Resolved Do I need more ram?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kauai, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Kauai, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

    Kauai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2010
    I just got my new MBP and so far the experience has been great. It's a behemoth compared to my last computer, and little things like the great build quality, simplicity of OSX and the trackpad really do make the difference. That being said, I don't consider myself a power user. I use my computer mostly for entertainment and probably the most I do on here that would be intensive is converting videos to watch them on my phone or watching HD content.

    So imagine my surprise when I open up activity monitor and see this:


    Now, I suppose this wouldn't be so bad if inactive memory can be considered free memory for all intents and purposes, but it does say that basically all my memory is being "used". And this is without any real applications or games open too.

    If this is the case, should I upgrade to 8gb ram? Would that help resale value do you think? I plan to upgrade to a SSD when I can afford it, so might as well consider going all the way with ram too.

  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Actually, inactive memory can be considered free. It's available for allocation, should an application require it. All it means it it was previously allocated, but no longer used. It can act as a cache, to make a relaunch of an application quicker. I don't have the link handy, but there is an Apple KB article which helps explain the different types of allocation. Just do a search at Apple support (or, probably just Google).

    What you do want to look at is the ratio of pageins vs. pageouts. From your screen shot, you have a very low amount of pageouts, which means you aren't swapping to disk excessively. It looks like for your usage, you have an adequate amount of physical memory.
  3. funwithamar macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2008
    i read an article saying that osX uses the free ram for other purposes as well, but it frees it up when it's requred. (at work

    just keep an eye on the page outs in activity monitor, if u get too many page outs ... if not u're fine.

    i hope i made some sense :p
  4. Kauai thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2010
    Okay, that's what I thought (it could be considered both a cache and free ram) but you confirmed my hunch, so thanks! Now to wait for the 6 gbps SSDs and I'll be set. :D

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