Hello! I am running Windows 7 64bit on a Dell XPS 15z, with 6GB RAM and a 2.70GHz i7 dual core processor.
My question is why is my laptop not using all of its free RAM? I understand some RAM, generally around 2GB I think, is used to run Windows and the graphics etc., but I should still have around 4GB to use. Yet, I have never used more than 2GB of RAM even with multiple tabs open in Chrome, and multiple large files open in Photoshop.
Here's a screenshot of the task manager:
As you can see, I have 6GB total with 2GB cached (assuming for Windows and graphics and whatnot) and 4GB available, yet I only use 2GB and have 2GB free that I seem to never use. What can I do to utilize the extra RAM that it seems to refuse to use, even when going long periods of time 90%-100% CPU usage?
As most applications are 32 bit they will only address memory according to that limitation. Most programs only load what they require into RAM and this requirement rarely exceeds a few hundred MB of RAM. The extra RAM is to your advantage however. Win 7 caches a lot of data to RAM and when you run multiple applications there will be more than enough RAM for them. Observe how the OS has cached 1987 MB of RAM. When I video edit I have observed my entire 16 GB of RAM cached up and when that cache ran out there was an observable drop in performance.
A computer at 100% usage might not require all that RAM for the tasks it is doing.
It depends on the application. For example, encoding videos pushes CPU Usage to max yet it doesn't use much RAM at all.
Programs like Premiere Pro (video editing) require a ton of RAM to load the preview videos into and will end up using all of your RAM when it needs to.
So all the applications you are using so far are just saying that they don't need that extra RAM. If they ever need to, they will use it automatically.