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I'm a memory hog, can you help my computer run a bit better?

Hi!! Help!!! I admit I am a memory hog and constantly run my PC down to a crawl. Maybe someone can suggest a change in settings that will help my system run a bit better.
I have an HP Elite 8300 Compact desktop with Intel i5 CPU, 12GB RAM, running Win 7 64bit, and a 320G HD and a 3T HD set up as a backup for some data.

I run Google Chrome as my main internet browser and occasionally Firefox as a secondary. I usually have 30-40 Chrome tabs open and currently have 20 Firefox tabs open in addition. I'm sure you are wondering how it is running at all!! I've tried adding more RAM but it wouldn't run right on 16G for some reason. Is there a way I can configure the system to use the HD as extra RAM or set up the system to ignore programs I'm not using??? Please try hard not to laugh!!! Thank You!!!

--Submitted by: JP (member username: vibroluxreverb)

Post was last edited on December 4, 2017 1:48 PM PST

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many websites open

I supposed videos loading up in the back are helping slow it down. If you can disable autoplay in your browser, do so. It may keep some of those videos from loading in the background till you are ready to watch them. In FF57

media.autoplay.enabled set to "false" would help. Its accessed using about:config in URL bar.

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it already does that.
" Is there a way I can configure the system to use the HD as extra RAM "

It's a default part of windows called pagefile.
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Use the HD as extra RAM does that - yes, but ...

Yes, Windows will - like other systems as well - use a page file on disk as a way to give you more "virtual" memory to work with if the actually installed memory isn't enough.


When it does too much of that and starts "thrashing" the page file, then your system gets REALLY slow.

And, yes, this would run faster if the page file sits on a good fast SSD. But it also wears out the limited write cycles that an SSD offers really fast. At which time you will need a new SSD ... More real memory is faster and cheaper.

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Need more RAM!

The specifications for your Elite 8300 state that it has 4 memory slots (called DIMM slots, technically), and the maximum amount of RAM you can use is 32GB. You said you currently have 12GB so I guess you probably have a matched pair (kit) of 2 x 4GB RAM modules plus a third module of 4GB. I strongly recommend that you remove the "unmatched" 4GB module and replace it with a 2 x 8Gb kit that's the same as the 2 x 4 GB kit already in use. In other words, buy the same brand, same model number except that the new kit model number will reflect the fact that it's larger capacity. This will give you a total of 24GB which will handle all those open tabs much better. Disregarding cost, I'd say replace all of the RAM with a 4 x 8GB RAM kit, giving you 32GB total. These days that would cost quite a lot.

The second upgrade that goes hand in hand with more memory is to replace the 320GB hard drive with an SSD. You will be amazed how quick and snappy your system becomes compared to how it is now! You can "clone" (copy) the full contents of your existing hard drive onto the SSD in about 10 or 20 minutes and then install the SSD in place of the old hard drive.

If you can't afford to do that you can plug in a USB flash drive or an SDXC memory card. This will give you the option of using it for a feature called "ReadyBoost". Select "Speed up my system" in the dialog box. (Just before you do that, click the Tools tab along the top of the dialog box, select Format, and choose "ex-FAT" as the file system to format in. This will ensure optimum performance. Then enable the ReadyBoost feature. I suggest a fast 32GB flash drive or SDXC card.

Another issue has already been mentioned by another poster. Things such as videos or other graphics loading or refreshing on tabs you're not actively viewing at the moment can put a huge load on your cpu and video chip. So, turn off "autoplay" in Chrome and that should help a little, too.

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Adding RAM

I actually bought a matching pair of 8G SODIMM cards for my PC and it started crashing more. I tried various configurations and one 8G and one 4G seemed to work the best - JP

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Making some assumptions...

I'll assume you mean Compaq and not Compact, since I can't find a "Compact".

