September 22, 2006
Windows Vista has a radically different approach to memory management. Check out the "Physical Memory, Free" column in my Task Manager:
At the time this screenshot was taken, this machine had a few instances of IE7 running, plus one remote desktop. I'm hardly doing anything at all, yet I only have 6 megabytes of free physical memory.
Now compare with this screenshot of Windows XP's Task Manager under similar low-load conditions:
Under "Physical Memory, Available" I have approximately 1.5 gigabytes of free physical memory, as you'd expect.
So what's going on here? Why is Vista using so much memory when I'm doing so very little?
To answer that question, you have to consider what your computer's physical memory (RAM) is for. Just as a hypothetical, let's say you wanted to create a new text file:
- You double-click on the notepad icon.
- The Notepad executable loads from disk into memory.
- Notepad executes.
- Notepad allocates free memory to store your text document.
So Notepad clearly needs a little memory for itself: enough to execute, and to store the contents of the text document it's displaying. But that's maybe a couple megabytes, at most. If even that. What about the other 2,046 megabytes of system memory?
You have to stop thinking of system memory as a resource and start thinking of it as a a cache. Just like the level 1 and level 2 cache on your CPU, system memory is yet another type of high-speed cache that sits between your computer and the disk drive.
And the most important rule of cache design is that empty cache memory is wasted cache memory. Empty cache isn't doing you any good. It's expensive, high-speed memory sucking down power for zero benefit. The primary mission in the life of every cache is to populate itself as quickly as possible with the data that's most likely to be needed-- and to consistently deliver a high "hit rate" of needed data retrieved from the cache. Otherwise you're going straight to the hard drive, mister, and if you have to ask how much going to the hard drive will cost you in performance, you can't afford it.
Diomidis Spinellis published an excellent breakdown of the cache performance ratios in a typical PC circa January 2006:
|Nominal ||Worst case ||Sustained ||Productivity |
|Component ||size ||latency ||throughput ||$1 buys ||(Bytes read / s / $) |
|(MB/s) ||Worst case ||Best case |
|L1 D cache ||64 KB ||1.4ns ||19022 ||10.7 KB ||7.91Ã‚Â·1012 ||2.19Ã‚Â·1014 |
|L2 cache ||512 KB ||9.7ns ||5519 ||12.8 KB ||1.35Ã‚Â·1012 ||7.61Ã‚Â·1013 |
|DDR RAM ||256 MB ||28.5ns ||2541 ||9.48 MB ||3.48Ã‚Â·1014 ||2.65Ã‚Â·1016 |
|Hard drive ||250 GB ||25.6ms ||67 ||2.91 GB ||1.22Ã‚Â·1011 ||2.17Ã‚Â·1017 |
In summary, here's how much faster each cache memory type in your computer is than the hard drive:
|System memory||37x faster
|CPU Level 2 cache||82x faster
|CPU Level 1 cache||283x faster
Those figures explain why I only have 6 megabytes of "free" memory in Windows Vista. Vista is trying its darndest to pre-emptively populate every byte of system memory with what it thinks I might need next. It's running a low-priority background task that harvests previously accessed data from the disk and plops it into unused system memory. They even have a fancy marketing name for it-- SuperFetch:
In previous versions of Windows, system responsiveness could be uneven. You may have experienced sluggish behavior after booting your machine, after performing a fast user switch, or even after lunch. Although too many carbohydrates might slow you down after lunch, your computer slows down for different reasons. When you're not actively using your computer, background tasks -- including automatic backup and antivirus software scans -- take this opportunity to run when they will least disturb you. These background tasks can take space in system memory that your applications were using. After you start to use your PC again, it can take some time to reload your data into memory, slowing down performance.
SuperFetch understands which applications you use most, and preloads these applications into memory, so your system is more responsive. SuperFetch uses an intelligent prioritization scheme that understands which applications you use most often, and can even differentiate which applications you are likely to use at different times (for example, on the weekend versus during the week), so that your computer is ready to do what you want it to do. Windows Vista can also prioritize your applications over background tasks, so that when you return to your machine after leaving it idle, it's still responsive.
This isn't a new concept, of course. But Vista treats system memory like a cache much more aggressively and effectively than any other version of Windows. As alluded to in the above lunch anecdote-- and as you can see from the Task Manager screenshot above-- Windows XP has no qualms whatsoever about leaving upwards of a gigabyte of system memory empty. From a caching perspective, this is unfathomable. Vista tries its damndest to fill that empty system memory cache as soon as it can.
Although I am a total believer in the system-memory-as-cache religion, SuperFetch can still have some undesirable side effects. I first noticed that something was up when I fired up Battlefield 2 under Vista and joined a multiplayer game. Battlefield 2 is something of a memory hog; the game regularly uses a gigabyte of memory on large 64-player multiplayer maps. During the first few minutes of gameplay, I noticed that the system was a little sluggish, and the drive was running constantly. This was very unusual and totally unlike the behavior under Windows XP. Once the map is loaded and you join the game, the entire game is in memory. What could possibly be loading from disk at that point? Well, SuperFetch saw a ton of memory freed to make room for the game, and dutifully went about filling the leftover free memory on a low-priority background disk thread. Normally, this would be no big deal, but even a low-priority background disk thread is pretty noticeable when you're playing a twitch shooter online with 63 other people at a resolution of 1600x1200.
I'm perfectly fine letting SuperFetch have its way with my system memory. The question shouldn't be "Why does Vista use all my memory?", but "Why the heck did previous versions of Windows use my memory so ineffectively?" I don't know. Maybe the rules were different before 2 gigabytes was a mainstream memory configuration.
The less free memory I have, the better; every byte of memory should be actively working on my behalf at all times. However, I do wish there was a way to tell SuperFetch to ixnay on the oadinglay when I'm gaming.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
Had 1GB on my laptop, with about 600MB being used; added one more GB and now the usage is about 1GB. The goal was to reduce hardrive generated heat(and the fan noise), but the way it turned out, filling up the last available memory slot, (i'm guessing) has filled up an air pocket and my fans are running more often than before :( Can't believe the memory would be generating as much heat as the hardrive spinning...)
Hmm, for those people that are complaining about memory usage in the way this article states, try looking at linux computer memory usage. It is the same and linux has been doing it for a long time. Vista is just catching up on this.
Excellent Article! And Thanks for the Insight! Now I see there are plenty of comment and blog reactions to your article. Is it possible for you to rewrite/add something to your article..which takes some of the important points in the blog/comment reactions and advice us *How exactly Superfetch is good and under what circumstances, or it should be disabled under certain circumstances? And even if it should be disabled, how do you go around doing it ?* I guess lot of people would appreciate the eloquent way you phrase the problem and solutions to it. Thanks!
Interesting. I'll have to start yelling at my local linux guy because he obviously hasnt optimised linux to use up all my memory on duplicate cache requests that fill up my memory and decrease the performance of my computer.
Damn him! How dare he write something that isnt broken and bloated!
I like the days in NT4 where the original writers of the cache algorithms knew how badly designed they were and capped its memory limit at 25% of your system memory. Oh, if only the marketing drones in a technical conference showing off win2k beta1 werent shown that they couldnt increase the cache memory to use up 1/2 the system resources then we'd have computers that would still be kinda fast but wouldnt need 4gb of ram to be running 'efficiently'
Seems to me like we're missing the point about caching. The trick with a cache is how to remove unwanted pages, not fill them up with gunk that won't be used anytime soon. You buy enough memory for your computer so it can cache your normal working set of programs and data. You don't buy twice the amount of RAM you need on the offchance you're going to open that powerpoint or whatever that you need every couple of weeks.
