How much memory are you currently using?

Following on from my previous post about a demo PLINQ application, I had some small discoveries about memory usage and wanted to blog them.

As I was loading large chunks of data into memory and started monitoring my little demo applications RAM footprint, I discovered that even tho the garbage collection system had already cleaned up my now out-of-scope variables, the RAM utilisation as reported to windows did not necessarily drop.

This actually turns out is quite a logical thing to have happen and works this way for good reason, I just hadn’t thought about it. I was simply expecting an action of explicit free-up of memory to instantly translate into free’d memory in Windows.

The process was just holding onto a reserved amount of memory the .NET runtime assuming I would soon need that space again, and it was correct in its assumptions; I did need that memory very soon.

Use More Memory!

Use More Memory!

To prove this: subsequent button clicks to load more data (roughly the same size volume), didn’t make the application’s memory footprint grow even larger. Another interesting thing I noted with the task manager window open all the time, was when I loaded additional applications and my demo app didn’t need the memory, it would free up the few hundred mb it had a hold of but wasn’t currently making use of.

Demo Application Memory Usage

Demo Application Memory Usage

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