The problem is, and an expert would understand this, is that without any protection software, you may not realize you've had an infection or worse, a rootkit. The software doesn't just protect against infections, but warns the user if something suspicious is going on. It's a personal choice whether or not I drop a cinder block on my toes. That doesn't mean both options are valid choices, especially by someone describing themselves as an expert.
Mcafee hasn't changed, and still a steaming pile of crap. It was a resource hog, so I suspect your bad experience with it is the reason why you don't want to run any current software. If you were to choose something much better, it would have zero impact on your systems performance. Combine that with excellent system specs, and there's no reason not to run something.
A thought on Windows Defender- presumably you have turned it off completely. In Win 10, turning it off conventionally is temporary- my first experience was of it using a lot of CPU time and causing significant lag. As you are choosing not to use a different AV, this may be useful.
Completely Disable Windows Defender in windows 10 | MalwareTips.com
IE11 and Edge do not consume any RAM when not used. Defender is on by default but can be turned off, OneDrive and Cortana need to be enabled, setup by user, by default they are off.
In my case, I use all those application. Just now, the PC having been on and heavily used about 9 hours but the browsers in your list not used at the moment (using Maxthon to browse the forums), rest of them are consuming about 100 MB of RAM altogether at the moment. That's roughly 1/120th of my installed 12 GB of RAM, so little that I wouldn't even notice if that was suddenly released.
Your statement about you being an expert is very strongly contradicted by the fact that you seem not to know the basics.
If you want to disable IE, you still can. However, you can't uninstall it like you were able to in XP/98/whatever.
Here's how, although I find it useful in case Chrome or Firefox stops working and you have to re-download it.
1. Search for turn windows features on or off and click it in the search results.
2. When the app opens, uncheck Internet Explorer 11.
3. Click Yes on the warning dialog.
4. Click OK.
5. Restart for the changes to finish.
Edge is the other way around. You can't disable it as it is part of the operating system, and you aren't supposed to remove it, but you can remove it using a Powershell command.
- Simply open up Powershell as an administrator.
- Once there, type Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers and press Enter.
- In the window, info about the apps on your computer will appear. Find Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge next to Name.
- Drag your mouse over the info next PackageFullName and press Ctrl+C to copy it. (e.g. Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_20.10240.16384.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe)
- Type Remove-AppxPackage Name, pasting the PackageFullName in place of "Name", and press Enter.
I would not remove Cortana. That will break the search features of the operating system, at least the search feature of the Start menu. The search features in File Explorer and replacement Start menus such as Classic Shell will still work, I believe. To disable it, though, open Task Manager, find Cortana, right click it, click Open File Location which will open a File Explorer window, go back to the Task Manager, right click Cortana, click End task, and then return to File Explorer and rename the folder that was selected (my folder is named Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy) when it opened to something else. I would rename it to *whateverthepreviousnamewas*BAK, so if I ever wanted to start using the Start menu search again, I could just remove BAK and restart.