Windows 10: Have some extra RAM, anything I can do to speed up my system?

  1.    19 Apr 2016 #1

    Have some extra RAM, anything I can do to speed up my system?


    One of my i-5 SSD laptops has 16GB ram win10 64bit education version. Most of the time only about 25% of the ram is used. I wonder if I can use some of the ram to speed up things. In the old DOS/Atari days I would have a ram disk and copy an entire floppy to the ram disk. What can I do with the extra ram now? I have some C/C++ programs that take time to compile because besides the compiling, they are all small but numerous files.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.
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  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,055
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18252
       19 Apr 2016 #2

    Hello asusx205ta, :)

    Here's a list of ideas that can help optimize the performance of Windows 10.

    Optimize Performance of Windows 10
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,392
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       19 Apr 2016 #3

    asusx205ta said: View Post
    One of my i-5 SSD laptops has 16GB ram win10 64bit education version. Most of the time only about 25% of the ram is used. I wonder if I can use some of the ram to speed up things. In the old DOS/Atari days I would have a ram disk and copy an entire floppy to the ram disk. What can I do with the extra ram now? I have some C/C++ programs that take time to compile because besides the compiling, they are all small but numerous files.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.
    A caveat about the work you mentioned: even though you use a Notebook/Laptop with its own battery in good condition I'd be sure to keep it plugged into AC power and preferably on a UPS [just in case] as a RAMDisk will lose all its contents if the Notebook shuts down due to loss of power just like a Desktop losing power.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    19 Apr 2016 #4

    you can increase virtual memory if you like

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ID:	75715 in the boxes in last pic need to calculate 1 and 1/2 times your ram for best performance

    thats how you increase the virtual memory its up to you
    Last edited by Brink; 19 Apr 2016 at 23:02. Reason: merged posts
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  5. TairikuOkami's Avatar
    Posts : 3,414
    10.6 Home 1809 x64
       20 Apr 2016 #5

    With that amount of unused RAM, you could actually disable a pagefile, unless you have a software, which needs it.
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  6.    20 Apr 2016 #6

    I think it is improbable that you can second guess memory management. You might be REALLY smart and can figure out better use of RAM than the developers of the OS.

    Honestly though I doubt it. I'm good at math and it is beyond me. I've only once forced a specific table (currency exchange rates) into memory and even now I'm not sure it was worth it. It made a specific program about 3% faster but possibly degraded other things.

    What you didn't say is why you think your RAM is underused. Compilation is a CPU based activity not particularly memory intensive.

    What you want is your CPU to be running at 100%. If it isn't then you have a bottleneck in IO or RAM (you need to look into these separately). If it running at nearly 100% then you need to buy some more CPU and chucking money into storage (either RAM or disk) is pointless as the CPU is already dealing as fast as it can with the data sent to it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    20 Apr 2016 #7

    When trying to optimize performance it is important to first determine where the bottleneck is. That is the component that is limiting the aspect of performance that is the most important to you. But what often happens is that the component that is cheapest or most convenient to replace is the one upgraded. Very often that is RAM. The problem with this approach is that you may end up spending s lot of money on something that wasn't the problem and see little improvement.

    Within reasonable limits adding more memory will always improve performance. But there will always be a point of diminishing returns beyond which there will be little gain. That point will be determined primarily by the workload. With typical workloads 8 GB RAM seems to be about right. 4 GB RAM will usually limit performance, at least some of the time. 16 GB RAM is usually overkill. Of course there are exceptions.

    Back in the early days of computing a RAMDisk was often a useful thing. But modern operating systems have a complex and sophisticated caching system that provides most of the advantages of a RAMDisk with fewer problems. RAMDisks tend to improve one aspect of performance but cost you elsewhere, usually for a net loss. If you really understand your workload you may be able to do better. I don't claim to have that knowledge.
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  8.    20 Apr 2016 #8

    I think more or less I got the 8GB->16GB upgrade because the price was right, not because I really needed it. My 8GB was never insufficient. Right, compiling code has cpu and disk bottleneck. I upgraded to ssd to make compile just slightly faster. Maybe if I start editing videos, I'll utilize more memory. The last time the page file was accessed was 2 weeks ago. I wish I knew what caused it. The reason that I thought my memory was underutilized was available memory has been 11-12GB most of the time.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    21 Apr 2016 #9

    Don't make the mistake of believing that available memory is free and unused. The resource monitor, accessible from the Performance tab of Task Manager, shows this more clearly. Typically most, or at least much, of available memory will be labeled as Standby. This memory is available to any application that needs it, but in the meantime acts as a kind of cache that contributes much to system performance. This is nothing new but has been a part of the NT platform since it was introduced in 1993. Linux and the Mac have something similar but with different names. Only memory labeled as Free is actually unused.

    Memory management in any modern OS is VERY complex and cannot be evaluated with a few simple numbers.

    Don't be concerned about pagefile usage. With a large amount of RAM this will likely be mostly writes which the system does not have to wait for and are almost free in terms of performance. This too is far more complex than might seem apparent. The pagefile does not work like most people think it does.

    Edit: If your C source code and other files are stored on an SSD it is doubtful that a RAMDisk would be of much use. An SSD is rarely going to be a performance bottleneck, particularly for a CPU intensive program like a compiler.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    21 Apr 2016 #10

    I would agree. Given that you aren't anywhere near utilizing all of your actual system memory, you won't see any benefit of increasing your virtual memory....except less disk space. Since Windows 7 came out, there hasn't been a need to alter these settings.

    Given your system specs, performance shouldn't be something you should worry about.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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