ram for os x

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by macfreek57, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. macfreek57 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    #1
    i'm upgrading my ram (from 128 to 640). i haven't done it yet since buying my computer in august because right after i got it, the price of ram kind of shot up and i haven't been able to mentally justify paying 20 more dollars than i originally planned to. but i think that i'm going to do it anyway without waiting (os x is too slow to wait so long). so, those of you who have had this or a similar experience, tell me how it really helps. most of the time it gets slow, it's the hard drive that's spinning wildly, not really a problem with the RAM - or is that virtual memory? i can't really tell. i don't see how just running the finder and classic mode with no other programs running can cause such hold-ups sometimes.

    also, is there a way to make ram disk in OS X? used to like to do that in classic OS's to "optimize" a game or other program. i'd preferably like to do it without additional software evern going into the terminal(??? maybe???) but third-party is fine. any ideas? thanks.
     
  2. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Lots of hard drive access...

    ...sounds like "thrashing" to me. Here's a bad summary of how someone (arstechnica probably, they explain everything) explained it:

    Some of each program can be put on the hard drive temporarily if it hasn't been used in a while, this makes room for more current data in the ram (this is virtual memory). Parts of each program however, are essential (for example, the part of the OS that decides how to handle virtual memory, it can't swap itself out to the disk), so they have to remain in the ram. If their isn't enough ram to hold the essential parts of the program then the system will constantly swap things in and out of the ram to try to have the essential part of the program it's currently working on in the ram. This basically makes everything come to a grinding halt.

    that was a bit incoherent, but I think it's still readable. Anyway, the best way to check how much virtual memory you're using is by opening terminal and typing vm_stat. At the bottom it will say "pageouts: #(#)" where the "#" signs are numbers. If it's 0, you aren't using any virtual memory. That's good. Mine's always 0 (I have 384 MBs of RAM), and I often run photoshop, bryce 5, IE, AIM, and mail simultaneously. If it's not fairly low (preferably 0), getting more ram will speed your computer up.

    btw, I shut down my comp at night. If you leave yours on all the time you will eventually use virtual memory, so if you want to test it, try shutting down then using it for one day, then checking.
     
  3. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #3
    What's the deal?!?

    I've got 640 M of RAM in my TiBook, but I had 77 pageouts!

    The only thing is, that I almost never shut it down. Since X sleeps and wakes up so well, I just shut the lid and I'm good.

    Is OS X leaking memory?
     
  4. Beej macrumors 68020

    Beej

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Buffy's bedroom
    #4
    Doit! RAM is all you need. Just like the Beatles song... or was that love? Oh well... :D

    I had 128, then 256, then 384, now I've got 640. Going up to 384 was really great for everything, but I can't ell much difference with 640 unless I have heaps of stuff open doing lots of things.
     
  5. mywar2000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    central Cali.
    #5
    I have 384mb on my ibook 500. I also keep it powered up 24/7, I just close the lid to put it to sleep... Pageouts = 0 . I guess thats good?!
     
  6. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #6
    I have 512MB in my TiBook 500 (rev A), and have never had a pageout or such. I do power it off when I am done, and then just power it up when I want to use it. I also transport it between home and work, and would rather have it off and cooling while in transit, or overnight. I always power off my computers when I am done using them either for the day, or if it is going to be more then an hour or two. Following that method, I have had very few problems, and none of them that were not easy fixes. I have seen computers that people leave running 24/7 have components litterally burn out.

    I also, never have my hard drives spin down. That way, if the computer does go to sleep, it doesn't crash before waking up (also takes a fraction of the time to come fully up).
     
  7. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    As I understand it...

    ...OSX will just keep caching stuff until it runs out of space, so if you leave it on, it will eventually hit virtual memory. This probably won't actually slow it down, as it's just paging out old cached stuff. 77 pageouts is not going to make a noticeable difference.
     
  8. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #8
    I have 348 MB of RAM on my TiBook and I can not wait to replace the stock 128 chip with a 512 so I can get more out of X.....I've already found my limitations with it and need more..... :p
     
  9. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #9
    eyelikeart, looks like you are getting close to the 1000 post mark.

    Which slot are you looking to put the chip in?? I have heard that you need to make sure you get the slimmer one for the lower slot, since there is not as much clearance down there as with the upper. I have also been considering upgrading one of my 256MB chips to a 512, or maybe replacing both 256 chips with 512's. Maybe in a month or two, after I upgrade my hard drive to a 60GB (yes, internal).

    It's all about the Gigabytes baby... :D
     
  10. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #10
    he he he....

    I've read so many things concerning 512 MB chips for the TiBook....it's almost scary.....

    I figure though if I'm not going for the full gig then it shouldn't make too much of a difference....

    I've also read about clearance issues concerning chips that are too thick....
     
