Brand New Macbook Air, less than 30 MB of ram free

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by jbrady3324, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. jbrady3324, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014

    jbrady3324 macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2009
    I just purchased a Macbook Air (early 2014). This is the base 13" inch model with 4gb of RAM. I am running Yosemite 10.10.1

    When I boot my laptop up, I have about 1-1.20gb of free memory. After starting safari, it quickly goes down to about 20MB of free memory with two tabs open (gmail and macrumors).

    I just ran a virus and adware scanner with no hits. I also followed the instructions from this link twice -- --

    Is this normal? The Memory Pressure graph is green so I suspect that is a good sign
  2. w0lf macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2013
    Yeah that seems pretty normal. 4GB is pretty crappy though for a modern computer, I'm surprised Apple still sells base computers with that little RAM.
  3. fisherking macrumors 603


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    are you having operational issues? can you open multiple tabs in safari? run other programs? you should be fine (lots of macs out there running with 4gb ram...even less...).

    try working with your mac (ram is shuffled about, you don't need to worry about that meter)...
  4. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
    Are you new to macs by any chance? Running virus and adware software is something truly not needed on this platform. 4gb is a small amount by today's standards, the mac will efficiently use as much of it as it can when it can. That's what you want. Nothing abnormal from your description.
  5. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Its normal. Yosemite will cache as much as possible into RAM in order to increase performance (it is much faster to read from RAM than disk).

    My 16GB MBP was easily using 8GB almost at idle - it was pretty much all caches.
  6. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Adding my two cents--it's normal. Enjoy your new Mac.
  7. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    All normal. My 11' MBA 4GB runs fine even with 7GB virtual memory so heavily compressed.

    As long as the graph is green (or even yellow), then nothing to worry about.
  8. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Mavericks and Yosemite have unorthodox memory management techniques. It'll avoid swapping out to disk for as long as possible and instead compress and flush memory dynamically.

    The end user sees very little RAM free, but that's not a correct interpretation of the usage figures.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    To add to this, OS X RAM reporting might be confusing to the user. In simple terms, only the app memory matters. And the memory pressure is still the best indicator of how busy your RAM is.
  10. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Yosemite is designed to use as much RAM as possible to speed up the Mac. Idle RAM is useless, it's good to hear that your MBA can use up all the RAM. That's completely normal.
  11. xWhiplash macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    Unless you are having performance issues due to paging, I would not worry about it.

    I have never looked at the ram usage on my rMBP. It has 16GB though.

    But seriously, depending on what you do even 2GB can be good enough. I had an old iMac that had a logic board failure this summer. It only had 2GB of RAM and it still ran perfectly fine for what my parents were doing with it.

    The argument that 4GB is horrible for today's computers is not accurate.

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