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Carob

Help with RAM question

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I'm hoping someone can answer this question for me.I have a PIV 1.8 system with a Ti4200 card and 512MB of RAM running Windows XP.Here's my question...When running FS2002 and taking a look at the Task Manager, it says that FS2002 is using almost 20MB "Mem Usage" and nearly 150MB of "VM Size". Is this normal?There are no other programs running (except the other standard services in the 'Processes" List). If the actual RAM is available, why wouldn't FS2002 be using it instead of virtual memory? I'm confused.Any and all help on this would be GREATLY apprecaited.Thanks very much!

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Are you sure FS2002 is using the VM?I measure RAM needs by three things, but this applies to Windows 98SE...-How much RAM is free?-Is the swap file in use?-Is the used RAM staying consistent over timeCertain aspects of the O/S will swap out to VM, even if you have RAM free. In 98SE, you can limit this by setting the "ConservativeSwapFileUsage" flag.But you may still run into a situation where you show 50 megs free, and 50 megs VM (swap file) used.Why?The answer is, some applications need a large partition of RAM, which is not always in use. Some applications will use 100 megs of RAM on load as an example, and then they may run with only half that, sometimes even less. But they reserve all they can for use.There is another issue, and I don't know how XP users handle it. In 98, there is a "Cache" where the system stores frequently accessed data--with FS's textures being a good example. Left unchecked, this cache will seek out almost all your RAM--or at least enough of it that FS has to take bits and pieces for itself from the swap file. I limit mine using manual entries to my system.ini, and some do this via tools like cacheman. I know XP has something similar, but I don't know if one has to artificially cap it in order to maximize use of RAM.In an ideal environment, you want to use as much free RAM as you can without hitting VM (not to be confused with VCache, which is the just mentioned cache). You want the O/S to cache disk data in RAM--it makes a huge difference in MSFS. I just upgraded to 384 megs, and set the cap on my vcache to 64 megs (I had to limit it to 8 megs before that, else I'd lose most of my free RAM). FS2002 runs with approx. 80-100 megs free in this scenario, and texture loads, clearing of blurry textures, etc...all have been reduced in time by a huge amount. This is a rather simple layout of what I think you're seeing. If you want a more technical discussion, I'm sure others will follow. Perhaps someone with XP will be able to help you optimize your RAM a bit more. From what I've heard, it seems that 512 Megs under XP compares to 256 Megs in 98, just due to the RAM overhead of XP. But that may be wrong--since I haven't had a chance to fine tune or examine an XP system for FS2002...

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First off, what is VCache and where did you adjust it?Also, I guess I'm confused about the Scenery Library cache file setting. If the scenery is always changing, why would FS2002 need to cache it? It's not going to use it again? What is a good number to put in this area?The whole thing just seemed very strange to me. Why would the program (any program) be using the swap file when "actual" RAM is available to use instead? Especially with the numbers as I mentioned them above.As far as if I'm sure or not, I have a screen shot of the Task Manager that shows this if you'd like to see it (not being sarcastic, just making the point).P.S. The virtual memory settings are set on System Managed Size which say...Minimum Allowed 2MBRecommended 766MBCurrently Allocated 767MB

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First, I'll answer the scenery library cache question--it is used for partial installs of FS. It's purpose is to place files in a special cache folder on your HD from CD, so next time you access an area which uses those files, performance is better. IOTW, the FS2002 cache is a HD cache, vs. a RAM cache. You should never use it if you have a full install (you'd actually would have to go in and enable it for every scenery area anyway). You also shouldn't use it for add-on scenery. In essence, you'd be saying "Take this file, move it here, then use it" vs. "Just use the file". Vcache is a RAM cache, and it is for general O/S use for almost the same purpose--but in its case, it takes freq. accessed data from the HD and places it in RAM. In that sense, it is lost when you turn off the computer.As to why a program would use the swap file, I've already said that what you see in use at one moment may not be true of the initial program load. I know you're not being sarcastic, and a screenshot isn't necessary. I know what you're referring to and heck--I'm only the messenger anyway. I've already said, someone with XP may be able to offer a bit of tweaking advice for you, as my FS is installed under 98SE, which doesn't have as big a RAM footprint as XP.

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I think you are just running into how the WinXP memory manager works. It is Windows not the simulator that controls whether you are going to get real memory or virtual memory. The WinXP memory manager obviously believes that it is smarter than you are. I'll post my system info when I get home. Jim

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Okay, so let me ask you this regarding the scenery library cache...Are you saying then that this cache setting should be set to zero?Wouldn't this be used only with a full install not the other way around? If you go back to that same area again it will use the scenery from cache instead of having to reload it?What do you mean enable for every area? As far as FS2002 is concerned you can't change this number for an individual area. At least not in the Scenery Library window. One change fits all.

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I don't know but it makes more sense to me to run from actual RAM then pulling that same info from the drive.The main thing I was after I guess was to see if others running XP see that same thing in the Task Manager. If so then I guess I won't worry about it. If not, then I guess need help trying to find out why?

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I'll be home in about 1.5 hours. I'll start it up and post what I see in the Task Manager.My gut feel is that they will be similar, I have 512mb also.Jim

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The best and simplest advice for the scenery library cache, is to leave it alone if you've done a full install.As far as FS2002 is concerned, you can't change the number except in one place--that's true, but that's not what enables caching. That numer is just the upper limit of the data MSFS will store in the cache folder. What enables it is an option for each area--"Cache this scenery" vs. "Use this scenery directly"The cache size is insignificant on a full install. FS2002 won't let you change it to zero, but that doesn't matter. Just leave it alone.And the other question--the FS2002 cache is not in memory, but on your hard drive. On a full install, the scenery is also on your hard drive. You want FS to access it directly--you DON'T want FS moving it first, then accessing it. That just adds work for MSFS. It saves work if the scenery is being moved from a slow CD for quicker HD access, but it doubles work if the scenery is already there.-John

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Ok, here goes. My current VM settings are as follows: Drive C: with 25605mb available Custom size selected Initial size (MB): 768 Maximum size (MB): 1536When FS is running and in the foreground (panel view of my Cessna 172 which is not the default): Mem usage: 148,032K VM size : 218,244KWhen FS is minimized to the toolbar (same view) Mem usage: 95,956K VM size : 204,156KJim

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Wow. Interesting. Pretty much the same. I guess that's just the way XP works. Still seems odd to me but whatever I guess. At least I know now that there's isn't something extremely wrong on my end.Thanks very much!

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