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RAM not being utilized

Last response: in Video Games
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February 26, 2011 7:07:06 PM

OK, this is getting to be a real problem. Looked through the forums, couldn't find anything. I have 4 gigs of ram, the system is seeing 3.27 gigs. This isn't the issue, I know that the problem is that I'm running an x86 system and it's taking up some of the addressing space with other things. The issue is that my games, none of them, are using the full 3.27 gigs available. Some of the newish games are running fine, but some of my 'older' games are having issues. Fable I is using about a gig of ram, is slow loading and has mapping issues. KOTOR2 is having lag issues, loading issues, and is using... about 20 gigs of ram, which is actually about 1/5 the amount of ram my web browser is using.

WTF is up with this, and how do i fix it? Do I need to tweak a .ini file, or what?

More about : ram utilized

February 28, 2011 8:38:44 AM

First off, 32 bit OS's only utilize a bit over 3Gb of RAM. To allow your computer to use more than that need to buy a 64 bit version, like say Windows 7 Home 64 bit.

Secondly, games don't use more RAM that they need to, why would it use all your RAM up if it doesn't need it?

Lag issues would have someone to do with your graphics cards and CPU, a system update could fix this. Loading issues could be due to a slow, spyware infected hard drive. A windows reinstalll or an SSD could fix this...

Hope this helps :) 
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February 28, 2011 9:23:17 AM

OK... first off, i said that the x86 arch was the reason my system only used 3ish gigs of memory... that's because, as far as a 32 bit OS is concerned, the world completely ends at 4 gigs (2 raised to the 32 power, or 4,294,967,296 bits) of memory addressing. This would be completely invisible at 3 gigs of memory, but, unfortunately, the system still has to know where the keyboard is, the mouse, the monitor, the USB ports, printers, yatta yatta yatta. (Yeah, yeah... i DID pay attention to those boring lectures at ITT... silly, i know :p )
But, given the fact that I've seen both of these game utilize far more than that on other systems, I'm still slightly perturbed. I'll give that there's the possibility of my vid being the issue, but since it runs DDO and WoW just fine, i wouldn't think so.
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February 28, 2011 1:05:15 PM

system specs might help.
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February 28, 2011 5:30:37 PM

Acer Aspire 5515
1.6 ghz
4g ram
250 gb HDD

The tower i used to play them both on was as follows
1.44 ghz
2g ram
80gb hard drive

Both have/had a 32-bit GPU with 256 onboard ram.
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February 28, 2011 6:03:05 PM

hmm

the second system on your list would be doing far more disk swapping and that might make it display a higher usage for a particular program, can you break down page file and real memory usage in task manager?

but the other issues you are seeing of slow loading times etc. could be related. Is the ram running at similar speeds (FSB), dual or single channel. Are the HDD's running in the same modes, DMA, ATA 100 vs 133. All these might add up to an impact on marginal systems like these two.

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February 28, 2011 9:50:40 PM

13thmonkey said:
hmm

the second system on your list would be doing far more disk swapping and that might make it display a higher usage for a particular program, can you break down page file and real memory usage in task manager?

but the other issues you are seeing of slow loading times etc. could be related. Is the ram running at similar speeds (FSB), dual or single channel. Are the HDD's running in the same modes, DMA, ATA 100 vs 133. All these might add up to an impact on marginal systems like these two.

Well, the second computer was a tower, where as the first one is a laptop... don't know what modes the HDDs would run in, but that might answer it for you.
As to breaking down the paging files, how would i go about that? Never had to do it before, so no clue how to do it.
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March 1, 2011 12:09:49 AM

dragonorb13 said:
Acer Aspire 5515
1.6 ghz
4g ram
250 gb HDD

The tower i used to play them both on was as follows
1.44 ghz
2g ram
80gb hard drive

Both have/had a 32-bit GPU with 256 onboard ram.


Hey DragonOrb13,

My guess would be along the lines of the difference in CPU and GPU between the new laptop and old desktop. I had an Intel P4 laptop with an ATI GPU that rocked at games with 256MB graphics, replaced by one with a faster CPU & more RAM but on-board GPU; cue single-digit frame-rates on some games. The Athlon 2650 chips (according to Acer's online spec for the 5515) are pretty outdated...

My advice is (in order of severity and cost!):
1) try finding patches for the software you're running - I got original Unreal running on some old hardware with latest updates
2) download new drivers - given you have an old-ish laptop, don't expect much
3) reformat and reinstall Windows - harsh but it works
4) buy an Intel Core i5 laptop with 4GB RAM and discrete graphics if you want light gaming (Core i3/AMD x4 minimum)
5) get an Intel Core i5 2500K, cool and overclock it, get a decent GPU (nVidia 4XX/5xx or AMD 58xx/6xxx), fast SSD and 8GB+ quality RAM, all on a motherboard supporting at least 2 high-end GPUs and 16GB RAM with 600+ watt PSU

A 1.6GHz anything will struggle these days, and it's difficult to compare desktop with laptop. Is this any help?

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March 1, 2011 7:20:48 AM

dragonorb13 said:
Well, the second computer was a tower, where as the first one is a laptop... don't know what modes the HDDs would run in, but that might answer it for you.
As to breaking down the paging files, how would i go about that? Never had to do it before, so no clue how to do it.


Task manager, processes, view, select columns, and then show other types of memory which might give you a better idea of utilisation.
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March 2, 2011 11:06:59 AM

Quote:
4-gigabyte tuning (4GT), also known as application memory tuning, or the /3GB switch, is a technology (only applicable to 32 bit systems) that alters the amount of virtual address space available to user mode applications. Enabling this technology reduces the overall size of the system virtual address space and therefore system resource maximums

Limits on physical memory for 32-bit platforms also depend on the Physical Address Extension (PAE), which allows 32-bit Windows systems to use more than 4 GB of physical memory.


Again, I wouldn't use the /3GB switch unless you have 4GB+ RAM installed. Even then, most apps aren't coded with support for it...[it has to be explicitly supported by the app].

Secondly, PAE can (and does) break drivers. It was a good idea at the time, but moving to 64-bits is a far more practical solution.

Finally, even in an X64 environment: No 32-bit application will ever use more then 2GB of RAM at any one point in time, due to the way virtual memory is handled for 32-bit applications. [the /3GB switch increases this limit to 3GB, obviously].
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