another computer question

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Edwardonthewebb, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. 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
     
    Edwardonthewebb, Nov 28, 2003
    #1
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  2. Edwardonthewebb

    Thor Guest

    "Edwardonthewebb" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
     
    Thor, Nov 28, 2003
    #2
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