Friday, October 14, 2011


Windows 8 Gives More Battery Life With Less Memory Consumption

Windows 8 is set to significantly reduce the overall runtime memory requirements of the core system. This is always good for everyone and especially in a world where people want to run more and more apps at the same time or run on systems with only 1 or 2GB of memory. Also, the reduced amount of RAM will result is better battery performance, that we will see in the end of this post how this is possible.

The runtime memory usage of Windows 8 is an important factor in determining the Windows 8 system requirements, as well as the broadened spectrum of devices that will host Windows 8. Windows 8 is delivered on SoC-based devices characterized by low power consumption. This makes it even more important to leave lots of memory available for multiple concurrent apps and to sustain the overall responsiveness of devices.

Memory usage goals:

Windows 8 is planned to ship with the same system requirements as Windows 7. What it mean is, people running on Windows 7-era hardware would have the option to easily upgrade their existing machines to Windows 8 and take advantage of the functionality it has to offer.

An important task for Windows 8 was to make room for new functionality while looking for opportunities to reduce the memory consumed by existing functionality and consumed across the board. Windows 8 is tracking well towards meeting the goal we set ourselves.

Task Manager memory use comparison

The easiest way to make a ballpark comparison of Windows 8 vs. Windows 7 memory use is to install both operating systems on a 1GB RAM machine (minimum OS RAM requirement) and compare them when they’ve been rebooted multiple times, and then idled for a while.

The Windows Task Manager contains the main view of system memory through its “In Use” statistic (described in detail in this doc). The below graphics compare memory consumption on Steven’s 3+ year old netbook that he was using at the //build/ keynote recently, running Windows 7 at idle, and then with the same machine running Windows 8.

Windows 8 Gives More Battery Life With Less Memory Consumption 1

Figure 1 – Memory usage in Windows 7

Windows 8 Gives More Battery Life With Less Memory Consumption 2

Figure 2 – Memory usage in Windows 8

The specific hardware making up a machine, memory use of drivers, and even uptime can cause variability, so memory results will be different on different machines (or even the same machine at different times). As you can see though, Windows 8 is doing well relative to Windows 7.

For a bit of extra fun on a test machine, go to device manager and disable your display adapter (unload the graphics driver). You’d never run your machine this way but this does give you an even closer approximation of the memory use of Windows itself. With a disabled graphics driver, the machine above gets under 200MB after idling for a while.

NOTE: For Windows 8, a clean install also contains the extended Windows Defender technology, which, for the first time incorporates complete antimalware functionality – also optimized for memory and resource. This functionality does not exist on a clean install of Windows 7 where we would recommend that you add security software.

Do you know, the reduced amount of RAM will result is better battery performance. Something that might not be obvious is that minimizing memory usage on low-power platforms can prolong battery life. Huh? In any PC, RAM is constantly consuming power. If an OS uses a lot of memory, it can force device manufacturers to include more physical RAM. The more RAM you have on board, the more power it uses, the less battery life you get. Having additional RAM on a tablet device can, in some instances, shave days off the amount of time the tablet can sit on your coffee table looking off but staying fresh and up to date.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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October 16, 2011 at 12:28 AM delete

The second one is not the Task Manager in Windows 8.. Its taking 700MB for me without installing any software on it.

October 16, 2011 at 7:55 AM delete

It is the task manager in Windows 8. And i don't get what you mean to say! "700MB for me without installing any software on it" It means, you are saying out of the box, windows 8 takes that much RAM... its not possible unless you have done some thing silly!