  11. evildead macrumors 65816

    evildead

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    WestCost, USA
    #11
    RAM

    I have 1.2GB of RAM... and my Mac flys!! I grabbed it right befor the price changes... OS X still moves to swap now and then when I am using lots of big apps like Virtual PC with Win2000, classic mode, MS Office. I would like to put it up the the full 1.5GB and see what happens. I also want to reconfigure my swap partition... i read some places that the defalt OS X install (out of the box) is not that great. I will do it when I get some free time to re-load my box.

    Its all about RAM!! Get as much as you can!!
     
  12. beatle888 macrumors 68000

    beatle888

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    #12
    holy sh..

    my vm_stat was 1200+ (the last "page out").

    that sucks. is there something wrong?
     
  13. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #13
    If you're looking to find out how much virtual memory you're using in OS X, top will give you easier-to-read info than vm_stat will. Just run top and look at the 5th and 6th lines, for example:

    PhysMem: 28.9M wired, 139M active, 61.2M inactive, 229M used, 26.7M free
    VM: 1.08G + 49.5M 6876(0) pageins, 809(0) pageouts

    (1 page = 4KB)

    That's from a computer with 256MB of RAM. I'm currently using 229MB of physical RAM, which leaves 26.7MB free, and I'm currently using 49.5MB of virtual memory, out of a possible maximum of 1.08GB.

    However, all that paging has taken place the entire time OS X has been running. My computer has been running 8.5 hours (as reported by the 'uptime' command), so 809 pageouts / 8.5 hours = 95.2 pageouts/hour = 1.6 pageouts/minute. Not bad at all considering each pageout takes only a small fraction of a second to complete, since all it's doing is copying 4KB from RAM to disk.

    I hope someone found that helpful.

    Alex
     
  14. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #14
    alex. very useful. i currently have 256mb ram on my g3 powerbook (66mhz bus ugh) and ive been thinking of getting more ram but im not sure how much to get and whether it will help osx performance or not. i rarely use x since its so slow on my computer and i would never switch completely over until i get a new computer but in the mean time i would like to be able to use osx occasionally without it been too painful. im curious what computer you are runnnig with 256mb. ive found that with just the system running it uses 180mb (fresh boot) i launch ie, adium, omniweb, and mail and im into virtual memory (which on a laptop harddrive is a painful 5400rpms). any thoughts? so far the best prices ive found for ram are $75 256mb high profile $89 256mb low profile. kinda pricey for a computer im thinking of scrapping in a year.
     
  15. evildead macrumors 65816

    evildead

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    WestCost, USA
    #15
    Here are my stats

    Im on a 867G4 with 1.2GB RAM

    evildead% uptime
    11:00PM up 1 day, 20 mins, 2 users, load averages: 0.12, 0.14, 0.10

    Processes: 39 total, 2 running, 37 sleeping... 115 threads 23:00:20
    Load Avg: 0.10, 0.15, 0.14 CPU usage: 4.6% user, 7.4% sys, 88.0% idle 2
    SharedLibs: nu4, 0.167, re3ident = 23.8M cod4.71.39M da5.6 5.44M L9.7Edit 3
    MemRegions: nu5 = 2943, resident = 72.2M + 610.2% user, 8.5% sys, 81.4% idle 6
    PhysMem: 90.43, 0.15, 0.12M active, 855M i3.7% user, 6.5% sys, 89.7% idle
    VM: 1.89G + 46.1M 7554(0) pageins, 1666(0) pageouts

    evildead% uptime
    11:05PM up 2 mins, 2 users, load averages: 0.03, 0.18, 0.23

    Processes: 36 total, 3 running, 33 sleeping... 86 threads 23:04:46
    Load Avg: 0.08, 0.29, 0.27 CPU usage: 3.8% user, 5.7% sys, 90.6% idle
    SharedLibs: num = 80, resident = 19.9M code, 1.41M data, 5.02M LinkEdit
    MemRegions: num = 2274, resident = 39.4M + 5.37M private, 25.5M shared
    PhysMem: 86.4M wired, 51.6M active, 81.8M inactive, 220M used, 932M free
    VM: 1.50G + 41.9M 3767(0) pageins, 0(0) pageouts
     
  16. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #16
    AmbitiousLemon, if you want to determine how much the addition of more RAM would speed up your OS X experience, you'd first need to figure out how much performance you're really losing in your usage of virtual memory.

    I'm not all that familiar with Mac hardware, but it sounds like since you have the same amount of RAM as I do, the thing that's really making OS X slow for you is your CPU. My PowerBook is a 550MHz G4, and OS X.1.2 is just barely fast enough for me to be acceptable (30% CPU usage playing a simple MP3?!?!? WTF is up with that?!?), so I can definitely understand how it could run like a one-legged dog for you. :(

    Having more RAM won't make anything animate more smoothly (web page scrolling, dock magnification, window resizing, etc.) or compute more quickly. It will only remove performance bottlenecks due to VM usage, which for you sound slight.

