RAM (random access memory), either RAM hardware or software and operating system use of RAM.

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295
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18answers
110k views

If 32-bit machines can only handle numbers up to 2^32, why can I write 1000000000000 (trillion) without my machine crashing?

32 bit computers can only store signed integers up to 232 - 1. This is why we have run out of ipv4 addresses and have entered the 64 bit era. However, the number 232 - 1 (2,147,483,647) is not as ...
95
votes
2answers
13k views

What limits Windows 7 x64 machines to <=192GB RAM?

I know motherboards, BIOS, etc may set lower limits on how much RAM we may install on individual machines. However, what defines the maximum RAM for Windows 7 x64? Is that a fundamental ...
92
votes
12answers
12k views

If RAM is cheap, why don't we load everything to RAM and run it from there?

RAM is cheap, and much faster than SSDs. It's just volatile. So why don't computers have a LOT of RAM, and on power up, load everything to the RAM from the hard drive/SSD and just run everything from ...
79
votes
4answers
64k views

Can a 32-bit OS machine use up all 8GB RAM + 20GB page file?

What I understand about 32-bit OS is, the address is expressed in 32 bits, so at most the OS could use 232 = 4G memory space -- I assume the unit is bytes, so 4GB. Does this mean if any machine with ...
73
votes
10answers
11k views

Are computers with more RAM potentially faster if not all memory is usually in use?

Let's say I have a computer with 16 GB of memory. If my computer is usually only using about 4 GB and never reaches 8 GB, is it any faster than a computer with only 8 GB of (the same type of) memory? ...
70
votes
8answers
6k views

How can a computer/OS tell what kind of RAM is in the machine?

How can Mac OS X tell what kind of RAM is in the machine? For example I was working on one that had DDR3 RAM @ 1600MHz and I thought it wasn't possible to know the RAM without physically opening the ...
64
votes
11answers
16k views

Does every OS need RAM?

Is there an OS which can be used without RAM, specifically the kind I can create a bootable pendrive from and use it in the computer? This gets awkward, since booting is essentially loading OS in ...
54
votes
2answers
7k views

Why did adding memory significantly increase gaming performance on an AMD APU?

To be clear from the beginning, this is not a problem. This is just something that I really want to know the secret behind. System specifications CPU: AMD A10-6790K 4.0 GHz GPU: AMD ...
53
votes
5answers
3k views

Associate a tab in Google Chrome with its process in task manager

How do I identify which process belongs to which tab in Google Chrome? Normally, I have a (ridiculously) large number of tabs open. If I need to free memory on my box, I would like to choose based ...
53
votes
8answers
19k views

Why does Windows only show about 3.5 GB of my more than 4 GB of RAM?

I recently upgraded my computer's RAM to 4 GB. My 32-bit Windows installation shows only 3574 MB of the memory. How can I make Windows use the full amount of RAM?
49
votes
8answers
6k views

Should I disable swap file if I have lots of RAM or should I move it to a virtual RAM drive?

Imagine I have tons of RAM. Let's say 64GB. That's a lot for even gaming PCs. Now the default location of a pagefile in Windows is on the main OS drive, be it HDD or SSD, which are faster in general, ...
49
votes
6answers
4k views

Doesn't metadata occupy any size?

I put 4096 characters in a text file and save it.Since every character is 1 byte, Size of the text file must be 4K byte.As you see below that's OK: I connect my flash memory to my computer. the ...
48
votes
2answers
3k views

I have been told to accept one error with Memtest86+

Bought a new computer back in August with 4x4 GB RAM. Had problems with the RAM. They sent me four new sticks, which also generated errors. Singled out four sticks (from the eight I now had) that ...
46
votes
5answers
6k views

How to Determine which Firefox Add-ons are Using the Most Memory

I love Firefox for its add-ons. I have a lot of them installed, which obviously increases memory use. But it seems that some add-ons are better than others in that department. Does anyone know a way ...
45
votes
2answers
7k views

Installed RAM 20 GB (16 GB usable)

I have Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) OS installed. My motherboard is able to handle up to 32 GB of RAM. I recently upgraded my computer to 20 GB of RAM, but the computer says installed ...
45
votes
5answers
28k views

How to disable Mac OS X from using swap when there still is “Inactive” memory?

