Meltdown – Seeing memory use change?

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At the end of last year, my company bought me a new laptop. I looked at the memory usage for my previous system, saw that it hovered between 5GB and 6GB, and figured I could get away with a system with only 8GB RAM (I had had the option with the previous system to upgrade to 16GB, and never did, it just didn’t seem worth it). Between then and now, of course, Meltdown and Spectre happened. Now I find myself pushing over 7GB of memory usage on this new system pretty much constantly, and yesterday it became almost unusable as my memory usage got too high. I never saw that in almost 3 years of use on my prior system.

Having done a little work from home, it seems like my memory use now is higher than it used to be on my home PC, too. It’s possible something else changed, but the obvious culprit to me seems to be these recent patches. I’ve not read anything about increased memory usage related to Meltdown and Spectre, though. Anyone else seeing similar symptoms?

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Meltdown – Seeing memory use change?”

  1. Lauren Glenn

    I haven't seen much lately on mine. I'm running an SSD on my work laptop (at my own cost) because encryption really slows down my PC and an SSD was the only way to counter that. If it uses more virtual memory, I tend not to notice as much.


    I have noticed that even keeping with my same work laptop that 1709 seems to get sluggish from time to time. This was before the big announcement of Spectre and Meltdown.... maybe I got some update that slowed it down, but it does seem a little sluggish.


    I did notice, however, that McAfee virus scan does have some issues. In one PC, we have it using a ton of system memory that caused our page file to grow and fill up C: . Maybe someone installed some McAfee version that's doing a similar thing for you?

  2. arunphilip

    What are the applications you use that are typical memory hogs? i.e. are you primary running browsers with many tabs, Photoshop, IDEs, etc.? Or are you running lots of worker processes?


    If anything, I'd expect to see a change in memory usage in browsers, as they can be a very common vector for such attacks, and are thus more likely to be running preventative mechanisms that are consuming memory (i.e. running a fix that works now at the expense of memory, and will be optimized down the line).

    • Polycrastinator

      In reply to arunphilip:

      Outlook, Edge (yes, I'm that one guy), OneNote, Skype for Business, Teams, Connectwise Manage (ticket management system), Connectwise Control (remote monitoring/access), and a deskphone integration app. Could be Edge, I guess. And since so few people use that, it would not surprise me if it is the culprit if this issue was not widespread.

      • arunphilip

        In reply to Polycrastinator:


        Hey, you're the second when it comes to Edge, here's another user! :-D


        I've not paid too much attention to memory usage of Edge, because I've now become accustomed to browsers being memory hogs (and 16 GB helps alleviate that).


        I have found that Edge hangs on to memory even after all but 1 tabs are closed. That in itself isn't a bad thing, since that memory would otherwise be unused.


        However, what is surprising - and unpleasant - is your experience of system unusability due to memory use being consumed - that is a sign of "memory pressure" which indicates that the memory is being actively used.


        Have you taken periodic peeks at Task Manager's first two tabs to see a) which processes are top RAM consumers and b) RAM consumption over time? May with that info a pattern might emerge.

        • Polycrastinator

          In reply to arunphilip:

          Yeah, I did check, but it's a big spread of items. Edge and Connectwise being the biggest hogs, at just over 1GB each (depending on number of items open), but everything else is small amounts, it just looks like it adds up, which makes me wonder if everything is using more.

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