RAM Hog: Most Windows 7ista PCs max out memory, researcher says

Apple Online Store“Most Windows 7 PCs max out their memory, resulting in performance bottlenecks, a researcher said today,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld.

“Citing data from Devil Mountain Software’s community-based Exo.performance.network (XPnet), Craig Barth, the company’s chief technology officer, said that new metrics reveal an unsettling trend. On average, 86% of Windows 7 machines in the XPnet pool are regularly consuming 90%-95% of their available RAM, resulting in slow-downs as the systems were forced to increasingly turn to disk-based virtual memory to handle tasks,” Keizer reports.

“The 86% mark for Windows 7 is more than twice the average number of Windows XP machines that run at the memory ‘saturation’ point, said Barth. The most recent snapshot of XPnet’s 23,000-plus PCs — taken yesterday — pegs only 40% of XP systems as running low on memory,” Keizer reports. “The low-memory condition of most Windows 7 PCs is even more notable considering the amount of RAM in Windows 7 systems: According to XPnet’s polling, Windows 7 PCs sport an average of 3.3GB of memory, compared to 1.7GB in the average Windows XP computer.”

Keizer reports, “‘This is alarming,’ Barth said of Windows 7 machines’ resource consumption. ‘For the OS to be pushing the hardware limits this quickly is amazing. Windows 7 is not the lean, mean version of Vista that you may think it is.'”

Full article here.


  1. The average is 3.3 GB RAM for Vista?? Dear God. I’m running Leopard on my AL PBG4 with 1.5 GB RAM, and it’s not slow at all. Of course, I don’t really use it for any heavy lifting (i.e., movie rendering or scientific computations). Didn’t read the associated article (I rarely do); does it tell what the typical workload is on those 7ista machines?

  2. Just FYI everyone, the linked article is complete BS from a very, very stupid executive. I won’t get into the finer details of cache architecture but you can not measure memory usage the way he is measuring it. Windows still sucks but it sucks for other reasons.

  3. From the original article:
    >> “Windows 7 machines have almost twice as much memory to work with,” said Barth, “but the numbers show just how much larger and more complex Windows 7 is than XP.”

    So, as Snow Leopard got tighter and more efficient, W-7 got…?

  4. I’m running a unibody MBP with 4GB ram, and I routinely hit the ceiling there….does that make SL a ram hog? No, it’s safari/itunes/finder/dashboard that hog the majority of the ram. quitting/restarting them frees up more ram, I would imagine doing this in 7ista would have the same effect. Most people don’t know to look at ram usage, or that restarting an application can free up a lot of ‘used’ ram.

  5. Let’s face facts — the Windows desktop OS is cursed, the result of years of bad karma incurred by Micro$oft as a result of mediocre products and unsavory business practices, plus its legendary arrogance. Nothing short of an exorcism involving religious leaders from every faith on earth, plus a sincere desire for atonement on the part of the company will purge these demons. Until then, they will continue to wreak havoc on PC’s everywhere.

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