Sysinternals has just released a new utility!
If that news doesn’t set your heart a-flutter, then you are not a Windows geek and you can just stop reading right now. But for us Windows geeks, today is a red-letter day, and you should go download RAMMap v1.0 right now. I’ll wait.
RAMMap is a memory analyzer, a lightweight tool (272KB) that gives you a very detailed look at exactly what is your system’s memory is up to right now. It presents its report in a tabbed dialog box whose opening page is a colorful, well-organized bar graph:
On succeeding tabs, you can get details about how memory is being used by individual processes, see which files are in use, and even look at individual memory pages for the kind of close-up examination only a developer would appreciate.
I’ve written about the challenges of measuring memory usage in Windows over at ZDNet, and I’ve had several conversations with Sysinternals co-founder Mark Russinovich (now a Microsoft fellow) about the subject. I know how frustrating it can be to use the built-in tools. I wish we had had this utility when we were doing our research for Windows 7 Inside Out.
I’ve been using Sysinternals utilities since before the turn of the century, back when the company was called Winternals. Microsoft bought the company and its products in 2006, and some people—myself included—feared that these excellent utilities would disappear or be abandoned. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. The Sysinternals utilities are currently hosted on Microsoft-run servers and are regularly updated by Russinovich and his Sysinternals partner Bryce Cogswell, also now a Microsoft employee.
The addition of a brand-new Sysinternals tool is cause for celebration.
Update: As several people have noted in the comments, this works on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 only. It doesn’t work on XP, and for good reason. XP memory management is primitive. Most of what’s measured here doesn’t exist in XP. If you use Windows and memory management is important to you, dump XP and get a modern OS. Seriously. If you want to stick with XP, I understand, but you have plenty of tools available to you that were written five years ago that will help you, and you won’t find much of use at this blog anymore except in the archives.