    Everyone these days seems to be saying "buy as much RAM as you can afford!" and so on, thinking 1.5GB will be like some sort of vast improvement over 1GB or something. Well, unless you're already far exceeding 1GB, it won't be. It's not that having more RAM is bad, it's just that there is a point beyond which buying more is not good value, at least in the short term, even if it does cost a lot less than it used to.

    Cheers,
    Alex

    ...whose Radeon Mobility graphics card has 4 times as much RAM as his entire computer did in 1994
     
  17. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #17
    alex: thanks. you didnt really say anything i didnt already know, but i just needed someone to kinda splash some cold water f reality in my face. i think i'll probably hold on to the $160 i would have to spend for 512mb of ram and let it sit in the bank so i can buy one more lil option when i buy that next computer a year from now. thanks for the reality check. its easy to get carried away sometimes reading these thread with all the pretty banners flashing in your face saying "buy me!"
     
  18. macfreek57 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    #18
    holy cheese, have you guys (alright maybe "y'all" since i'm southern) seen the price of ram? it's almost doubled (in the 512 category) since i was first watching in august!!
     
  19. Choppaface macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    Location:
    SFBA
    #19
    i heard an earthquake destroyed some factories overseas, so there's less ram on the market...but I haven't seen it double anywhere...
     
  20. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    vm_stat...

    ...on my G3 233MHz (beige) w/ 384MB ram and a 7200rpm 30 GB HD. Running 10.1.2 and 9.2.2

    Welcome to Darwin!
    [12-224-189-250:~] tim% vm_stat
    Mach Virtual Memory Statistics: (page size of 4096 bytes)
    Pages free: 44812.
    Pages active: 17979.
    Pages inactive: 27019.
    Pages wired down: 8494.
    "Translation faults": 810810.
    Pages copy-on-write: 22267.
    Pages zero filled: 522361.
    Pages reactivated: 0.
    Pageins: 6186.
    Pageouts: 0.
    Object cache: 25177 hits of 28783 lookups (87% hit rate)
    [12-224-189-250:~] tim%

    ...and top

    Processes: 39 total, 2 running, 37 sleeping... 117 threads 17:30:44
    Load Avg: 1.09, 0.71, 0.65 CPU usage: 10.0% user, 15.8% sys, 74.2% idl
    SharedLibs: num = 102, resident = 25.0M code, 1.75M data, 6.11M LinkEdit
    MemRegions: num = 1822, resident = 38.1M + 5.58M private, 31.3M shared
    PhysMem: 33.1M wired, 70.3M active, 106M inactive, 209M used, 175M free
    VM: 754M + 48.0M 6194(0) pageins, 0(0) pageouts

    PID COMMAND %CPU TIME #TH #PRTS #MREGS RPRVT RSHRD RSIZE VSIZE
    448 top 12.5% 0:00.94 1 14 14 192K 308K 432K 1.37M
    442 tcsh 0.0% 0:00.21 1 24 15 432K 636K 904K 5.72M
    440 Terminal 3.3% 0:22.80 4 66 145 2.17M 6.25M 4.30M 48.6M
    438 Internet E 0.8% 2:45.10 8 97 178 14.6M 12.8M 21.3M 66.4M
    437 AOL Instan 5.8% 1:41.52 7 91 163 5.95M+ 10.8M 11.3M+ 55.0M+
    326 iTunesHelp 0.0% 0:00.36 1 43 30 488K 2.02M 1.01M 24.1M
    325 SystemUISe 0.0% 0:04.30 3 114 123 1.71M 5.92M 3.27M 47.6M
    324 Dock 0.0% 0:17.33 2 95 104 1.96M 6.58M 4.04M 44.3M
    308 Finder 0.0% 0:10.62 2 83 126 5.08M 8.94M 7.98M 51.0M
    303 pbs 0.0% 0:01.98 1 27 23 896K 520K 1.50M 18.2M
    300 slpd 0.0% 0:02.00 8 29 28 184K 456K 536K 4.99M
    298 loginwindo 0.0% 0:02.78 6 138 108 1.84M 6.00M 3.64M 32.5M
    294 cron 0.0% 0:00.06 1 9 15 72K 300K 156K 1.52M
    290 sshd 0.0% 0:00.45 1 9 15 104K 464K 232K 1.50M
    282 SecuritySe 0.0% 0:00.42 1 29 18 288K 588K 648K 2.09M
     
  21. cleo macrumors 65816

    cleo

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
    #21
    I'm pretty sure that this isn't a problem with new Macs running OS X... the folks at the Tampa Apple Store say that the machines there have been on since they opened in September, just put to sleep at night.
     
  22. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #22
    i think the main reason prices have increased is that the prices of 2001 were artificially low. companies were selling below cost. it was a product of price wars plain and simple. and it ended for a number of reasons, the smaller companies couldnt keep up and went under, the largest companies are being sued for anticompetitive practices, and so prices went back up to "reasonable" levels. i wouldnt expect prices to return to 2001 levels anytime soon.
     

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