Agreed re the sticky bit - for those who don't know the history of Unix you could apply a sticky bit to an executable that you expected to use all the time...when it was first executed the binary then "stuck" in memory. I should add that Unix only needed this facillity when RAM was very scarce and caching algorithms primitive. We're talking about the 1970's here.
One of the first comment from new users on linux is: "Hey, Linux is eating all my memory. With Windows, I had much more free memory!".
After explaining that Linux use the memory for caching disk access, they are happy with that.
Very funny to see the same question on windows some years later... :)
The strategy for using memory is different, but the question is the same.
Its optional, all I did is switched off superfetch from the services by using msonfig and under services browse to superfetch and just untick it
I HAVE 2gb of memory and I AM using vista 64bit ultima..... its super fast when I play bf2142 after switching the SF off, I had the same problem before when SF is on and playing the game.
Note: You need at least 4GB of memory in order to play any game smoothly + SF on.
Finally a way to disable SF. I play company of heroes (COH) on my brand new box, an E6600, 2GB ddr2, 8800GTS, runs in 1280x1024 in max settings in COH in XP with no problems w.r.t. disk activity/lags and I get great performance.
I then tried playing under Vista, and I ran into heavy laggy situations nearly instantly, since COH managed to use 1.3GB RAM. The drive was constantly active during the lags, I'm sure it's SF bogging it down. After a game COH crashes if I tab out to desktop, so maybe I'll get lucky and avoid that too when I disable SF (though I doubt that is related directly to SF).
I'll try disabling SF when I get back home from work today, and find out if that saves me. I'd love to use Vista because of the added security features, but I won't sacrifice my gaming experience like that since I don't have problems with security in XP very often.
The biggest shame is that Windows in the year 2007 is still a "hardcoded" piece of shit. It will be pretty amazing if we could "improve" the system on our own.
You idiots that disable the swap file are complete fools. Of course, this is the internet, full of millions of "self-made experts".....oh pahleze. ;)
is there a way to make vista use less memory for the cache ?
Guys,,this vista caused me many problems,,in many ways,....I'm from Bulgaria and I'm sorry if my english doesn't sound to you good....I don't know the hardware very well but i know one thing,,I have never
seen system like Vista usin' so much memory all the time.That's makes me worried!!!!Why,why,,why.......the pc doesn't do anything,,,,and i'm using 700,...800 MB from 2G,...?????and if I start doing somthing going up to 1300 MB,,,what the .....uck is that????????I'm wondering if i start to do something with 3ds Max ,,how much memory do I have to have???????2,3,4,5 GB??????????????
I suffered. After just disabling superfetch, my lag stopped. I use 1G cpu with 655 ram and I changed everything and it lagged as hell and after I disabling superfetch it stopped. -- lol
1GB CPU is "weak" at best for Vista, no wonder you seemed to have lag
Hi there, interesting article (and comments).
1. Linux uses that same caching strategy for years, just without superfetch. At college I had my linux machine running constantly for weeks and after a few days it touched the disk only when I saved or loaded a file. All applications were cached in memory.
2. Also the free moemory syndrome you observed in Vista is same in Linux. As explained above, free memory is wasted memory.
3. Superfetch is usefull for people with regular behavior paterns. Start PC, open outlook, word, explorer, winamp and work, close at end of shift. Other than that, it is a hindrance.
4. I'd think it gets worse with more RAM you have. Imagine that after booting superfetch is trying to precache 4GB of ram. That takes several minutes even from a fast hdd. I once saw a linux vs winxp comparison where the guy measured boot up times. he did time the start of the OS until the hdd stopped crunching data. XP was the winner (guess why). I'd like to see that test repeated with vista on a 4GB machine and superfetch on :-))
Hey, whoa, I just read all of the comments here, took me a good 20 minutes.
Thanks to everyone who posted usefull information :P
I work with MS Servers all day. I have a half decent laptop that I generaly only use for work (RDP, Office, Internet etc.), its a 1.6 Duo, 1gig RAM. Worked perfectly for my needs under XP. I recently dual booted my machine with Vista (instantly disabled all the bubbly theme crap and aero bar) and noticed a severe drop in performance just using IE and office. Not to mention the fact that my laptop lags sometimes when just playing an MP3 (becomes jerky).
I have disable SF, Indexing and auto defrag and have seen a massive increase in performance.
Now as I understand it, the whole idea of the above services was to improve the experience of a user just like myself. I don't play games on this laptop, I use it for work, same stuff day in, day out. Why then has my experiance improved from disabling these? Somethings not quite right there...
Linux users have the pre-load that is like the old prefetch used in Windows XP. Windows Vista superfetch is better than linux's pre-load, because the superfetch technology uses artificial intelligence technics.
To help XP to use more of it's RAM constructively, I have been using a progam called Speedbooster by disktrix
I know it's doing something..
I experienced the same thing playing Battlefield 2142 demo with 2 gbs of Ram. Drive would constantly run like it was burning it up. So I just put in 4gbs to test it out. IT STILL DOES IT! GRR. Forever and ever, as you play the game, the disk is working away, getting hotter and hotter. BF2142 does not do this under XP.
I don't know if SUPERFETCH IS THE CULPRIT, but it may also be SEARCH INDEXER... watching under the Resource Meter (reached by pulling up task manager, then clicking Resource Monitor button under Performance Tab, then dropping down Disk drop down menu), I saw it grinding away as well.
SO... IT MAY ALSO BE THAT THE BLASTED SEARCH INDEXER... I swear, if that's anything like that blasted Fast Find under Micrsoft Office, I'm going to shit a brick.
"How do I disable the search indexer?
After you install Windows Vista it will begin looking through your hard disks and building an index of your files. This is done in the background at a very low priority so as not to disturb you too much, so this process can take a long time. Durring this time, you will notice your hard drive light is constantly flashing.
While this process is supposed to be unobtrusive, some people have reported that the indexer slows their computer down so much that it's practically unusable. In this case, it is necessary to disable the indexer by following these steps:
1. Go Start: Control Panels
2. Click on icon Administrative Tools
3. Click on Services
4. Scroll down list to Window Search
5. Stop the process
6. Right click on it, do properties, change from Automatic Start to Manual
Probably windows vista has been tilored on low level users which use a computers for web browsing or listening to music, so the file load is the most expensive thing they may experience. Cachin files to memory then can be a good shortcut to achieve better performance.
The problem is for advanced users that really depend on system performance and free memory, like CAD, 3d animation softwares. Let's plot a simple scenario:
1) my Windows Vista boots and start to fill all my memory of crap I probably don't need.
2) Wow, my usually used software start in 2 seconds instead of 12.. but daily I load it just a couple of times in 10 hours work. I gained 20 seconds of productivity in my whole working day.
3) Then I start using that software. Contente cration softwares, like 3d animation packages, are very resopurce hungry. They must be anle to grow from 200MB to 2GB of needed memory in just few milliseconds. 4) Since the memory is not just free I suppose my application memory allocation will require much more time, because all the windows cachin crap needs to be flushed.
5) Differently from a game than once loaded in memory it can run pretty smooth for all the gaming session (so games could soffer of perfomance degaradation only in the ferts few minutes?). COntent creation software, ans scientific simulation softwares will keep to allocate a free memory as they need it. Maybe the program need 1GB just for a couple of seconds, then it will run with a low memory usega for other seconds and then up again. This is svery tipical. I'm pretty sure Windows will try to fill up the memory again as soon as it's released from my application, resulting a strong performace degradation. Windowns will use lot of processing power just to load data into memory, and just few second after all that cache need to be flushed because I need that memory.
All this will result in a very strong performance degradation.
I completely disagree with people that says unused memory is just wasted memory. Filling memory with any stuff is consuming processin power, and a computer have to execute just the absolute minimum to be as fast as it can when the user is requesting it to compute something.
