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Physical memory usage way higher than should be

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November 29, 2010 4:53:45 PM

Hi,
I've run into some memory issues on my computer, it seems. I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit with 4096mb of RAM. I'm currently able to use 2.8g of that (and I know why), but I noticed my memory usage was way higher than it should be.
Of the total memory (2814mb), about 45-50% is constantly being used. I've gone through Win7's resource monitor and checked the stats; 1314mb is being used at all times. I've calculated out all the programs that are using RAM and they should be using only 611mb.
Any idea why so much RAM is being used?
Thanks!
a c 347 } Memory
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 29, 2010 7:52:36 PM

Hmm...this comes up often unfortunately. 32-bit OS you'll loose 0.5GB~0.75GB just because of 2^32 limitation + plus the oddball Virtual Memory work around. Next, if your MOBO has an on-board GPU you'll loose another 0.25GB~0.5GB for 'shared memory' and this all adds-up.

What MOBO do you have? {curious if it has an on-board GPU} If you have a dedicated GPU then disable the on-board in both the BIOS and Device Manager.
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November 30, 2010 5:05:49 AM

I don't believe there is an on-board GPU. I have an NForce 680i LT SLI mobo. My GPU is also rather new; it's an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260.
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November 30, 2010 6:21:09 AM

Most of this is used by windows for precache/prefetch and app buffering this type of usage does not appear in task manager as it is not assigned to any particular app but if you go to Performance tab in task manager you should see the rest of your memory as Cached down in the physical memory bracket. Cached is composed out of the cached ram + the paged file cache . I know people are still used like in the old days to have free ram, nowadays having free ram is a bad thing it means your memory is not doing anything.

Also this increased usage will make your apps start faster,and your performance increase.

The system uses it only when the memory is not being used by another app, if at any point an app will require more ram this prefetch will be flushed to allow the app to take the ram.

It's not like on older operating systems that you needed some ram freeing program to get ram for your apps.

No worries though mentality will change and people will notice having free ram is of no use to anyone.

;) 
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November 30, 2010 8:36:30 PM

Strange, but I suppose it makes sense that using my memory for doing random stuff is good. So long as it allows other programs to use that memory when need be.

Here's the picture of my resource monitor. I have no idea why over a GB is reserved for hardware. Any thoughts?
My Resource Monitor
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a c 347 } Memory
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 30, 2010 9:41:35 PM

Like I mentioned 0.5GB~0.75GB is normal, but not 1.25GB -> or ~0.5 GB too much. There's not enough 'missing' memory to explain anything but an on-board GPU {VGA} or some 'odd' device sharing the RAM. I too would suggest that you look for 'Memory Remapping' setting in the BIOS and Enable / see Manual {or Clear CMOS}. If you have special settings then correct prior to restart {e.g. AHCI, CPU Fan, etc}.

My assumptions:
A. Memory Remapping; -> Enable BIOS
B. Device 'sharing' memory
C. Partitions
D. Maximum Memory 'selected' ; BOOT Advanced Options {see image below} -> all unchecked

I doubt any of your memory is a problem unless you have a 512MB stick.

Please list:
1. RAM's Part-Numbers ; I prefer a link to the EXACT RAM - probably not a problem.
2. Partitions or other OSes installed.
3. Other PCIe Devices
You can use CPUz to identify {SPD tabs} - http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

Also, you 'can' test your memory with Memtest - http://www.memtest.org/

BOOT Advanced Options:


You RM:

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December 1, 2010 4:02:36 AM

My RAM (all 4 slots) is: G.Skill, F2-6400PHU1-1GBHZ
I've also done a couple memory tests (one from NVIDIA, one from the system bios), both have passed.

One thought: I do have two hard drives, both with Windows 7 on them. I only use one at a time and cycle between them whenever I reinstall my OS so I can retrieve files as needed. I don't believe anything should be active on the other drive though.

I'm also downloading the latest graphics drivers and mobo drivers, so hopefully that might help something.

I'll try the memory remap too, plus starting up in safe mode to see if it's software or hardware based.

Also, the only PCIe device I have is my GPU. My GPU is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260.
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December 1, 2010 5:42:43 AM

I also can't seem to find the memory remap function in my BIOS settings anywhere.
My BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00pg
Any idea if this BIOS is compatible with the memory remap function?

Also, is there any way I can see what programs or devices might be taking claim to my memory? I suspect the resource monitor must be getting that information from somewhere, I just want to know where.

Also, thanks for all your help thusfar.
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a c 347 } Memory
a c 716 V Motherboard
December 1, 2010 12:50:37 PM

**If you shutdown and simply unplug the second HDD at the MOBO and restart -- is there a decrease in H/W Reserved? Also, since you have (2) Windows 7 OSes -- if you unplug the primary does the secondary have the same problem?

** If you installed the OS on one HDD{1} and then on a second HDD{2} with the 'prior' HDD{1} still connected to the MOBO then critical Window files are on HDD{1} and HDD{2} is dependent on HDD{1}. Meaning HDD{2} cannot boot without HDD{1} being connected. If so the 'fix' is to disconnect HDD{1} and reinstall Windows on HDD{2}.
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December 8, 2010 7:34:17 AM

Sorry for the delay, I've just been busy with finals and wisdom tooth extraction. I'll test this soon to see if my other hard drive is tormenting the current drive.
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!