removed. And the file transfer from the memory to the swapfile is (comparatively) slow and slows down one's system.

 

Another problem arises when the swapfile is disabled (with e.g. a SSD installed). Then Windows is unable to write data/info to the swapfile and the amount of "Modified" (RM) remains (very) high (I have seen "Modified" memory grow to a massive 2 to 2.5 GB). "Modified" remaining (very) large is also the result of lousy memory management/sloppy programming. Like not releasing "Modified" and/or "Standby" memory.

 

Another problem is that memory management in Win 7 is slightly different than in XP. Just different enough to cause memory problems in extreme cases. So, a program should be optimized for e.g. Win 7 of Win 8 as well.

 

If programs are/computer is using LOTS of memory (>60 or >70% "In Use" (RM) of total physical memory) then the best option is to increase the amount of memory but that's not always possible or necessary. Then using Cleanmem is the 2nd best option.

 

Answering Cat's question: you have a SSD and Superfetch disabled at the same time. Then Windows also won't "cache" any/too much info (see story above).

When I look at the 2nd picture then I see:

- Standby is ~ 5 GB in size

- Modified is ~ 1 GB in size.

 

Sources (among others):

- http://www.osnews.com/story/21471/SuperFetch_How_it_Works_Myths

- http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2007.03.vistakernel.aspx

- http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/windows-7-memory-usage-whats-the-best-way-to-measure/1786

- Info from the PcWinTech's website and a discussion I had with the author of the program.


Edited by Willy22, 06 June 2014 - 04:08 AM.


#14 wpgwpg

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 11:59 AM

...

 

There is no substitute to adding extra RAM for when needed, if possible. I have enough RAM that if Firefox uses 300-500MB, so what? Would rather see some of the 12GB used than not. If needed, can upgrade to 32GB.

 

Cat

 

 32 GB huh?  Then you'd be ready for Windows 15!   :whistle:


Edited by wpgwpg, 06 June 2014 - 12:00 PM.

Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#15 cat1092

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 12:20 PM

Unless RAM pricing takes a deep plunge, as in late 2011 when I stuffed the MSI notebook to it's max of 8GB for $30, 12GB will have to do. Under normal usage, it stays below the 35% mark, which is a good cushion. I monitor with System Explorer, there an icon in the Notification area, so I notice any spikes & dips in realtime. 

 

This is the only computer that I've owned where the CPU usage is often shown at 0% to 1% usage, even with Firefox running & as this post is being typed. 

 

Attached File  Capture (System Explorer).PNG   80.58KB   0 downloads

 

Nah, no Windows 15 for me!  :nono:

 

Hopefully I'll be Windows Free, except for beta testing to assist on the forum, by the time Windows 7 moves to out of support. I no longer use any Windows OS for transactions, of any type, including tax filing. 

 

Their insistence on all of this cloud computing provides little comfort to me, preferring to keep things on the ground, so to speak. For the most part, Linux MInt gives me everything that I need in an OS. And more secure in doing so. Mint also does an amazing job with handling computer resources. 

 

And the best for last, the cost is zero! Well, maybe a blank DVD for some. 

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 06 June 2014 - 12:24 PM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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