How to measure Windows 7 memory usage

How to measure Windows 7 memory usage

Summary: Microsoft Windows has been around for 25 years, and during that time its memory management features have changed dramatically. If you're still using ten-year-old tools and techniques to measure performance in Windows, you're doing it wrong. In this gallery and accompanying blog post, I explain how to use each of the three main memory monitoring tools in Windows 7, and what each one's unique display really tells you.For more details, see Windows 7 memory usage: What’s the best way to measure?.

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  • Now watch what happens as I close every running process and allow the system to return to an idle state, with only system functions going on. In Perfmon, the Committed Bytes counter drops sharply as programs release their hold on pages of RAM, and the Available Bytes counter (the red line) goes up almost as sharply. In Resource Monitor, you can see that more than 100 MB of RAM is listed as Free, which means it contains no data or code. How long do you think that will last?

    For more details, see Windows 7 memory usage: What’s the best way to measure?

  • The Windows 7 memory manager works constantly, even when no third-party software is running. Here, 45 minutes after I closed all running programs, note that physical memory in use has dropped below 300 MB, but Windows has been slowly filling the Standby List with pages of code and data it believes I'll use later. Meanwhile, Perfmon's Committed Bytes counter is holding steady at nearly 650 MB, unrelated at all to physical RAM usage.

    For more details, see Windows 7 memory usage: What’s the best way to measure?

  • Finally, nearly an hour after I stopped doing any work, actual memory in use is down to 287 MB, with another 41 MB that would have to be written to disk before it could be reused. Windows has completely filled the free RAM with pages that are now on the Standby list. Nearly 70% of this system's RAM is available for immediate usage, which is the exact opposite of what you'll think if you only look at the Committed Bytes counter.

    For more details, see Windows 7 memory usage: What’s the best way to measure?

Topics: Windows, CXO, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Thank you

    This article is brilliantly done. I follow your work from time to time, and watch the site with some regularity, but this piece is wonderful. A great number of things in modern life that we treat casually are, as you say in this case, rocket science, meaning complex, not obvious, and not easily researched because any casual viewing will suggest the wrong conclusions, and because the people working in the field involved are not thinking well about how what they are doing will affect other people.
    With appreciation for your care and thought,
    Chauncey Bell
    chaunceybell
  • RE: Within an hour, Windows use all available RAM (How to measure Windows 7 memory usage)

    this admin tool is very useful, but I can tell you for sure that programs like Autocad 2010 and its addon's can for sure kill memory in Win 32 and I have also had some other programs that I haven't been able to isolate that can kill the amount of memory without using the pagesys file that is supposed to work when you do run out of ram. I have had to search out programs and end task them to recover when I'm desparate to save work in autocad. Recently, I have also seen that I get some memory errors when exiting win 7 32 a lot lately. I'll try to get back and let you know what that error is.
    doggarn@...
  • RE: Within an hour, Windows use all available RAM (How to measure Windows 7 memory usage)

    If I get the gist of this article, Win 7 may look like it is using most of the RAM, but there is really much more available even in a 1 GB system. So how much RAM should I have for Windows 7x64? This article makes me think that just about anything above 1GB is almost superfluous (my system came with 4GB). My computer is frequently used for home design (3D CAD) programs and my son frequently plays 3-D games.
    ribsioli
  • Rules of thumb for performance

    I can measure things & try to set a benchmark, but there must be
    norms somewhere for a reasonably configured system (not minimum,
    not overly expensive). Where?
    RonMM3
    • RE: Within an hour, Windows use all available RAM (How to measure Windows 7 memory usage)

      @RonMM3

      Ron, did you ever find the benchmark for Win7 system configuration etc. that you mentioned in your reply to
      kosimov
    • RE: Within an hour, Windows use all available RAM (How to measure Windows 7 memory usage)

      @RonMM3

      Ron, did you ever find the benchmark for Win7 system configuration etc. that you mentioned in your question to Ed Bott in his article "Windows 7 memory usage: What's the best way to measure?" ? I am trying to figure it out also; I am new to Win7. I am a "hardware design engineer" so I am familiar with a PC, and with software, though I am not a proficient programmer or Windows "expert". I just need to figure out how to determine memory use on my 4GB Toshiba laptop so I can find problems when it starts to "act up". I am having a software problem which seems like it should be a memory problem but I can't figure out what I need to know to find out if it is. If you found anything which helped you understand how memory works in Win7 I would be very grateful if you could send me a link to something which I can study etc.

      Thanks very much,

      Larry Holmes
      kosimov
  • please check commit bytes.

    Hello. please check commit bytes, in stress or heavy usage commit bytes are 1552/2038
    and physical memory usage is 93%,, in idle or normal commit bytes are 700/2038 and physical memory usage is 50%,, please plz tell me is there any need to increase RAM? PLZ TELL ME.
    mj_611