First of all: I've just read this thread (link) in a search of finding the answer.

My laptop specs are roughly: Some mobile good i7 roughly 3 years old, 4GB RAM, Win7 and 500GB HDD and NVidia Quatro 1000M I believe. So specs are pretty good I'd say.

However after using a few programs, yes I do use some, I got the following open:

  • Netbeans ~800MB
  • Firefox ~600MB
  • Windows services totalling ~500MB
  • Skype ~200MB
  • Random processes ~200MB

So that gives me 2.3GB RAM, however the problem is that my system is continously (after it's up for some hours, 12+ usually) using 3,6 GB RAM and I believe it is swapping the RAM to the disk way too often resulting in a very slow laptop, especially once I come out of Hibernate for the coming 20 minutes. I do need to mention that I practically always Hibernate it, until it's so slow that I'm forced to reboot it, and then it'll go back to Hibernate again.

ram usage

I got this laptop 3 years ago from university, it's a Lenovo Thinkpad W520. I'm planning to upgrade to an SSD and 8GB or 16GB of RAM, but the support is quite slow, so it can take a while. (Making the appointment is a hell already, because all people who messed something up with their laptop get favored in the line).

As I'm typing this the RAM went down to 2,9GB and something like "Turn on Symantic Endpoint Protection" showed, possibly a clue? Still being slow as hell though. Also it seems that it has especially a lot of issues searching for a file, I was for example doing Win+Paint and it is taking ages to load. The CPU usage itself is fine, btw, like 5% or 10% when idle/typing stuff like this.

Also I know obviously that I cannot expect the same speed as I have at my desktop with i7-3770, SSD and 16 GB RAM, but currently it is ridiculous.

  • You need more RAM. Add in some more and it will be a whole lot faster. Do you have to go through the University ? Can you get the RAM yourself and put it in yourself ? – Lawrence Dec 11 '13 at 8:08
  • @Lawrence It'd void the (university extra?) warranty. Why would I need more RAM though? I think the RAM usage of the individual applications is acceptable, is it not? – skiwi Dec 11 '13 at 8:10
  • Windows 7 itself uses a bit, plus all the applications and services add up in the background. You can see the RAM usage in the task manager snapshot that you posted. 2 Megabytes of Free Ram, and only 103 Megabytes of Available RAM. That is not enough for a snappy system. – Lawrence Dec 11 '13 at 8:12
  • @Lawrence Does that also explain why it barely runs with 600MB available RAM? Well maybe now after 30 mins it is getting a bit up to speed... – skiwi Dec 11 '13 at 8:14
  • I would say so. Available RAM is RAM that can be used after the computer writes things to disk. So even though you have "Available RAM" it will still take time before the computer can actually use that RAM. Might help to also post a process list with the memory sorted from biggest to smallest so we can see what else is using all your memory – Lawrence Dec 11 '13 at 8:16

however the problem is that my system is continously (after it's up for some hours, 12+ usually) using 3,6 GB RAM

It sounds like your computer only runs out of free RAM after it has been running for a long period of time. If you have the same programs running during that time, it is likely that one or more of them is suffering from a memory leak, causing it to use more RAM over time. As some of the comments have suggested, you should check which programs are using the most RAM when your computer seems to be running low in order to try and find a pattern.

If memory leaks are the root cause of your computer being slow, adding more RAM to decrease the frequency of the issue, but will not solve it. You would need to either upgrade or stop using the program(s) with the leaks, or change your workflow so that the program is closed often, preventing it from running long enough to cause a leak.


The solution is to add more RAM. Your computer doesn't have enough so it's thrashing the hard drive and the swap file just to work on a few things.

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