Since you mention SODIMMs, I'll also assume it is the USDT version

CMT, MT, SFF 1600-MHz non-ECC DDR3 SDRAM; (4) DIMM slots enabling up to 32GB

USDT 1600-MHz non-ECC DDR3 SDRAM; (2) SO-DIMM slots enabling up to 16GB

If your SODIMMs were sold as a 'Matched Pair", they should work and if they don't I'd be looking at a warranty replacement. If they were just "Matching" - i.e. the same labels on them they should work but may not if they were at the opposite ends of their tolerance. Do some more tests, if you haven't yet, try the two 8 GB cards and swap them round in the slots. Does either configuration work? If not, try each of the 8 GB cards with the 4 GB card. You say one of them works - does the other? Armed with the results of these tests, speak to the supplier and discuss warranty replacement.

The 320 GB HDD is unlikely to be state of the art - it's probably 5400 rpm. Consider replacing it with either a SSD, which will give a dramatic speed increase on boot, shutdown and application start or a WD Black 7200 rpm HDD. Here in Australia, a 500GB SDD runs to around $200 Australian and a WD Black 750 GB HDD around half that - US prices may be cheaper. The extra space, especially on the HDD will help somewhat.

I won't ask what you need 60-70 browser tabs open for - obviously your workflow is much more complex than mine but it's not going to help your performance.

There are also quite a few articles on C|Net on checking the processes running and culling the unnecessary ones.

Good Luck!

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Adding RAM - again ...

There is something not in order with your memory setup. Since there is so much going wrong with mismatsched memory, flakey memory chips, and so on, I suggest you find a shop that you trust that can help you through that issue. On the other hand, considering what I get away with using just Firefox and 8GB of memory (pagefile mostly disabled) - 12GB shouldn't be too bad.

In fact. starting the task manager and studying its displays might shed some light on the real issue underlying all of this. It can show you page hits, other I/O, CPU utilization and more. But note, Firefox, running just one process can only use (and max out) one CPU. If your system has four of them then Firefox is at the limit when it shows 25% CPU - that is 25% of four CPUs or 100% of one. Chrome apparently starts more processes and thus could potentially max out all of your CPUs.

My Firefox will run okay for a good number of days only to start recting a bit funny all of a sudden and then to crash altogether. Memory management is not its strongest point, it seems ... After restart and reopening all the pages it looks healthy again - for a while.

From time to time you also hit a page with some bad Javascript or a Flash issue; in that case your browser will crash again - reliably - when that page loads again. It is unfortunate but apparently also typical that such issues often come with "commercially motvated" code - advertising (also often the slowest contents to load, possibly because they have to inform all the analysts of what youa re about to do Wink - or the adblocker detectors or the stuff that disables your right-click menu and thus some of the download capabilities. But I don't think that you are a victim of "just that" ...

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How many ram slots does your mobo have?

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The Options are Varied and Many


Yours is not an uncommon problem. However, 30 to 50 tabs open at once is incredible...whew! That’s some heavy researching. OK..enough with the jokes. Let’s see if I can help with getting your HP Elite 8300 Compact Desktop running faster.

Your system was or is available in the following configurations: Ultra Slim Desktop, Small Form Factor, Microtower and Convertible Minitower. Only the last three will support DDR3 non-ECC up to 1600 MT/s RAM @ 32 GB max. The ultra Slim Desktop will only support the same RAM type @ 16 GB max. Click the link for proof source.

As you say your system will not run 16 GB RAM you must make sure the RAM sticks match. Kingston and Crucial both make 8 GB sticks that are compatible with your rig. Don’t mix brands…use the same RAM. Having said the above unless you tell us differently I’m going to proceed on the assumption that your rig is the Ultra Slim Desktop.

You don’t want your rig to use the conventional HD or SSD as a supplement to your RAM. When that occurs your system will slow down even more. Also, installing a SSD will speed up your system but only for boot, launching programs and accessing stored data. After that your CPU, GPU and RAM dictate how fast your system runs. Although web pages are stored in a cache for quick launch…after that your RAM takes over.

