Available Physical Memory Vs. Total

Storage is one of the aspects of computers that require special attention but once it comes to available physical memory vs. total physical memory, few Windows users know the differences. Unless you know how to tell available physical memory and total physical memory apart, you would have a hard time optimizing space on your PC. Struggle to grasp the concepts of available physical memory and total physical memory? In that case, this article is exactly what you need. 

Available Physical Memory And Total Physical Memory: Comparison 

Total Physical Memory

Total physical memory refers to the size of Random Access Memory you have installed in your computer. For instance, if you have two 512 MB RAM sticks on your laptop, you have 1GB of total physical memory. RAM is a temporary memory that computers use to store data that is being processed, including active and background programs. The computer loads the files and data of these programs onto the RAM and it will remove them once the user terminates the program. 

You could think of the total physical memory as the whole memory capacity of your computer before it loads operating system files and other programs. Your system will not run on this memory size since the PC has to run the operating system. It’s possible to increase the total physical memory by adding more RAM to your device since most computers have open memory slots. Adding more RAM gives your computer more breathing room to run multiple heavy programs simultaneously. 

Available Physical Memory

The available memory refers to the memory left after your pc has run the drivers and other operating system functionalities. Operating systems manage the user interface and other activities such as lighting, moving the cursor, taking commands, etc. The operating system uses a series of programs to run all these activities, usually called drivers. Loading the operating system and its components takes up memory; therefore, the available memory will drop after the computer finishes powering up.

System files and utility program extension files increase the amount of memory your computer OS uses so it is wise to uninstall non-essential ones. Each time you load a new program, it occupies some of the memory; hence, the available/total physical memory reduces. Large programs take up more of the memory and the PC cannot run tasks that demand more than the available memory. For instance, there is no way you could run a program that needs 8GB on a computer that only contains 4GB RAM.

The Way To Learn Total Physical Memory Available 

  • Step 1: Go to Search bar, type cmd and hit Run as administrator. 
  • Step 2: In Command Prompt (Admin), run the command systeminfo.
  • Step 3: Soon, you should see something like Total Physical Memory: X MB. That is the total physical memory of your PC.


Available Physical Memory Total Physical Memory
  • Refers to memory after the operating system files have launched on the computer
  • It decreases as processing activities increase.
  • It refers to the total memory available on a computer or server before it launches its OS files.
  • It remains constant regardless of operations.

To put it plainly, if total physical memory is the size of the room, available physical memory is the memory left after adding a few items to the room. The more items you add, the less memory you have for more items. 

Available Memory Is Less Than Total RAM: Analysis

The available space is the leftover memory after the OS has loaded all its files. The OS takes a lot of space depending on the utility programs which is why the available memory is less than a computer’s RAM. 

What Must Be Done To Increase Available Memory

One of the best ways to increase available space is to uninstall utility programs you don’t need since the operating system launches many of them on startup. Also, if your computer allows, feel free to add more RAM sticks. 

The Effect Of Available Space On The Performance of Computes

The less available space you have on your computer, the slower its works. Tasks on your computer will likely experience lag and take longer to recognize commands.

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