Since when I have upgraded my RAM from 8 to 16 GB, my Dell laptop uses 5-6-7 GB minimum even when it just starts. When only Photoshop is opened, no file is created, or simple editing, it becomes 1-2GB+ (which is normal). But overall 9-10 GB usage is not normal. Even when I had 8 GB RAM originally, it wouldn't reach its max.

I even checked Processes in Task Manager, but total count of RAM usage is too less as compared to it is shown in Performance TAB. Performance Tab almost shows double.

So what's the point of upgrading? Is there something wrong or it's normal? Where is the missing memory (in Task Manager Processes)?


The new paradigm is "empty RAM is wasted RAM".
Having RAM that's not in use isn't something to aim for. What's the point in having all the RAM if you try to keep it unused all the time?

Your OS usually doesn't care about using up RAM when it still has plenty to spare, so it hangs onto already open data in case it's needed again. This is thousands of times faster than having to go back to your drive for it. If it settles at that sort of figure, then only increases as you open more apps [or especially browser tabs] then I see nothing wrong.
If the memory comes under pressure, the OS will simply release the oldest data it was hanging onto.

When you only had 8GB, this clean up would be happening a lot more frequently. 16GB now gives it a bit more breathing room.
My machine here has 64GB, of which 42 is currently in use. If I dig deeper, I find that only about 25 of that is what I'm actually 'using' myself right now, but the OS doesn't care because there is absolutely no pressure on the system needing it to find more.

  • Less RAM was being used with 8 GB and upgrading to 16 GB caused more memory to be used. I do NOT see your explanation as being helpful. I have never seen such an issue with memory just for adding some in many years. So not helpful from my point of view. – John Apr 4 '20 at 10:27
  • @John - If you don't like my explanation, then come up with a more rational one - preferably one you don't have to delete after it gets downvoted. – Tetsujin Apr 4 '20 at 10:29
  • One of my doubts is why when I do the sum of RAM used by processes in Task Manager, it is too less than shown in Permformance Tab. Where does the rest go? – Vikas Apr 4 '20 at 15:31
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    It doesn't 'go' anywhere, it's just not as simple to figure out as the main view of Task Manager would have you think. I'd stop worrying about it unless it's causing you an actual issue. RAM in use is not in itself an issue. – Tetsujin Apr 4 '20 at 15:42
  • @Vikas Imagine your system has lots more RAM than it needs, you run a program, and then the program terminates. The system could make the RAM that was holding the program free, but it has lots of free RAM anyway and if it keeps that RAM used, if you run the program again it won't need to be loaded from disk. What do you think the system should do? Of course it keeps the RAM in use and keeps the program in that RAM so that if you run it again, no disk access is needed. The RAM can always be made free later if needed. No process is associated with that RAM. – David Schwartz Apr 5 '20 at 1:15

You said "One of my doubts is why when I do the sum of RAM used by processes in Task Manager, it is too less than shown in Performance Tab"

Are you measuring total memory?

On ANY Windows 64-bit machine I have used over time, and any client machine I have looked at, and regardless whether 8GB of memory or 16GB of memory, Windows is stable at 4GB used before any big applications have been loaded.

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