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Too much RAM being used in new Windows 8.1 custom PC

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  • Intel i5
  • RAM
  • Build
  • Windows 8
  • Memory
  • Gtx
Last response: in Memory
December 21, 2013 6:10:53 PM

I just put together a build shown in the link below:
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Sebastian/saved/2XUq

When I'm doing next to nothing (having skype and chrome or whatever open) I'll have a huge amount of RAM being used. I turned on the computer from a cold boot and I was using 72% or something like that of my RAM as soon as I turned it on. I had nothing open earlier today and everything was moving super slow, and I look in task manger to see 99% of RAM was being used. You can see in the screenshot if you add up all the processes in the list it doesn't come anywhere close to 8 GB (the total amount of RAM). What's the problem?
Thanks.

http://sdrv.ms/1fwpqvG screenshot

More about : ram windows custom

December 28, 2013 6:52:31 AM

I am unsure if you have a problem or not, but here are a couple things I have learned about memory management that my put you at ease.

1) Your goal is not to target large amounts of free memory, even if you are doing only a few things. When your OS uses as much RAM as possible, it will be able to take advantage of the speed RAM provides. I own a Windows Desktop and Macbook. My 8GB Macbook almost always uses all its RAM, and runs wonderfully because the memory is being utilized to its fullest, even if I'm only performing a couple tasks.

2) Windows in contrast has not been good at taking advantage of large amounts of RAM. It is actually a short coming of Windows that it cannot easily take advantage of all the RAM it has available to it. (I may be overstepping my knowledge here)

One case in point: One reason that Google Chrome runs faster is because it will take up as much memory has it has available to it. You might notice that Google Chrome will take up 500MB for a task that will only take up 50MB on another browser.
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December 28, 2013 11:20:59 AM

ktamlyn said:
I am unsure if you have a problem or not, but here are a couple things I have learned about memory management that my put you at ease.

1) Your goal is not to target large amounts of free memory, even if you are doing only a few things. When your OS uses as much RAM as possible, it will be able to take advantage of the speed RAM provides. I own a Windows Desktop and Macbook. My 8GB Macbook almost always uses all its RAM, and runs wonderfully because the memory is being utilized to its fullest, even if I'm only performing a couple tasks.

2) Windows in contrast has not been good at taking advantage of large amounts of RAM. It is actually a short coming of Windows that it cannot easily take advantage of all the RAM it has available to it. (I may be overstepping my knowledge here)

One case in point: One reason that Google Chrome runs faster is because it will take up as much memory has it has available to it. You might notice that Google Chrome will take up 500MB for a task that will only take up 50MB on another browser.


Thanks for the response! Yeah, I'm thinking it is good that it's using all the RAM it is now. My only concern now would be the one time that it hit 99% of RAM usage when doing next to nothing, and the whole system slowed down to a laggy crawl. That only happened once though, so I'm hoping that was just a fluke. I restarted the computer and everything was fine then.
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December 28, 2013 11:20:59 AM

ktamlyn said:
I am unsure if you have a problem or not, but here are a couple things I have learned about memory management that my put you at ease.

1) Your goal is not to target large amounts of free memory, even if you are doing only a few things. When your OS uses as much RAM as possible, it will be able to take advantage of the speed RAM provides. I own a Windows Desktop and Macbook. My 8GB Macbook almost always uses all its RAM, and runs wonderfully because the memory is being utilized to its fullest, even if I'm only performing a couple tasks.

2) Windows in contrast has not been good at taking advantage of large amounts of RAM. It is actually a short coming of Windows that it cannot easily take advantage of all the RAM it has available to it. (I may be overstepping my knowledge here)

One case in point: One reason that Google Chrome runs faster is because it will take up as much memory has it has available to it. You might notice that Google Chrome will take up 500MB for a task that will only take up 50MB on another browser.


Thanks for the response! Yeah, I'm thinking it is good that it's using all the RAM it is now. My only concern now would be the one time that it hit 99% of RAM usage when doing next to nothing, and the whole system slowed down to a laggy crawl. That only happened once though, so I'm hoping that was just a fluke. I restarted the computer and everything was fine then.
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January 10, 2014 3:11:50 AM

The problem is the lan card built into the motherboard whenever there is network activity the driver cashes the memory but doesnt clear it after it is done. I believe this is what you are experiencing.. this is what worked for me Good luck I know i spent lots of time trying to fix this just like you :)  http://damjank.blogspot.com/2012/11/windows-8-rtm-memor... Follow the instructions and hope for the best after your reboot... and again Good luck.
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Best solution

April 10, 2014 1:37:50 PM

SebastianZHD said:
I just put together a build shown in the link below:
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Sebastian/saved/2XUq

