View Full Version : how often do u reboot?

Oct 29, 2003, 12:30 AM
I barely reboot my machine it usually goes a week or two with just going to sleep everynight and waking up everymorning. Is this bad? Does it eat away at your ram? My friend told me its bad not to reboot for long periods of time because it eats at your ram. Is this true?

Oct 29, 2003, 04:59 AM
I never restart unless i need to install software on my 450 cube and it runs like a dream never heard of the ram thing before run a ram test with xbench after a couple of weeks and then straigt after e reboot?
my record is 8 months no crashing no rebooting

(my cube runs ut2k3 at 25fps! he he he!)

Oct 29, 2003, 05:04 AM
I shut down every night... unless I'm rendering.

I don't see the need in keeping a machine on 24/7 unless it's in use ;)

Oct 29, 2003, 05:07 AM
saves power a start upo consumes quite ait of power its like stobe lights it takes more power to boot that for 12 hours use
(in sleep)

Oct 29, 2003, 05:09 AM
+ theres the cant be arsed to wait 2 mins for a start up when i could just press the mouse

Oct 29, 2003, 05:23 AM
Every night, like iGAV said, I don't see the point it leaving it on or even sleeping, Panthet starts up so damn fast! :D

Oct 29, 2003, 06:49 AM
I only reboot after installing software that calls for it, or if some hardware needs to be changed/added/removed. Otherwise I leave them all on all the time.

I upgraded my PowerMac on Sunday and haven't rebooted since :D

Oct 29, 2003, 08:57 AM
I shutdown my Mac at home before going to bed. I start it up when I come home at night, so usually the Mac is running only in the evening.
Same at work, but other way around: startup when I get there (get some coffee too), and when I go home I, more often than not, shut it down.

Oct 29, 2003, 08:58 AM
I restart only when I install software that requires it or there is a problem. That works ou to be every 2-3 weeks on both my PowerMac and iBook.

With the new stuff in Panther though, I might reconsider and have it start up automatically at certain times.

Oct 29, 2003, 09:12 AM
I leave my G5 on all the time, at night the screen effects come on. I only reboot after a software install, each and everytime I have to turn NAP off or I will have the annoying chirp every second...

Oct 29, 2003, 09:14 AM
I rebooted to install 10.3

I can't think of a time i've ever rebooted (OSX) just to reboot. It's always for an install or the odd crash or two I've had. Sleep works fine for me.

Oct 29, 2003, 09:34 AM
I leave my Macs on 24/7 since they are running RC5 when I'm not using them. I only reboot when I install new software that requires a reboot.

Oct 29, 2003, 11:45 AM
I leave my PB on all the time too. I actually heard it gets faster the longer its been on, although I have had a few problems that were solved by a restart. (Not like faster CPU-wise, but it helps the RAM access programs faster or something like that.) Usually go about 2-4 weeks between restarts, and that's usually because Apple still hasn't quite figured out how to do core OS tweaking without a restart. It's coming though. I like my uptimes, it's one of those things I like to show PC users. They are always booting up and shutting down their laptops for some weird reason...:p

Oct 29, 2003, 11:53 AM
I reboot for software updates. That's it. Sleep mode is awesome. Why would I want to wait a minute or so for the system to start up when I can be checking my email in a couple of seconds? Sure, OS X boots fast but it recovers from sleep even faster. I don't see any point in going out of my way to extend the time it takes for my computer to reach a useful state.

Oct 29, 2003, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by markjones05
My friend told me its bad not to reboot for long periods of time because it eats at your ram. Is this true?

Your friend must use Windows. That's exactly what would happen to me on my old PC. Now, I never reboot unless a software update requires it. No problems.

Mr. Anderson
Oct 29, 2003, 12:06 PM
I was rebooting often, several times a day because of the ATI video card/Lightwave issue. Since that's been fixed up I've only been rebooting when installing Panther...


Oct 29, 2003, 12:41 PM
i push my machine pretty hard, so only a couple weeks. i was forced to restart last night because warcraft flipped out. my record is about a month, but by then i start seeing weird interface quirks, or permissions are screwy, or something won't run right. if logging out and in doesn't fix it (or repair permissions, depending), i restart.

started having this thing happen lately, where after a couple days i can't select anything on my desktop - i can select, apparently, but nothing looks highlighted - and any overlays for dragging files or images, like from a browser for instance, don't work right or at all. relaunching the finder usually fixes it.

Oct 29, 2003, 02:20 PM
This definitely underscores a major difference between older machines running OS 9.x and new machines running OS 10.x. I have a rev B iBook and I reset or shutdown at least once a day. With all the proper patches, updates and extensions, my iBook often doesn’t wake properly from sleep. One of the things I look forward to doing some day is upgrading to a machine that can run OSX with out issues. Even with student priceing on software and hardware, it's an expensive undertakeing.

This thread also shows that few people use more than one battery when they are out-and-about with their portables. Changeing the battery necessitates shutting down. (unless you have the older PBs.)

Oct 29, 2003, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by markjones05
Does it eat away at your ram? My friend told me its bad not to reboot for long periods of time because it eats at your ram. Is this true?
I suspect that your friend has your best interests at heart, but uses a PC (or a Mac on a pre-OS X system).

It's my understanding that with Windows the computer needs to be restarted relatively frequently to purge the RAM of residual information that piles up when programs start and stop and windows open and close. Windows can't fully get rid of these bits without actually shutting down.

One of the benefits of a unix-based OS is that it's designed to be up and running for long periods. (Imagine what would happen if e-commerce companies had to restart their servers as often as your friend restarts his machine -- consumer outrage, no doubt!) As I understand it, what's called pre-emptive multitasking allows programs to "take" the RAM they need from programs that aren't using it, shoving them into VRAM. So any residual bit of program would end up in VRAM on your HD and eventually be overwritten.

With OS X, I find that sleep is good enough and I enjoy rarely having to wait for start up. If shutting down appeals to some part of your sense of order, it's OK too, but I don't think that using sleep will affect your RAM.

Oct 29, 2003, 05:12 PM
I had an iBook which i would just put to sleep simply because it was easier than shutting it down and having the restart it in the morning.

I would send it to sleep at night, wake up, plug in the battery and go straight to college and right away open it up. Much better than when i had an NEC laptop. Shut it down at night, put it in bag with power cables (battery only laster 40 minutes), go to college, plug the power adapter in boot it up, then when finished pack it all away again while with the iBook all i do is close the lid and put it in the bag, in a word FAB!

Oct 29, 2003, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by Hector
saves power a start upo consumes quite ait of power its like stobe lights it takes more power to boot that for 12 hours use
(in sleep)


Oct 29, 2003, 05:49 PM
normally about once a week, once a month - depends on updates etc needs to reboot. i did yesterday - deimos did not work so only way of getting its normal behaviour was rebooting.

Oct 30, 2003, 05:15 AM
easy test to prove myself right
put yoir ibook/powebook to sleep
for a night from full battery unpluged make a note of the battery percentage
then unplug a shut down ibook on full charge and then boot up on mine just boot up is 96% and sllep for nite is 98/96

there around the same so and i cant be bothered to reboot.

Oct 30, 2003, 05:26 AM
there is one downside that after about 4 months always on my cube go's dog slow like it takes 4 mins to wake from sleep!
but thats only hapened a few times as i usualy install software that required reboots

(any one elce had a problem with 10.2.4-.8 with a cube screen colous screwing up not going to sleep all my other freinds macs dident have this problem apart from the coulers screwing up on 10.2.6)

deslectics of the wolrd untie!

Oct 30, 2003, 09:27 AM
I used to leave my G4 on 24/7 and ended up with a knackered hard drive 16 months into its life. Could have just been a bad one or over use, I don't know.
Then my Formac screen died just before the 2 yr warranty was up this too was on 24/7.
Now I leave the Mac on once I've used it during the day and put it to sleep at night. Aaaahhh!

Oct 30, 2003, 10:10 AM
I shutdown every night.

Oct 30, 2003, 10:35 AM
I reboot every time I enter a game cube... :D

Seriously though, I shutdown my computer every night, I just cant' stand the pulsing light while I'm trying to sleep. I can keep my Ti book on and cover the light up, but even still I think I still reboot it once a week or so.

More to the point I don't reboot because I feel the system needs it, I do it to save the battery, so I can sleep, or when I need to after an install. That's about it.


Oct 30, 2003, 10:59 AM
Actually, as much as we'd like to say "Oh, no, that only happens on a PeeCee", I think that it bears addressing...

