Hate to do this, but... question about memory

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by dip n ride, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. dip n ride macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I recently converted to a Mac after using PCs for about 15 years. I bought the entry level aluminum MacBook, and overall, I am very satisfied.

    I've read a lot about how memory is managed (wired, active, inactive, free), but I feel like I won't be completely comfortable until I get some feedback on my personal experience.

    My MB came with 2 gigs of memory. I have not done anything really complex as of yet, and on any given day, I am running the following program, with maybe a little variation:
    -Firefox (3.0.6 with anywhere from 2 to 6 tabs open)
    -Skype
    -iTunes
    -Logitech Control Center (for my mouse)
    -The following widgets: clock, calender, local weather, sports news updater, dash monitor, sticky notes, calculator, dictionary, and unit converter.

    So, I am not running anything that should be eating memory (I think). My computer hasn't been restarted in a 3 days, and my memory usage is currently:
    ~185 Wired
    ~935 Active
    ~530 Inactive
    ~135 Free

    There is no noticeable decrease in performance unless I open a lot of applications at once (Firefox, Open Office, Skype, VirtualBox, NetNewsWire, iTunes, iPhoto, etc.). Also, I notice when Vuze is open, that my Free memory sinks to below 10mb, despite the fact that I'm not running anything else, and I'm only downloading one item (though I have read that Vuze has issues with memory leaks).

    Anyway, sorry for being so long-winded, but I basically just want someone to tell me that this is all normal and it's just that I don't quite understand how my new MB uses memory yet. Or, if it's not normal, provide some sort of explanation :).

    Thanks!
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    Sounds to me like you're doing fine. I often load up my late-2006 MacBook with more than that, and it only has 1 Gb - and I've never had any memory problems.
     
  3. foxx0775 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    #3
    you would benefit from maxing out the ram - which is very inexpensive.

    but don't be alarmed at the stats, inactive memory is memory put aside for recently open/used programs and is, in essence, free... but as i said, maxing out ram is probably favorable in any circumstances!
     
  4. dip n ride thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #4
    Thank you both! People here are very quick, I didn't even have a chance to get back to work!

    Anyway, foxx, when you say "maxing out the ram", what do you mean exactly? Just using all the ram I have? Or is this some procedure within OS X I'm not aware of?

    Thanks again!
     
  5. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

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    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #5
    He means putting as much ram into your computer as possible since it is pretty cheap now to do so...meaning putting 4GB in.
     
  6. dip n ride thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #6
    Ah, so, maxing out ram in the most literal sense. Probably should have thought about that first. I'll certainly look into it, thanks for the suggestion.

    Any other comments are welcome!
     
  7. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #7
    As i understand it, OSX will never use all of the RAM, there will always be a small amount of "free" RAM. you have very little "free" RAM, so you would definitely benefit from having more RAM. here's a test; at the end of the day, check your page-ins against your page-outs. Page outs are when your RAM is all used up and the OS has to use your hard drive instead of RAM. If you have any page-outs, you could use more RAM.
     
  8. dip n ride thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #8
    Page-ins/Page-outs are cumulative right? As of right now I am listed as having 14.63MB of Page-outs. Can I assume that's since I last restarted my computer (about 3 days ago)? And if so, is that number too high?
     
  9. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #9
    right, that's cumulative since the last time you restarted your computer. "too high" isn't really the right way to think about it. Rather, the fact that you are experiencing page outs means that you could use more RAM, and that if you did buy more RAM, it wouldn't just be "wasteful spending". Your computer would definitely benefit from more RAM.
     
  10. harryhood macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    #10
    Whats the best ram to get if you are going to max out the macbook unibody? Also, doesnt this void the warranty and applecare if you don't get it done directly through an apple outlet in some way?
     