A common phenomena in my day to day usage (and several other's according to various posts throughout the internet) of OS X, the system seems to become slow whenever there is no more "Free" memory ...
41
votes
6answers
22k views

Windows pagefile size with large RAM and SSD

I just upgraded my Windows 7 machine from 12GB to 24GB RAM - both for running more VMs and for future proofing. My C drive is an SSD with 129GB formatted size. I was surprised to find out that the ...
39
votes
4answers
60k views

Is it better to have four times 2 GB or two times 4 GB of RAM?

I'm building a Core i7-860 system which supports dual-channel memory (up to 16 GB in four DIMMs), my target is 8 GB. From the performance perspective, is it better to have two times ...
37
votes
1answer
2k views

Do 64bit software/applications require more RAM than their 32bit counterparts?

I just saw these minimum requirements for a game: Memory: 2GB for 32-bit OS or 4GB for 64-bit OS Why does the 64bit OS require more RAM than its 32bit counterpart?
35
votes
11answers
15k views

Will my computer slow down if I install multiple operating systems?

Many of my friends have said that installing multiple operating systems on a single PC slows down individual OS's because the total RAM gets divided among the OS's. Is there any truth in the above ...
33
votes
7answers
12k views

Why is my computer really slow despite of having a considerable amount of free memory?

I have a Lenovo g560 3-4 years old, Intel i5, with 2GB ram and with a Geforce 310M. It always had some issues during startup or when starting a new program, but recently it just went crazy. From the ...
33
votes
3answers
32k views

How do I interpret the statistics of a memtest run?

I have a notebook here that I suspect has a faulty memory module. I therefore downloaded Memtest86+ and let it run. Note that the screenshot is not my actual one, it's provided by memtest86+ How ...
33
votes
12answers
18k views

Any reason not to disable the Windows pagefile given enough physical RAM? [closed]

The question of disabling the Windows pagefile has already been discussed quite a bit, for example here and here and here. People continue to upvote answers that say "you should not disable your ...
31
votes
3answers
17k views

Windows using too much RAM, how to diagnose resource hog

I have 16GB of system RAM. On startup with no applications open except the task-manager Windows is using about 3gb of RAM. I looked in the processes tab, but nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. ...
30
votes
8answers
16k views

Is there any benefit from installing Windows 7 64-bit when you have less than 4GB of RAM?

I've recently purchased Windows 7 Ultimate. I have an AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ with 2GB DDR2 RAM. I know RAM has gotten much cheaper, I know, I know, but I am not going to be able to upgrade my RAM for ...
30
votes
10answers
51k views

How can I tell what RAM will fit my computer?

If I want to add more RAM to my computer, how can I buy something compatible? What kinds are there? How do I determine which kind my computer will accept and how much I can add?
30
votes
14answers
35k views

What happens when more RAM is installed than the motherboard supports?

I have a free RAM slot and some spare memory that will fit my computer. However the problem is my motherboard only supports 2GB and I have 2GB installed. What would happen if I plugged the spare ...
29
votes
19answers
11k views

What applications, if any, benefit tangibly from more than 4GB of RAM? [closed]

I looked through here for a bit, but didn't see this question. I am questioning whether it is worth putting more than 4GB of RAM into my current desktop, and whether there are applications that will ...
29
votes
8answers
5k views

Swap partition size on a 64 GB RAM computer for memory-intensive work

I have 64 GB RAM and 240 GB SSD on my computer, which I'm going to use for memory-intensive calculations (machine learning, data mining, etc.). Most of the advice I found on the Internet are ...
29
votes
3answers
62k views

Linux: find out what process is using all the RAM?

Before actually asking, just to be clear: yes, I know about disk cache, and no, it is not my case :) Sorry, for this preamble :) I'm using CentOS 5. Every application in the system is swapping ...
28
votes
9answers
127k views

How can I enable PAE on Windows 7 (32-bit) to support more than 3.5 GB of RAM?

I know that Windows XP 32-bit can be configured, through PAE, to support more than 3.5 GB of RAM. Is there a good tutorial to do this with Windows 7 32-bit? As to why I don't simply use 64-bit ...
27
votes
5answers
29k views

Why does Windows 7 use the page file when there's free physical RAM?

I am using Windows 7 64 bit with 8G ram. After some use, I feel Windows is getting sluggish. The drive is thrashing. When I look at the resource monitor and disk activity, I see a few instances of use ...
26
votes
2answers
815 views

What am I looking for in RAM?