I think I won't move to windows vista unless I don't have any other choiche.
I've had a vaio laptop running xp since 2004 and i'm probably going to buy a new laptop before the end of the year, but i'm concerned about how well vista will work, as i often use demanding applications. This is mostly because i'm an architecture student so as well as needing to run small programs like a few IE windows, Messenger, media player, at the same time, i have also in the past used Photoshop and Illustrator at the same time as archiCAD, and wonder whether the demanding visuals of Vista couple with the memory management system will be able to efficiently manage switching between these programs.
Something I find with XP is that i will have to restart my laptop to 'refresh' the RAM, as it seems to clog-up, i don't see why after a program has closed the RAM it was using can be cleared, but obviously i am no expert, and i would just like to know if anyone posting on here has any advice?
I HAVE SAME problem with Ram as lot of user are already saying,but mine notebook is having one more problem.
"when i start notebook the free ram shows 700 mb and use memory shows 800.the addition doen not count to 2040 since i have 2 GB RAM.
after runnign any small application it comes down to 140 MB.
Problem Starts now when i start installing any software (i trying Visual Studio 2005 then Free memory Comedown up to 6MB then error message shows that "can not copy delete/setup.exe file to system".
again on rebooting, and without running any application installation starts but slows down drastically.(seems like vista was trying my patience)and i gave up..
can any one comment on this Vista Installation Issue..
How can you really compare memory usage if you have 61 processes running on Vista, while only 44 processes running on Xp?
Well theres one thing for sure.
Vista us a money hungry Operating System.
I mean Bill Gates is Rich enough,why does he make Vista so expensive?
Anyway Vista sucks on average computers.
Well im running windows vista ultimate 64bit version.
and I dont seem to have much problem on my comp.
If it helps in anyway here is my comp specifications.
Intel Dual Core 3.6 Ghz extended 64 technology.
2.5 GB RAM(supports upto 4 GB RAM.
My question is "how much is Microsoft paying you?"
So I look at that screen shot and I see 1200 MB in cache, 2045 of system memory, and 6 MB free. And I have to wonder -- what is so hard to understand here?
The problem is NOT the 1200 MB of cache. Agressive use of memory for caching is a very good thing. (In fact, Linux has been doing it for years)
The problem is the 800 MB of memory required to run "a few instances of IE... plus one remote desktop".
Also: "I noticed that the system was a little sluggish, and the drive was running constantly. This was very unusual and totally unlike the behavior under Windows XP."
How about 'unacceptable'? If it were simply releasing cache, it would not need to access the disk drive. It really sounds like it was swapping things out to the hard drive INSTEAD OF releasing cache. That's just ridiculous.
***HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE***
There is something wrong with this picture. The fact that we are even having this discussion, asking ourselves how well our current generation power-user applications such as 3D, Cad, Audio, Gaming, etc. will work is rediculous. I don't care how you try to slice it, machines with MORE than capable hardware should not see degradation in performance of software because of Vista - that's backwards!
Definitely feels better with superfetch turned off...
DISABLED in services
and if you have, let say router with firewall, you can disable windows defender and windows firewall and increase HDD access time by considerable amount.. I recommend that you use nod32 and it will give you much better substitute for defender, and all together I am finally happy with my system performance.
Core 2 Duo T5500
1GB ram 667
Hhhm, definitely see an improvement after disabling the search rubbish and auto defrag, they can stay off. Superfetch off left me with more free RAM, but the system seemed a little more sluggish.
I have a Turion 64x2 with 1 Gig RAM and after switching off the search indexer and defrag, aswell as a few other unneeded services, I am left with a system that works much better with superfetch activated.
However, I do really game with this machine much, more general usage, but games seem a little laggy for the first 20 or 30 seconds, but after that they are fine, I simply wait a few seconds before playing.
Overall performance of Vista Home Premium for me is better than XP.
:edit: sorry above should read "However, I do *NOT* really game with this machine much"
Just an idea, maybe microsoft could take into consideration and giving control back to the consumer.
Maybe a taskbar
1st thing on the taskbar has highest priority, last thing on taskbar has least priority. Like numbered 1 to 5.
And being able to drag and drop applications to different areas on taskbar to adjust priority.
You can keep an eye on your priorities and know at all times what your priorities are just by looking at your taskbar. And the consumer has total control. And user friendly because the taskbar has always been there, therefore they know what it looks like.
Then do something similar for background tasks ie virus scanner etc, like the toolbar.
Just an idear.
I'm in the same situation as you Gareth. I use my laptop mostly for work, internet, and sometimes some other programs and I've experienced various problems and delays just with playing a playlist in windows media player, having 3 word files open and 5 tabs open in my web browser. This is ridiculous to have in a new computer with just about the fastest processor in laptops available t7200 core 2 duo, 2gb of ram, and 100gb 7200rpm hard drive. My old laptop with pentium M, 1gb of ram could do three times each of those tasks plus run other programs without a hiccup (that laptop got stolen so that's why I had to get a new one). I've always been a Microsoft fan, but my frustrations are with Microsoft for being a billion dollar company but not being able to deliver a functional product. I have no idea why other companies that offer their products for free make products that are twice as good as many of Microsoft products.
you guys are complaining? I have amd 64 X2 4200+ with 2GB of ddr2 RAM, i did a clean install of vista business. once the comp starts up, i have about 45MB, thats right, 45MB of free ram left. msn messenger takes a min to start up, and since i do a lot of programming, visual basic 2005 takes about 2-3 mins to fully start up. i think thats ridiculous. my old intel pentium III with 800MHZ processor and 368MB RAM running XP pro was doing a way better job than vista. and lets not mention that vista IS A rip off of Mac OS X.
check this out and laugh your ass off, cause i sure did.
Vista is all bollox. I use windows 98 with an updated PC, and its fast!. Much better than all this Vista XP stuff. And you can easily pirate stuff too!.
sure. win98 is a GREAT oS.
LOL.. for morons who believe this.....
Ok i have been reading all posts and my conclusion is this:
First off, alot of linux users here are saying that linux is doing this all the time, i doubt it. It might have better memory usage or whatever, but what vista does doesn't work.
A.I. if that is what superfetch does in the most basic way of AI then it is only usefull for the most basic users, the people that use it for work, start up mail, working program IE. then doing whatever you do with those programs, and at the end of the day you turn it all off and go home.
An advanced user never does the same with the pc so the AI would never know what you will be doing that day. That is if Vista has any form of AI.
Why is Vista slow on older machines? Because graphics and 3d in Vista are used way more then xp ever used and therefor needs a new age pc.
I mean, 1 gig was the minimum allready a couple of years ago. We are getting better processors, better graphics cards and others but why not more memory??
I just tryed to unpack 2 rarfiles both arround 4 gig and then started up IE it took me 2 min to start it up, i mean my pentium 2 was faster than that.
But a problem with all microsoft products is, that they aren't optimised for all the drivers, programs, ways of use,... something that would be impossible since there are millions of ways people use their pc. To be true i always sayed, don't switch os till they are about a year old. With vista i had to since the 8800 GTX uses directx 10 and will need viste to get the most out of my card. I mean we all hate microsoft, but in the end 85% orso of the people use it, including me.
Bottem line is, i and i think many with me don't what everything in my ram, i want to have my programs start up faster not have my file unpacked 1 min faster but meanwhile having to look at the status bar waiting for it to be unpacked because it won't start up any other programs.
For now i am going to see how i can decease the visual and the use of Vista and trying to get it optimized for my way of pc use. I don't care how vista looks since i am looking at the programs i am using, not at my desktop.
I am not saying i am an expert, just pointing out the way i see it.
Just one interesting little comment popped up that was screaming to corrected, namely this:
4gb of DDR1... Move up to DDR2 and enjoy some real performance.