I could write a novel on what to do to speed up your PC but the options are varied and many. So rather than try to show you how smart I am here’s a link to get you started. HowtoGeek is a very helpful site that I often refer people to in this Community. Once there you can search for more good stuff!

Please post back and let us know how things turnout. Cheers!

Together Everyone Achieves More = TEAM

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PC and RAM

It is the Ultra Slim Business PC which is basically a Laptop in a desktop case. It uses SoDimm Laptop Ram. It is approx 4 years old. When I bought the 16G of RAM I bought 2x 8G sticks of the same brand thru a dealer on Ebay. SoDimm RAM is a lot more expensive, so I guess I was trying to get off cheap.
Thanx for the reply!!! jp

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A Little More About RAM

Hi JP...again Cool

There are somethings you don’t want to buy on the cheap for a PC; unless you're absolutely sure they will work. RAM is one of them. Buying RAM on eBay is a gamble at best as it’s a hassle to return (assuming the seller accepts returns). It’s always better to spend the extra bucks at a local retailer that will make the exchange and/or do some research to be sure they have sold the correct RAM.

Here are some additional points about RAM:

The term “Used” Ram is a misnomer. RAM doesn’t slowly go bad it’s either useable or not. RAM is the single most component in your PC that will live on long after the other components have gone south. I’ll use the term “Used” only to make a distinction in what follows.

1. As I said RAM doesn’t slowly go bad it’s either useable or not. That’s true for used and New out of the box.
2. Buy used RAM only from a reputable dealer which is typically your local PC repair shop. If it’s no good you’ll know straight away upon install as your system won’t recognize it.

As I work on my own PC’s I’ve bought so-called used RAM on many occasions with success. However, avoid buying used RAM out of a bin (i.e. no packaging) containing sticks of all types and trying to find what matches your PC. RAM bought as such may have pin damage which has a 50% failure rate.

Also, just because it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and walks like a duck doesn’t mean it is a duck. Here’s why I say that…

I reconditioned a Dell Optiplex 380 with 4GB RAM running Win7_32bit. I upgraded the CPU from a Core2 Duo to a Core2 Quad Duo, went from Win7 to Win10_64bit, installed a 1GB GPU Card with HDMI and a USB 3.0 card. After everything checked out running the 4GB RAM my next step was to purchase another 4GB compatible stick of RAM. Ironically, the system would only recognize the exact (and I mean exact) same Kingston RAM that had been factory installed. I tried 5 different brands of so-called compatible RAM that every dealership swore would work. No Joy. Sad I finally went to my local PC repair shop and found the RAM I needed. Needless to say it was the so-called used RAM taken from another Dell.

The point of all this is to illustrate the fact that (although rare) sometimes NEW compatible RAM may not work. Your system may only recognize the exact same type of RAM that was factory installed.

To get down to the nitty-gritty of knowing what RAM to get for your system run a Command Prompt. Adminstrator level should be default in Win7. Here’s how:

Windows Key + R
In the resulting search field Type CMD then Enter

At the blinking cursor type the following ("...." indicate a space)
Hit Enter_then type…
Hit Enter

The result will be a Data:Notepad. Scroll to right to see the RAM Part Number(s). You’ll want to match either the original 8GB stick (if that’s what came standard) or buy identical 8GB sticks. Hopefully, your Compaq is not as finicky about the RAM type as was my Dell.

Hope this additional info helps. Cheers!

Together Everyone Achieves More = TEAM

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" installed a 1GB GPU Card with HDMI and a USB 3.0 card. "

That motherboard.