When I'm doing next to nothing (having skype and chrome or whatever open) I'll have a huge amount of RAM being used. I turned on the computer from a cold boot and I was using 72% or something like that of my RAM as soon as I turned it on. I had nothing open earlier today and everything was moving super slow, and I look in task manger to see 99% of RAM was being used. You can see in the screenshot if you add up all the processes in the list it doesn't come anywhere close to 8 GB (the total amount of RAM). What's the problem?
Thanks.

http://sdrv.ms/1fwpqvG screenshot


ElliottJordan said:
Hi all, iv'e been using windows 8 64bit for about 3 months with this current set up and i never had any issues, when i purchased my SSD i thought it would be a good time to upgrade to 8.1 64bit and since then i have had an issue where my memory would fill up to 100% over the course of a day, sometimes a few hours if i'm gaming. I did a bit of googling and found a lot of people had issues with memory leakage due to GPU drivers so i updated to the latest BETA drivers (9.14.10.01017) which didn't help at all.

I understand there are a few threads about this, but nothing specific to my problem. I opened task manager and none of my apps where using a large amount of my ram, i even got the calculator out and they added up to about 2gb which is pretty normal. I use to be able to leave my computer on 24/7, but now i have to turn my computer off 3-4 times a day (restart doesn't seem to clear the ram) if i try to update my bios to C.1 (recommended for my CPU) in the bios screen it just freezes, iv'e tried using the Live Update feature from MSi in windows, it updates to C.3 and i cant overclock past 3.8GHz and it doesn't fix the problem.

So right now im thinking it could either be Windows 8.1, RAM, GPU or the Motherboard. Id post a screenshot of task manager but i had to shutdown my computer and power it up again just to write this post. Im pretty anal about closing unused apps so it cant be that. The apps i usually have running are MSI Command Center, BitTorrent, MSI Afterburner, Winamp and Killer Ethernet.

Iv'e ran Aida64 for half an hour stressing my RAM and it maxed out at 100% (im assuming thats normal but ive only used Aida64 since the issue started) when i stop the test my memory usage will resume to 2-3Gb.

Right now my memory usage sits at 2300mb which is up from 1500mb when i first booted up, and Pagefile at 3500mb. Im happy to post screenshots at request.

I'm tempted to downgrade to win8 but i thought i might give this a shot first.

As i said all my drivers are up to date, iv'e ran windows update and for the life of my i cant figure it out. I'm willing to try anything.

I appreciate any and all feedback, if anyone can help i will be eternally grateful.

Thanks


Windows is made to use EVERY LAST BIT of memory... After you let it run all day.. even for a few hours.. it's 100% normal to have 0% free memory.. be it you have 4,8,16,32, or 64GB of ram installed.. This will not slow you down one bit.. and I'll explain why....

Granted most of this memory used is either cached data from Programs and Apps you have run or data that has been pre-cached by SuperFetch.

Windows also will expand the amount if memory the kernel uses depending how much physical memory you have

I run win 8.1x64. I had 8GB 13 moths ago.... then 16.. now 32....... and after running all day the the actual IN USE amount (viewed by resource monitor (launched via the link on the perf tab on taskmgr), was about 4GB of memory... (when I had 8GB physical) SYSTEM (ntoskernel.exe) would start out only using 200KB of memory.. by the end of the day, it would use 1GB... this number does NOT show in taskmanager because taskmanager only showed Private Working set. There's also shareable, working and Commit..

Working and Commit are what you really want to watch

Commit, or Commit Charge is the amount of virtual memory an program requests when it first starts up (or it can ask for it later). This memory doesn't ever have to be used. Some applications make use 1GB of Working set and use 4GB of commit.. this is sort of a safety net.. this way 4GB is allocated for the program in case it needs it. In this case 1GB of physical ram would be used, and the rest of the 3GB would be sitting on the system page file

On a 32bit system, the max virtual memory a 32 bit program can ask for is 2GB(3GB for large address aware). On x64 systems, 32bit apps can use 4GB of user mode memory... 64bit apps on a 64 bit system can request.. i think about 128TB of virtual memory.

Working Set is active memory that's actually residing in your PHYSICAL memory sticks...

ntoskernel.exe is shady and tricky... in task manager, it will usually show no more than 5-10MB of memory used (Private Set).. even if you look at commit, it is usually only 5-10MB.. but when you look at the WORKING set... on a 8GB system, it can grow to 1-2 GB... on a 16GB system.. it can grow to 2-4GB...

