Normal number of running processes?

SystemSystem Posts: 8,573 Community Managers
I believe in running a clean, stable system with as few running processes as possible at start-up. I would say that the average for a desktop is 35 then 45 for a laptop to allow for extra drivers such as touchpad, function keys and power options.

Here, I'm on Windows XP Pro on a desktop, running:
- Winamp
- Paintshop Pro
- Mixmeister (DJ software)
- DMX Wizard (lighting software)
- Firefox
- NOD32 antivirus
- Logitech mouse & keyboard

All of that, and I'm still only on 29 processes. Go into Msconfig and cut the crap such as Quicktime/Realplayer, or even better, install Media Player Classic :-)

Today, I was in a remote desktop session with a customer on Vista. She was running 85 processes. Yes, eighty-five. Not a world record (99 to beat), but still, what is the need for it? What should the norm be on the various Microsoft OS's?

Comments

  • JsTJsT TheSite Graduate Posts: 18,261
    I'm on 73!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm on 39, 5 of those are Avast! antivirus.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It really depends what you're doing. On my PC I think I could run a couple of hundred simultaneously. The only annoying thing is even with raid0 I can't get ultra fast hard disk transfer speeds.

    Mine is sitting at 52, but I don't tend to restart, just hibernate. Still only using 10% of CPU. (Used to be 100% with FAH but wanted to cut down on excess heat inside my case...)
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Right now (with firefox and a terminal open) it says I have 137 processes systemwide (46 from my user). However as this isn't windows, the number isn't really comparable. :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    39. Most of which are background crap.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is very dependent on your OS version in addition to startup programs and services in msconfig. A clean install of vista has many more processes running than XP SP2.

    If you google 'black viper', there is a site with detailed info on the services in the windows OSs, and which can be safely disabled to achieve a more slimline system.

    In terms of services, it's easier to control using 'services.msc' instead of msconfig.

    I'll check my exact number when I'm at home, but with 2GB RAM and vista tweaked I'm still using up to 50% RAM when idle!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'll check my exact number when I'm at home, but with 2GB RAM and vista tweaked I'm still using up to 50% RAM when idle!

    Vista does prefetching etc. so more ram usage is actually a good thing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefetcher

    Basically if everytime you boot the computer you load up firefox or outlook or something, it will 'get ready' to run those programs. It's the same with microsoft office too. So as soon as you click them they pop up and go, rather than having to load from the hard drive.

    It seems to be a commonly criticised part of Windows as people generally see more things being used at idle = worse. But if you have 2 gb, and windows uses 100mb (that's a guess though) to just sit on the desktop, why not start loading programs you are 90% of the time going to run anyway, start doing background tasks etc.? Like defragmentation, search indexing etc.

    I'm using 934mb ram doing nearly nothing, just mozilla firefox, messenger, etc. But I've got 4gb of ram so why not use it rather than having it sitting idle? If I was running a shop, and I had the warehouse space, I would load it up with things that my customers are very likely to buy, because then they don't have to wait 7 days for it to come in, I can just get it from the back in 5 minutes. Not a perfect example... but you see my point.

    edit: I think I recall them saying Windows to run on its own as an operating system without a shell or the extra services uses around ~30mb.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Vista does prefetching etc. so more ram usage is actually a good thing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefetcher

    Basically if everytime you boot the computer you load up firefox or outlook or something, it will 'get ready' to run those programs. It's the same with microsoft office too. So as soon as you click them they pop up and go, rather than having to load from the hard drive.

    It seems to be a commonly criticised part of Windows as people generally see more things being used at idle = worse. But if you have 2 gb, and windows uses 100mb (that's a guess though) to just sit on the desktop, why not start loading programs you are 90% of the time going to run anyway, start doing background tasks etc.? Like defragmentation, search indexing etc.

    I'm using 934mb ram doing nearly nothing, just mozilla firefox, messenger, etc. But I've got 4gb of ram so why not use it rather than having it sitting idle? If I was running a shop, and I had the warehouse space, I would load it up with things that my customers are very likely to buy, because then they don't have to wait 7 days for it to come in, I can just get it from the back in 5 minutes. Not a perfect example... but you see my point.

    edit: I think I recall them saying Windows to run on its own as an operating system without a shell or the extra services uses around ~30mb.

    I partially agree with this, for many users it's a good thing that thins start quickly, and they don't need the extra resources you'd have if you weren't running these processes.

    However, it can also be a pain in the ass if you're using software or doing things like heavy numerical calculations that require a lot of computer resources, especially when you're using computers that's not under your control (i.e. not admin/root) making you unable to shut down processes manually.

    Of course, if you use your own computer, you can always shut down processes, but a lot of people don't know enough about computers to do this. Built in support for being able to not load various quickstart progams and other stuff that's also easy to use would be a great improvement to Windows. (Yes, you do have msconfig and other tools, but they aren't easy to use for the "regular" user)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Processes: 61
    CPU Usage: 6-7%
    Physical Memory: 46%

    Open programs:

    Internet Explorer
    Windows Live Mail

    Then in the background Onecare, Bootcamp, Java, Itunes stuff, Flash

    *Wonders why flash + Java are running when im not using them! >:[

    *opens msconfig!*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    T-Kay wrote: »
    I partially agree with this, for many users it's a good thing that thins start quickly, and they don't need the extra resources you'd have if you weren't running these processes.

    However, it can also be a pain in the ass if you're using software or doing things like heavy numerical calculations that require a lot of computer resources, especially when you're using computers that's not under your control (i.e. not admin/root) making you unable to shut down processes manually.

    Of course, if you use your own computer, you can always shut down processes, but a lot of people don't know enough about computers to do this. Built in support for being able to not load various quickstart progams and other stuff that's also easy to use would be a great improvement to Windows. (Yes, you do have msconfig and other tools, but they aren't easy to use for the "regular" user)

    I agree with you there. It needs to be easier to customise a lot of things on computers. Linux says it's brilliant because you can edit nearly everything, but it is so complicated to do so! For example, my university uses a security thing, and in windows or whatever it's as simple as changing a few settings in your network connections. In linux, you have to create a file, navigate to a certain directory, and actually write computer commands that there would have been no way of getting to without the written instructions I had. Even then, it took ages to get it to work because the syntax wasn't properly sorted.

    Though I also agree that an OS is just an OS. For me it should be functional and allow me to do what I want to do. Windows for me does that, so job done. Windows Vista was the natural choice when I got a new PC because its superior to XP (if you were buying a car, for the same price would you get the 2002 model or the 2007 model with a new engine etc...?). I have never understood the mentality behind the naysayers who assume it's terrible for whatever reason.

    I've never had any significant issues whatsoever personally... but maybe I'm just lucky :) (actually, there is one with command and conquer generals, but that's because of how EA coded it to create directories in their own hacked way, so it doesnt work well when the directories for my documents change...)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy: I know of the prefetching. This can be disabled by disabling the 'superfetch' service, if necessary. You can also set it to act on boot programs, normal programs, or both. I found when disabled, the RAM usage is still up to 1GB.

    It's also worth noting that the prefetch only uses unused memory: as soon as extra memory is needed to load a different program, the prefetched ones can be displaced.
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