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Why less memory usage with more memory?? Answered

So.... seandogue uses a circa 1995 2005  (doh!) computer as his main desktop workstation (he also has a nearly brand spankin new superduperree laptop, but it's just not gertrude, if you know what i mean...)

Anyway... My computer is old, yes, but relatively solid. A bit sketchy since it's XP but whatever. The issue is memory and memory usage. I just added a pair of 2G modules to boost it's effective memory from 2 to 3 G. )XP old and only acknowledge s the first 3 even though my machine can accept up to 8G

Prior to the upgrade, my initial memory usage upon completion of windows load (desk is up and no more hourglass backgroundy stuff) usage was about 800M, prior to loading any "actionable" software (Ie, ignoring the sundry processes and applications that run automatically after on at boot...I mean programming IDEs, notepads, calculators, email, browsers, photoshop, cad progs, winamp, labview, music comp, etc.) 

And now? darn if my baseline  memory load hasn't dropped over 60%, down to ~490M

So. what gives, ibles-sages? Me, I'm stumped (seriously) .At first, I thought to myself, 'hrrrrm... maybe it has something to do with swapping...', but then almost immediately I discounted that, since I hadn't reached threshold for swap to engage.

Then I thought,  "Is it possible there was damage on the 1G chips that would go unrecognized  but would cause memory load to be higher than it should have been? Are newer modules more efficient or something?"

To add to the confusion, it *seems (I haven't done any serious forensics and really don't want to have to) . applications of various sorts seem to take less memory as well.

Then I came here. kinda tired of hashing out every single solution all by my lonesome and I'm hoping someone will be able to clear that confusion up with an authoritative response. Just doesn't make sense to me why my load would drop by such a significant amount, and I'm really and truly tired as hell of speculating and of speculation.. Speculation eats time like dime store candy surrounded by a hundred hungry children. and it more often than not produces erroneous output.. (no, not looking to debate the efficacy of speculation either, My best feature is the ability to speculate, and it pays to know how, but even I get tired of living in a nebula of "there is no like right like answer" 100% of the time.)

So heps a mind-worn joe, aye?  Someone please tells me in no uncertain terms why this is? >>>>  More memory added, less memory used? I really don't want to launch another google search that may or may not  yield the answer after reading a few hundred erroneous or misleading posts.

To be very clear, the system is behaving BETTER, not WORSE, with the new modules, even when operating at quiescence, where max memory overruns (and the subsequent swapping that such overruns spur) aren't an issue. 

thanks gracias danka...


Discussions

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iceng

4 years ago

XP is no longer supported and the lack of those upgrade irritants stopped bunching up.

Have you read Richard Bach's book Stranger to the Ground ?

Where after time fewer bugs splattered on his wind screen and he didn't need as much gas to keep traveling.

Well it's happening to you too ! .... In that respect, I am honored to know you.

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Vygericeng

Answer 4 years ago

I did not read that book, However --

I have that happen all the time, its called winter. The wind is always blowing so you get much better mileage (if its behind you) and there are no bugs because they are all frozen solid.

Its -14 F out right now. No bugs at all. Its about 6 weeks early for that kind of cold.

I have to perfect hibernation for people. No gas bills, not food bills, no snow shoveling, and you get years of extra sleep,

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icengVyger

Answer 4 years ago

Mak that a working ible and I'll vote & favorite you....

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seandogueVyger

Answer 4 years ago

Lucky lucky you. I have no such luck in my life. I get about 4 hours and have since I was a teen, some ...yikes, 40 years ago.

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seandogueiceng

Answer 4 years ago

BTW, although "unsupported" MS still responsibly sends out a few critical updates and will continue to for a little while longer. Thanks MS. you guys are the best!

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seandogueiceng

Answer 4 years ago

Hey ice,

I'm aware XP is unsupported . Not worried.

1) eventual move away from the machine for main workstation, but not now, especially since thee two new modules have somehow resolved several puzzling behaviors, including the immediate reduction in quiescent memory load of over 60% . (seems page faults numbers are dropping too... btw, old modules were dynamically tested using third party diagnostic proggies which found nothing wrong...) As to its fate, this machine will spend its eventual retirement as a cam station to run my mill, 3d printer, and lathe, once I finally move away to a new workstation sometime next year or the next.

2) productive is productive. I'm an old school american who comes from a farm background. I reuse, I repair, and I maintain.,. just as my ancestors have done for the past ~350 years.

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I have not read the book you indicate. I rarely have time for reading material unrelated to my work or projects.

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And no, it's not a case of the retiree and his old computer. It's taxed as or more heavily than when I first bought it.

Thanks for the reply.

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Vyger

4 years ago

Interesting

A 95 PC probably started off with Win 98 or even Win 95. Mine started out as a Windows for workgroups and then went to Win 95, 98, multiple versions of that and finally XP but I skipped ME. But I upgraded the hardware many times, many motherboards and processors so it is essentially a nrw machine with an old OS.

A few years ago, maybe more than a few, it became very popular to upgrade RAM because the price finally came down and it was worth it because of the increase performance XP showed with more RAM. I did a lot of that type of upgrade but I ran into an interesting problem. Sometimes the new RAM was not compatible with the older boards. It was the exact specs, same speed and cycles and everything but it would not work. Researching it I found out that the new chips they were using for the ram actually had a different architecture. The way the circuits were laid out on the chips was different and some of the older controllers could not figure it out. Older RAM would work perfectly for them but not the new stuff. I salvaged a lot of larger older ram chips just for that reason.

So how does this relate to your "problem"? I would guess that the old ram controller is reading the new ram wrong. It is dealing with a layout that it does not understand but goes ahead and uses it because it is not producing any faults. A more picky controller might just reject it straight out but its possible your is more robust and fault tolerant. In my humble opinion the system is just guessing at what the RAM is but does not know for certain because it has trouble getting that info from the chips. If you wanted to experiment with it you could get another ram set with different chips from a different maker and see what it does. The RAM brand would not matter but rather the manufacturer of the memory chips on the RAM itself.

One of the big RAM eaters in XP is all the processes that it is running. You might have dropped some of them from running. That would reduce the ram used at booting and make more available to the system, That is all controlled in the startup. But that would only affect the overall available RAM and not make a difference with programs. Misreading the RAM would change what the programs are reporting.

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seandogueVyger

Answer 4 years ago

Ugh...correction required. That should have read 2005. A symptom of my burnout on speculation. System came with 2G and a ~2GHz proc with Windows XP pro.

I must also have twisted something else in my query, since what I wanted to say is that the new 2G modules have magically made my computers memory management MORE efficient, not less. I'll edit the question to fix any errors in that regard.

Sorry for the incorrect info. my bad.

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steveastrouk

4 years ago

32bit OS, can only address 4gig.

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seandoguesteveastrouk

Answer 4 years ago

3 G. At today's memory prices, I don't mind the 1G loss though. In any case, and with all due respect, it doesn't even come close to addressing the point or answering the question.. Anyway... thanks for your reply.