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When 4 Gigs of System RAM Isn't Enough by Blacktree
Started on: 03-03-2011 11:54 AM
Replies: 22
Last post by: Blacktree on 03-06-2011 12:10 PM
Blacktree
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Report this Post03-03-2011 11:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
For the first time I can remember, I actually got the "system is running low on memory" error. Last night, I was editing some photos, about 20-odd vacation photos, for use as desktop wallpapers. When I opened the 23rd photo, I got the error.

I just sat there for a few seconds, looking at the pop-up error incredulously, thinking to myself "my computer has 4 gigs of RAM, and it's tossing up a low memory error?!"

Of course, I had a few other programs running (antivirus, a couple browser windows, and some desktop gadgets). But I've never seen the computer gobble up that much system RAM. I guess that's Windows 7 for ya.

Time to upgrade!
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Report this Post03-03-2011 12:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RallasterSend a Private Message to RallasterDirect Link to This Post
I have 3 gig of RAM on my laptop and I've tried, tried to max the RAM, but I always seem to max the CPU and then the system locks up and winds up shutting down...
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Doug85GT
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Report this Post03-03-2011 12:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Doug85GTSend a Private Message to Doug85GTDirect Link to This Post
Do you have a hard limit on your virtual memory or do you have it set to system managed? You are usually better off letting the system manage it.

That message usually only comes up when you run out of virtual memory. As long as you have disk space, then it doesn't matter how much you have opened, the OS will just move things to virtual memory. Once you run low on virtual memory, then you get that error. It really does not have much to do with your physical memory although the error message seems to point to that.

BTW, it does not matter how much ram you have. If you open up enough stuff, your system will use virtual memory.
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N3M3S1S
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Report this Post03-03-2011 12:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for N3M3S1SClick Here to visit N3M3S1S's HomePageClick Here to Email N3M3S1SSend a Private Message to N3M3S1SDirect Link to This Post
I went with 8 gigs of ram on my latest build. Gskill Ripjaw 8gig DDR3. Computer is the fastest I've ever used.

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Blacktree
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Report this Post03-03-2011 12:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Doug85GT: Do you have a hard limit on your virtual memory or do you have it set to system managed? You are usually better off letting the system manage it.

I turned off the page file, because:

1) I don't like using the hard drive as backup memory. It puts a lot of wear & tear on the hard drive, and slows down the computer.
2) I didn't think the computer would use up that much system RAM.

I could turn on the page file, if I wanted. But then I'd have to listen to the hard drive thrash. I'd rather buy more system RAM.
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Report this Post03-03-2011 12:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
I've got 6G in the box and 6G on the shelf to put in as soon as I find a decent 1366 cooler that clears the first memory slot. Page file is off.
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Doug85GT
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Report this Post03-03-2011 12:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Doug85GTSend a Private Message to Doug85GTDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

I turned off the page file, because:

1) I don't like using the hard drive as backup memory. It puts a lot of wear & tear on the hard drive, and slows down the computer.
2) I didn't think the computer would use up that much system RAM.

I could turn on the page file, if I wanted. But then I'd have to listen to the hard drive thrash. I'd rather buy more system RAM.



That is fine. You know the cause of your error now and what to do when you run low on memory.

Just FYI, thrashing is caused when you have active processes using more memory than your system has available. When that happens your system slows to a crawl as the OS is constantly swapping out the page file to supply the active processes with their memory requests.

It won't happen if you have inactive applications in the background such as open pictures, browsers etc. What will happen is that your system will be a little slower switching back to the inactive applications because it has to pull the page files back off of the hard drive and move something else to disk.

Generally, using virtual memory is not a bad thing. It is only bad when the system is significantly low on RAM for the applications that it is running.
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Report this Post03-03-2011 12:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroRumorClick Here to visit FieroRumor's HomePageClick Here to Email FieroRumorSend a Private Message to FieroRumorDirect Link to This Post
Had a customer get this error last week. they were using less then 2GB out of 4. Think it was the poorly coded app they were using...

[This message has been edited by FieroRumor (edited 03-03-2011).]

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Blacktree
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Report this Post03-03-2011 01:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
FieroRumor said: Had a customer get this error last week. they were using less then 2GB out of 4. Think it was the poorly coded app they were using...


Hmm... interesting. I use Paint.net for image editing. After I got the memory error, I minimized the program (and one browser window) so I could see the memory usage gadget. At that point, it read 78% memory usage, if I remember correctly.