Did you expect to get USB3 speed from that card installed into a PCI slot?
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OK but Let's not hi-jack this post to discuss USB 3.0 speeds

However, to answer your question I have a Corsair USB keyboard that required a USB 3.0 connection. The extra speed (as little or great as it is) vs the USB 2.0 ports was enough to make the Corsair function properly. Am I getting the benefit of full USB 3.0...of course not....I never expected to. Truth be told neither USB 2.0 nor USB 3.0 achieve the rated transfer speeds as spec'd on paper.

Also, to clear any misconception I didn't mean to imply that the GPU Card and USB 3.0 card share the same slot.


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Keep more free space on your system HD.

I found my Win7-64 system with 1 TB HD and 8 GB RAM seriously slowing down, with about 1 GB of free space on the HD. When I deleted a bunch of data files to get back to 12 GB free space speed went back to normal. I now keep a lot fewer data files on C:\.

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HDD space

I had that problem but I bought a 3TB USB3.0 external drive that I have files exporting to. - jp

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I think you're looking at the wrong end of this ...

If your most demanding use is opening lots of tabs in two browsers on the Internet, I think you need to consider that the issue might be your pipeline to the Internet.

Who connects you to the Internet? Who's your ISP and what type of service are you getting from them? How are you connected to the ISP's modem/router? All the computer improvements in the world aren't going to help you much if your Internet connection is choked down with heavy access. Or, in light of current events, your ISP chokes down your access for you.

I wouldn't laugh at what you're doing at all. Lots of people, for various reasons, make those kind of demands on the Internet. But I truly think you need to look elsewhere before spending a whole lot of money updating an older computer system. Hope this helps...

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ISP is Spectrum hooked up thru WiFi. It's 60MB per sec but shows up as around 25 when I test it. I might try running a wire from my modem and see what that does. Thanx!!! JP

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You're on the right track ...

There's probably a lot to be found working from here.

The first thing you want to do is to try it wired ... ideally by a Cat 5/6 Ethernet cable, because many modems provide USB connections which are painfully slow on older computer systems. You may find enough improvement, based on whatever version of WiFi connection you had (a/b/g/n/ac ...) that you can live with the difference and fix your problem for free. Or at least the cost of a $10 network cable.

Since the system you describe seems to be an older system, with older OS and specifications, you may also have options to upgrade your WiFi for minimal cost. It won't be as fast as wired Ethernet, but it could still be much faster than what you're currently using. Going back to those parentheses above, where I listed various 802.11x WiFi specs, you're likely running on an earlier version of WiFi on your computer and conceivably running on a slower version on your modem as well.

When I last moved, Comcast upgraded my speed from the "g" version to the "n" version. And when I recently exchanged modems, the company gave me the latest "ac" compatible router. Adding a new "ac" compatible WiFi card to your computer and upgrading your router could get you a big improvement on internet browsing too.

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Hard Connection vs WiFi

For reasons of simplicity, I chose a 300Mbps WiFi connection. No hassle with running cable. Tested speed to the WiFI ROUTER was a constant 300Mbps. However, often rated my connectivity to teh internet at 1/4 of the contracted speed of 40Mbps. But.. in a building with many other WiFI power stations, all broadcasting at 5 bars, chronic speed and disconnects plagued me... enough to buy a CAT -5e cable, and hardwire the connection. Not a single dropped, slowed connection since. So, though there are benefits to doing this, I am not sure that is is your real problem.
I noticed, using Firefox Nightly, and the latest FF57, as well as Edge and IE that, when pages open, which have videos loading/playing, the Realtek audio channel is compromised, seriously. Enough to cause a lot of crackling, and speed fluctuations. Occasionally, it will cripple the system so badly that the mouse ceases to fucntion for a bit. This is only with pages that have video feeds (YouTube, News channels, etc.) This all started after the latest Windows Update several weeks ago, though no causation presumed.
My system is Windows 10-1709; i7 2600 @3.4Ghz; 16GB RAM, all plugged into an MSI P67A-G45 Series mainboard. Still looking for the cause. Let me know if you figure it out.