This is the one area of computer building that still has me in the dark, and I think a lot of people are with me... There are many different types of RAM, with each company having high and low end ...
25
votes
8answers
69k views

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Disk Usage 100%

Background Information / Computer Specs I have a 14-inch Samsung Series 5 Ultra. Core i5 CPU, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000. I've had the computer for about 1.5 years with no major ...
24
votes
10answers
24k views

Computer slow after installing 32GB RAM

I'm currently running very large network simulations for my PhD research, for which I need lots of RAM. I have a Core i7 2600K processor with a Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 motherboard, running Windows 7 ...
24
votes
3answers
22k views

How to check my RAM configuration (Windows 7)?

I would like to check my RAM configuration. I know it is easy to check the total RAM installed on a computer (eg 32 GB), but is there an easy way to check in Windows if the RAM is e.g. 2x16 GB, 4x8 ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

How can virtual machines consume so little RAM on the physical host machine?

I'm running VirtualBox on a Windows XP machine with 2GB RAM. I've created a virtual Ubuntu machine and allocated it a base memory of 750MB. Just to put it to a test, I ran 20 things at once on the ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Greasy water in laptop's DIMM slot

My wife was having dinner in front of (on top of) the laptop and she spilled some soup onto it, right above the touchpad. Almost all of the soup ended up in the upper DIMM slot which sits underneath ...
22
votes
8answers
6k views

Why half of my RAM of 8GB is missing?

Have been sitting with 8GBs of RAM for 2 years still thinking I needed another 4GBs and never questioning why so often I get message about low physical memory that would close all open programs ...
22
votes
2answers
26k views

What is /dev/mem?

Presumably it's somehow related to memory? What would sudo cat /dev/urandom > /dev/mem do? Trash all RAM? All non-kernel virtual memory? None of the above?
22
votes
7answers
30k views

How does VirtualBox's memory usage work?

I've been running several VM's with VirtualBox, and the memory usage reported from various perspectives, and I'm having trouble figuring how much memory my VMs actually use. Here is an example: I ...
22
votes
1answer
31k views

How can I test my GPU memory/RAM? [duplicate]

I run MemTest86 a lot at work on customer's machines, and it's great for troubleshooting memory issues. My question is, how can I test that a GPU is starting to go? I know of programs like 3DMark to ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

Windows 7 RAM says only 16 GB of 24 GB of RAM is available

I have Windows 7 on a gaming PC. I have an Asus Rampage Formula 3 motherboard with 24 GB of RAM. When I go to system properties, it shows that I have 24 GB of RAM, but it says in parenthesis ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Resuming Windows 7 from Hibernate after a RAM change?

I ordered a pair of new DDR3 RAMs, I will install them to the empty RAM slots once they arrive. What would happen if I hibernate my PC, then install the new RAMs, and then wake it up from ...
21
votes
3answers
9k views

Why PCs need much more RAM than video game consoles to run the same games? [closed]

It seems strange to me that every 7th generation console has much less memory than contemporary PCs, but games on consoles still run pretty smooth today. For example: PS3 has 256 MB memory for system ...
21
votes
3answers
74k views

How do I find what's eating up all of my system's memory? (not SuperFetch)

How does one diagnose/discover memory-related problems, if Task Manager appears to not be reporting correctly? I must have a memory leak or something -- I'm at 75% usage of my 12 GB of memory, but ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it possible to use a storage disk (such as a USB drive) as RAM?

My motherboard (HP Pavilion s3000y) only supports 2GB of RAM max. Which means that I can only allocate 1GB for running VMs, and applications that use a lot of RAM are slow (such as games and Visual ...
20
votes
9answers
56k views

Is there way to enable more than 4 GB RAM in 32-bit Windows OS?

I upgraded my PC to 4 GB RAM and I get only 3 GB. Windows 7 32-Bit consider that I've 4 GB RAM but didn't use more than 3 GB. Someone told me that MS Windows 32-bit doesn't support RAM larger than 3 ...
20
votes
3answers
6k views

Which have better performance Two 2GB RAM sticks or One 4GB RAM stick? [closed]

I am planning to buy a new PC. The mainboard has 4 memory slots, The PC has Windows 7 64-bit installed. Which approach is better regarding the performance buying: Two memory sticks of 2GB? One ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

What to do with a ton of extra memory?

I have 8gigs of RAM in this machine. I never really use more than say 4gigs (includes my virtual machines I use for dev testing). What can I do with this extra space to best improve system ...