  11. uicandrew macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    #11
    void warranty? no. the instruction manual tells you how to do it.

    best way? buy it yourself from newegg and buy the EXACT screwdrivers. if it wants 00, buy a 00, DON'T SETTLE for a 0! you might strip your screws and then you're really screwed
     
  12. dip n ride thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #12
    I got you. I wonder if the page-outs I experienced occurred during the tests I ran, when I opened a bunch of applications just to see when the MB's performance would get sluggish. Might it be worth it to restart the computer, and use it the way I normally would for a couple days (i.e. not opening 15 applications at once), then see what happens with the page-outs?
     
  13. OnaMacSince1989 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #13
    Another RAM question...

    I have a iMac G5 2.0 Ghz bought new in May 2005. When I originally ordered it, I had the RAM upgraded from 512MB to 1GB. I'm currently running OS 10.4.11.

    I just ordered the MacBoxSet upgrades (OS 10.5.6, iLife 09, and iWork 09). Does anyone have experience with a similar set up? An upgrade to 2GB of RAM would cost around $80. Would it be worth it, or will my iMac still perform fine on 1GB of RAM? Would I see a huge benefit to doubling the RAM? I'm not big user of games, mainly just Safari (with 15 tabs), Mail, MS Office, and iLife apps.

    Thanks in advance for your advice and opinions!
     
  14. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #14
    yes that would be a useful gauge.
     
  15. dip n ride thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #15
    Thanks bozz, and everybody else, you've all been a big help.

    Anyone else with opinions, please feel free to share them.
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Just as a FYI, the only time you need to worry is when you free RAM + inactive is low. Also it's normal to have no free RAM, but a lot of inactive RAM.

    From what you posted, you should be fine right now.
     
  17. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #17
    what alphaod says is quite true. however, the simplest way to see whether or not you could use more RAM is just by using your system normally for a few days, then checking your page outs. if you have them, you could use more RAM. on my macbook, I have a few. Not much, but a few. For me, it doesn't slow my system down noticeably, so I am not upgrading RAM right now. I plan on doing so, but I am going to wait for prices to keep dropping. In 6 months or so, I think 2x2GB will have dropped to probably ~$40, then i'll upgrade.

    Right now I'm more interested in upgrading my 4 core Woodcrest mac pro to 8 core Clovertown!:D
     
  18. rewarden macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #18
    unhappy with macbook white

    Hi, I hope I'm in the right thread this time but forgive me if I'm not. I too have been a pc user since 1992 and only in the last year or so when I've been thinking of upgrading did I consider a macbook for a change. I opted for the macbook white 2.1 ghz and upgraged it in the shop to 4 gigs ram but what really sold me on it was the Nvidea graphics which I fugured made it more powerful than my pc which is pentium 4 3.2 ghz HT though it has a low end ATI X700 card with 512mb ram, I thought that the Core 2 Duo would more than make up for that. I discovered that when I tried to run flight simulator on windows 7 which I had succesfully installed using boot camp, that it would't even start. Instead I had a message stating that I only had 14mb ram.After scouring these threads I furthr discovered that the Nvidea card is integrated and so the memory is not dedicated. On top f all that dissapointment I can't even connect to the internet wirelessly either with airport or through a router. Over the last three weeks I,ve had to reinstall windows eight times because of the mess I made trying to configure both systems.So not being able to do anything I wanted to do with the MacBook do you think I would be able to return it even though its now nearly 4 weeks since I bought it? So sorry for the long post.
     
  19. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #19
    You're installing Windows. You haven't made any change...:confused:

    Try giving OS X a chance. You'll find that a publicly-available OS that comes preinstalled on the hardware that you bought works better than beta software that is unsupported by the company that MADE it, as well as by the manufacturer of the computer on which you are installing it.
     
  20. rewarden macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    #20
    I've actually uninstalled it now but my point is that I just wanted to see how it would work and if it would look any better and I thought I would be able to link to any computer in the home without too much trouble. I've watched countless how to videos on YOUTUBE and I still don't seem to get it right and yes I probable am a dumass
     

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