Besides restarting, what can you do to minimize/decrease memory usage?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sophisaur, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. sophisaur macrumors member

    sophisaur

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    #1
    just what the title says :)


    edit: to be more specific, even when i'm running only shiira and adium, my memory according to istate is almost full. is it just because i've been leaving my computer on for too long? cpu is almost nothing


    also, what's the difference between the different types of memory?

    sorry to have been vague..
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #2
    As broad as the scope of the question is, not opening applications comes to mind. ;) :D

    You're always going to have more memory usage than you think you should, unless of course, you have lots of RAM and do very little with the machine.

    If you're having a performance problem, keeping fewer applications open at the same time should help. Alternatively, buying more RAM should help.

    If you're worried about something specific, you should ask about that.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    If you don't use Dashboard then use one of the hacks to disable it totally.

    Another one is don't keep files and folders on your desktop. There is a slight strangeness in the way OSX handles them. To display them it creates a Window (without a titlebar etc) for EACH icon and attaches that to the background parent window. This uses up window server resources, RAM and slows down each and every Window composite.
     
  4. craigatkinson macrumors regular

    craigatkinson

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #4
    One thing I'm noticing is how much slower my computer runs when I'm running the quick switch mode between users on my computer. It uses a ton of Ram to do it.
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #5
    That's because all of the programs the other user had running are still in RAM.
     
  6. thegreatluke macrumors 6502a

    thegreatluke

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Earth
    #6
    Check your RAM usage.

    Does it say "free" and "inactive?"

    Unix-based OSes are kind of weird in the way they manage RAM. The OS gobbles up RAM that was being used by a process and saves it for a future process. This is inactive RAM.

    If you add your free and inactive RAM, that'll be your unused, available RAM.
     
  7. sophisaur thread starter macrumors member

    sophisaur

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    #7
    most of the not-free RAM is inactive, and then about 60% of the rest is wired, 40% is active.

    i don't have any other user accounts..and the memory lackage usually happens after i use my mac for a while. is lagging just inevitable after prolonged usage, even after i close most applications?
     
  8. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #8
    Inactive RAM is free, so it sounds like you have plenty of RAM (at least at that moment in time).

    What do your page in/out stats look like?
     
  9. sophisaur thread starter macrumors member

    sophisaur

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    #9
    most of the time IN =0kb and OUT =0 kb with IN occasionally spiking up to forties and OUT staying under 4 kb
     
  10. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #10
    Oops...sorry, that's not what I was talking about. In Activity Monitor, check the System Memory panel down at the bottom.

    As an example, here's mine. (Note that I'm currently running 10.3 on an old iBook with only 384 MB of RAM...I should have more RAM, but it's not worth it to me at this point. I'm actually surprised my page in/page out ratio isn't worse.)

    Picture 1.png
     
  11. sophisaur thread starter macrumors member

    sophisaur

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    #11
    as of now (after i just started up) is 21833/0. what does this number mean? and what's a good range?

    please excuse my numerous burning questions :eek:
     
  12. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #12
    Page outs occur when RAM is insufficient to hold all of the necessary data, so it transfers some of the data (page outs) to the hard drive. Since the hard drive (and the transfer itself) is slow, this slows down your computer. You will generally still accumulate some page outs even with plenty of RAM, so most people will tell you to look more at the ratio of page ins to page outs. It's tough to tell at this point since you just restarted, but take a look at it occasionally to see if page outs are accumulating.

    People don't generally specify a "satisfactory" ratio (I guess it's more of a gut feeling based on that ratio plus your perceived sluggishness of the system), but I usually think that if page outs are more than 10% the number of your page ins, then you might want more RAM. Of course, it also depends on what you're doing. If you are getting page outs from just using Safari and Mail, you'll be in trouble when you start up more demanding applications. If you just get through a big iMovie render or something like that that you only do rarely, you might be willing to accept a higher number of page outs.

    It's complicated. :D
     
  13. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    #13
    Anther thing...


    How come when I run "permission verify, or repair permissions" my Free (green) ram goes up (frees itself up) in the pie chart?

    Am I actually freeing up RAM when I do that? Or is it just affecting the pie chart...? Or both...:eek:
     

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