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delphi - Why doesn't my program's memory usage return to normal after I free memory?

consider the next sample application

program TestMemory;


{$APPTYPE CONSOLE}

uses
  PsAPI,
  Windows,
  SysUtils;

function GetUsedMemoryFastMem: cardinal;
var
    st: TMemoryManagerState;
    sb: TSmallBlockTypeState;
begin
    GetMemoryManagerState(st);
    result := st.TotalAllocatedMediumBlockSize + st.TotalAllocatedLargeBlockSize;
    for sb in st.SmallBlockTypeStates do
    begin
        result := result + sb.UseableBlockSize * sb.AllocatedBlockCount;
    end;
end;

function GetUsedMemoryWindows: longint;
var
  ProcessMemoryCounters: TProcessMemoryCounters;
begin
  Result:=0;
  ProcessMemoryCounters.cb := SizeOf(TProcessMemoryCounters);
  if GetProcessMemoryInfo(GetCurrentProcess(), @ProcessMemoryCounters, ProcessMemoryCounters.cb) then
   Result:= ProcessMemoryCounters.WorkingSetSize
  else
   RaiseLastOSError;
end;

procedure Test;
const
  Size = 1024*1024;
var
  P : Pointer;
begin
  GetMem(P,Size);

      Writeln('Inside');
      Writeln('FastMem '+FormatFloat('#,', GetUsedMemoryFastMem));
      Writeln('Windows '+FormatFloat('#,', GetUsedMemoryWindows));
      Writeln('');

  FreeMem(P);
end;

begin
      Writeln('Before');
      Writeln('FastMem '+FormatFloat('#,', GetUsedMemoryFastMem));
      Writeln('Windows '+FormatFloat('#,', GetUsedMemoryWindows));
      Writeln('');

      Test;

      Writeln('After');
      Writeln('FastMem '+FormatFloat('#,', GetUsedMemoryFastMem));
      Writeln('Windows '+FormatFloat('#,', GetUsedMemoryWindows));
      Writeln('');
      Readln;
end.

the results returned by the app are

Before
FastMem 1.844
Windows 3.633.152

Inside
FastMem 1.050.612
Windows 3.637.248

After
FastMem 2.036
Windows 3.633.152

I wanna know why the results of the memory usage are different in the Before and After:

See Question&Answers more detail:os

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1 Answer

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by (71.8m points)

Any memory manager (including FastMM) incurs some overhead, otherwise Delphi could have just used the Windows memory management.

The difference you observe is the overhead:

  • structures that FastMM uses to keep track of memory usage,
  • pieces of memory that FastMM did not yet return to the Windows memory management to optimize similar memory allocations in the future.

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