It comes up a lot on web forums lately. “I heard Windows 7 uses less memory than Vista! Is that true?”
Well, yes and no. Windows 7 is not a full redesign of the operating system like Vista was, so obviously they had a lot more time to optimize it, and it paid off. I do have a feeling however, that it also reports cached memory differently, to fool the “Task Manager Power Users”, that is, people who think they know a lot about computers because they can read the task manager’s data, and do not understand the principle of wasted resources. This post blog entry isn’t to debate that however, but just to show how little memory Windows 7 can use with a default install (without Aero however. Though Windows 7 Aero uses very, very little memory).
Here you have it. Keep in mind that, like Vista, Windows 7 adjusts to the current hardware, so you will see vastly different numbers on a machine with 4 gigs of RAM. Also at around 150 megs of RAM (give or take, I forget the exact number), it doesn’t boot at all anymore, so this should be somewhat close to the minimum usage you will see: