Swap memory?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by raymondu999, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #1
    Hi there.

    I searched and all I could find were people swapping their computers for new computers. Lol. So... here goes. My MacBook Pro (not shut down, only slept/awoken) for the past several months, is still running strong. That part is good. However, it seems that I noticed my swap file usage was already 997MB!!! Yikes:eek: Now, question is, is it possible for me to clear the swap without fully rebooting my computer?

    Thanks...
     
  2. macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    Swap files are supposed to be large. They can get to several GB. Don't worry about it. As an aside, why do you not want to reboot?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #3
    It's not that I don't want to shut down lol. But it's just far more practical just putting her to sleep and awakening her. But wouldn't the swap file be eating up space and I would have decreased amounts of free memory?
     
  4. Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #4
    If it's 997MB after weeks/months than that is okay. No need to worry.

    Don't you reboot after system updates?
     
  5. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    hmm how about:

    page ins: 3.1gb
    page outs: 1.82gb
    swap used: 2.22gb

    after about 4 days?? think i need more RAM lol?? ;p
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #6
    If the swap file is active, this doesn't mean you're running out of memory. It's a common misconception. Even when the system still has free memory, it will sometimes start swapping if it doesn't have more important things to do. It's copying the current contents of memory into swap.

    The reason it's doing this is the following - imagine you have 4 gigabytes of ram and nearly all of it is full. You open a very large image in Photoshop and you immediately need about a gigabyte of ram. Because your ram is full, 1 GB of it needs to be swapped to the hard drive to clear memory up for Photoshop. If swap only kicked in at this point, you would have a gigabyte of data to move to the hard drive. If that drive can write at 50 MB/s, your machine would be completely unusable for 20 seconds!

    But because swap starts copying memory contents to the hard drive long before your memory is filled, you can clear the memory for photoshop instantly and don't need to wait for 20 seconds, your backup was created in advance.

    Hope that was clear enough :D.
     
  7. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #7
    very clear, and while i understand how swap works and all, i still have a fair amount of ins/outs there. the work that i am doing on my computer is becoming unusable - its almost unbearable!! need a faster computer haha.

    laptops definately werent made for multitasking i can tell you that!
     

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