I'll have to check and see if Paint.net has any memory usage issues.

After a clean boot, sitting at the Windows desktop, the machine uses about 30% of the system RAM. No kidding. Maybe that's because I have all the Windows Aero eye candy turned on. The video card uses some of the system RAM as "shared memory", too. It's odd, considering that the video card has 512MB of onboard memory. The video card is a Geforce GTS 250, by the way.

Anyway, my motherboard maxes out at 8GB of RAM, and has 4 memory slots. It currently has four 1GB modules installed. It looks like I can get 2GB modules for about $28 each at Newegg. And I get paid tomorrow.
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Report this Post03-03-2011 01:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RamsesprideSend a Private Message to RamsesprideDirect Link to This Post
My memory usage is at 50% and i have only this website open on Firefox.
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Report this Post03-03-2011 01:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TommyRockerClick Here to Email TommyRockerSend a Private Message to TommyRockerDirect Link to This Post
I've had issues while running Autocad, SolidWorks, and XBMC at the same time, on 2 gigs. I have 6 gigs now and haven't had any issues. Imagine if 15 years ago someone had told you they have 4 gigs of RAM and it isn't enough...
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Report this Post03-03-2011 01:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SynthesisSend a Private Message to SynthesisDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TommyRocker:

I've had issues while running Autocad, SolidWorks, and XBMC at the same time, on 2 gigs. I have 6 gigs now and haven't had any issues. Imagine if 15 years ago someone had told you they have 4 gigs of RAM and it isn't enough...


I have 16GB in my ESXi server, and it isn't enough!
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Report this Post03-05-2011 10:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for faaaaqClick Here to Email faaaaqSend a Private Message to faaaaqDirect Link to This Post
i have 3 gigs but i need more. can get 8 gigs for less than $80 now, so ill have more soon. Streaming HD videos takes a lot of ram, and so does having Chrome or Firefox open with 10+ tabs as well as a couple media servers and all my background apps
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Report this Post03-05-2011 10:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

I turned off the page file, because:

1) I don't like using the hard drive as backup memory. It puts a lot of wear & tear on the hard drive, and slows down the computer.
2) I didn't think the computer would use up that much system RAM.


Better reason... The swap file is a security risk. And swap file become memory dump if you get BSOD. Using Hibernation? it's a security risk to. Think Laptop w/o full disk encryption.... Laptop get swiped....
Password in the Swap or Hibernation files is plain text. (Assuming FFox etc doesn't save password...)
Cops, ICE, and Lawyer love Swap and Hibernation files.

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Blacktree
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Report this Post03-05-2011 11:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre: Better reason... The swap file is a security risk. And swap file become memory dump if you get BSOD. Using Hibernation? it's a security risk to.

Good point, Dave. I have hibernation permanently disabled on both my computers, for that very reason.
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Report this Post03-06-2011 12:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WichitaClick Here to Email WichitaSend a Private Message to WichitaDirect Link to This Post
I'm still using an old Pentium 4 HT 3.0 Gig (single core) processor and 2 gigs of DDR2 ram.

I use to have memory issues and hard drive spikes, but after hard drive format, clean boot of Windows 7 Premium (going from Windows XP), My computer and programs are running wicked fast without any issues what-so-ever.

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Report this Post03-06-2011 12:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chris_narfSend a Private Message to Chris_narfDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:


Better reason... The swap file is a security risk. And swap file become memory dump if you get BSOD. Using Hibernation? it's a security risk to. Think Laptop w/o full disk encryption.... Laptop get swiped....
Password in the Swap or Hibernation files is plain text. (Assuming FFox etc doesn't save password...)
Cops, ICE, and Lawyer love Swap and Hibernation files.



Relatively true, but Windows is a security risk and Windows 7 is a dream come true for computer forensic investigators due to shadow copy and other things. If you're really concerned about security, run a hardened linux kernal with full drive encryption on a SSD that asks for a password at bootup and nukes the FS after 3 failed attempts. Very secure and VERY hard to get data off, but also WAY beyond 99% of most computer users.

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Report this Post03-06-2011 12:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chris_narfSend a Private Message to Chris_narfDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

I turned off the page file, because:

1) I don't like using the hard drive as backup memory. It puts a lot of wear & tear on the hard drive, and slows down the computer.
2) I didn't think the computer would use up that much system RAM.

