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Where's all my ram going?

I don't have that many processes running:

enter image description here

However when I look at the performance tab it shows that I'm using 22gigs:

enter image description here

Why is there a huge difference between what the Performance tab is showing and what the Processes tab is showing?

What is taking up so much ram?

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marked as duplicate by mpy, Renan, Karan, Sathya Jul 18 '13 at 6:32

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers 2

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You don't see Superfetch usage, the marked answer is wrong!

You have a high memory usage you should look at. Please run RAMMap to see the what causes the RAM usage:

Here is a description of what the values mean:

Introduction to the new Sysinternals tool: RAMMap

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2010/08/13/introduction-to-the-new-sysinternals-tool-rammap.aspx

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What is taking up so much ram?

Random junk, mostly data that was read from disk and is no longer needed. There's no point in making memory free because there are only two possibilities:

  1. The memory is not used any time soon. In that case, making it free was a waste of effort.

  2. The memory is used soon. In that case, making it free was worse than a waste of effort, it forces the system to do more work to make the memory in use again.

Modern operating systems only make memory free if they have absolutely no other choice. It's more efficient all around to directly transition memory from one use to another without having to go through the extra step of making it free.

Remember, free memory does nothing. It's no better than memory that isn't in your system at all. Only memory that is being used provides any benefit.

If you're thinking "I want memory free so I can use it later", that makes no sense. You can use it now and use it later too. There's no need to compromise.

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