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Posts: 296
Member Since: ‎12-12-2008
Message 1 of 7 (786 Views)

Efficient use of memory

Is there a way to get my machines to show me more detail about just what they are using memory for?  When I try the task manager, it tells me that about half the memory is cached, but with little hint of just what for.   Most of the time that 32-bit tasks (at least one on each processor core) use more than half the physical memory (4 GB total on my SR5125CL, 8 GB total each on my d5200t and my dv3t), programs that need keyboard or mouse entries stat responding very slowly to the keyboard or the mouse.  Each machine is already at the maximum memory the motherboard can hold.


Vista SP2 with nearly all of the updates

running BOINC projects nearly 24/7


I've already tried asking on the Microsoft Vista forums.  No useful answer.


I've already tried the Vista help files.  They said little more than that most users don't need to know just what cached memory is.


The task manager appears to tell me about only the parts of memory that programs currently occupy, with very little information about the rest.

0 Kudos
Posts: 28,010
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 2 of 7 (784 Views)

Re: Efficient use of memory

[ Edited ]

Task Manager --> Processes will show you all of the active processes and the respective working set size of each.


If your are running a 32 bit operating system then at best you'll see is 3.5 gb available as hardware and system reserve areas will allocate memory locations.  You may only see 3 gb available. Video cards that "share" memory will also take away memory but that can be remedied by replacing the video card that has onboard dedicated memory.

Posts: 296
Member Since: ‎12-12-2008
Message 3 of 7 (770 Views)

Re: Efficient use of memory

Task manager -> processes shows me only about half of the total memory as being in use for anything, usually even when I see significant slowdowns.


Where can I find whether my graphics boards (6150SE, 9800GT, and G105M, all with Nvidia chips) share the main memory?  What about similar information for the GT240 boards I'm thinking of buying?

Posts: 28,010
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 4 of 7 (761 Views)

Re: Efficient use of memory

You might want to try some problem determination on what might be causing the slow downs.


1. Download cookienator (it's a freebie) and clean house.

2. Right mouse click on your hard drive and select the General Tab and do disk clean up

3. Now defrag the hard drive


Any improvement? If no, the go to the RUN window and enter:




Go to the Start up TAB and disable all --- apply. Then go to the Services TAB, check the box to hide all Microsoft services then disable the others --- apply and now reboot.  Has the issues gone away?  Now if your system is not running better then go back to the RUN Window and enter msconfig and re-enable everything under the Startup Tab and the Services Tab and reboot. If your problem went away, then it's a matter on re-enabling the disabled services and startup items a little at a time until you find the culprit(s).


Video cards sharing main memory is tried to the card type and card manufacturer.  On board video cards will typically use main memory.  The NVIDIA 9800 GT has it's own video card memory.



Honor Student
Posts: 4
Member Since: ‎05-31-2010
Message 5 of 7 (743 Views)

Re: Efficient use of memory

I know you might want to hear this, but if you are having issues with not enough memory, changing to a 64-bit system can work wonders.


My Windows 7 64bit zips along. I would really recommend the effort involved to reinstall!



Find me at AllAboutChris.co.uk!
Master's Graduate
Posts: 430
Member Since: ‎03-23-2009
Message 6 of 7 (729 Views)

Re: Efficient use of memory

I've found Microsoft Sysinternal's utility Process Explorer to be invaluable for looking up details about processes, memory, etc.   You can get it at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx


-dm (a long-time HP employee, but the comments/suggestions are my own, not my employer's)

-DM (HP Retiree)

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Posts: 296
Member Since: ‎12-12-2008
Message 7 of 7 (636 Views)

Re: Efficient use of memory

[ Edited ]

Disk cleanup and defragmention helped a little, but not very much.  I did, however, find that none of the automatic disk defragmentation runs for the previous few months had finished successfully, perhaps due to the rather large number of files on each of my desktop computers; a manual run took a few days on my d5200t and around two days on my SR5125CL.


I'm seeing the problems both on my SR5125CL running 32-bit Vista and even worse on  my d5200t running 64-bit Vista, so I don't expect just switching to the 64-bit version to help significantly.


I'm having enough problems converting my Windows Mail databases into Windows Live Mail versions that I'm in no hurry to switch to Windows 7, which doesn't offer a Windows Mail program.


I've had Process Explorer for months; it doesn't seem to say much of anything about the sections of memory that are hard to use, since I can't identify any process they are attached to.  Windows Task Manager says they are cached, but almost nothing else, and never explains just what cached means.


Elsewhere, I've seen some advice that I need to check and probably change the registry settings controlling the SuperFetch feature of Vista, but without adequate information on those registry values to guess the names of all of them and what values I can change them to.  Can you find such information?

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