There's a reason why, in this rare instance, working set is higher than commit: Windows REALLY doesn't want to page this data out. However, most of the memory is it using is NON critical... Keep in mind this STILL will NOT slow you down... I know I've been typing a bit but I'll get to the why VERY soon...

(FYI I also have 2 usb 3.0 32bit GB Readyboost thumb drives, but they do not affect my system memory in any way.. they just hold up to an extra 64GB of HDD cache data - yeah I have about 16TB total HD space)

So let you give me an example of my system...at 8,16,and 32

Fresh cold boot start up....

After 5-15 mins, and every thing has loaded, I've logged in... superfetch has finished it's thing, etc...
8GB: 3-4GB in use, 2GB Standby (just another work for "HD Read cache data), and 2-3GB Available (free)
16GB: 5-6G B In use, 4GB Standby, 6-7GB Free
32GB: 8GB in Use, 8GB standby, 16GB free

There is also another type of memory you may see: MODIFIED... usually this will never go over 1GB.. this is WRITE CACHE data...Even if you 100% disable windows write caching, it will STILL write cache a VERY small amount... I've gotten this up to 16GB a few times when runing a torture test on my system and instantly using 30GB of memory... windows panics and can't dump to the page fast enough..this can also grow if your HDs are REALLY busy and you have a LOT of pending writes and you have Write BACK cache enabled.

In each configuration, the working set of ntoskernel DOUBLED.... 2GB @ 8GB, 4GB @ 16GB, 8GB @ 32GB...

Also the more ram I took, the more time it took after getting to the login screen for the hard drives to "calm down" because it was busy: pre-caching, using system to pre-load as many DLLs as possible for all the programs on your computer so it won't have to load them later. @8GB it took 5 mins before my HD stopped thrashing at login, 10mins at 16, and 15mins at 32GB... I could log in anytime I wanted to, but in any configuration, if I didn't wait 5 mins, the login process would be SLOW because it was busy loading critical files.

I don't have any SSDs.. 2TB C: drive, raid 0 of 2 1TB drives... 16TB D drive, Raid 0, 4 4TB drives... 2 TB E: drive, raid 0 of 2 1TB drives.. all sata 3... and 32TB Raid 5 USB 3 external raid box for backing up the beast of a machine...

Anyway.. here is why all that memory use won't slow you down... lets say you don't do anything major.. just web browsing and minor stuff.... after a day.. or even overnight... ALL of your memory will be used even if you have 8, 16, or 32GB... granted MOST of it will be read cache....and on a 32GB system, I've seen SYSTEM grow to 12GB of use...

Now let's say you want to run a game... let's say on an 8GB machine after all the memory is used up by idling... before you run it, system has probable used 1-2GB, all the apps and programs you've installed have probably 1-2 GB: background programs you've installed, DLLs loaded, etc... the rest is all standby (read cache) with 0% free

Ok.. you launch your game... first off... if you had run that game earlier. and most of it was still in the cache, windows would use the cache so it wouldn't grind the drive... if the cache was mostly this game's files... chances are it would NOT purge the cache... Purging the cache is normally the FIRST thing windows does to free up memory.. as it's INSTANT.. so if you have 4GB on standby, and you fire up a game that grabs 2GB of commit memory, Windows will just erase 2GB of the oldest cache data... and boom.. you have the memory you need for your game and 2GB on standby that windows will overwrite with cache data from your game.. so the longer you play, the more files it will cache and the less disk reads it will take

Lets say you now run a game that need 4GB comitt charge... not many games need this much.. not even top tier games like Crysis do. Most limit to 2GB to be compatable win WinXP and 32Bit OSes... but one example is EverQuest 2.. 32 bit app.. large address aware.. will use 4GB with all setting on MAX...

So you exit your game... and there's 2GB free... now you run an app that takes 6GB.... ok you have 2 free, 2 standby, and 4 in use.

First off the 4GB standby is mostly ERASED... the 2nd thing windows does.. and it's almost instant, is unload whatever ntoskernel.exe has loaded, and can dump that program down to 200KB of working memory if need be and swap 4-5MB to pagefile...boom.. that's another 2GB free.. all in 1 second or less... you now have 4GB for your app.... however, windows likes to have SOME hard drive cache (this also depends on if you have the large cache option turned on in the registry).... Once your program gets going, and reads data from the HDDs, windows will also be swapping out idle programs, apps, and background processes so it can make a 1-2GB HD cache. On most systems, the active memory will NEVER drop below 1GB on windows 8/8.1

Granted, I completely have skipped over the metro apps and how they work with the swapfile.sys file as metro apps get paged out to a completely different file and are almost always in a suspended state unless they have focus.

Bottom line is.. don't freak if all your memory is used...

