Help understanding my memory usage

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by reemas, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. reemas macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    I have a 2.6/512/8 rMBP. I boot fresh and don't open any programs, except Aperture. With Aperture open, Activity Monitor shows a spike in my RAM usage, but within a couple minutes I'm getting page outs. I'm not even using Aperture, just left it open.


    Does Aperture really use that much memory? Why is so much of the graph blue (Inactive)?

    Now I feel like I should have gotten 16GB RAM.
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    no worries inactive was RAM that was being used that isnt it will be free once its needed

    when you run high intesive things your MBP will use has much RAM as it has available so it will use more than it really needs and when you run something else the applications share the ram
  3. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
    Yeah, inactive RAM is practically the same as free RAM.

    I've never seen so much inactive vs. free RAM, though... kind of odd, but don't worry about it at all unless you start paging out massively.
  4. reemas thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    probably a beginner question, but if i had 16GB RAM would aperture just go for the whole thing still?

    not sure why there was so much inactive ram when all i did was reboot and launch aperture and activity monitor.
  5. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
  6. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    I don't know about Aperture specifically. But most programs will allocate memory for itself and also pre-cache information it's likely to need soon. It ends up being faster than waiting for the user to ask for it. Some programs are more rude than others about memory, but again I don't know about Aperture.

    It's possible Aperture expect you to dump a hundred RAW files into it right away, who knows.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This will explain the various categories of memory:

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor

    Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    It's also possible you have another process that's contributing to memory usage.
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the whole Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
  8. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    It would probably take more. But don't worry about it, it's allocating memory to do its job.

    It expects you to start opening images now. Start opening RAW files. Dump them in there until you see the page-outs increase dramatically. That's when you're actually running out of memory.

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