Have a look at this, Windows 7 Manager. There are lots of additional tweaks and settings you can play around with. Just make sure you create a restore point first and back up all the settings you changed. There is an option in there of interest for you called file system caching memory and the service manager makes it a bit easier to turn services on or off.
Vista and Windows 7 operate on the principle that unused ram is wasted ram. So the OS pre-fetches as much ram as possible in anticipation of its use by the programs you have installed and their memory needs and your usage of these programs. So sometimes you may see very little ram available (it varies between PCs and the software installed or used). That doesnt mean that there is little or no ram left, it means that any application or program needing it, it immediately gets allocated or diverted to it as the need may be. XP handled ram less efficiently than Vista or Win7, much of the ram was 'free' or unused and therefore 'wasted ram' in XP.
That sounds about right - 1 gig or so with just the desktop. Don't forget 7 has a new desktop with extra features that require more RAM. If you want to use less RAM stick with XP but no eye-candy. Don't mess with the prefetch/superfetch folder. Emptying the folder will cause slower boot loading times and app loading. Be careful with Black Viper. I've known of his work since the 90's and I often questioned how in depth his testing was/is. Prefetcher - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
If it is still markedly slower than XP then something else is causing the problem, whether it is incompatible/buggy software or a bad device driver. You should use the Performance Monitor and the Reliability Monitor snap-ins.
Type Windows Key + R and press enter
Run dialog: perfmon and press enter
You can use the snap-ins to identify where you are having a slowdown on the system.
Win 7 uses less ram than Vista, esp for the desktop. DWM.exe (the Desktop Windows Manager) which is responsible for all the eye candy, transparency effects, taskbar thumbnails, etc uses only about 10mb in Win7 as opposed to over 40mb in Vista. That he is using 1gb for just being on the desktop does not mean that the desktop is using that sort of amount for these effects at all. There are other processes, the kernel and especially cached ram that figures into that.
To the OP, just right click on the taskbar, start the task manager and have a look at the performance tab. There it will give you the free, cached, physical ram, etc. If you want more detailed info, click on the resource monitor on same tab and that will give a breakdown of all the processes. Again, I'm pretty sure that its cached ram thats taking up the 1gb (which is normal) and Win7 is behaving the way its supposed to. Again, as mentioned, XP is much less efficient in handling ram and the 'free ram' it reports is basically wasted or uncached ram.
When I first start up W7 the memory usage stays at about 33% for a while. Then the longer I leave it on and the more I use it the higher the usage goes. When it gets up to 50% I reboot and the usage goes back down to 33%. The more different programs you use the more info Windows stores in memory. You have to reboot to clear it out.
I would check for memory leaks. use performance monitor. and check the reliability monitor,
Action Center / Maintenance / View reliability history
But, with that said, I have 4G's on 7 x64. Have been using it alot, and am using 1.3G of memory sitting at the desktop now with very little open. This is normal.
Vista/7 isn't XP,,,, please please please quit comparing the 2. They are apples and oranges.
On the front of x32 or x64....... it depends on the software you use. Yes, there are still software out there that is very good, and better than most new stuff that just will not run properly in x64. So, you need to install the RC and test all your apps extensivly before you make the leap to keep it.
If I had my way, I would have not made 7 an x32 system. Everything would be forced to x64 period. We should have been there a couple years ago already. Next OS, will be x64 only, as it should be.
turn off, windows search, superfetch , and the windows media network sharing service via msconfig. this should cut ur ram usage almost in half. I had a similar problem when i moved from 7048 x64 to 7100 x64. hope this helps!