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Windows® Internals, Sixth Edition, Part 2 by David A. Solomon Mark E. Russinovich and Alex Ionescu

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Heap Manager

Most applications allocate smaller blocks than the 64-KB minimum allocation granularity possible using page granularity functions such as VirtualAlloc and VirtualAllocExNuma. Allocating such a large area for relatively small allocations is not optimal from a memory usage and performance standpoint. To address this need, Windows provides a component called the heap manager, which manages allocations inside larger memory areas reserved using the page granularity memory allocation functions. The allocation granularity in the heap manager is relatively small: 8 bytes on 32-bit systems, and 16 bytes on 64-bit systems. The heap manager has been designed to optimize memory usage and performance in the case of these smaller allocations.

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