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I've always thought that Windows runs using only 200MB of RAM.

As can be seen from the images below, the processes I'm running only takes less than 50KB memory total. So why does the process shows 1.05 GB of RAM taken up?

Is this to say that the windows process itself gobbles up 1GB of RAM ?

enter image description here enter image description here

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Windows Vista Home Premium SP2

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Some insight to Windows memory management Part 1...blogs.msdn.com/b/tims/archive/2010/10/28/… –  Moab Sep 14 '11 at 3:29
    
Part 2...blogs.msdn.com/b/tims/archive/2010/10/29/… –  Moab Sep 14 '11 at 3:29
    
Click the "Show processes from all users" button to see where more of your memory and CPU power is going. –  Hand-E-Food Sep 14 '11 at 4:59
    
@Hand wow nice, I tried it and it actually does show more things? Btw since I'm the only user on my laptop, I was wondering how was this possible? –  Pacerier Sep 14 '11 at 5:11
    
If you see the button at the bottom 'Show processes from all users', that is a good sign that you aren't seeing all of the processes on the system. Not all 'users' are real people. Some of them are system 'users' and contribute significantly to the amount of memory in use. –  Slartibartfast Sep 14 '11 at 5:39

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Notice the line: Cached 738 in the Physical Memory section of the Task Manager screen shot. 738MB of RAM is being used by the Windows file cache.

That's where the rest of your RAM is being used.

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+1: only about 300K are for active processes. –  surfasb Sep 14 '11 at 3:27
    
What's the Windows file cache? Or rather, how do we reduce the RAM used by the Windows file cache? –  Pacerier Sep 14 '11 at 4:16
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@Pacerier: you don't want to reduce that. "Unused" RAM is actually wasted RAM. And in the absence of any processes asking for memory, it's the best thing to simply cache as much file access as possible. That memory is easily freed once a process asks for memory. But as long as no one asks for it, using it for file caches speeds up I/O quite a lot. So if the "cached" amount is big, then you can act as if a big chunk of it is actually free (if it's very small then it probably can't sanely be reduced, however). –  Joachim Sauer Sep 14 '11 at 6:19

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