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memory usagge not accunted for in "Performance"

Posted on 1997-04-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
When I get into Task Manager and look at Performance just after I boot-up, the memory usage is around 38,000K! When I look at the process information there is only about 12,000K of memory associated with running processes.

Why the difference?

I only have 32meg of RAM so with 38meg in use at start-up I'm hitting the virtual memory more that I would like. I could go out an buy more RAM but before I do that, I'd like to know why I'm using so much memory at start-up.
out on this please let me know.
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Question by:nedh
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cer earned 100 total points
ID: 1764888
Cache and Kernel need memory too. But the value you are intersted in is "Available real memory", the 2nd one in the upperright box.
I also have 32MB and after startup about 5-6MB left. This is sufficient for running one or two applications. With more memory you have more cache and restarting a program is much faster.
32MB is a good working minimum for NT, more is better but not necessary. Just watch your HD-LED, if it is on too often you need more memory.
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by:cer
ID: 1764889
If you start programms you will see in the taskmanager that your cache size decreases. If you add both numbers (available+cache) you have the maximum real memory programs can get. Less cache means more HD-access.
As with Win31x, and W95 the Harddisk-light is a good low-memory indicator.
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by:nedh
ID: 1764890
Thanks for your reply. I know the "Available real memory is what's important, but I would like to know how the memory is being allocated and I can't seem to be able to get that information form Task Manager. Maybe I don't understand what MEM Usage is showing me.

If cache and the kernal account for the memory not shown in the Processes window, then in the following case, cache is using up 21,632K of memory. That doesn't seem right to me but I have no idea what to expect..

I just checked my memory usage using Task Manager and it goes like this:

Applications (by totalling the process mem usage) 15,388
Kernal Memory Total (from Performance)                 9,216
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
sub-total (Applications + Kernal Memory Total)       24,604

MEM Usage (from Performance)                            46,236
Memory used by cache (MEM Usage - sub-total)   21,632

If the difference between Memory usage and the memory associated with processes is the cache and kernal as I calculated above, I appologize for this message.

Thanks again for your help,   Ned

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by:cer
ID: 1764891
I am not sure about your calculation (What is MEM Usage and why is it 46236 if you only have 32MB?). To make it clear here a calculation verified on my system.
I am only talking about "real" Memory! Virtual memory does not count.

    summ of memory consumed by processes
  + RealMemory: Available
  + RealMemory: Cache
  + KernelMemory: Not swaped
  + about 1MB for I don't know what
=========================================
  = RAM-Memory installed in Computer

I am using the german version, therefor I am not sure about the correct words.

Yes, the difference is due to Cache and kernel. Kernel is not much since only the not swaped part counts. So you can say the difference is mainly due to cache.
I think the way NT handles memory usage changes at certain borders. Next is 64MB (as I was told).

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by:nedh
ID: 1764892
Thanks again for the reply. Sorry for not making it clear what "MEM Usage" is. Since this is at the heart of the question I'll try to make it clearer. For a reference, I'm using Workstation NT 4.0.  When you get into "Task Manager" and click on the "Performance Tab" (the third tab) the second graph down on the left-hand side (just under "CPU Usage") is titled "MEM Usage" on the English version. That figure (I assume) is the total of virtual and "Real" memory. My question is: why can't I account for all the memory that is displayed in the "MEM Usage" graph using the information provided in the "Task Manager" "Processes" and "Performance" windows?

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by:cer
ID: 1764893
Now I got you!
Real Memory is included in virtual memory (Mem usage). The amount of Swap-memory used is not dispayed but must be mem usage - realmemory. I think because it is so easy to calculate the programmers left it away.
If you look in the taskmanager while a program like word is loading, you notice that first "available real memory" decreases, than increases again while "mem usage" increases. So the amount of swaped memory is increased (Word puts most of himselfe oviously there). If you load a document, similiar things happen. But: If you scroll through the document Word must (want to) have the document in real memory, you see "cache size" decreasing.
I would say, whenever "cache" gets low frequently it is wise to add some more RAM.

Hope this finally answers you question.

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