So in other words, my 2GB DDR2 800mhz would blow your Corsair 4GB DDR1 (400mhz) out of the water.
Fact of the matter here is that memory clock speed barely matters any more.. DDR400 vs DDR2/800 has very little difference; even DDR2/533 vs DDR2/1066 has little, if any, difference. Core 2 sees some (SMALL) benefit from running memory synchronously with the FSB, but otherwise there is no "MASSIVE" performance benefit. I challenge any of you to, empirically, prove that memory that runs twice as slow (i.e., DDR2/533 vs DDR2/1066) can make a real (5%) difference in performance. You'll find that it doesn't, on the same platform (CPU, motherboard, memory) having the memory running at DDR2/1066 will make -VERY- little difference in performance compared to DDR2/533.
PC's have already passed the point where higher memory frequencies translates to very small performance gains. There's no point in purchasing those expensive "fast" and hot running memory kits. They'll perform only marginally better then memory that's significantly cheaper.
"But Vista treats system memory like a cache much more aggressively and effectively than any other version of Windows."
So why is it sooooooo much slower than XPSP2 ? The most basic of tasks such as opening Notepad are dreadfully slow when compared to XP and even Win2K Pro was faster on a 1GHz machine with 256MB of RAM. Today I have an AMD 64x2 4600+ with 2GB of Super Talent RAM, an ATI x600 256MB video card and 1TB of SATA II drives all capable of spewing data at incredible rates and yet Vista is simply dog slow. This whole bit about SuperFetch and other technologies built into Vista would be great if they actually worked however what I'm seeing is a return to bloatware that is mandating unnecessary hardware expense with little if any return on the investment.
Further, the GUI just plain sux. If I wanted a Mac I would have bought one. I am well over the age of 10 and haven't watched Popeye by myself for quite some time. I want a real file manager not some sluggish piece of bloatware that has too many capabilities to do things I could care less about. And all of it is wrapped up in a nice dark Aero theme. YUCK !
And why didn't they include the XP theme rather than the Windows Classic ? I could deal with Classic if it really looked like Win2K but it's some bastardized mix of Vista and win2K that makes me cringe everytime I see it.
Allow me to clarify one thing. I use my computer for work and basic entertainment. I couldn't care less about W.O.W., BF 2142, Halo, or even playing flight sims. I have something called a "life" and most people playing these games will tell you that they don't so they bought one and installed it in a computer. No, I use a computer for building websites. For accessing information from groups of like-minded people. For finding materials and services for purchase. For organizing documents, images, music and videos. I want to do all of the above and more in the most effecient and most enjoyable manner possible. Why do I ride a 1000cc motorcycle ? Because it's fast, it's effecient and it's fun. Vista is none of these.
Silver you know what they say. Don't like it don't use it. When XP first appeared it took a while to wait for the shut down feature... now it's faster. give Vista some time and the hardware will make it faster... it's a lil bit more secure than XP, and it has a nice GUI. I have to say one more thing. if all the big companies like Intel, AMD and other will switch to Vista it means that this version of Windows is better than the old one (that's why its new to be better)
Do you realy have to defrag RAM?
Having my frequently used programs cached in memory waiting to be activated quickly instead of the slow HDD load is fantastic but I just wish I had control over which programs should be cached or not and then it would be brilliant!
On my Vista PC I have timed starting an application directly after reboot and login. As I am a developer this was done to check performance of the application with an empty filesystem cache because it will access a lot of small files. The result was kind of interesting, at least to me.
The application startup just after login is 2-3 times longer whenever the ReadyBoost service is enabled. This is regardless of whether the USB flash memory is plugged in or not. Using the aforementioned method with the Task Manager and the Resource Monitor it looks to me like readyboot is doing some fancy boot analysis and saving the result to disk. Then if the flash memory is plugged in this process will then continue by writing/reading to the ReadyBoost flash memory which isn't that resource intensive.
I tend to want to start to use applications directly after login so this method of "boot speedup" isn't that useful to me. It is cheating to simply show the desktop before it is usable :)
Anyone with similar experience with readboo(s)t at startup?
I'm kinda with one or two others here on different ways.......:
1) yes XP was terrible when it first came out but now its great (ok maybe slight exageration)
2) I just bought a desktop Intel D915 processor, 512mb ram, 128mb ATI, and its terribly slow. It's like someone is inside winding up a generator (buying a 1gb ram next week)
Point being why do they release things that don't work properly. Ooh buy this Car with no engine, buy this house with no windows, buy this woman with no.......you get the point.
Raaaaa but knows it will get better when they release 'Windows Vista Service Pack 5 (2011)' which incidentally will be just before they release Windows Twix.
okay dumb moment ----- noob whatever....lol
Physical Memory (MB)
Now i'm doing the math but what is wrong.......... 446-178=4..... Yeah i'd like someone to explain it in a bit more simpleton words.
Hi Adrian, I suspect that you see 446 mb because 64 MB of your 512 MB is shared by on-board graphics as video memory.
I definitely recommend 1 GB minimum for Vista, just as I recommended 512 MB for Windows XP back in 2002/2003..
Hello Mr Atwood,
Yeah, i had 512mb on my old pc back in 2002 (XP). But when i bought new one no-one in store mentions how Vista is RAM hungry.
I was kinda referring to the 'FREE' part being only 4. Sorry. 446mb Total minus the cached amount = free. but the math don't work.
Purchasing 1gb (ordering shall we say) friday cant wait to see if puts a rocket up its arse or merely pushes it a little. Can upgrade to 2gb though if necessary.
1GB ram for Vista. I run it with just 512MB and it works just as well as XP on just about the same load. So I say Vista works fine on 512. After all I get no slowdown in any of my games and some of them need a lot of resources. For a 512MB memory system and I even run aero. I don’t run the sidebar all the time because I don’t see the point.
I run vista on the same laptop i ran XP on earlier. In my experience Vista is a lot slower. So this new way of handling memory doesn't seem all that good. Apps do not start/shut down faster. And the boot process is so slow I have to busy myself with something else during (like rebooting my Linux machine 10 times in the same amount of time, just for fun) or I'll freak out with technostress :) It seems Vista tries do do so many things it'll drown in its own mess and you have to reboot to get something remotely like performance out of it. And I'ts not like some person wrote "if you don't like it don't use it". I HAVE to use it, it's my job, and millions of other ppl use it. The pc at home is happily converted to Ubuntu and, surpise surprise, it's fast as hell.
I have noticed my computer now writes to the pagefile all the time but yet has 1 gig of RAM free. I don't know how this could speed up performance. I opened Excel and paging began immediately because I had 5 other apps open. Not good
Its how most linux distribution are doing since years.
Its how it Should had been Way before M$ "invented" it.
Vista is a good example of a bad OS. Huge effort into things which are not really required, and drowning required things.
I benchmarked Vista against XP -
REsults on http://vistams.tripod.com/pp.gif
XP beats Vista in every damn thing, 2D and 3D performance is damn low in vista.
Some people might say Directx 10 is required in Vista. But why the hell is Integer math so slow ? Every damn thing is slow, even hard disk access is slower. Does directx 10 solve all these problems ?
I dont care about Super Fetch Or Hyper Fetch, or Fetch the Whole damn Hard disk on the RAM, i just want it to beat XP in most of the benchmarks.
If superfetch in Vista caches often used apps into memory then why on earth does show up more memory usage when you start an application? No matter what application I start up, the task manager shows a increase in memory used, and lowered when I shut it down.
So what "often" used apps is stored/cached in memory?
I'm a noob when it comes to stuff like this, but I don't like the idea of Vista almost using 1GB of ram after bootup (normally 600-700MB).
Is there some place that describes in detail how Superfetch works officially in detail?
