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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  • So what happens to memory usage on this system when it begins working hard? Here's what it looks like after opening a 1000-page Adobe PDF file and a half-dozen web pages, including one running a high-def Flash movie. Note that physical memory usage is still under 600 MB, although the Committed Bytes counter has shot up to nearly 900 MB. The blue Standby bar in Resource Monitor shows memory pages that Windows has loaded into physical memory in case they're needed. It represents physical RAM containing data that will be dumped in a nanosecond if another process needs the memory.

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

  • I'm going to make this system work a little harder by downloading the installer for Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus (beta). As it extracts its installation files, you can see the green In Use bar grow and the blue Standby bar shrink. Note the Committed Bytes counter hasn't changed at all. Here the system is making sure those installation files are ready to run from fast RAM instead of having to be read from a slow disk.

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

  • When the extraction portion of the Office installation is complete, the In Use counter goes down sharply. Instead of being emptied, the pages of RAM have now been moved to the Standby list. Available Bytes, represented by the red line in Perfmon and by the sum of Standby+Free in Resource Monitor, is up sharply. The misleading Committed Bytes measurement (the green line in Perfmon) has barely changed.

    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