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Reclaiming Memory

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A Big Thank you to my friend @woodfuzzy for his help
and to @NikitaDarkstar for adding further help

(1) Memory

Memory is an important part of any computer, but more so for us games. Understanding the technical nature of Ram is not a necessity, simple maths with do.

This is Fallout 4 minimum requirements:
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
  • VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent
Lets focus on the 8Gb of memory required.

It is possible to run Fallout 4 on 4GB of memory, as long as everything is turned to low or some settings to off, but there is no guarantee of stability.


Lets take our test bed
  • CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 945 CPU
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Windows10
  • VIDEO CARD: AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB

So our game runs fine, well mostly and on a test we find the game to be running around 4GB of Ram spiking to 7GB on rare occasions. However the game stutters and sometimes freezes or CTD’s and yet we haven’t reached even close to its 8GB of ram, or have we?

Every program and background process that runs on your Laptop or Desktop uses memory, by pressing ALT/TAB/DELETE we can bring up the Task Manager and by clicking at the top of the memory section, we can bring up all the programs currently using the most or the least.
TaskManager 01.JPG
The process tab above clearly shows that I am using 25% of the total memory on processes. (I waited 5 minutes to allow the system to settle before taking this picture)

If we base my system as having a total of 8GB of RAM, then a simple calculation tells us I have 6GB free. Looking above, the minimum requirements for Fallout 4 is 8GB

(2) Understanding Startup

Programs can startup automatically in Windows for a number of reasons, some are understandably important, e.g. Antivirus, but some are not necessary. Some only startup to reduce our access time to that program or to provide extra functionallity that we may not need most of the time, these are resource stealers or huggers. An example is my usb bluetooth, once installed, 7 seperate processes run in the background, in total it only uses 1.5% of my memory, not a huge amount, but when I begin to add all of those other tiny resourse, it stops being so tiny. Just because a program has placed itself in Startup or services doesn't mean it has the right to be there or that having it running in the background will gain you some kind of advantage. As well as reducing overal memory usage, it is worth noting that a reduction in your computer startup time can often be achieved


(3) Task Manager

One way to gain that extra ram is to look at your Task Manager (Crtl+Shft+Esc) or (Ctrl+Alt+Delete) > Startup Tab.
TaskManager 02.JPG

As you can see the Kies application for my mobile phone is disabled. As it allows the program to sit in my tray doing nothing but waiting for me to use it, and in reality I only use it once month, I see no use for it using resources just to save a tiny amount of program startup time, when I use it once in a blue moon.

Your first point of call it to visit here and disable anything you don't really need or don't use a lot, be advised that this doesn't count for Antivirus or things like my Logitech Software for example which controls the custom settings for my mouse, so think carefully before you disable.

(4) Services
You can visit both the Task Manager's tab SERVICES and, via Cortana by entering Services.msi, the Service Desktop App.

This is the Service Desktop app and I have shown an example of how to Disable a service:
Services 001.JPG
Services 002.JPG
Anything set to Manual is started/loaded upon request from the program requiring that particular service, so this is also worth taking into consideration too.
Always google a service you are not sure of though!

It's worth visiting both the Service Tab on the Task Manager and The Service Desktop App.
 

GA_Darkerside

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Another place to look at is here:

C:\Users\Your_user_name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

As a clean fanactic, this is my Startup Folder
Startup Folder.JPG
A clean folder is a healthy ram.


(5) Adjust system for best performance

(a) Type "view advanced system settings" in Cortana
view.JPG

You Should see this

(b) Click on view "advanced" tab then settings, as shown below
SysProp001.JPG

sysprop002.JPG

(c) Now, choose adjust for best performance. click apply, then click ok. restart your PC.


(6) Disable Background apps running on Windows 10
Go to Settings > Privacy > Scan down left pane to "Background apps" and turn all of them off.
Backapp001.JPG


(7) Windows Desktop Settings
This is a rare issues but also worth a try if your desktop is set to a slide show and the game glitches at regulary intervals.
Go to Settings > Personalisation . Background - Change the background to Solid Colour
Desk 001.JPG
Desk 002.JPG
 

GA_Darkerside

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@woodfuzzy kindly added

(a) Closing Discord a 150ish MB gain,

(b) NOT launching through NMM, gains another 70ish MB,

(c) Turning Off NVIDIA Share, 600 ish MB gain...

(d) Neutering Windows to prevent it collecting data & sending said data back home: WARNING - THIS IS AT YOUR OWN RISK, WE CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY ISSUES THAT MAY ENSUE


Also @1000101 added a tool by Microsoft themselves that can help you look even further into memory usage

Autoruns for Windows v13.91
 

GA_Darkerside

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This part is Thanks to @NikitaDarkstar

Razor Cortex

download link is here: Cortex

I'll make a quick and dirty run through of the main features of the thing too

When you first start up Cortex it'll look something like this. If it doesn't click the little circle arrow and it will scan your computer for games. Otherwise hit "Boost" and it will bring you to the Boost options


Here you can just go through the tabs and select what you want shut off while gaming. The default settings are generally pretty good but if you know your system (and after reading this entire guide you probably do) you can always disable more. Anything you shut down will be reactivated again once you shut down your game/turn off manual boost.


Once you're happy with your setup either hit the big green button that says "Boost Now" and then launch your game, or activate auto-boost and the software will automatically boost your system when it detects a game running. Do note that you need to have launched the software yourself before auto-boost works as this doesn't launch on system start up.

It also has a bunch of other functionalities so I highly recommend looking around and getting familiar with it but this is the important bit.
 
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