"officially" Superfetch works as Microsoft says, but you should know how it "really works".
I dont know much, but will tell you what i know -
It Keeps a record of what you regularly use. Most often used application get the first preference to be cashed on RAM.
Second most used gets second chance, and so on. It Fills the RAM till there is no RAM left. If in Vista your RAM is not getting filled, either you dont have many applications on the system, or you dont use many applications, or Superfetch is turned off.
So when you are in Vista, just pray to god that you should only need the most used applications, or welcome to the really slow hard disk access. But since most used applications are already on RAM, fewer hard disk transfers are needed than in XP. But it does need hard disk access to fill the RAM initially, I it does it in background, when computer is idle.
But after benchmarking with XP, there is no real performance improvement. Vista is slower in all benchmarks.
I would agree Vista is slower in every way. I have a vista ultimate laptop with 2 GB RAM and 7200 RPM HDDs and even if I disable SuperFetch vista's doesn't perform. I had the exact same model running XP and I was very happy with the performance. Since the HDD was faster applications/data loaded faster and believe it or not 5400 to 7200 RPM made a big difference. Even the same fast hardware (actually a bit faster CPU) is much slower than XP. In my case I can hear the hard disk going weather I am doing anything or not, and this causes the laptop to get/stay hot. The Visual Studio 2005 loads a little bit faster and usually opens a large solution a tiny bit faster than it did on XP. Now this is fine if I am only opening 1-2 apps. As soon as I start opening more apps/windows which I often do, since there isn't enough memory available and the apps are not pre-loaded in cache (actually RAM) now vista has to first clear ram to make room for the new apps being loaded or it will use the page file (which is actually worse).
Out of the 2 GB RAM 340 is free and I am only using one IE window, one VS 2005, one Outlook 2003, and a yahoo messanger. As soon as I opening SQL Server 2005 Management Studio the free memory dropped to 290. SQL 2005 studio loaded fast but if it was already in memory then why did the same use up more memory?
Page files were needed becauses system's didn't have enough memory so they provided virtual RAM so that the applications could still function and get the RAM they needed even if the system lacked RAM. So if we have 2 GB of RAM then why do we still need 2 GB of Page file? 1 GB space on hard disk is being used as virtual memory while the 969 MB of RAM is used as a "cache", I think thats either a stupid choice or a very shrewed choice on Microsoft's part.
Anyone in their senses (someone who is not a die hard worshiper of Microsoft) will agree that it doesn't make sense to use 2 GB of hard disk space as virtual RAM for applications while 969 MB of RAM is used to load stuff that the user may/may not use.
Well, anyway there are plenty of other thing wrong with Vista, it freezes so many times (might be that the hardware is getting too hot since vista keeps running the disks/memory to preload stuff). Graphics performance is poor although I have 512 MB dedicated video memory.
I hope someone at Microsoft is ready and hopefully in Vista service pack they will do something to fix these issues. Btw, turning off the SuperFetch service doesn't do anything the system works the same way and still uses the similar amount of memory for "Cache".
Talk about performance!!!
in IE 7 on Vista I simply pressed the down arrow key to scroll down to the bottom of the page, and while scrolling the CPU usage was 75% until I reached the bottom of the page which took 3-4 seconds. I don't really see any consistent/measurable performance improvement from a P4 machine with 512 RAM and a Core2Duo 2 GHz machine with 2 GB RAM.
well i have 512mb of ram for windows vista home basic and it only uses 56mb of ram when its idle. but when i load internet explorer or aim or aol the basic stuff it goes from 56 mb to 400 mb! i know that those programs dont use that much memory. also ive noticed that when i load a program that takes 2mb it takes up 50 mb!
"Anyone else here remember when Win95 would not only boot in 4mb of ram but was actually useful?"
UGH, NO, actually I don't remember that. Why? Because it wasn't useful in 4MB of RAM at all, not one bit, and don't try to claim that it was. Unlike you (it's pretty obvious that you're full of shit), I actually ran Windows 95 on 4MB of ram. But really, I suppose something did run well in 4MB and Win95: Notepad. And Wordpad if you didn't write anything.
Now, Windows 3.x performed like champ in 4MB of RAM. Was it useful? God no, it was Windows 3.x.
Seriously, why do people see things with rose tinted glasses? This worship of the past is out of hand. Windows 95 was gross. No amount of RAM made it pleasant to use. 98/se was an improvement, Millenium Edition was an embarassment, NT 3.51 was... well I never used it, so I can't comment. NT 4.0 was a good first step, 2000 in my opinion was as close as they've gotten to doing it 100% right. XP was a nightmare in its first year (IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL anyone? No? Howabout WinNuke 2? That's just embarassing) But after that it got better and better. I suspect the same will happen to Vista. Don't jump on the bandwagon just because you're easily lead. Actually USE things (opening notepad 20 times is not usage OK?) and form your own opinion.
For you 'benchmarking types', here's the kicker: 2000 was MUCH faster than XP when XP first appeared, and the delta between XP and Vista is much smaller. Eventually that didn't matter. Why? Because we move on and get better gear, and upgrades to the software are made and a billion other factors that you cannot ever possibly hope to factor in to your little metrics. Honestly. With how things work these days benchmarks are just about the worst metric for performance (anyone with a grain of sense having compared things like Java to .NET to C++ can tell you that).
For a bunch with severe worship of the past, you people forget pretty quickly just how unpleasant the past has been. Perhaps you'd all like to go back to 1930-1945? It was -certainly- much better then right?/sarcasm_for_dumbasses
Seriously, move out of your "command centers" (thank you Kevin Smith), your mom will be happy to reclaim her basement.
yeah ive noticed slower gameplay on vista than with xp. i dont know as much as i want to know about my computer, but on games like World of warcraft and stuff, i cant play them as good as i think i should be able 2, in terms of pixels and image quality and things of that nature. i have 2gig of ram, a duel core AMD ATHLON 64x2 4400+, a NVIDIA 6100 video card, and 320gb (SATA) whatever that stands for, hardrive. i want to try turning off this superfetch thing, and see if it helps. i just want to know if there are any risks involved, and if it doesnt seem to help, how i can turn it back on. and i kinda need them in an average joe, easy to understand step by step type thing if anyone can do that for me lol.
Well, I just came across this and will be turning off superfetch and indexer as soon as I get home. My PC has become dreadfully slow and I've found that it appears to be a ram issue. I have 1 gig of memory and Vista uses 500 megs of it for cache, leaving me next to nothing once I have a couple programs up. And the hard drive is constantly going which gets rather annoying.
My system take for ever with Vista, Iam running on Athlon 4000+Ghz, and 2Gb of ram, Running and rendering 3DSMax on Vista takes forever. I dont how much men\mory is required for either Vista or 3DSMax
If you think SuperFetch is the culprit, do this at a command prompt
NET STOP SUPERFETCH
.. then use your computer normally. Note that it will come back at next reboot. But if you see an improvement working this way, then turn it off permanently via the control panel, services applet-- set Superfetch start status to "disabled".
Simply put, MS wrote it's OS line(from Win 3.1 thru Win95-a swapfile- Win98 thru Vista-a pagefile)to use virtual memory management to use the HDD like system RAM to give it a place to dump unused data from system RAM to make system RAM available based upon demand-regardless of which program(s)-including the OS itself-is asking for RAM space to operate based upon the priority of the need at a given time-regardless of whether that data is actually used or not- write this data back when it's needed. The real issue w/ this as I see it is using 1 HDD to load the OS, programs AND run virtual memory management concurrently(at the same time), as the HDD head is constantly traveling across the platter trying to read AND write data which obviously creates slowdowns in computing performance. This is where most of the dilema is actually occurring at in my opinion. Yes, adding more system RAM is 1 way of addressing this problem but this DOES NOT address the issue for the OS/programs that are written to use the swap/page file anyway regardless of how much system RAM you have the OS WILL make 1 whether you want it to or not if it "thinks" it's needed. The advent popularity of doing true multitasking(running several programs at the same time)has now more than ever before validated the usage of a swap/page file. So to not have a swap/page file setup(especially if you're a power multitasking user-you know, the folks that have the system tray quick launch tray loaded w/ programs as these programs ARE preloaded into system RAM at bootup thus using up a LOT of available system RAM-yes it's a handy way to quickly access these programs at the cost of performance)nowadays is a bad idea.