... Your Mac, just like PeeCee's have physical RAM, as well as swap files that it uses to offload RAM information to. If you have a limited amount of ram, say, 256mb, OS X will use more swap file space to help manage the ram requirements of the software.

This is a good thing. It means you can run as big an app as you want (or 100 small ones) and the OS will dynamically take care of the swaps.

The very *bad* thing is that your HD is much much slower than RAM, so every time the OS has to acces the swap file as opposed to the physical memory, you're going to see a major performace hit. The only remedy is to reboot. This purges the swap file(s) returning you to just one. You'll notice a major speed increase, guaranteed.

If you have enough ram (say 640+ MB for most office tasks), you should never notice the number of swap files go over 2 (labelled 0 and 1).

If you want to check and see how your swap files are doing (I reboot after 3-4, and one day had as much as 9!), look in /var/vm you'll see them there. I actually keep a folder link on my dock that I check regularly.

So for the record, I reboot every 2-3 days, because my iMac @ home only ahs 256mb. :-)

Oct 30, 2003, 11:24 AM
Codemonkey - You forget that if you leave your computer on 24/7 since Mac OS X is a *NIX system, it will run scripts to get back this memory. Why else do you see 2 year uptimes on UNIX machines that run as servers (24/7 running).

Oct 30, 2003, 11:38 AM
True, I forget about that becuase my iMac sleeps at night - I take the power savings and hardware life tradeoff in lieu of running scripts, and use Cocktail to clean out the system on a regular basis. the problem is that when cocktail cleans up my swaps, I get really iffy behavior until I reboot - so I kinda end up doing it anyway.

Oct 30, 2003, 11:39 AM
You can also check the memory usage if you run TOP in Terminal. Open Terminal, and type TOP in at the prompt, no caps necessary, and hit return. At the bottom of the first section (VM) to the right you will see Pageins and Pageouts with a number followed by another number in parentheses. Look at the number in parens, this is the nimber you are concerned with. If the number is 0 all is well. If there are Pageouts, the system is having to write and access the HD for stuff that should be held in RAM. Time to visit Crucial. I have 1Gig of RAM in my TiBook, so I don't have much problem with memory.

Oct 30, 2003, 11:43 AM
Good tip mact!

Oct 30, 2003, 11:48 AM
Ain't *nix great? AFAIK, you can configure the cron script to run pretty much anything you want at any time you choose. I'm no Unix expert though so I couldn't tell you how.

Oct 30, 2003, 12:01 PM
What exactly does this mean, im not sure how to read this. Do i need more ram? What should i not be doing with this much ram?

Oct 30, 2003, 12:14 PM
That's about 640Mb, right? I can tell you what some of that means.

Processes, the first line, is mostly a head count of everything your machine has running

CPU usage is self explanatory, mine says 0% idle fight now 'cus I'm running the folding client for a while again today, but your CPU looked like it wasn't under too much strain.

Then there's the PhysMem line, with a count of your RAM and what's in use, not in use.

The next line is the Virtual Memory line we were talking about earlier, where you can see if your machine is reading/writing to the HD. You didn't have any, but you also weren't running to many intense processes, which is the section under the top part.

Down there, you get the PID, or process ID number, which you can use to kill a particularly stubborn program that force quit isn't killing. It has % of your CPU that each process is using, and I know the number under RPRVT is the amount of RAM the process uses.

Beyond that I can't help you much with the rest of top.

Oct 30, 2003, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by markjones05
What exactly does this mean, im not sure how to read this. Do i need more ram? What should i not be doing with this much ram?
Well, you need to add RAM. Can you see the last line before the processes, where it says pageouts? Well that should be zero, instead of 73K. That would make your performace much better when you run many processes.

How much more do you need? Well that really depends on the applications you run. When I run Safari, iTunes, Thunderbird, Preview, Acroread, X11, MPlayer, iTerm and Y!M I find that I'm using around 700MB RAM. If I use DVDibbler to rip a DVD, the amount of RAM used increases a lot, and I start paging out.

As a test, reboot, then run all the apps that you normally run, while running top in a terminal. Check the point at which pageouts start to occur. At this point it should say around 4-5MB free, and you can see how many pageouts keep occuring. If you see too many, you need more RAM. Sorry I can't give you a formula here.

Since RAM is cheap, I would suggest you go with atleast 1GB more. Check again for pageouts, and increase as necessary. Actually since shipping is free on Crucial, you might even buy 512MB, check for pageouts, and add more later.