"Normal" Virtual Memory Usage

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Reckless, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Reckless macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #1
    Apologies for what may be a stupid question but I'm new to macs and have been trying to learn a little more about my iBook.

    I've just run activity monitor and although it's showing that not all my real memory is being used, it seems to be using a lot of virtual memory and I don't know if this is normal. I assumed that it would only use virtual memory once real memory was fully utilised.

    For example, Safari is using 103MB real and 486MB virtual, activity monitor 20MB and 100MB virtual, finder 18MB and 131MB virtual etc. The total VM size is showing 2.8gigs.

    There are a few other processes, none of which appear to be using less than 50mb of virtual memory.

    In short, is this normal? My mac is a new 12" iBook. I was going to put in more ram but I don't see how this will benefit me if it's telling me I'm not using all the physical memory now. Is there some reason why the virtual memory usage is at that level and yet I still have free ram?

    Thanks for any information and again, apologies if my question betrays my stupidity :)
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    It's normal. Think of those numbers as allocations. They don't necessarily get used but OSX assigns the process quite a large amount of Virtual RAM all the same.

    Although there's no mention of allocating more memory than necessary, there's a pretty good description of how to read Activity Monitor here, if you're interested. :)
     
  3. Reckless thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #3
    Thanks very much for the info. I've just had a look at the page and I think it's clarified things quite a bit.

    Cheers !
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    No problem. :)

    To be honest, the OSX memory managing system is far too hard for me to understand. It's one of those many things I just let my Mac worry about and don't take too much notice of. :p
     
  5. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #5
    thats exactly the idea! :D
     

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