I could turn on the page file, if I wanted. But then I'd have to listen to the hard drive thrash. I'd rather buy more system RAM.

Programmatically speaking, a swap file isn't entirely bad. With regards to #1, I wouldn't worry about wear and tear on a HD. All hard drives can fail, but the MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) is usually 5+ years at a minimum. You are right, it can affect performance at times, but that can be better than running out of memory and not being able to work.

Really, it just sounds like your system needs to be optimized. There's probably a lot of stuff that's loading at startup that you simply don't need along with other services and bloat ware. 4GB of RAM should be enough for what you are doing, but if you ever hit that limit, take a look at task manager and see exactly how much memory is being used by each application. You might be surprised at what you find. Solid State Drives are also becoming lower in price with increasing reliability, so that might be another option to look at.

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Report this Post03-06-2011 02:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreDirect Link to This Post
And try cacheman or something like it... Even w/o swap file.
I use cachemanXP (Cacheman update for vista/win7) with swap disable and I still get better RAM use.

You can do it in policy manager, regedit, etc, but cacheman and some others as a one stop store...
tho watch "large system cache..." if that is check, some board, video and TV tuner board, can go haywire.

Yes, I could use Linux... Truecrypt is free and works w/ windows.

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Report this Post03-06-2011 03:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RhinoDjSend a Private Message to RhinoDjDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:
Anyway, my motherboard maxes out at 8GB of RAM, and has 4 memory slots. It currently has four 1GB modules installed. It looks like I can get 2GB modules for about $28 each at Newegg. And I get paid tomorrow.


My girlfriend works at Newegg. Theyre the **** . AND...I get discounts! Weeeeee! Sounds like your program is the problem though, or some process running in the background....
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Report this Post03-06-2011 09:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Nurb432Send a Private Message to Nurb432Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rallaster:

I have 3 gig of RAM on my laptop and I've tried, tried to max the RAM, but I always seem to max the CPU and then the system locks up and winds up shutting down...


Oh, its not hard to run out of ram
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Report this Post03-06-2011 09:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Nurb432Send a Private Message to Nurb432Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Chris_narf:


Relatively true, but Windows is a security risk and Windows 7 is a dream come true for computer forensic investigators due to shadow copy and other things. If you're really concerned about security, run a hardened linux kernal with full drive encryption on a SSD that asks for a password at bootup and nukes the FS after 3 failed attempts. Very secure and VERY hard to get data off, but also WAY beyond 99% of most computer users.




Don't get me wrong and I'm not a Microsoft fan but *users* are the biggest security risk. 95% of the things users catch/corrupt/etc they did to themselves. Give them the ablity to do something and you will have problems. Don't give them any ability, then the device is about as useful as a toaster that can toast one piece of bread after you talk to IT for permission. Its all about trade offs of risk.

As far as "data security" goes, the biggest leak has ALWAYS been via social engineering or direct targeted internal fraud.

"Linux", or any other OS wont address either of those main issues.

Oh, and there is full drive encryption for windows laptops too ya know. We use it at the office. There is no way to get into a drive once its comprised. ( hell, its hard enough getting in when its yours... stupid thing )

[This message has been edited by Nurb432 (edited 03-06-2011).]

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Blacktree
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Report this Post03-06-2011 12:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Chris_narf: Really, it just sounds like your system needs to be optimized. There's probably a lot of stuff that's loading at startup that you simply don't need along with other services and bloat ware. 4GB of RAM should be enough for what you are doing, but if you ever hit that limit, take a look at task manager and see exactly how much memory is being used by each application. You might be surprised at what you find. Solid State Drives are also becoming lower in price with increasing reliability, so that might be another option to look at.

Yeah, there was some bloatware that I missed previously. OpenOffice had "quickstart" running in the background. Plus the HP software for the printer had something running in the background. By turning both of those off, I reclaimed about 8-10% of my system RAM. Aside from that, the computer is pretty "lean and mean". Any services that I don't use or need are turned off. Any software that I don't use or need gets nuked. The hard drive is routinely defragmented.

But I'm still looking at around 25% RAM usage (i.e. about 1GB) on a clean boot. Some of that is the desktop gadgets (I have 6 of them running). And the Windows Aero eye candy is cranked to the max. I bought Windows 7 specifically for that (plus DirectX 11 for gaming). So if I need more RAM to run the eye candy, then more RAM I will get.
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