Unused RAM, iMac running choppy

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NickD, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. NickD macrumors 6502a

    NickD

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    Mar 25, 2007
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    Colorado
    #1
    I've got 2GB of Corsair RAM in my iMac, but it runs just about the same as it does when I had 512MB in it. Things are not running very smoothly when multitasking, and general performance is very choppy. I looked in Activity Monitor today, and this is what I saw:

    [​IMG]

    1.06GB of RAM inactive, and only 267.53MB Free. And this is just running some Widgets, Camino, Activity Monitor itself, and a couple of background processes.

    Is this unusual, and if so, what can I do to fix it?

    NickD
     
  2. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    Still here.
  3. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
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    Colorado
    #3
    Maybe a good number. 18 to be precise. It's still strange though, because I have friends running 25+ widgets on less RAM and it's still fine. I'll try removing some widgets though.
     
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #4
    depends on the widgets too imo, some are better behaved than others.
     
  5. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

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    #5
    Well, I removed a good few of them, and am down to only 7, but I still only have 319MB of Free RAM.
     
  6. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #6
    You said performance was "choppy", a word generally used to describe a jerky type of lag that can be seen on the screen during effects, etc. Is this the type of "choppiness" you're referring to?
     
  7. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

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    #7
    Yep. And also when switching between applications, opening tabs, etc.
     
  8. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #8
    RAM won't be freed up right away. your inactive RAM can be allocated where needed if you use up your free ram.

    its a bit misleading, the pie chart.

    your page ins are much greater than your page outs, which is a very good thing
     
  9. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #9
    OSX handles RAM differently than Windows does. You want to have LESS unused RAM, for ideal performance. The 1gb of inactive RAM that is being used is a precahce for OSX, where it keeps things it thinks are likely to be used sometime soon; applications, libraries, things like that.

    The "active" RAM is what programs that are currently running are using. To figure this out, I'd say we need to know exactly what you mean by choppy, what applications are the ones giving you trouble, what version of OSX you are running, how full your HDD is, and what your CPU usage looks like. You should also remove all your Widgets and see how things run, and add them back one at a time to see if a particular widget is giving you issues. I've seen/used some that are just absolute system stoppers... bad code in the widget and Safari (which widget use to run and it has some known memory leaks, etc).

    Just as an example, your Hula Girl widget is using 16% of your CPU cycles, which is less than the entire Windows Server process on my system. Because you do have a significant amount of unused RAM, I suspect this is not a RAM problem, but it could be.
     
  10. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

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    #10
    So what do you recommend I do? Is there anything that would help or should I just leave it as it is?

    NickD
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #11
    Get rid of the processes that are chewing up your processor capacity -- RAM is not the problem here.

    Find a way to live without HulaGirl, or P2P apps, or whatever is dragging the machine down.
     
  12. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

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    Colorado
    #12
    I'm down to very simple widgets now (i.e. Calculator, Stickies, Weather) and I'll try that for a while. Hopefully i'll see some improvement. Please post any other suggestions or theories.

    NickD
     
  13. gnasher729 macrumors Pentium

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #13
    "Inactive" - contains stuff that might come useful at some point in the future, but can be thrown away at any time if memory is needed.

    "Free" - the Mac has never seen any reason whatsoever to use this memory.

    So there is 1.3 GB that is immediately available anytime you need memory.
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #14
    It looks like that Hula girl widget is using a lot of CPU time. Is it even active? :rolleyes:

    You're fine with all the inactive RAM. Do you have any USB hard drives plugged in?
     
  15. Godric macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #15
    Take 2 more screen shots.

    1. Processes sorted by CPU usage high to low.
    2. Processes sorted by RAm usage high to low.

    Be sure to resize ActivityMonitor so it shows all relevant processes. Also, how much free space do you have on your HD?
     

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