Questions tagged [memory]

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

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369
votes
19answers
214k 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 231 - 1. This is why we have run out of IPv4 addresses and have entered the 64-bit era. However, the number 231 - 1 (2,147,483,647) is not as ...
191
votes
9answers
28k views

Why does emptying disk space speed up computers?

I have been looking at a bunch of videos and now understand a bit better how computers work. I better understand what RAM is, volatile and non-volatile memory, and the process of swapping. I also ...
133
votes
12answers
31k 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 ...
128
votes
9answers
323k 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 ...
117
votes
2answers
21k views

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

I know motherboards, BIOS, etc may set upper limits on how much RAM we can install or use on individual machines. However, what defines the maximum RAM for Windows 7 x64? Is that a fundamental ...
102
votes
1answer
183k views

Why is the total memory usage reported by Windows Task Manager much higher than the sum of all processes' memory usage? [duplicate]

Task Manager shows my total memory usage at 90% of my 6 GB total, but no single process is using more than 250 MB RAM, and the sum of RAM use of all running processes is less than 2 GB. I've tried: ...
98
votes
4answers
98k 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 ...
98
votes
1answer
12k views

How do Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V work?

I was always wondering what happens under the hood (in the operating system) when I copy an image (selecting it and using Ctrl+C) into a Word file (pasting it with Ctrl+V), for example.
97
votes
12answers
86k 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, ...
91
votes
11answers
14k views

Why does RAM have to be volatile?

If computer RAM was to be non volatile like other persistent storages, then there would be no such thing as bootup time. Then why is it not feasible to have a non volatile ram module? Thank you.
91
votes
7answers
206k 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 ...
89
votes
9answers
32k views

Why does Windows only show about 3.5 GB of my 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?
86
votes
5answers
356k views

svchost.exe high memory usage - wuauserv

I'm running Windows 7, and I've been experiencing high memory usage from one of my svchost.exe processes. Services under that particular process are BITS, EAPHost, IKEEXT, LanmanServer, MMCSS, ...
85
votes
10answers
29k 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? ...
83
votes
4answers
134k views

Windows 10, 'System' process taking massive amounts of RAM

Since I upgraded to Windows 10, my system has been consuming RAM excessively I've been reading a bit and determined it's likely a driver leaking memory. So I got myself the Windows Driver Kit and ...
80
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
79
votes
6answers
30k views

Can Intel Optane memory compensate for less RAM?

I currently have a laptop that is about two years old, and has 8 GB of RAM. I use my laptop for internet browsing, productivity applications, and programming, including data science within Spyder or ...
79
votes
3answers
264k views

Windows 10 high memory usage (unknown reason)

A few days ago I updated my PC to Windows 10. However, after some use my PC started to slow down until it was impossible to use – it was due to high memory usage. After a restart, everything came back ...
76
votes
12answers
22k 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 RAM....
74
votes
7answers
488k views

How to find the RAM type in command prompt?

How to find the RAM type (DDR2/DDR3) of the system using command prompt? I have tried SYSTEMINFO in command prompt but it did not display the RAM type.
73
votes
4answers
127k 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. ...
71
votes
8answers
24k views

How is virtual memory actually increasing the memory space?

I understand that virtual memory fools the program by displaying more memory than is actually available. But ultimately it has to map the logical address to the actually physical address. Now how is ...
66
votes
3answers
11k views

How is graphics RAM different from system RAM?

I know that a GPU and a CPU are fundamentally different things and why they both suck at doing the other's job. But what I don't get is why standard system RAM has always been a generation behind the ...
66
votes
3answers
41k 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 ...
65
votes
5answers
14k views

How can Windows dump the complete RAM in the hibernation file so fast?

I was going through an article that explained the hibernation procedure in Microsoft Windows. The main points that I get out of it are Windows dumps the whole RAM (after processing it maybe) in the ...
63
votes
3answers
95k 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 do ...
63
votes
5answers
273k 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 ...
62
votes
6answers
154k views

Why not use SSD space as RAM?

I am new to the hardware side of things. I run a few machines which have 400GB+ SSD's and 32GB RAM. I have been thinking about going up to 64GB RAM, however, I was thinking, since SSD's are solid-...
61
votes
5answers
46k 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 ...
60
votes
10answers
249k 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 ...
59
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
57
votes
10answers
205k 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?
57
votes
7answers
58k 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 ...
53
votes
3answers
16k 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 ...
53
votes
6answers
15k views

Why does partially full RAM cause lag?

Why does partially full RAM (let's say 80%), makes the device lag a lot, even though there is some space available to store more data? What I expect is that it keeps working well till 99%. I notice ...
52
votes
5answers
12k views

Can hibernating the computer damage the RAM?

I always hibernate my laptop. One of my friends said that hibernating the computer will cause damage to the RAM. From his point of view he said that suspended RAM data stored on the hard disk will ...
52
votes
7answers
16k views

Why is the first BIOS instruction located at 0xFFFFFFF0 (“top” of RAM)?

I know that BIOS loads its first instruction from 0xFFFFFFF0, but why this specific address? I've a bunch of questions and hope you can help me with some of them, at least. My questions: Why is the ...
52
votes
2answers
9k 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 didn'...
51
votes
6answers
7k 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 free ...
51
votes
3answers
118k views

Is it faster to have four times 2 GB or two times 4 GB of RAM with a dual-channel mainboard?

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 4 ...
49
votes
16answers
25k views

Share RAM over network

My colleague is using an application that consumes a lot of memory which makes the system too slow. Is it possible to share memory with other PCs over the Internet? The system has 8 GB of RAM, and ...
49
votes
1answer
22k views

prevent system freeze/unresponsiveness due to swapping run away memory usage

If a process demands a lot of memory, the system moves all other process to the swap file. Including it seems, necessary processes like the X11 server or the terminal. So if a process keeps ...
49
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
48
votes
10answers
197k views

How can I detect the amount of memory slots I have?

I know that there used to be a Corsair memory detection tool, but I can no longer find it. I didn't find anything when searching Google. I would like to scan my machine to know a few things: How ...
46
votes
6answers
58k views

How do I tell if my Memory is ECC or Non-ECC?

I need to replace the memory in my system and I'm not quite sure how to determine if the memory is ECC or Non-ECC. How do I determine this?
45
votes
3answers
8k views

Available memory differs by several GiB from what is installed

I have recently upgraded a Windows 7 Home Premium PC with 12 GB of RAM. For some reason once I looked in the System tab it said only 7.96 GB of 12 GB of RAM is usable. I have already tried to go into ...
45
votes
14answers
102k 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 ...
43
votes
6answers
67k 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 ...
41
votes
4answers
8k views

Is there a RAID 0 Equivalent for RAM?

With hard drives, you can put them in a RAID 0 configuration to split data between drives to increase read and write speed. Is there an equivalent of this for RAM? If I have 16 GB of memory, for ...
41
votes
5answers
80k 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?