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I have windows 7 , with 8 GB ram.

currently I see -

enter image description here

I read here that :

Total is the amount of RAM installed on your computer, listed in megabytes (MB). (✔ ok).

Cached refers to the amount of physical memory used recently for system resources. (✔ ok).

Available is the total of standby and free memory from the Resource Monitor. (✔ ok).

Free is the amount of memory that is currently unused or doesn't contain useful information (unlike cached files, which do contain useful information).(? Huh).

I dont understand the last part. Does it mean that a program might have the memory size of Available+Free ?? ( becuase available is availabe and since Free contains unnessesary info - it can release its blocks.

Question Am I right ? how much ( according to my pic) TOTAL memory is available for a new executing program ?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Free ram is ram that hasn't been allocated yet. Programs that aren't using ram keep it allocated for later because it's faster to reuse already allocated ram than free ram and reallocate it later. If a new process needs memory but the amount of free ram is low, some of the available memory will be deallocated.

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So I ask , what maximum size ( according to my pic) a new process can take ? – Royi Namir Dec 30 '13 at 14:43
5525 megabytes. Once this runs out, Windows will use page memory (hard drive space), which is slower. – Tobi Hahn Dec 30 '13 at 14:45
AVAILABLE+FREE ? so my assumption was correct? – Royi Namir Dec 30 '13 at 14:46
Yes, but remember that processes can share memory. – Tobi Hahn Dec 30 '13 at 14:47
Tobi - so why does MS confuse the users ? actually there are 5525 mb free.... the user dont give a sh** about free. if a process need memory - it WILL occupy ? – Royi Namir Dec 31 '13 at 7:10

@Tobi Hahn's answer is incorrect. The correct answer should be either Available or Cached+Free

As suggested by whs in, Look into Resource Monitor > Memory tab. That gives you a better picture.

Here's my number (with graph): Resource Monitor

  • Hardware Reserved : Used bye BIOS and drivers
  • In Use : Ram your programs/OS are using
  • Modified : Dirty memory, need to write to disk before use.
  • Standby : Cached data and code
  • Free : Free


  • Available : including Standby and Free. => Standby+Free
  • Cached : including Standby and Modified => Standby+Modified

So The answer should be Standby+Free => Available.

Note: If you want to include Modified, then it would be Modified+Standby+Free => Cached+Free.

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