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I bought a netbook yesterday, (I'm loving it) but I will never understand why they need to be a lot of processes running on background. I worry about other users who have no idea about it and continue using their computers with occasional choppiness due to 70 processes on background occupying most of the memory

I'd like to keep my memory consumption below 500MB (I have 1 GB) is this possible? What are your ideas for this to work?

I always run Microsoft Security Essentials at startup and real time protection, how many features can I disable to reach my goal memory usage?

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Having a lot of processes is not necessarily bad. Having a lot of active processes is, but usually, many of those processes are just idling there with zero CPU use, and probably swapped out to disk too. (Creation of processes is expensive on Windows, true, but it doesn't happen very often.) Similarly, current operating systems (including Windows 7) use otherwise-free memory for caching, and when needed it can be freed instantly. –  grawity Jan 30 '11 at 15:43
    
Why do you want to keep memory consumption below 500 MB? You have 1 GB, so using only half of that is wasting half your memory. I can see wanting to keep it somewhere below 1 GB to prevent things from paging too much, but there's no reason to try to limit it that far. –  nhinkle Jan 30 '11 at 20:25
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Blackviper is the most popular guide I know of. Also, Pc Decrapifier helps if you have OEM rubbish (you almost certainly do, even on netbooks..). These two will help, but your limits are fairly arbitrary and not entirely logical in terms of letting your programs run quickly. 70 is a lot, you could easily get it down to 25 (I think, not had much experience with Vista/7) and still be on browsers, with all services you actually use like MSE.

edit: Three things to add. You must restart to get the full effects of both of these. Msconfig is overrated at best, its fairly dangerous or useless. Services.msc (or whatever 7 and Blackviper calls it) is much better. Msconfig can also remove startup items, but you'd get rid of the ones you don't want with Decrapifier, and if you want more use HiJackThis which needs understanding so you could post its log here or on any decent tech forum of your choice. But in that order - Blackviper, restart, DeCrapifier, restart, HJT, restart, judge speed.

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+1, BlackViper, Vista and W7 have more processes than XP, I doubt they can be trimmed down to 25 and still function properly. –  Moab Jan 30 '11 at 19:34
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Along with the Blackviper site to trim down Windows Services, you can also use Msconfig to trim down unnecessary startup applications that load when Windows does.

http://netsquirrel.com/msconfig/msconfig_win7.html

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Thank y'all for your comments and answers. I had like 20 startup processes and disabling them (except for security essentials) is well enough for a performance boost. –  overmann Feb 2 '11 at 0:50
    
Thats great, glad you go all the bloatware disabled in startup. –  Moab Feb 2 '11 at 1:27
    
Is it recommended to disable all the services that are not from Microsoft? I went down to 35 processes minimum with those disabled, and 500-600MB of RAM occupied at all times. –  overmann Feb 4 '11 at 15:48
    
@ overman, Depends on the programs they are related to, disabling them will render the program unusable, however you can go into "Windows Services" directly from Control panel and set those particular services to "Manual" startup, this way they don't load with windows but the program can start the service if it needs it. If you don't use the associated program, then it is safe to disable it. –  Moab Feb 4 '11 at 16:35
    
It's alrighty then. This is exactly what I did with windows XP (going down to 19 processses) When I had a celeron at 700Mhz. It really helped back then. To be honest, I would do the same if I had an Intel i7 Quad Core. I'm a little obssesed with "vanilla" performance. And not using processes that I absolutely don't need. –  overmann Feb 4 '11 at 17:58
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