I WOULD be concerned if you have 8-16GB of memory and most or all of it is used by ACTIVE processes when you really aren't running anything.. that would mean that one or more programs had a memory leak.



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a b } Memory
April 10, 2014 2:00:24 PM

Do you really think they are still waiting around 3 months later for an answer to this question?
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April 11, 2014 3:19:12 PM

Maybe, Maybe not... my point is.. I was doing a google search on this subject, and this and other older pages came up.. some 1 month, some 3, some 1 year.. and I STILL replied

Not so much for the OP but for the OTHER people on the internet who have the same question as the OP that have 1) gone unanswered , or 2) been answered, but with incorrect information.

I've been a computer network admin, engineer.. lan admin/engineer... programmer for windows, OS X and ios/android over the last 20 yrs (obviously not all of those have been around that long, but you get my point)

Not only do I know how Windows and OSX works from a computer admin/engineer viewpoint.. I know how they work from a PROGRAMMERS viewpoint

So yes, sometimes I will find unlocked thread 1,2,3, or even 4 yrs old that I will reply to. Why? Not everyone has Windows 8... or 7.. or even vista.. many people are still stubborn , and still stay on XP.. and Windows 8.1 is still Windows 2000 at the core with just a bunch of add ons and bells and whistles. So an issue may very well persist across generations of Microsoft operating systems that could still be VERY valid (although rare due to patching and bug fixes).. and correcting no information or mis-information is the right thing to do.

Hopefully when someone googles: Why is my PC using too much RAM (or memory).. this thread will pop up, and my answer will help them to understand....

... Make Sense?
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April 22, 2014 9:27:59 AM

David Dutton said:
Hopefully when someone googles: Why is my PC using too much RAM (or memory).. this thread will pop up, and my answer will help them to understand....

... Make Sense?


This is exactly what I did. Thanks for a helpful explanation. Much appreciated!

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April 24, 2014 12:12:18 PM

David, I appreciate the effort and the information you put into your post. As well, I appreciate the fact that you provide this information regardless of the date of the original OP, if the thread is unlocked. Please keep doing that for those "other" people, like myself. That's exactly how I found this thread and YOUR information was what clarified everything for me. Thanks again and keep up the information flow!
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August 31, 2014 5:52:59 PM

David Dutton said:
Hopefully when someone googles: Why is my PC using too much RAM (or memory).. this thread will pop up, and my answer will help them to understand....

Just to let you know that it was also exactly what I did.
I bought a win 8 laptop and was concerned about the memory usage... just until I found your post.
Thank you ;) 
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November 17, 2014 4:07:19 PM

I'm sorry for necroing this thread, but I was running into the same problems and found a fix. I have 16gb of ram and my memory usage would jump to 95+% after around a days use and then my pc would start to really slow down because of the constant disk read/writes from virtual memory.

The fix for me was updating my ethernet drivers. Apparently there's a memory leak in older verions of the killer e2200 ethernet drivers. I just went to the Qualcomm page and updated to the newest drivers and that fixed everything. No more slow downs and no more insane ram usage after a day of use.

Hope this helps some of you.
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December 2, 2014 2:13:12 PM

got same proble for me it driver issu with ny gigabytes z97x gaming it was network card driver onboard the probleme it install management suite or something in conflic with memory management just unstall all driver and reinstall it with out the management suite and it run really fine now..only in windows 8.1 that samedriver for windows 7 and no issu with windows 7
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December 12, 2014 1:02:27 PM

thanks man!

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December 14, 2014 2:49:19 AM

Months later and the answer is still very useful. Thanks David Dutton!
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Anonymous
January 31, 2015 7:30:24 AM

Couldn't figure out why my PC was using so much RAM, thanks :D 
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a b } Memory
March 18, 2015 6:35:44 AM

yet another "bump for being useful" - after three google searches full of crap, i landed on this, and now i understand (or can learn) a lot more than before.

thanks, david!
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April 3, 2015 4:23:44 PM

Quote:
Hopefully when someone googles: Why is my PC using too much RAM (or memory).. this thread will pop up, and my answer will help them to understand....

... Make Sense?



I also wanted to say thank you, David!

...and additionally, if anyone has ideas about the following, please feel free to chime in:

(You too, David, if you're still around...)

I had a pretty good custom build a couple years ago that had 32GB of RAM installed. I think it was a 3rd gen i5. Anyway, for whatever reason, my RAM usage on that PC rarely ever got above 10GB. My current build is a Haswell i5 with 16GB. Also, I had deleted the paging file on the old build. (Both were desktop PCs by-the-way.)

