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Does anyone know of a utility that can send the user an alert when too much system memory has been consumed? So that they know to close out a few programs, and close a few browser tabs? I found one on Google but it only monitors individual programs and not memory as a whole.

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Why do you care that memory is being used? Idle memory serves no purpose. – Ramhound Jul 2 '12 at 12:53
I care about it because if I absent-mindedly use too much RAM I have revert to using the swap file and it makes things run slow. At least of I had an alert about it before this happens I could close out some programs before using the slow swap file. – leeand00 Jul 2 '12 at 13:39

Create an alert which monitors memory usage.

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Windows has a built-in warning when eviction pressure gets too high (i.e., it's extremely tight on memory). It's a little notification in the system tray that warns you're low on memory and demanding more, and suggests closing some applications.

There's a subtle difference between being low on memory (which is not necessarily bad) and high eviction pressure (applications causing a large number of page faults, which is bad).

Personally, if this is a regular enough issue that the time it takes to close programs or tabs is an issue, I'd put some more memory in the machine. Memory is usually pretty cheap these days, and is quite often the best dollar-per-perceived-speed improvement you can do to most computers.

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I would do that but my machine is maxed out at 4GB. I do a little bit of Virtualization, and that's probably why I keep running out of RAM and reverting to the page file. But I figured if I had some sort of an alert I would be able to close the programs before the programs get loaded to the page file. (mainly this is for speed and productivity) – leeand00 Jul 2 '12 at 14:41
@leeand00 The issue is the programs always have any memory that isn't actively in use paged out; only recently used memory is kept paged in. It's very difficult to define a threshold at which "memory is tight". You can page out 30% of an app and not notice, or page out a different 30% and have it slow to a crawl. Is the 4GB limitation due to 32-bit OS, or due to hardware? – Darth Android Jul 2 '12 at 15:35
Hardware, I'm using Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate on my laptop an ASUS G51VX (Best Buy) only supports two 2GB modules of RAM, and I have them both filled in. – leeand00 Jul 2 '12 at 15:54

You have to:

  1. Set up a task-scheduler task that sends an email, or shows some warning etc.
  2. Set up a an alert-type "data collector" in Windows "Performance monitor"
  3. Set this alert to trigger the task you created in step #1

I wrote a blog post some time ago with more detailed instructions if you need them.

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