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another computer question

 
 
Edwardonthewebb
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      11-28-2003
1.when I check my Available Memory and available Space on my hard drive I get
vastly different answers my total Physical memory is 256MB but my available
physical memory is 63.84MB
my total virtual memory is 856.50MB and available virtual memory is 488.68MB

now when I go to my hard drive I have a total of 18.6GB
my available disk space is 12.0GB

my question is this:
I like to add programs,I watch streaming video,I listen to radio over the
internet
should I be adding anything to my computer to keep it at its fast maximum
performance.
that 63.84 caught my attention
what does available virtual memory deal with


thanks in advance
Ed
 
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Thor
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      11-28-2003

"Edwardonthewebb" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> 1.when I check my Available Memory and available Space on my hard drive I

get
> vastly different answers my total Physical memory is 256MB but my

available
> physical memory is 63.84MB


This means that windows has allocated all but 63.84MB of your physical RAM.
This is normal, as windows will use much of your free memory to speed up
performance, cache files, etc. when it is not required by other
applications. Physical memory will be released and allocated to other
programs when needed.


> my total virtual memory is 856.50MB and available virtual memory is

488.68MB

This means that your virtual memory paging file size is 856MB, and about
half of it is in actual use at that moment. Windows will use a paging file
to swap out data from Physical RAM that isn't imediately needed, in order to
make room in physical memory for data that is needed at that moment. It's a
way of making it seem like you have more memory than you actually have. If
data that was swapped to the paging file is needed again, some other,
less-needed data may be swapped out to the paging file, and the other data
is quickly retrieved and reloaded into memory. Again, this is normal.
Although, if you increase the amount of physical RAM in the system from 256,
to say, 512 or higher, you may see a drop in how much virtual memory is
actually being used.

>
> now when I go to my hard drive I have a total of 18.6GB
> my available disk space is 12.0GB


It's important to understand that harddrive space isn't the same as Physical
memory. Physical memory is RAM, and is used for actively running programs,
and it's contents are lost as soon as power is shut down. Harddrive space is
storage, and the stored data is unaffected when power is shut down. Virtual
memory is space allocated by windows on the harddrive as a specially
designated storage space for data that has been temporarily shifted from
physical RAM to the harddrive in order to make room in Physical RAM for
something else that is needed more urgently. Its a way of making your
physical RAM go much farther than it normally would be capable of.

>
> my question is this:
> I like to add programs,I watch streaming video,I listen to radio over the
> internet
> should I be adding anything to my computer to keep it at its fast maximum
> performance.
> that 63.84 caught my attention


It's normal, and even if you add more memory, windows will still try and
allocate a great deal of it to mundane tasks, just to make windows operate
more quickly. Unused memory is wasted memory, but windows will still use the
paging file while some physical RAM sits idle. I've never seen a machine
that had *no* free physical RAM. When your programs require physical RAM,
windows will free up some if needed (likely by swapping other data to the
virtual memory paging file, thereby freeing up space in RAM) and re-allocate
it to your program. If you want to increase performance, and reduce
dependence on the virtual memory paging file, then try adding another 256MB
of RAM. The paging file will still be used. Just not quite as much.


 
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