How much RAM am I using??? (This is driving me close to crazy)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by GimmeSlack12, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #1
    Ok not close to crazy, but it is bugging me.

    Alright iBook G4 12" 1.33Ghz with 1.5gb of RAM.

    I use MenuMeter to keep track of what RAM I have available, but Activity Monitor does not show the same number of RAM. The thing that is really getting me is that the longer the computer is on the more RAM disappears into the Inactive category. Sure restarting fixes this, but that is not a proper solution. Why can't I get a decent reading of what is available and what is inactive? I am still getting page-outs (not as many with 1.5gb) and as far as I am concerned I should not be close to running out of memory when only 5 programs are open (Email, browser, Adium, Quicksilver, and whatever else).

    I have about 5gb of HD space available. Any suggestions?
     
  2. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #2
    Have minimum 8GB of disk space available I recommend 10GB

    and OS X does a very good job with RAM, so don't get upset over Inactive RAM
     
  3. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #3
    Even if you have max ram in your machine it will still page out. there is a lot of threads out there a virtual memory and asking question similar to this. Operating system use virtual memory is a bit of a complex thing and you shouldn't download a program and try to assume you know what is going on in the internal part of the os, because all you understand is when you open a program it uses memory and when you close it, it frees memory. it isn't that simple, nor easy to explain. Just know that, the algorithm works well and is probably a good general solution to the virtual memory problem.
     
  4. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #4
    "Inactive memory" can be considered "free memory" as far as OS responsiveness is concerned. Inactive memory is memory that is allocated and holds info, but hasn't been used for quite a while so it's been paged out to disk. This makes it available to active programs when they need it.

    Since inactive memory exists in the same state in RAM and on disk, it can be put into active use in an instance and it can also be used as free memory for other programs in an instance. This increases the responsiveness of the system.

    Making memory inactive requires writing memory to disk, and if this counts as a page out, there's the simple explanation why you will always get page outs on your system whether or not you have too little memory.
     
  5. GimmeSlack12 thread starter macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #5
    I was afraid someone would say that. I can't afford an external HD, and 10gb's for just sitting there?! I hate that.
     
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #6
    What do your page in/page out/uptime numbers look like? You will almost always have some page outs...you just don't want too many. If your page out numbers are low and your inactive+free RAM remains pretty high, you're in fine shape.

    Your hard drive is getting close to full, but shouldn't really be causing you problems just yet...you might want to look into cleaning things out a bit if you haven't yet done that. (Unneeded printer drivers, extra language support, etc.)
     
  7. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #7
    You will start to see a lot of problems soon if you keep running out of disk space.
     
  8. GimmeSlack12 thread starter macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #8
    Stupid pron.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    www.versiontracker.com

    Download and run Monolingual or Delocalizer

    Delete printer drivers for brands you don't own
    Delete Garageband and its 1.6 Gb library if you are not using it

    Buy an external firewire drive for backup, emergency boot, and overflow data.
     
  10. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #10
    I really doubt he would comprehend enough to discern why he produced his page out from your description, but people surprise me sometimes.
     
  11. GimmeSlack12 thread starter macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #11
    Come on now!
    Yes I can comprehend it, and knowing the obscene details can help relieve the tick that is bugging me with my system's RAM usage.

    I have all my MonoLingual things taken out, and Garageband, and even compressed the Finders Window Graphics, and blah blah blah. I know the ins-and-outs of OX X (mostly). But I was just wondering if someone would suggest something I hadn't thought of. Apparently not.

    Thanks anyways guys.
     
  12. regre7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #12
    I think that's obscure.

    Okay....

    Sorry to nitpick, now for my question. What's a page out? I've heard it referenced several times in the forums. I'm guessing that it's got something to do with the page file and writing to it. Right?
     
  13. Krevnik macrumors 68030

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #13
    Careful there... sounds like you are recommending a solution to a problem that doesn't even exist yet. VM does not take up nearly the amount of space that people believe it does. A good rule of thumb is that you should have about double your RAM free on disk for swap space. Realize that current swap files actually lower your free space, but it is still a good rule of thumb to follow, unless you have very little RAM, then you probably want more than double (for example, you should still have at least 2GB free on a system that only has 512MB of RAM, since you are MORE likely to see actual page-outs that are done because of RAM limitations).

    5GB is just fine. I would start worrying if he dropped below 3GB though and used apps like Photoshop on large (200+MB) files regularly.

    Memory in most modern systems are split into 'pages' of a certain size (I think OS X's pages are 4-16KB). These pages can exist in RAM or on disk. When you page-out, a page is written out to disk and marked as inactive (because another app needs access to page that is currently on disk, and needs to be put in RAM before-hand, or because the page hasn't been used in a 'long' time). When you page-in, you read a page from disk and bring it into RAM, because it wasn't there before.
     

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