The only remedy that I know of that can cover this dilema the best until MS develops memory management routines smart enough to address this dilema is to add a 2nd HDD-not 1 HDD partitioned to look like 2 HDD's- put the swap/page file on the HDD that DOES NOT contain the OS programs on it is the faster of the 2 HDD's the HDD's MUST use the SATA IDE interface w/ the swap/page file loaded into the OUTER TRACKS of the 2nd HDD so that the swap/page file is located at the fastest read/write area of a HDD(this can't be done on 1 HDD as the OS programs will occupy these tracks; now why do you think that the OS will load itself all programs into the outer tracks of a HDD, hmm...?). The SATA interface-unlike the PATA interface-does not limit the number of devices being active concurrently across the IDE channel because ALL SATA headders on the motherboard are active-PATA will only allow 1 device to be active at a time on a PATA headder- SATA w/ it's improved bandwidth over PATA can move a LOT more data across each clock cycle, so the OS can instruct both read/write for itself programs AND do virtual memory management at the same time speeding up ALL of this very noticeably since from Win98 on, the OS does this preemptively(loads/dumps data into/out of system RAM ahead of time before the data is needed or the RAM space is called for) pages in/out ONLY the unused program data instead of the entire program's data(this are 2 of the improvements of a pagefile method over a swapfile method of virtual memory management).
This will SMOOTH up computing quite noticeably. What you want in the 2nd HDD is NOT so much capacity(size of the HDD)but the fastest seek time access time spindle speed(performance of the HDD). If you check into HDD prices vs system RAM you'll find that HDD's are on the whole cost less than comparable system RAM to accomplish the same thing. Now let this be heard--I'm NOT saying that you won't EVER need to add more RAM as that is a foolish statement, I'm saying that this setup gives THE MOST EFFICENT use of system RAM swap/page files being used AS system RAM to cover ALL aspects of this topic in dicussion using MS Windows as it stands today.
If you don't believe this, just try it see for yourself.
Forgot to add this:
All that I've said above done on a computer w/ multithreading capability(Hyperthreading or better yet multi-core CPU's)will further enhance this by the CPU's ability to process more than 1 thread at a time.
Sorry this will leave out most laptops at this time.
The other thing I didn't state is that the HDD's can not only be read/written to concurrently but INDEPENDENTLY as well meaning virtually no interruptions when processes are occurring.
I, too, have been having trouble with Vista slowing down my computer -and I'm no gamer. I do some intensive online work and frequent page changes with multiple browser windows open - and my system reaches a point where even with only one browser window open, I can't refresh or open a new window. It's like a cascade crash, except the system seldom goes completely down - just refuses to move on in the program I'm using.
I'm starting to hate my new computer although is has more RAM than I've ever had in a computer as well as hard drive memory. I say, If Windows is going to turn my entire memory into cache, then give me a way to dump the cache easily!!!
Harddrives are slower, they have slower seek times. Get a ramdisk instead that will load all temporary files into the ram space and that data will be available alot faster due to less seek time (apparently its zero seek time)
Some photoshop people use a harddrive as a scratchdisk, dont do that, use memory instead. As scratchdisks are only used for temporary files.
So Get a ramdisk, get the maximum amount of ram the ramdisk can handle and use that.
if you want to store information into the ramdisk such as applications and so on, get one that allows you to save the ramdisk as a image file that can be reloaded on boot. That way it appears as a normal harddrive.
Vista is a memory hog, it doesnt allow you to selectively choose on how you want vista to manage your memory. There isn't alot of flexibilty. I guess thats what happens when you get attached to microsoft ease of use functionality and trust microsofts knowledge.
Shouldn't the end user choose what and how he wants vista to manage the memory side of things. Microsoft needs to work on vista memory management alot more cos as far as im concerned vista is useless unless it can perform better with memory.
I tried Vista Home Premium for a few days on my laptop. Eventually the near-constant hard drive activity drove me crazy, so I turned off SuperFetch, indexed search, etc. That solved the hard drive access issue, but Vista still took up almost 500mb of memory after a fresh boot. I'm back to XP, and it uses closer to 100mb. And things are snappier even without any fancy statistical algorithm predicting what I'm going to use.
i didnt read all the comments but i think before running your game try running a free ram program it will get rid of all the ram you dont need and put it into free ram so when your gaming it wont be lagging etc..
I had upgraded to a maxed out PC for gaming. It smoked. I could run BF2 on all maxes and get full frames. After a couple weeks, my games started stuttering for the first few minutes of play and they would crash with memory dll erros. After reading this, I stopped Superfetch. No change. I then turned it to manual and restarted. Wow! The stuttering and errors were gone! I haven't noticed any difference in application performance. Anyone gaming should set SuperFetch to manual in my opinion!
Well I'm sold. I just upgraded to Windows Vista Ultimate x64. I too had heard the horror stories about Vista and memory usage, I was so wary about it in fact that I was debating on dumping the WinNT platform altogether and going to Linspire if I had to dump Win2K (Win2K's light footprint on a fast modern box properly optimized runs like greased lightning). I always found XP to be a pig on both resources and speed.
I've heard some horror stories about the 32-bit versions of Vista; I'm not sure if it would be worth the upgrade to Vista from XP if you're not going to jump into the x64 platform; memory addressing is much quicker, dual channel DDR2 configurations it can make proper use of. If you're going to upgrade from what I've seen I'd certainly say wait for a x64 box then go straight to the x64 version.
Re: the aggressive caching. Yes I was very worried after first install. I thought my 2Gb of memory would carry me through for a while (was nice seeing 1700Mb free on my W2K load), and seeing that Vista was using over 50% of my memory just on bootup. I was looking around poking around the system to figure out what's going on but found out it was SuperFetch.
Performance wise, I have to admit I was wrong in my pre-Vista judgements. I expected Vista to be like XP with lead legs (whereas I considered XP to be like W2K with lead shoes). I've never had a computer that's more responsive than this one with Vista. Opening windows is instantaneous for most tasks. Dreamweaver and Office 2003 are two culprits for not being as zippy as I'd like, same with Vegas. They obviously werent written with Vista in mind I'm sure the newer versions will be a bit snappier.
The 32-bit apps run fine, I'm just on the hunt for the x64 versions of everythingnow. I can totally tell the difference; (IE 32 vs IE z64 for example). Its not so much that they have faster throughput in x64, it's just that FEELING of it working faster because it's so much snappier.
Once you get a taste of a 64bit OS and some 64bit apps you get addicted fast. I was actually only going to do a trial install of Vista Ultimate... I was backed up and ready to go back to W2K. I'm sticking with it, much to my own surprise.
My Vista does that too! is there a way to stop that?
The last paragraph sums it up perfectly, "The less free memory I have, the better; every byte of memory should be actively working on my behalf at all times. However, I do wish there was a way to tell SuperFetch to ixnay on the oadinglay when I'm gaming."
For being so smart, Vista as an OS fails in my honest opinion. Full Screen means, STOP DOING OTHER SHIT, and LET ME PLAY!
