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Decrease RAM/CPU usage Windows 7


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#1
Sunshine808

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Hi. I have an ASUS a53U, AMD Brazos Dual Core E450 1.65 ghz, 4GB Memory, 320GB HDD, running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit and MS Security Essentials.

This computer was purchased only a few days ago and I am trying to limit CPU usage as much as possible. I am used to and like the minimal XP consumption :) and would like to simplify things on this new system along those lines. I only need the computer to be able to do certain things--not as much as it clearly was set to do out of the box. I don't need to share anything through Windows products. I am not a gamer. I don't watch very many dvd's and definitely do not utilize the web to download/play audio. I do, however, need it to consistently make videos with my logitech webcam at 720p and edit them w/Movie Maker. This and perhaps having 10 browser tabs open alongside photoshop is really the extent to which I want to press the CPU.

So, upon getting to know the computer I saw that even while idling the CPU consumption was around 64%--which I figured would not allow me to do videos etc.--so I set out to decrease based on what little I knew, and I am still in need of help with determining what I don't need and how to decrease it further.


I uninstalled Windows Live Essentials, installed the Vista version of Media Player, turned off all but the IE in Windows Features, disabled many start up actions (not sure if I need to do more, or even enable certain ones again), and I increased the paging files substantially for both drives. This really, really helped lower the percentage of energy used by both cores, and general CPU usage, but the RAM's still at 2475 of 3691 when no windows/browser is open. I'd like to decrease that.

I have not yet set out to disable anything while the machine's running, just upon start up.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)
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#2
Digerati

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I think you should revert everything back to their default settings and leave it. XP was designed nearly 12 years ago to support legacy hardware and software from 10 years before that. Microsoft has learned a lot since then and Windows 7 is NOT XP. Nor should it be treated the same as XP. Windows 7, especially 64-bit Windows 7, is excellent at managing memory, including the Page File, and CPU utilization.

Arbitrarily changing things because of 63% utilization does not address the reason why it was at 63% utilization. Same with your RAM utilization. What really matters with CPU utilization is what is currently active (running) and not what is loaded, but sitting idle. Certainly, especially as a notebook, the maker may have things starting at boot you don't need - those should be the things you address, not Windows systems.

If your system was idle, it would have been idle - that is, at or near 0% CPU utilization. You being idle and Windows being idle are two totally different things. When the user goes idle, Windows 7 goes to work! What was important at that point was determining which program or programs were hogging those resources at that moment. Changing the PF did NOT change the "percentage of energy used by both cores". If you noticed a change, it was due to something else, like the system going idle on its own. Unless you are running desperately low of free disk space, Windows should manage the page file.

Note as a new computer, it is very likely Windows 7 is still getting to know you, and your computer and your computing habits. This means it is still indexing (vastly improved with Win7) and tweaking the prefetches. This process takes a few days.

It makes no sense to me to install the Vista version of Media Player. Besides, there is no such thing. That would be the same thing as saying the Vista version of Internet Explorer - no such thing. WMP, like IE, is a separate program. Proper security discipline dictates using the latest versions of add-on programs.

The BEST thing you could do for your computer is buy more RAM. The "sweetspot" for 64-bit Windows is 8Gb for dual-channel memory architecture motherboards (6Gb for triple channel).
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#3
Sunshine808

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Thanks for replying Digerati!

I guess my frustration is that my decade old computer with its original components seemed to be configured, or whatever, to handle the tasks that I need to perform better than this new machine with 4X as much RAM and double the CPU capacity. It boggles my novice brain! :D

I am understanding that you recommend that I go back and change the PF to default (easy enough), get more RAM, cut background and start up programs. Would it be more appropriate to split this topic into three and post two topics seeking help on other parts of the community forums? I could use help with all. I don't know which background programs to cut, or how to go about getting more RAM.

I misinformed in regards to the media player. It was Movie Maker for Vista that I installed, after uninstalling Windows Live Essentials.

I try to look around a bit before posting here, and found a few things on paging files that made me want to change the settings. I know that I will never use most of the storage space especially on the data drive. Also, that decade old computer was running slow at one time and I came here to get help. One of the things we did was increase the PF. But, that was an XP machine. I had no idea that it was not something to be done with 7. I sawy.

Edited by Sunshine808, 21 February 2012 - 09:19 AM.

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#4
jcgriff2

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Keep Resmon up -- what is using the CPU?
START | type resmon

As for RAM, Windows 7 will utilize as much RAM as it can.

Assuming 4 GB RAM, W7 x64 allocates 1 GB to kernel memory; 3 GB to the non-paged pool.

It is not uncommon to see "Free" memory near zero in Task Manager at any given time.

Edited by jcgriff2, 21 February 2012 - 10:39 AM.

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#5
Digerati

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I am understanding that you recommend that I go back and change the PF to default (easy enough), get more RAM, cut background and start up programs.

Yes. Well, it depends on the background and startup programs. Certainly, you need your anti-malware solution and firewall running. I also recommend Secunia PSI. But again, any startup program "should" settle down when idle and not use any CPU resources. RAM may be another issue, but again, Windows does a pretty good job of managing that.