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Chatter About Wi-Fi and/or the ISP

I may be wrong and it won’t be the first time, but I ‘m not convinced that JP’s issues are related to his Wi-Fi and/or ISP.

JP posted his problem as “Hi!! Help!!! I admit I am a memory hog and constantly run my PC down to a crawl.”

He did not say Hi!! Help!!! I admit I am a memory hog and my web pages are constantly loading/displaying slowly which then could be Wi-Fi and/or ISP related. However, even after they are loaded it’s the RAM that keeps them useable.

JP also stated that all total he might have as many as 60 tabs open between his two browsers. Here again he said “open” not loading slowly.

Let’s look at this from a statistical point of view. JP’s HP Elite 8300 is running 12 Gb RAM. The average size of a web page is 2,332 Kb as per the article in the link below.

Time for some numbers:

1 Gb = 1,024 Mb
1 Mb = 1,024 Kb
1 web page = 2,332 Kb = 2.277 Mb
12 Gb RAM = 12,288 Mb
12,288 Mb minus 2.277 Mb = 12,285.72 Mb = 11.997 Gb

Given the above there is at least 11+ Gb RAM remaining after loading 60 web pages. Of course the remaining 11+ Gb is much less once you factor in the OS and essential systems. However, there is definitely more being loaded into the RAM that is causing JP’s slow down which is why I suggested he review the web page below (mentioned in my original post).

So, unless JP corrects his post to say the Web pages are loading slowly...I must rule out issues with his Wi-Fi and ISP in general. Cheers!

Together Everyone Achieves More = TEAM

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Re: webpages

Chrome is known to be a memory hog, because it uses different processes to isolate different tabs. You can check the memory usage yourself in task manager resource monitor ( which tracks disc accesses and CPU usage also. That's better than a too simple calculation.

Depending on the outcome of the research, my guess is that adding RAM is the best solution, with replacing the HDD by an SSD to speed up virtual memory would come second. But maybe it's the CPU, if those 30 webpages all run complex javascripts.

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While I agree

that maxing out the RAM in a system is the best way to ensure peak performance; at this point I think JP's issues go beyond RAM. 12 Gb RAM is adequate for the majority of the populous unless one is running resource hungry photo and/or video editing programs.

My advice is to determine what's using all of his resources by checking memory and CPU usage (as you suggested) but not adding more RAM at the juncture. Adding RAM only treats the symptom (sluggish performance) and not the cause.

There are system/program "hogs" somewhere in JP's unit that need to be shutdown or limit their start-up until needed. That's one reason to set desktop icons to access a program only when needed (if it's one used on a regular basis) and close it after use. If only used once in a blue-moon then accessing the program via programs list will suffice as desktop icons also use RAM.


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Just a reminder ...

SSDs are an effective but very expensive way to implement virtual emmory (a "page file") due to the fact that page files get written to constantly and you will thus max out the write cycles of your SSD much more quickly than with a spinning disk. The remedy for that is a replacement SSD!

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AJ. You are one smart Dude. Follow your threads anywhere. Seems as though you’re always right on. Thanks for the education

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I took a few minutes to test the theory that the original poster's 12GB of RAM is not enough. Here's how it was tested:
Total RAM memory in my PC = 16GB.
Amount of RAM in use before opening Chrome browser - 1.92GB

Open Chrome browser. The only active extension is LastPass password manager.
In Chrome, open 3 different web email sites.
Open 22 instances of a website with two 3-inch x 3-inch static ads plus 1 x animated banner ad.
Open 4 different news stories on
Open 1 instance of main page.
Open 1 instance of main page.
Open 1 instance of welcome page.
Open 1 instance of Google search results.
Open 10 news websites.
Total = 40 tabs open in Chrome browser.

Total system RAM of my PC = 16GB.
Total RAM usage (40 Chrome tabs + other tasks) = 14.08GB
Total Ram usage with Chrome browser closed = 1.92GB
14.08 GB minus 1.92GB = 12.16GB of RAM used by Chrome with 40 tabs open.