With my current Haswell-based PC, after a couple of days, the total RAM in "use" is reading as ~17GB in the paging file, and ~10GB on the actual RAM; roughly ~27-28GB in total.

Both were/are running Windows 8.1

Any idea what's changed between either my hardware, or 8.1 in the past 1.5 years that would cause such a dramatic change in RAM allocation?
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May 1, 2015 5:54:10 AM

Deuce65 said:
Do you really think they are still waiting around 3 months later for an answer to this question?


They aren't but I find it interesting and helpful. That's why it's helpful when you can contribute and not criticize. I guess I could learn from that too.

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June 12, 2015 9:34:12 PM

Not sure if you'll check this, but I'd love to get your insight on my situation. I'm finding lots of different "solutions" to this same problem via Google searches but none of the memory leak fixes seem to be related to anything I have installed. Now I read your reply, and my problem isn't that my memory isn't "Free", but rather that it's all "In Use" even when I've barely got anything open. It's almost got to be something that isn't releasing the memory it's cached or something, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm just guessing at this point. Here's a screen of my resource monitor and task manager. I'm coming no where near the the amount that is listed as in use, and my standby amount can't go much higher than 200MB. Sometimes my pc runs great for hours, then other times like this when I'm barely doing anything it fills up stuff just starts to stutter and slow down.



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July 18, 2015 5:49:45 PM

Cyborgschatz said:
Not sure if you'll check this, but I'd love to get your insight on my situation. I'm finding lots of different "solutions" to this same problem via Google searches but none of the memory leak fixes seem to be related to anything I have installed. Now I read your reply, and my problem isn't that my memory isn't "Free", but rather that it's all "In Use" even when I've barely got anything open. It's almost got to be something that isn't releasing the memory it's cached or something, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm just guessing at this point. Here's a screen of my resource monitor and task manager. I'm coming no where near the the amount that is listed as in use, and my standby amount can't go much higher than 200MB. Sometimes my pc runs great for hours, then other times like this when I'm barely doing anything it fills up stuff just starts to stutter and slow down.


Hey Cyborgschatz I've got almost the SAME problem as you... the same thing happens to me in the Ressource Monitor and whenever I cold restart my computer (or normal restart) it is alwas instantly at 100% . I also got alot of tiny processes just like you. All I am wondering about is if you have found any solutions or even a temporary fix? It is starting to get annoying as from time to time my computer works great! almost never passing 5GB of ram but then it jumps out of nowhere to 7.9 (99%) and it stays like that until it decides a day later or an hour or 2 days it is done trolling me (its really random).

Pictures weren't showing so here are the links (those are your pictures I was to lazy to make some my self)
http://i.imgur.com/3yl1BHh.png
http://i.imgur.com/2wCXHYy.png
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July 22, 2015 10:10:29 PM

David Dutton said:
Maybe, Maybe not... my point is.. I was doing a google search on this subject, and this and other older pages came up.. some 1 month, some 3, some 1 year.. and I STILL replied

Not so much for the OP but for the OTHER people on the internet who have the same question as the OP that have 1) gone unanswered , or 2) been answered, but with incorrect information.

I've been a computer network admin, engineer.. lan admin/engineer... programmer for windows, OS X and ios/android over the last 20 yrs (obviously not all of those have been around that long, but you get my point)

Not only do I know how Windows and OSX works from a computer admin/engineer viewpoint.. I know how they work from a PROGRAMMERS viewpoint

So yes, sometimes I will find unlocked thread 1,2,3, or even 4 yrs old that I will reply to. Why? Not everyone has Windows 8... or 7.. or even vista.. many people are still stubborn , and still stay on XP.. and Windows 8.1 is still Windows 2000 at the core with just a bunch of add ons and bells and whistles. So an issue may very well persist across generations of Microsoft operating systems that could still be VERY valid (although rare due to patching and bug fixes).. and correcting no information or mis-information is the right thing to do.

Hopefully when someone googles: Why is my PC using too much RAM (or memory).. this thread will pop up, and my answer will help them to understand....

... Make Sense?


I find it funny that the individual who said "Do you really think they are still waiting around 3 months later for an answer to this question?" posted his comment months later as well, which makes one wonder; was he too looking for David’s information or similar or did he just maybe have a little too much free time on his hands and perhaps didn't quite know how to best use it. I would suggest that a good place to start might be trying to really understand how Search Engines and the ‘World Wide Web’ work together to bring information to people and very often without limitations as the time frame and geographical location. Thank you, David Dutton for your generous contribution of knowledge and experience and for sharing it with all who search for such, including those of us who discover it months or even years later.

Rui Belo, another late but appreciative beneficiary.
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