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 Post subject: Windows Vista 32bit: Memory Requirements (PART 2)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:57 am 
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Add RAM, RAM and more RAM

At first the new PC running Vista had 1 GB of RAM installed (four 256 MB Kingston DIMMs) which was more than enough under XP. I say at first because it quickly became painfully obvious that 1 GB is the bare minimum to run Vista if, like me, you do heavy multi-tasking.

On Vista, after only half an hour of running stuff, WorkShelf's RAM Module would indicate that roughly 1.80 GB of memory was already in use (Page File + Physical), and everything started slowing down seriously.

I removed two of the 256 MB DIMMs and replaced them with two 1 GB Kingston DIMMs for a total of 2.5 GB of RAM. What a difference!

One thing that amused me was how the Vista Task Manager now displays Physical Memory usage instead of the usual Physical + Page File usage. I was even more amused when, after googling for a bit, I realized nobody seemed to understand why this change trully came about (think about it, up until now, ALL Windows versions reported Page File usage + Physical Memory. Why the sudden change if Vista still manages memory the same way Windows always did?).

You see, when you run a program, part of it remains permanently resident in Physical memory (the Working Set), but the other part that is not used often is paged out into Virtual memory (i.e.; the page file) and only re-loaded back into RAM when needed. The thing is, the total memory being used by a process is the sum of the part resident in RAM plus the part in the Page File. This is what previous versions of Windows reported, and what the WorkShelf RAM module reports.

If Windows Vista did this, however, users would be shocked at the sheer amount of RAM used by the OS alone! So Microsoft cheated: they now report only the sum of physical memory being used by all processes, which, as you've realized by now, is only a small part of the equation.

One thing I did like was the new Resource Monitor available through Task Manager, though.


Jorge Coelho
Winstep Xtreme - Xtreme Power! - Winstep Software Technologies

Last edited by winstep on Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:35 pm
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Location: Australia
Very interesting. I like to read about this sort of thing when written by someone who knows what they're talking about :) And once again it makes me want to stay in XP.

Because skinning should be fun!

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