Does your RAM resort to Swap much?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NewGenAdam, May 3, 2009.

  1. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #1
    I've got an Air HDD (quite the opposite of Pros), with the obligatory 2GB RAM.

    After about an hour of web/youtube/mail/itunes/&c it all gets a bit much for my 2GB, and it resorts to Swap, which, especially on a 4200RPM drive is the
    world's
    biggest
    bottleneck
    Anyway. On your Pros, how often do you find it resorting to Swap usage, particularly if you're more than 2GB?

    Thanks ^_^

    btw Swap is when the OS runs out of RAM space, so sticks some stuff on the hard drive, which is really slow. It's no fun at all.
     
  2. tecknical macrumors regular

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #2
    I'm using 5MB of swap right now, but then again i have 4gb of RAM and I rarely max it all out
     
  3. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

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    UK
    #3
    It resorts to using swap annoyingly soon on on my imac with 2gb of ram too, after a couple of days it's fairly usual to see it using 2 gigs or so of swap, creeping upto 3 till I aggressively close and reopen everything.
     
  4. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

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    #4
    mine says 0mb/64mb
    no pageouts, 4gb of memory it usually stays at 2.8gb free while the system and other processes/video/etc pool over a portion of it i assume
     
  5. NewGenAdam thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #5
    So it seems like 4GB is the sensible amount to run OS X really smoothly.

    Damn that my Air's RAM is SOLDERED straight on...
    Pff.
     
  6. tecknical macrumors regular

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #6
    i think with snow leopard they'll cut the memory footprint of most programs significantly. too bad its firefox that takes up most of my memory
     
  7. magamo macrumors 6502

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    Apr 6, 2009
    #7
    I have 4GB RAM on my MBP and rarely see it swap while my MB with 2GB RAM resorts to swap fairly often. I don't use memory hog apps though.
     
  8. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020

    ViciousShadow21

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    #8
    since i moved to 6GB and soon to 8GB i havent had any page outs or swap.

    EDIT: except when i use Vuze. i dont know why but it slowly eats away at my free RAM until it makes it all inactive. then it starts swapping out.
     
  9. NewGenAdam thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I once ran Vuze on my Air.
    It ended up obliging me to commit a hard reset.
    I have yet to repeat the experience.

    Seems like >2GB is sensible; since the Air is pretty pricey, I think it might make sense for Apple to wap it up to 4GB.

    Particularly as it's SOLDERED ON.
     
  10. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    #10
    Huh. Here's a screenshot of mine...it's been on for the past 4 or 5 days. 660MB of swap, 2GB Page ins, 250MB Page outs. My RAM usage seems pretty high too, considering I'm not really running a whole lot of stuff. I'll try restarting and see what happens...any thoughts?
     

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  11. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

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    #11
    i have a little over 5GB of swap used right now..
     
  12. NewGenAdam thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #12
    I find OS X gradually accumulates RAM nom-ing applications while it's open.
    A restart is the only way I know to clear it all.

    Hang on, help!!!
    What's the difference between VM size and Swap?
    If swap is putting RAM on the hard drive, how is VM Size different?

    Aaah!
     
  13. Skika macrumors 68030

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #13
    792 mb swap here. Running only Safari. But i ran aperture and logic thru the day maybe that has some effect on it, dunno, no expert.
     
  14. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #14
    Think of VM size as the resources your machine would be consuming if every single process required it's own separate resource for what's common or shared resources. That's technically wrong and even if were right, a gross oversimplification. You, as the user, shouldn't worry about it because it really doesn't mean anything to you.

    As for the first part, are you sure you understand OS X memory management? Because I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.
     
  15. NewGenAdam thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I meant
    OS X's RAM size gradually gets bigger and bigger, and doesn't go down all too fast. So the best way for me to ZAP all that superfluous RAM usage is by a restart.

    Am I basing my modelled understanding of OS X's memory management on bad data?
    Am I wrong? *gasp* !
     
  16. melchior macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #16
    i think you may be misunderstanding free and unused memory. i rarely have free memory available unless i've just rebooted, but that doesn't mean there isn't memory available for necessary applications, because data gets moved into the unused category, where i can access indesign for example quickly, however if i suddenly open photoshop, it will happily steal that memory from indesign. i have not noticed any difference in speed after a fresh reboot compared to an uptime of 2 weeks.

    that being said, i do find myself getting into swap memory on 4gb (early 2008 MBP) 6gb would be great, but i've upgraded the HD and don't feel it's a major stumbling point. but i would certainly go for more if i could. at the moment my swap is sitting at 3.4gb
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #17
    It all depends on what you do, 2gig for OSX may be more then enough if you surf the web, don't have many programs up at once or a light user.

    I typically have a VMware session running, photoshop, rapidweaver, (maybe aperture) and a couple of other apps running here or there on any given day. While I have 4 gig of ram, my VM usage is pretty high and typically have 5 or more swap files created. I found that I really use my machine, and it starts creating 7 or more swap files, performance drags down to an extent a reboot is required, but that's a thread for another time :)
     
  18. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #18
    Exactly what is it that you're looking at leads you to believe that "OS X's RAM size gradually gets bigger and bigger"?
     
  19. NewGenAdam thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #19
    Many months of having consistently monitored RAM usage over short and long term sessions. A perfect example is Vuze.
    It just sits there eating RAM.
     
  20. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #20
    Let me try this again. What numbers are you looking at when you are monitoring RAM utilization?
     
  21. NewGenAdam thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Ahh I see.
    Apologies.

    First the "Used" RAM climbs. When it nears my max of 2GB (and often before), "Swap used" and "VM size" start climbing.

    They don't either seem much to decrease, or even slow.

    ^.^
     
  22. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #22
    Forget about VM size. As I mentioned before, it has little to do with actual utilization.

    Your "Used" RAM will always go up until it reaches max, period. This doesn't necessarily mean it's running out of RAM so long as you have Inactive RAM free.

    How big does your Swap Used become?
     
  23. NewGenAdam thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #23
    Oh, it gets bigger than you can even imagine [/hyperbole]

    At the moment it's at a gloriously miniscule 13MB. Joy!

    But I've seen it as big as 13GB. That's when my poor 4200RPM 80GB hard drive gets FULL and SLOW. I daresay it's in need of defragging if that's even possible on a Mac.

    Thank yyoooooou ^.^
     
  24. John89 macrumors regular

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    Scotland
    #24
    I found Vuze to be a memory hog too. You should give something else a go. I use Transmission at the moment, its brilliant! Uses bugger all memory!
     

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