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Process Explorer Tips procexp


Process Explorer's "Private Bytes" column is the most important column to pay attention to if looking for memory usage/footprint. The "virtual memory" column is not so useful and paying attention to it is not worth it.

By default, "Private Bytes" may not be enabled with your default copy of the program. It is very important that you enable this column if you are looking to monitor your memory usage. The Virtual Memory column is misleading and is a red herring.

At one point I was trying to figure out whether a PByteArray dereferenced pointer was really taking up the memory that SizeOf claimed - but of course it wasn't. SizeOf is a poor way to determine how much memory an application is using - but process explorer (procexp.exe) is a good tool.

For linux/bsd some similar tools exist - the command line program top isn't so great (I've seen better designed text mode programs than that piece of junk), but it does work if you can learn the keyboard shortcuts. Still, I wish top was designed better.. I'm not saying it should be a GUI program as it is useful to have text mode programs on servers that don't have X installed. I'm thinking Top should be designed more like midnight commander where you can scroll down and kick/kill the process you want, without having to use such arcane keyboard shortcuts.

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