Free RAM is wasted RAM. XP will grab big chunks of memory to help improve overall performance of the system. If any of that memory is needed, it will release it for other programs. Otherwise, it's not doing you any good if it's just sitting idle, so XP stores parts of itself in memory to speed up access.
I have 512 ram on my system, but sometimes it is sluggish. Firefox can easily eat up 200mb of ram, and a MS Office products also take a toll. But what bothers me is that on a fresh start, with few background processes running, the WinXP still takes 190 mb of memory.
According to Microsoft, Win XP needs 64 mb ram minimum, but M.S. recommends 128... This seems weird given my observation that XP uses 190 with out doing anything other than booting up (no, I don't have any crapware) How can I get the OS to step out of the way and let my apps have more memory.
I guess I'm wondering if there is any way to tell windows to act like it's in a restricted ram environment so that it doesn't steal all the memory that should be going to applications.