Recently I've noticed, via a RAM usage meter from a rainmeter skin/theme, that about 50% of my RAM is being used at all times. This is quite recent, within the past two or three weeks that it has started. It starts a bit after I start up my PC. If I turn off my computer and turn it back on, it'll go back down to it's usual 20-30% or lower usage that it's usually at when I'm not running any games, but running regular applications such as Steam, MSN, Firefox, Team Speak, and sometimes Skype.
I have 8GB of RAM, so I don't think 50% usage is not right. Before this problem, I would rarely go over 60%, even while running a game, but since this has started happening, I'll go up to 70-80% when playing games, which causes a tiny bit of stuttering.
Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do to see what is causing this to happen, or what it could be causing it and how I can fix it?
I'm a know-nothing when it comes to hardware. This computer is the first I put together/built myself. It worked perfectly for several months, and this is rather sudden. I don't notice anything unusual in my programs list or the process list in Task Manager, either.
There are a couple of obvious candidates, neither of them hardware. This kind of problem is rarely hardware.
One possibility is a memory leak in something you have running by default. It's possible that a new program, or an update to an existing program, installed a driver or service which is leaking memory, and slowly chewing up your RAM. You can bring up Task Manager, show the process tab, and sort by memory size - if something grows slowly as time passes, then you may have found the culprit. Investigate carefully, though - you don't want to blame something innocent, and you don't want to terminate any process without understanding what it is and what it does.
Another possibility is a virus. You may have visited an infected site, or been victim of a vulnerability exploit, or an infected e-mail, lots of possibilities. Are you running an anti-virus? Is it up to date? It may be worth trying another antivirus to double-check. Just make sure you don't run any of the fake AV products out there - running one of them could even be the cause of your problem.
I did not have that option active, but now that I have turned it on, I don't see anything that is eating to much resources, not enough to make a big difference, anyways, in my opinion.
There is a lot of SVhost processes, if that's anything. 11 of them, none of them exceeds 20k, most not coming over 8k. I'm not sure if anything is there that isn't supposed to be there.
SVCHOST is simply a "host" service (hence its name). Some services are written as DLLs, and run inside svchost; it can reduce their size, and multiple services can share an address space using svchost.