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I am running 64-bit Windows on an 2.2GHz 2nd generation i7 and 8GB of RAM.

When I first boot up, the RAM usage is 25-30%, which is reasonable, but after about two to four hours, it may go up to 70-80% with Firefox open, and then drop to about 65% when I close Firefox.

It won’t change even if I disconnect, only if I reboot. In the Task Manager, processes will add up to 1.3GB RAM used, but it will still show 65% used. This is not just a problem with the Task Manager; I can feel a distinct reduction in performance.

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Try restarting the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service if you often have a lot of windows open, or the Windows Audio service if you have a soundcard made by Creative (i.e., a SoundBlaster); (the drivers for SoundBlasters has a MAJOR memory leak.) – Darth Android Aug 2 '12 at 22:35
still at 76% of RAM – Alessandro Miotto Aug 3 '12 at 22:02
Please take a look at the Resource Monitor's Memory page. It contains a graphic representation of what's using memory. It would be best to attach a screenshot of this page here. – Daniel B Feb 23 '14 at 22:40

There's nothing to resolve. Free memory is forever wasted. It's not like if you only use 6GB of RAM now, you can use 10GB of RAM later. If you want the system not to use RAM, take it out of the machine.

If your problem is poor performance, the last thing you want is to be using less RAM. We add RAM to improve performance so the system can use more RAM. If using less RAM made the system faster, we'd remove RAM to increase performance.

Free RAM, since it isn't doing anything, has no effect on performance.

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That’s not what he’s asking. He’s saying that the usage goes up but never comes back down, even after closing all of the programs that use memory. – Synetech Aug 2 '12 at 22:32
While people often misunderstand RAM usage, running on a system with lots of active memory pages and high eviction pressure does "degrade" as the system is unable to cache disk requests and other techniques it uses to "speed up" the system using "free" memory. Background processes can suck up large amounts of RAM for private caches, which aren't always the most helpful for non-realtime tasks. – Darth Android Aug 2 '12 at 22:33
@Synetech: I know that's what he's saying, and I explained why that's not a problem. The system leaves the memory used rather than making it free (when it's not under memory pressure). Making it free takes effort. And if the system wants to use the memory for something else, it can just change it from one use directly to another without going to the effort of making it free only to go to the effort of making it used again. Modern OSes only make memory free when they have absolutely no better choice. – David Schwartz Aug 2 '12 at 22:53
@DarthAndroid: There is no way to speed up the system using free memory except by making it not free anymore. So a reduction in free memory is a sign that the memory is being used to speed up the system. If the system made more memory free, it would have to stop using that memory to make the system faster. – David Schwartz Aug 2 '12 at 22:55
@DavidSchwartz I think we have differing definitions of 'free memory'. I'm talking about standby memory which is not allocated as private memory to running applications, and is available for the system to use as disk cache or SuperFetch. I agree wholly that truly "free" memory (as in, not allocated and not being used by the system in any way) is bad, but Windows will never let that get bigger than about 100MB unless you've been messing with the way it does disk caching. – Darth Android Aug 3 '12 at 18:03

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