Panther RAM usage?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by cb911, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

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    Mar 12, 2002
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    BrisVegas, Australia
    #1
    i'm just wondering about how Panther uses the RAM, compared to Jaguar.

    does Panther store heaps of stuff in RAM? like with Jaguar if you had a app open, it would be best just to leave it open, or else it might reload all the stuff into RAM again. does Panther behave like this?

    a situation where this might apply... the new System Preferences. in Jag, you could close the window, but the app would stay open. now in 10.3, you close the window, the app quits. so is it better to just hide System Preferences in 10.3? if you quit it, then start it again, will it reload data into RAM?
     
  2. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a

    FattyMembrane

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    #2
    panther seems to use a good deal more ram on my imac 500mhz. i have 384 megs and while having safari, mail, finder, taco html edit, terminal, and itunes used to give me a little bit of wiggle room in jaguar, i now have about 5-12 mb free in panther. however, safari seems to be taking up a lot more memory if it's been open for a while and flushing some if it's restarted.
     
  3. markjones05 macrumors 6502a

    markjones05

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    #3
    How can u check how much ram u are using and how much u have free while using open apps?
     
  4. iPC macrumors 6502

    iPC

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    Jul 22, 2003
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    East Windsor, CT
    #4
    iBook G3 800 with 640MB RAM

    10.2.8 - 320MB without any apps open

    10.3 - 130MB without any apps open
     
  5. FattyMembrane macrumors 6502a

    FattyMembrane

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    #5
    open up a terminal window and type "top". if you look through all the numbers (it takes a while to figure out what they mean) it tells you how much wired, active, inactive, and free memory you have. you can also open up the "activity monitor" in the utilities folder and it will give you a nice pie chart of your memory usage.
     
  6. beefcake macrumors 6502

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    Baltimore
    #6
    What's the difference between inactive and free memory?
     
  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #7
    Good question. As I understand it, it works something like this:

    In simple terms, stuff that is "inactive" is being held in memory just in case it's needed, but can be removed in favor of other stuff. Free is just that--not allocated to anything.

    I believe roughly what happes is that you'll open an application, so it gets put into memory (allocated). Later, you quit that app, but OSX doesn't remove it from memory--just marks that chunk of memory "inactive".

    If, later, you relaunch the app, it's going to start much faster (this is a fact, whether I'm mistaken about the reason or not), because most of what it needs is already sitting in memory. If, however, you launch something else for which there isn't enough free memory, it'll just remove some stuff from the inactive chunk to fit it in. Basically, if you've got space to spare, why remove something you might need again until you have to.

    This is the explanation I've heard, and it seems to fit the behavior I see.

    In answer to the original question, I can't say I've seen Panther sucking up more RAM for certain; under Jaguar I had 1GB and the free RAM was usually around 100MB at most, although there was plenty of inactive memory unless I was running something that had a memory leak for a very long time (Thoth, for example, would occasionally freeze and start slowly chewing up memory). Under Panther I have 2.5GB, and I've never seen less than 1GB free even with very heavy use.

    Panther also, apparently, handles low-disk-space situations much better; under Jaguar, if you ran out of RAM the virtual memory system would start eating up disk space with swap files. When the drive filled up, you'd invariably loose preference files that couldn't be written to the full disk. Under Panther, though I haven't seen it yet, I've heard people say that it will warn you and ask you to quit apps once free drive space gets very low. This is a HUGE improvement from the know-nothing user's perspective, and even a nice safety feature for a pro.
     
  8. beefcake macrumors 6502

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    Baltimore
    #8
    Thanks for the explanation. I opened up terminal and saw I had only 6mb (of 512mb) free, and something like 160mb inactive. It would probably be a good idea to shell out a little money and give my PB an even gig of ram.
     
  9. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

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    #9
    but does Panther hold onto data in RAM as much as Jaguar did?

    i remember reading about Jag that you're better off to just leave apps open instead of close them, because basically if you close the app, the RAM will still be used anyway.

    is Panther the same, or does it empty RAM more often than Jag did?
     
  10. aethier macrumors 6502a

    aethier

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    #10
    Hope this helps,

    BTW 1.25 Ghz AL pb 1 gig ram


    aethier
     
  11. illumin8 macrumors 6502

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    East Coast, US
    #11
    Holy crap! That is a lot of apps open. Just a question for you: Did the movies skip or were they still playing smoothly in the background?
     
  12. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

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    #12
    wow. i think i might have underestimated the new PB's. :p :D

    i'll take that to mean that Panther handles RAM alot differently than in Jag.
     
  13. ollywilson2003 macrumors member

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    New Zealand
    #13

    Hehehe I wonder what would would happen if you used Expose :D
     
  14. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

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    Sep 13, 2001
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    Portland, OR
    #14
    free ram is basically wasted ram. If it's inactive it may not be being used right now, but at least it's doing something. Free ram is just sitting there.
     
  15. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

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    #15
    good point Catfish_Man. lots of people get worried that they don't have enough free RAM. but free RAM is wasted RAM.

    aethier might have set the record there. wasn't it 30MB free out of 1GB? that's about 3% RAM free, 97% used!!:eek: way to go! :D that's using your RAM.
     
  16. Jahy macrumors newbie

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    Apr 13, 2001
    Location:
    UC Berkeley
    #16
  17. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

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    #17
    hey Jahy, what computer was that on? and could you put up a full size pic? i'd use that as my wallpaper... :D
     
  18. ollywilson2003 macrumors member

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    New Zealand
    #18
  19. aethier macrumors 6502a

    aethier

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    #19
    Exposé proved to be rather useful when i did that ;)

    it also wrote that i used 13 gigabytes of virtual memory.

    aethier
     

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