I don't know which background programs to cut, or how to go about getting more RAM.

Remember, Google is your friend. You first must see what programs are running in the background. Then Google them, or ask here, and find out if they need to be started with Windows. As for RAM, check your hardware specs/manual. You can also use one of the RAM wizards found on most RAM sites. The Crucial Memory Advisor is a good one that can tell you what your notebook will support, and what RAM will work.
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#6
Sunshine808

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Awesome, jcgriff2, thanks! I had not seen this tool before. Wow a lot's running....


Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

....not sure what's needed and what's not.

So, ...if I were to buy and install more memory, will widows then use more? I'd like to look into getting more. I just don't know how.
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#7
jcgriff2

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The TrustedInstaller is using 715 MB RAM...?

Are Windows Updates installing/ waiting to be installed?

Any other apps installing?

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#8
Sunshine808

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Thanks Digerati!

Yes. Well, it depends on the background and startup programs. Certainly, you need your anti-malware solution and firewall running. I also recommend Secunia PSI. But again, any startup program "should" settle down when idle and not use any CPU resources. RAM may be another issue, but again, Windows does a pretty good job of managing that.

Thanks for the recommendation. I will look into Secunia. Trend Micro Titanium came with the OS...? I only assume that. I have tried finding it to uninstall, to no avail.

Remember, Google is your friend. You first must see what programs are running in the background. Then Google them, or ask here, and find out if they need to be started with Windows. As for RAM, check your hardware specs/manual. You can also use one of the RAM wizards found on most RAM sites. The Crucial Memory Advisor is a good one that can tell you what your notebook will support, and what RAM will work.

That was a neat tool! I'd like to search locally for what I need, if I can. It said "Each memory slot can hold DDR3 PC3-10600, DDR3 PC3-12800 with a maximum of 8GB Kit (4GBx2) per slot.* (and I have two slots, one filled with 4gb)" So, do I walk into the store and ask for a 4gb DDR3 PC3-10600 or DDR3 PC3-12800 kit? Google is quite amazing, too, thanks.
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#9
Digerati

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I had not seen this tool before

You can also access this by clicking the Resource Monitor... button under the Performance tab in Task Manager.

It sure looks like Firefox is eating up a lot of resources too.
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#10
Sunshine808

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jcgriff2:

The TrustedInstaller is using 715 MB RAM...?

Uh...I had no idea that, yes, there are 21 updates-mostly for MS Office 2003. Yesterday ...all of the updates loaded automatically and I was notified from the taskbar that they were ready, so I have no idea why it did not do the same in this instance, but I will be back!

Any other apps installing

Um, I will have to Google what that means and how to tell! I'll be back!

Thanks!
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#11
Digerati

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(and I have two slots, one filled with 4gb

Hmmm, note with just one module, your RAM is running in single-channel mode. For best performance with a dual-channel motherboard (as yours is), you need to run with two identical sticks. So I would verify what the 4Gb stick you are using now is, then buy one with identical specs.
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#12
Sunshine808

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Digerati:

It sure looks like Firefox is eating up a lot of resources too.


I haven't a clue why. I do have 8 tabs open. I often have this amount up. I have no personna. Extensions: adblock plus, speeddial. Add-ons: shockwave flas, silverlight plug in, zeon plus.

Thanks!
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#13
Sunshine808

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Digerati:

Hmmm, note with just one module, your RAM is running in single-channel mode. For best performance with a dual-channel motherboard (as yours is), you need to run with two identical sticks. So I would verify what the 4Gb stick you are using now is, then buy one with identical specs.


Thank you! That's how the Asus came. Are the specs for the 4gb stick I need to get DDR3 PC3-10600, DDR3 PC3-12800, DDR3 (non-ECC)and does it have to be from the same manufacturer?

Edited by Sunshine808, 21 February 2012 - 11:10 AM.

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#14
Digerati

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Are the specs for the 4gb stick I need to get DDR3 PC3-10600, DDR3 PC3-12800, DDR3 (non-ECC)and does it have to be from the same manufacturer?

PC3-10600 and PC3-12800 are two different speeds of DDR3 non-ECC RAM. You should get the same as what you have now to ensure the new stick plays well with the stick you have now. Technically, it does not have to be the same maker. It is specs that matter.

If lucky, you can just remove the access panel and see the label on your current RAM.
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#15
Sunshine808

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PC3-10600 and PC3-12800 are two different speeds of DDR3 non-ECC RAM. You should get the same as what you have now to ensure the new stick plays well with the stick you have now. Technically, it does not have to be the same maker. It is specs that matter.

If lucky, you can just remove the access panel and see the label on your current RAM.


I tried last night to look for the access panel and I will have to do it again when I get back from work. In the event that I cannot access it, is there a way to find out the specs from within explorer...or something?

Also, I think that I have gone through all of the start up processes and such, but it was not an easy task to google. For instance, one site will say it's an evil process and the next will say it's necessary. Is there one particular site that you use most often for such purposes, or do you just...google away?

Thanks for your help!
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