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I have a ThinkPad with following attributes: 1.68MHz processor, 512Mb ram, 768Mb Virtual Memory, 2 hard disks with total 140Gb storage, and attached 400Gb external USB drive.

I note that on startup I have "commit charge" of about 370Mb, but it often runs up above 700Mb when I have several programs running. Nevertheless, I cannot identify where all the memory is being used by checking Processes tab of Task Manager.

What is relationship of "Memory Usage" and "VM Size"? Should one or other or both add up to totals under these headings?

The Microsoft website, as usual, is totally useless in answering these questions.

****

Some additional questions:
1. I notice memory usage of Firefox and Thunderbird grows the longer they are active, regardless of what sites are open in them. Am I looking at memory leaks?
2. What is the optimal Virtual Memory setting for my configuration. Should it me 1.5, 2, 2.5 or some other multiple of installed ram?

Many thanks for any help I can get on these queries.
 

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Commit Charge - this shows you is the maximum amount of memory that is being called upon by XP, so the peak value. If this frequently exceeds the amount of physical RAM that you have in the PC, virtual memory or a page file needs to be used.

Described in Wikipedia

But, the keyword is "used". If there continues to be traffic to/from ram and the pagefile, then you may notice the PC being sluggish. But, it "could" be that XP has done nothing more than more inactive memory out to the pagefile, in which case you should notice little difference.

What you are seeing is the normal operation of a Virtual Memory system.

Memory Usage vs VM size - there is really no relationship

Optimal VM setting - leave it as System Managed. The "magic" numbers of 1.5. etc are carry overs from the Win95 days, and even then were incorrect.
 
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