Some of the posts on here are fantastic and helpful but alot of you are coming on here whining why Vista isn't working while running less then 2gb.(shaking head) BUY MORE RAM. If you still have problems then start complaining. Leave the forum open for people with real problems instead of causing someone to read for an hour not getting anywhere fast. If you would read around the web you would see that Vista needs more ram. It is cheap so go buy some. If you can't afford then watch t.v. Man some of the builds you guys are talking about here with vista installed is rediculous.
Now onto the problem.
OS: vista 64 premium, as the ultimate is bloat ware
mobo: ASUS p5k deluxe
cpu: q6600 GO stepping
Ram: 2X2 Gb Patriot Extreme pc6400
video: 8800 GForce Ultra
HDD: 2 320 WD 16mb cache se
Now I am far from an expert. I built this computer for one perpose only and that is to game with. I have only 3 games installed. Now, When I play my game Dungeons and Dragons Online, I have about 2.1gb of ram being used. While running around the world my frame rates drop down to a stutter everyonce in a while which seems to be linked to the hard drive. The hdd light is flashing non stop and seems to realy flash fast when I get the slow down. Trying to troubleshoot I went into performance monitoring and found some meters that monitor cpu, hdd, memory etc. I can see which programs are running underneath these meters and beside the game that I am playing it has a hard fault per second column. I was getting like 0 to 140 hard faults per second. At the same time my Hdd is thrashing like crazy. ( It would go from 0 up to around ~ 140 and back to 0). I believe this is the cause of my poor gaming performance.
Now I have read that Hard faults isn't realy a fault but is just the computer working with the hdd for paging files. what I don't understand is why vista is paging files under this game? Why isn't it using the ram first then the virtual memory? If this is superfetch working then it should show up under different apps shouldn't it? If I have 4gb of ram shouldn't the game run completely off the ram once the game is loaded into it? Can someone explain to me why I am seeing hard faults per second from this game and how to correct it? I am going to test tonight to disable Superfetch and indexing but don't see how superfetch can be the cause as it is listed under the game I am running.
Ayways, waiting on you're replies
So what about memory optimizers in Vista (Free RAM XP Pro etc.)?
It brokes cache idea. I do not use these softs in Vista. I thing it is right.
Are you stupid or something? Ram needs room to breath if you run 100% ram usage your system will slow way down. Its not at all like cache where the data is constantly being flushed are refilled, ram loads data that is used for long periods of time and is all ways searched from bit 1(1Mb is the beginning of extended memory) up so if your running a lot of small files in extended memory with a 3 gig system and your ram is full whatever is in the 3000000-3145728 bit addresses could take a while to be found and the cpu ends up calling for it from the hard drive instead. Superfetch needs scraped its flawed and one of the biggest reasons hardcore gamers are holing back from getting vista. It needs to drop data that has not been accessed in a few minutes not find data that i accessed a few hours ago just in case I need it again. MORE FREE RAM = LESS HARD DRIVE DELAYED READS, WHICH MEANS HIGHER FRAME RATES AND LESS "OUT OF MEMORY" LOCKUPS/FREEZING.
Bottom Line People
Vista looks preety but is one big pain in the balls for gaming
Microsoft fix this now!
Just a quick shoutout: I can see you're still using the task manager to check your system's performance.
There is, however, an alternative (by Sysinternals cum Microsoft, no less). It's called Process Explorer. Check it out! (www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/)
I agree. Vista is less gaming friendly. Thanks for the Vista memory explanations. I was wondering about this.
Hey! thank you for this! You really cleared up a lot of confusion for me!
Keep it up!
P.S. Vista is better than XP. seirously.
"okay dumb moment ----- noob whatever....lol
Physical Memory (MB)
Now i'm doing the math but what is wrong.......... 446-178=4..... Yeah i'd like someone to explain it in a bit more simpleton words."
Total is the amount of RAM you have.
Cached is the amount of RAM that's actively being used for programs you are using. There is no math in this stat display.
Free is amount of RAM left over that couldn't pre-cache any other programs (either because there's not enough (4MB sounds like not enough to pre-cache any program) or you ran out of programs to cache)
I might have the cached part wrong. That could be the amount of RAM being used to pre-cache programs. Sorry if i'm wrong. don't hate me.
Ok guys, quit whining. Just get 128 gigs of ram up on Vista 64 and have fun.
7 years ago, I bought a new laptop with a Pentium 1 100 processor. At the time, it was considered blazing. I paid almost $4000 for it and felt like I was was getting a deal.
Yesterday, I bought a new desktop with an AMD X2 6000+ Processor, 3 Gigs or DDR2 Ram, a 500 Gig HD, a 19 inch flat panel monitor, a color printer and an NVidia 8800 GTS 320 MB video card.
Total cost. $1000. I paid 1/4 the price for a system 100's of time faster.
Buy some ram people. Either stop being so cheap or stop complaining. Don't expect the drive a Porsche when you'll only pay for a Pinto.
I bought a Compaq laptop recently with Vista Home Premium, and I noticed a big difference in battery life with SuperFetch turned off. All that caching is apparently pretty power-hungry.
I am boosting my Gateway 507GR up to 2GB (reputedly its max, though some say it'll take four) because it takes 2 minutes to load Firefox(!) and at least 40 seconds for the Control Panel folder to open and populate with icons! It's a new installation on a 7200 rpm SATA drive. You'd think it would be fast. You'd be wrong. My Radio Shack M100 was faster. Ditto my DEC Rainbow, and my Mac Plus (ok, the 128K Mac was slower) and hacked up Dell 586 (that's a long story).
The disk churns and churns and nothing happens for a looooong time. I still do useful work on my G4 tower (Circa Feb, 2001, CPU upgrade in 2003) and OS X doesn't go off and churn for minutes at a time.
I've never had this problem with XP or XP pro (I even LIKE some things about XP Pro) but Vista's good qualities have yet to show up as far as I'm concerned. I hope they exist because I need this to work,
Oh, by the way, it's ugly. Really ugly. XP looked better. And XP wasn't exactly a looker,
I am boosting my Gateway 507GR up to 2GB (reputedly its max, though some say it'll take four) because it takes 2 minutes to load Firefox(!) and at least 40 seconds for the Control Panel folder to open and populate with icons! It's a new installation on a 7200 rpm SATA drive.
You need to visit the add/remove programs dialog and remove all the bloatware most PCs come with. Particularly anti-virus, which will literally cripple your performance..
Thanks for this post Jeff! I was totally outraged when I saw that out of my 8GB RAM 2GB was used as system cache and 1GB was loaded for other tasks. I had the idea that more free RAM was a better thing but after reading your explanation I feel much better about getting Vista now.
I totally love it in Vista that it doesn't come sluggish at all when I have tons of heavy stuff running like Flash CS3, Photoshop, Outlook, Excel and other office apps, P2P, etc. Works much smoother than XP in any desktop situation I've encountered so far.. but then again, I don't play much games.
XP just freezes for countless seconds when eg. trying to open a new file browser in a situation like above. And I "only" have have 2GB ram, which is cheap these days so even 4GB would not make a noticable hole in the wallet.
I like how Mac OS X does this — if I'm correct, it caches applications in memory when you've opened them since the computer booted up. This works great because things launch faster, and if it eventually runs low on memory all it takes is a reboot. I would get really pissed off if there was a background task running all the time whose sole purpose was to fill up my memory.
Well, there is one more thing to note. Whatever super fetch is doing, it cannot just discard pages when you need free RAM. It has to zero all pages before giving you that memory. Quote from: http://blogs.msdn.com/ntdebugging/archive/2007/10/10/the-memory-shell-game.aspx) "Due to C2 security requirements, all pages must be scrubbed before handed to a new process."
So, to put it simple:
Vista is more hdd activity, more threads and longer internal data structures, additional overhead of page zeroing, and probably more...
