I have Windows 7 Home Premium with a AMD X4 965 Quad Core and 8GB of Crucial RAM. I have no idea why my computer says it is using 6GB of RAM when it doesn't show any reason. Below are the screen shots of my task manager:

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  • Might be a good idea to un-capitalize 'Computer' in the question title. That could say extremely bad things about Explorer. :P – Nathaniel Jan 12 '10 at 3:21

Caching. Your RAM is tens of times faster than your HDD, so starting with Vista, windows aggressively caches program data. It's a good thing - RAM'd be useless to you otherwise.

(It frees up if it's needed, don't worry)

edit: BlueRaja makes a good point - anybody interested should definately read Jeff's Post on the subject - his insights are once again invaluable to us all :)

  • Caching is all the rage these days. – pcapademic Jan 7 '10 at 6:36
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    Caching is great, I can bash the hell out of my primary HDD's I/O and not notice the hit in all my programs <3 – Phoshi Jan 7 '10 at 8:57
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    And of course, the mandatory link for all these threads: codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000688.html – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jan 7 '10 at 20:16
  • TENS? How about hundreds of thousands times faster? DDR3 has latencies under 10 nanoseconds, HDDs make that into miliseconds. SSDs are hundreds times slower than RAM. – Mircea Chirea Dec 13 '10 at 5:48
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft, the link is broken. – Graviton Jan 12 '20 at 0:23

As long as you are not near 95%/full, I wouldn't be that worried as Windows is very good at managing memory.

However, the usual cause for such high usage (as it does seem a little high to me), is a memory leak in a device driver.

It is really hard to tell from those images as they are small, but it looks to me like you haven't checked the box in the bottom left hand corner of task manager Show processes from all users.

On top of this, I recommend you use Microsoft / Sysinternals Process Explorer as it is a much enhanced version of task manager that allows you to delve deeper in to what is taking up memory.

  • after reboot I am now down to 1.6gb in use, I did download process explore and it shows 1.6gb just like task manager. I will continue to monitor, but if you guys think its not a problem than it probably isn't. It does it randomly sometimes throughout the day of having my pc on. – AskaGamer Jan 7 '10 at 0:21
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    @AskaGamer: what kind of uptime? 6gb is a lot of memory leakage from a driver, but i suppose it's possible. i think caching is much more likely. – quack quixote Jan 7 '10 at 0:24
  • Less than 24 hours, caching seems to be the culprit... but wouldn't it drop after a while? It seems like when it gets to 6gb it stays there. – AskaGamer Jan 7 '10 at 0:29
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    It would stay there - it doesn't cache everything at once to avoid completely saturating your HDD's read speed at startup - right when it needs it most. – Phoshi Jan 7 '10 at 8:58

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