Conclusion: 12GB of RAM is not enough for the original poster. Windows manages RAM usage and at some point begins storing some data on unused space on the hard drive (called the "pagefile", as most people know). While this may prevent the system from completely freezing up or crashing, the system will undoubtedly slow down, thus becoming more and more sluggish and taking longer and longer to respond.

This brings me back to the suggestions i made in my earlier post above:
1.Cheapest option: add a fast 32GB SDXC memory card or USB flash drive and enable ReadyBoost in Windows. (Smaller capacity SDXC and USB flash drives don't have very fast Write speeds on small files which are needed for overall system speed-up.)
2. Better option: Increase total system RAM to 16GB, making sure to use the same brand, same model for compatibility.
3. Best option: Replace the hard drive with an SSD which, in conjunction with the ReadyBoost option, will very significantly increase system responsiveness/speed/performance.
Example: Crucial BX300 SSD 525GB capacity price approx. $150 at or
Example: 32GB SDXC memory card Sandisk Extreme or Samsung EVO approx. $25 - $30.

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How much does ReadyBoost help?

I tried ReadyBoost with 16 GB USB 3 drives and 32 GB SDHC UHS1 cards with ratings of ~ 90 mb/sec. I did not see any appreciable improvement on both desktops and laptops.

Did anyone have better experience?

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Gauerre, Good empirical analysis

I am running a AMD 6300 six-core CPU overclocked to 4.1 GHz on a Biostar A880GX mobo with 16GB AMD RAM and a 256GB AMD SSD. I decided to download and install AMD RAMDISK in my system. If you purchase a AMD RAM they will let you use 6GB RAMDISK for free. I loaded as much software into the RAMDISK as I could. You know: WORD spreadsheet and word processor, drivers for the printer and free Malwarebytes, etc. Also, since I am still using MS IE version 11 with my WIN 8.1 OS I decided to put my temporary internet files on the RAMDISK. This eliminates all the IE reading and writing overhead on my SSD.

I am wondering if this might be the way to go to eliminate some of the RAM gridlock our CNET compadre is experiencing?

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Not to Beat a Dead Horse, But...

I think the general consensus is that JP needs to add more RAM to his system and possibly upgrade to a SSD. However, a new SSD only speeds up boot time, program search/launch and if Page File comes into play then a faster swap.

Adding more RAM will most certainly help eliminate the immediate sluggishness. However, thinking forward...more RAM just gives more license to open more webpages until eventually JP is again confronted with the same issue of running out of memory. It becomes a never ending cycle.

JP is at point where behavioral changes need to be made as to how resources are used (i.e. RAM). That means controllng programs that launch at start-up. Better management of web pages. May be even looking at a more efficient anti-virus program. The list goes on. But just adding RAM for the sake of adding RAM is not the answer.

It appears that members are also equating disc space with RAM and vise-versa. One can have a 1Tb SSD ($$$$$ Wink ) but having that amount of disc space does not keep a system from performing slowly; if RAM is being used by non-essential stuff.

So again I say let's not just treat the symptom by adding RAM...let's eliminate (or rather control) the cause.

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"JP is at point where behavioral changes need to be made as to how resources are used (i.e. RAM)"
I might have to go into Memory Hog Rehab!! (If there is such a thing...)

Since the memory is so expensive for this PC (SODIMM) it might make more sense to look into a Standard Desktop that is a lot faster than this one,(i5-3470s @ 2.90MHZ), and can be upgraded cheaper. I will check out the start-up programs running at boot-up and shut some down. I have several unused 25 ft CAT5 cables from a non wi-fi smart Blue Ray player install (since replaced by an Amazon Fire Stick) so I'll try bypassing the wi-fi alltogether at least to this PC.

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(NT) I know of a couple 5 Star facilities

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