But then again, WMP on XP is always prefetched as well, even if you don't use it (/prefetch:1 switch), I wonder if Firefox and that like is left in fragmented page file section for 'ferformance' reasons.
This is all well and good and I understand this. However, Vista is now complaining that I have too many programs open (Excel, FireFox, Word) and I need to shut one down. It states in my resource monitor that I'm using all my memory.
If it's caching, shouldn't it be doing so in such a way so as to permit to run these programs?
I've got 1.5Gb of RAM. System monitor lists Cached=845Mb and Free=17Mb. I'm not sure where the rest is going.
My pagefile is 955M/3056M.
All this seems really odd. As I write this, the only things open are Task mananger and my browser w/ 1 tab.
What I find most amusing is that Windows is implementing more and more features that OS/2 implemented over a decade ago. OS/2 didn't have prefetch but it was demand pages (of course - the best OSes are, lol). With Warp it also learnt which libraries were needed and initialised the front of the pagefile with them (something I consider to be a really cool idea).
IBMs advice back then was not to close applications because OS/2 would adapt and perform better. That's why the WPS defaulted to reloading things when you rebooted.
The ultimate irony of course is that people kept moaning about OS/2 and asking why it always used all the RAM :D
Is there a performance penalty for switching to the 64bit version of Vista to actually be able to use all 4GB of the RAM, instead of the usual 32bit cap at around 3.5GB? Or am I looking at the same kinds of x32 compatibility issues that I occasionally encounter when running the XP x64?
Whenever I run any game at all on Vista and hit a loading screen, the game minimizes, and a message box pops up saying that Windows is closing the following program to free up memory. I have the "CPU Meter" gadget running all the time, and it generally reports that my CPU usage and RAM usage are nearing 100% whenever this box comes up. At the bottom of this message box is the icon followed by the name of the game I'm playing. If I'm not quick enough (or the game doesn't minimize fast enough) to hit the cancel button on the message box, Windows closes my game, and I lose everything. This is extremely annoying. Running this one IE7 window and only 3 gadgets, my system is using 55% of my 1.5 GB of RAM. I'd never seen a message like that with XP, and performance was much better in general. I don't get how this is any help at all.
re os 2 posts above - windows isn't implementing an os/2 like feature. its making decisions based on your usage history. os/2 didnt do that : )
mac user: what you described for mac - it works very similiar on windows from a basic paging standpoint. your apps you opened remain cached unless the page (memory manager decides something else needs it. its the same as any paged memory system - nothing unique to mac.
however - one issue still is even though 0-5 mb is available, the system still can suffer from the exact same problem xp could - when plenty of swap file space is left - ram usage is maxed out - the window manager goes freaky - half windows show up, etc. and yet.. plenty of virtual memory available. the cache isn't doing a good job then. I was hoping it wouldnt happen in vista - it did.. and with less open than I would have in XP. one visual studio, a few IEs, ultra edit, and sql server mngmt studio - neither of the apps taking up more than 100mb (ultra-20mb) - and this issue happened. yet at another time.. I was fine. weird. same on 2k, same on xp. same on vista.
Just go with Linux. You can run MS games and products through either wine or crossover linux pro. Ubuntu 7.10 is easier to use then Winblows Vista and with all the eye candy and XGL installed it only uses 128megs out of 2 gig at best. I can run two instances of Virtual box running xp on both and play Quake wars at the same time and it does not even use 50% of my ram. Look up Linux and you will be a happy person.
Is it this, that is called a memory hog and bloatware? Suck up all the memory? And, why do some people claim that gaming runs in par with Windows XP? It is proven that Vista generally has 10-20% lower fps than Windows XP, in the same game.
Im interested to know, a newly freshly installed Vista with no apps installed yet, does it consume 2GB RAM too? How could it do that, when there is no apps installed to prefetch yet? What does it cache? All accessories like MS Paint?
I heard that in Windows XP(?) you can not even turn off the page file. Is it true, even under Vista? I use OpenSolaris with 1GB RAM and Solaris never uses the page file unless it must. After done using the swap file, it tries to flush the swap file immediately. Some people has turned off the swap file under Solaris, completely. It doesnt exist.
Solaris and other Unix generally have a good memory management system as they are from the beginning multiuser enterprise systems with lots of memory. Whereas Windows has it roots from a system that "640KB RAM should be enough for anyone" - and single user.
OS is vista busness with 4 gig ram ,,,on boot up AVG anti virus and skype are running,, this uses 1.07GB of Ram about 35% usage ,,
Why is so much ram used before using the computer!
Are there ways of reducing this so as to maximize ram usage with other applications,,eg 3dsMax
I bought a laptop in July and the other day it was carrying out a routine PC health check (HP Compaq) and the next thing it just went mad. Everything onscreen got bigger as did all the text then smaller then it all went black. I tried to restore but couldn.t. I lost all my emails and everything. All my photos documents my website folder etc. My computer is back to original state when bought. I'm shattered and don't know what to do. Does anyone know what happened and is there anyway I can get my info back. I'm not greatly literate in this field.
I bought a laptop in July and the other day it was carrying out a routine PC health check (HP Compaq) and the next thing it just went mad. Everything onscreen got bigger as did all the text then smaller then it all went black. I tried to restore but couldn.t. I lost all my emails and everything. All my photos documents my website folder etc. My computer is back to original state when bought. I'm shattered and don't know what to do. Does anyone know what happened and is there anyway I can get my info back. I'm not greatly literate in this field.
I had vista for about a month, and I was very disappointed.
I have 2gb ram and 2.4 GHz C2D CPU, but Vista just... Doesnt work as it should be. I am on XP now and it works like it should be. Vista not.
Stronghold Crusader/its game from 2001 i think/ starts for 10 second in XP and 30 in Vista. These 20 seconds are not much, but some newer game? How would it run?
Also, everything other is slow too. Visual Studio 2008 starts slower, loads projects slower, compiles slower... Ever when i am doing Alt+Tab I feel it doesnt respond immediately. Theres around 300 millisecond wait... Its done lighting fast on XP. I think its because XP doesnt have these nasty mini-thumbnails like screenshot everywhere. I think this BitBlt or whatsoever is not so fast when there is 20 opened windows... And saving this images in memory also causes trouble.
Imagine a reguar window it 800x600, its 480000 pixels. Multiply it by 20/windows on screen/. And its 9600000 pixels. Every pixel is 32 bit so its 9600000x32 =
307200000 bits. Now divide by 8 and its 38400000 bytes. Or 37500 KB.
36 MB. Its not so little if you think theres tenths of such things in Vista, and they use the RAM very much.
And Vista has many services, some of them very unuseful, and they are "taking part" too. So, Vista is much more heavy than XP its clear. But if i have 8GB RAM, why should I care - because Vista will fill my remaining memory with some programs... And when I want to use some of the RAM - well I have to wait, because Vista must clear up some space. And this is also slower. But Vista doesnt overwhemn the RAM chips, they data is rewritten with every FSB cycle/or I think so?/, to keep the data from disappearing... But this is an automated task. The CPU doesnt have to renew the memory by itslf. But with Vista, it has to, because Vista is using additional clock cycles clearing up some space for *running* programs. RAM is not cache. Its Operational Memory and so... Sorry for my English too, i am only 13 ;)
For elaine - try looking for programs that can restore deleted files, like Undelete Plus.
As a side note on the game, you might try booting the game and the first map, closing it and reopening it. I find with Unreal Tournament and a system with little RAM, this can help.
The problem I have is not with the amount of ram being used but with Vista bringing my PC to a screaming halt when I have 98% of my ram used.
I've benn running Vista Premoium since it was released and it's been fine up until a few weeks ago. Now within hours of using it it's used up all my memory to the point that I have to wait over five minutes for the task manager to appear.
What's the deal with that?