With Windows 10 growing in popularity and programs
continuing to want more and more RAM, knowing more about Resource
Monitor and how to use it can prove to be a very valuable skill for
any sysadmin at work or Power User at home.
There's a saying my granddaddy taught me. "You can
never have too much money, happiness, or RAM", he said, and
truer words have not been spoken. Of course, I might add a few
things to this list, like pizza, puppies, and bandwidth, but those
are for another time. With Windows 10 growing in popularity and
programs continuing to consume more and more RAM, knowing about
this great tool and how to use it will prove to be a very valuable
skill for any sysadmin at work or PowerUser at home. So in this
article we will take a close look at Resource Monitor, and more
specifically, at what it can do around Memory.
Microsoft states that the minimum memory requirements for Windows 10 are
1GB for the 32bit version, and 2GB for the 64bit version, but we
all know that minimums are for chumps. Of course, sometimes, we
have to deal with what the company issues us, or what our budget
can afford, so we don't always have 16GB of RAM at our
disposal. In those times, keeping a close eye on what is consuming
our precious RAM is even more important. Enter Resource
What is it?
For starters, let's talk about what Resource Monitor
actually is. It is rather like your computer's Mr. Hyde to
Performance Monitor's Dr. Jekyll, if you've seen the BBC
production Jekyll, staring James Nesbitt. And if you
haven't seen that, just trust me. The Resource Monitor is the
hidden part of Performance Monitor that only comes out to play when
the cat is away. And it is the much more fun of the two. You can
use Resource Monitor to get a much more point in time view of
what's going on with your system than you ever could with Task
Manager, and more readily than with PerfMon.
But if you want a more technical definition of what it is, Wikipedia defines it as "a system
application in some Microsoft Windows operating systems, which
displays information about the use of hardware (CPU, memory, disk,
and network) and software (file handles and modules) resources in
real time." Perhaps their explanation is more to the point,
but no more accurate.
Resource Monitor runs under the Perfmon.exe process, which is
totally ironic since you cannot actually get to Resource Monitor
from Performance Monitor. Like I said, very Jekyll and Hyde! It has
five tabs, which display an overview of the current system
consumption of the "big four" resource categories; CPU,
Memory, Disk, and Network, along with drill downs into each. While
it displays details in real time, it does also display a running 60
second history of the same.
It's not a replacement for Task Manager, though you can get
to it from there, nor is it a replacement for Performance Monitor.
But it does serve a niche that many third party applications have
been developed to do in the past, including several of the SysInternals suite members. Don't think of
it as a complete replacement of tools you already use and are
familiar with, but more of a pocket multi-tool that will do a lot
for you in an easy to carry form, and often does enough that you
don't need to bring out the whole toolbox.
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