Allocating more memory to F@H??

zelmo

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
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Mac since 7.5
My PB sits folding quite often. I only have 512MB RAM installed, but over 200MB of that is consistently idle when the PB is just folding. Even with Safari running, I still have over 180MB free. Is there a way under 10.3.8 to allocate the free RAM to F@H? I know how to do that under OS 9 and earlier, but can't find info on doing this under OS X.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,032
1
Portland, OR
There's no such beast as RAM allocation for a compiled app in OS X. It takes what it needs and whatever the OS can offer. Remember the limits on F@H aren't compeltely on your RAM, the limits are also on your processor. So having free RAM doesn't mean a thing if your processor is pegged at 100% for the F@H app.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,973
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Folding@home probably has tried to allocate more memory but you don't have enough available to satisfy its needs, so there is a large chunk available as free memory.

My PB with 768 MB often shows 400+ MB free but yet, I still get a beachball when I update my progress monitor status because the system is digging into the virtual memory.

My dual G4/800 almost never has a lot free out of 1.5 GB now but folding rarely takes a whole lot anyway. Note the numbers from Activity Monitor in the screen shot.
 

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zelmo

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
1
Mac since 7.5
Thanks for the info, yellow. I guess my little PB is folding as fast as it can at the moment. Won't be catching BlackAdder anytime soon...
:rolleyes: :D
 

Dreadnought

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,055
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Almere, The Netherlands
There is a way to allocate more memory to apps through the Terminal. But don't know that code. Folding really doesn't need more memory, the program itself is very small and the WU hardly ever exceeds 1,5 MB.
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,049
927
Canada
yellow said:
There's no such beast as RAM allocation for a compiled app in OS X. It takes what it needs and whatever the OS can offer.
Thanks for saying that. I was afraid for a minute there.

User-controlled RAM allocation for applications... Geeze, how was THAT user-friendly?! :confused:
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,032
1
Portland, OR
Dreadnought said:
There is a way to allocate more memory to apps through the Terminal. But don't know that code. Folding really doesn't need more memory, the program itself is very small and the WU hardly ever exceeds 1,5 MB.
I think you're talking about "renicing" an app, which does NOT (I repeat, NOT) allocate more RAM, it simply moves the process' importance up in the 'ranking of importance' for the processor. This is often mistaken for 'increasing memory allocation' but that is not what it's doing. In effect, it's simply letting the 'process manager' know that that app I just reniced is more important that whatever has a 'nice value' lower then it, so spend more time processing it. This is kind of a legacy thing that still exists for those who have legitimate needs for it, but for the regular old end user, it's not needed. F@H already is at the tops of the list when other things aren't requesting processor time.

There really is no way to allocate more RAM to a compiled app.
 

daveL

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2003
2,425
0
Montana
yellow said:
F@H already is at the tops of the list when other things aren't requesting processor time.

There really is no way to allocate more RAM to a compiled app.
I know I'm splitting hairs here, but a compiled app could have configuration file settings or environment variables that modify the amount of memory it uses at run time. The Java JVM comes to mind.

The process priority of the folding process is actually "idle", that is, the folding processes only run when *nothing* else needs the CPU, so I would tend to characterize the folding process priority as the lowest in the system. It's rather confusing to say it has the highest priority, when nothing else needs to run. Just my take on it.
 
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