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Hi this is how my task manager looks like, most of the time.

My Task Manager

Here are my questions

  1. Does adding more RAM give me any performance benefits? If only 3.33GB of my 8GB DDR3 Ram is used, does this mean if I upgrade to 16, I'm doing something useless because it won't be used anyways?
  2. Does the fact that 8 diagrams are shown mean I have 8 cores? if not why 8 rectangles?
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The physical memory tab is saying that only 391 MB is free. The rest of your memory is used. The "3.33 GB" under "Memory" is the commit charge, which is a measure of virtual memory commitments, not physical memory use. –  David Schwartz Mar 3 '12 at 9:03
    
You are using the wrong tool. Use Resource Monitor. It is like asking whether you need medical insurance by showing us a snapshot of yourself. –  surfasb Mar 3 '12 at 23:14
    
surfasb, Isn't resource monitor just a more detailed version of the same thing? I'm seeing the same values in there too –  user893730 Mar 4 '12 at 2:26
    
David, I bought 12 more GB of ram today, it was cheap so I thought whatever, now I have 18GB, and 13GB is free –  user893730 Mar 4 '12 at 2:27
    
You can't tell whether you could benefit from more memory by looking at memory usage stats any more than you can tell whether you'd benefit from earning more money by looking at your account balance. Everyone, pretty much, spends about as much as they earn. The question is -- what would they do if they earned more? And to tell that, you have to look at subtler measurements such as paging activity. –  David Schwartz Mar 5 '12 at 2:39

2 Answers 2

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Does adding more RAM give me any performance benefits? If only 3.33GB of my 8GB DDR3 Ram is used, does this mean if I upgrade to 16, I'm doing something useless because it won't be used anyways?

You're not always using 3.33GB of RAM, some days you might use more. However, if you don't get close to using up a lot of your RAM that often you probably don't need to upgrade.

With the limited information given above, I'd say you wouldn't notice an increase in performance upgrading to 16GB of RAM.

Does the fact that 8 diagrams are shown mean I have 8 cores? if not why 8 rectangles?

It means you have 8 logical processors. Observe, the Intel i7: it has 4 cores that support hyperthreading. If HT is enabled, a Task Manager running on an i7 should show 8 graphs by default, one for each logical processor.

Trivia: You can coalesce all 8 graphs into one, if you want to see total CPU usage.

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Does adding more RAM give me any performance benefits? If only 3.33GB of my 8GB DDR3 Ram is used, does this mean if I upgrade to 16, I'm doing something useless because it won't be used anyways?

Depends. Are you planning to have more applications opened/running simultaneously?

A simple explanation is, when you open/launch a software, it loads to the RAM. The more software you open, the more RAM it'll occupy. The speed of how fast the 'open application' executes it based on you microprocessor specs, not RAM.

Does the fact that 8 diagrams are shown mean I have 8 cores? if not why 8 rectangles?

Yes. 8 diagrams equals 8 cores (it may not always be physical cores but to your PC, it'll look like 8 cores due to hyper threading in existing cores). If you want one cumulative diagram, click view > CPU history. Double click on the diagrams for a larger view and finally re-size the Task Manager windows to get those rectangles shaped as you like.

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