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#1 mbrogin


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Posted 18 August 2006 - 09:41 AM

I would like to know in Windows XP ,Task Manager, when should I be concerned with the AMOUNT OF COMMIT CHARGE vs. my PHYSICAL MEMORY in RAM??
Can someonw clear up this issue as I realize that it is NOT necessary at all or desireable to REDUCE the cpu usage in my pc UNLESS OR UNTIL the commit charge is "too close to the physical memory " amout.
Anyone on this /??
New member..

(Moderator edit: post moved to more appropriate forum. jgweed)

Edited by jgweed, 18 August 2006 - 09:46 AM.

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#2 Enthusiast


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Posted 18 August 2006 - 09:58 AM

Welcome to BC mbrogin.

From webopedia:
Commit Charge definition:
In the Windows operating system, the name for the amount of physical memory (RAM) and virtual memory that is allocated to all running programs, or applications, and the operating system itself.
Windows Task Manager displays the commit charge in its Performance tab. There are three memory readings, measured in kilobytes:

Total: refers to the total amount of physical and virtual memory the computer is using at that moment.
Limit: refers to the combined limit of both the physical memory and the allocated virtual memory.
Peak: refers to the highest total system memory usage during the session in which you are using the computer.
The commit charge will increase when applications are opened and used and decrease when applications are closed.

This is something that is really not necessary to be concerned with unless you do not have sufficient ram and/or your page file is too small.

You can reduce it by closing applications if you find you are running into resource problems but XP will usually manage your memory resource very well, keeping active aps in ram and dormant ones moved to page file if necessary.

So called "ram management" aps will actually defeat XP's management process and slow down your computer by forcing needed aps from ram into the page file which is much slower than ram.

Even though the stated minimum requirements are much lower you should have at least 512mb of ram for XP to really run properly and more if you keep many memory intensive aps open at the same time.

Edited by Enthusiast, 18 August 2006 - 10:00 AM.

#3 mbrogin

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 11:18 AM

I would like to thank the "enthusiast" who answered my questions and refered me to the Webopoedia.
If I understand all this conrrectly now, much depends upon how much cpu is being used at a given time by a program such as , say Skype. This seems to be using a lot of ram while I am on and seems that the amount of cpu usage shown in Task Manager tells me that I may not be able to do too many things while Skype is using so much of the available useabe memory /?
Then, does it follow that the "key" may lie in "how much cpu is being used at any given time"? And that THIS may be my only concern in checking with Task Manager for these factors?
Thanks .
I am on XP with 777mb ram and 200gbs hard drive total . Gateway, 3-4 yr old pc. Just installed the additional 512 ram and 160 gb drive.

#4 usasma


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Posted 18 August 2006 - 12:31 PM

It measures RAM and pagefile usage. You an increase the pagefile most easily - but it's slower than adding RAM.

CPU activity affects the usage of the RAM and pagefile - but it's different for each program that is running.

In general, if your system is running slowly - either close more programs or add more RAM.
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#5 Enthusiast


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Posted 18 August 2006 - 12:48 PM

Your usage of Skype will probably depend more on the available bandwidth of your internet connection than it will depend on your computer.

You have enough ram.
You might want to look at the size of your page file and set the maximum a little higher - it normally should be about one and a half times the amount of ram you have and if you just installed an additional 512mb you can increase it.

If you still experience a problem you can increase it a little more - maybe twice or even two and a half times the installed ram.

If you have a secondary internal hard drive installed move the largest part of the page file to it, at least one and a half to two times the amount of ram leaving a small page file on your primary drive. Windows will use the file with more capacity automatically but place minidump files on the page file only on the primary drive - so it is necessary to have some capacity left there.

Placing the active page file on a slave drive will actually make it a little faster and create less fragmenting of your primary drive where the op system resides.

Optimize the Page File
"Virtual Memory is the space on the hard disk Windows uses as RAM. The Page File (Pagefile.sys) serves as temporary, virtual memory storage for code and data." - Source

Instructions - Go to "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", "System", "Advanced" tab, in the "Performance" section select "Settings", "Advanced" tab, in the "Virtual Memory" section select "Change". Change the values to:

- Initial size (MB): 1.5 x the amount of RAM in your system
- Maximum size (MB): 3.0 x the amount of RAM in your system (PF Size Limit = 4095 MB)

Then select "Set" and "OK" and reboot.

Notes - Windows XP by default is set to use only a Dynamic Page File that can resize during normal system operation, consuming resources and causing file fragmentation. A properly configured Page File will not resize (increase) so long as the Initial size is set large enough. Allowing the Page File to resize for rare unforeseen memory intensive situations will prevent "Out of Memory" error messages from occurring. Any resizing will reset to the default Initial size upon reboot and will not cause any permanent fragmentation of the Page File. If you experience frequent resizing of the Page File, a permanent solution is to add more RAM to your system. It is a good idea to have at least 1 GB to 2 GB of RAM in a PC today. A simple test to determine if you need more RAM is to use you PC for a whole day without rebooting, then look at the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete), Performance tab. If the "Commit Charge - Peak" is ever higher then the "Physical Memory - Total" your system could benefit from adding more RAM. When you change the amount of RAM in your system, you have to adjust the Page File size.

Advanced - "Moving the Page File to a separate physical Harddrive (not partition) from the boot partition will increase Page File performance. However, if you remove the paging file from the boot partition, Windows cannot create a dump file (Memory.dmp) in which to write debugging information in the event that a kernel mode Stop Error message occurs. The optimal solution is to create one paging file that is stored on the boot partition, and then create a second paging file on a separate physical Harddrive (not partition) Windows will use the pagefile on the less frequently used partition over the pagefile on the heavily used boot partition. Windows uses an internal algorithm to determine which page file to use for virtual memory management." - Source


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