High ram usage?

karohan

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 25, 2010
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I've noticed that my macbook pro has been using a lot of RAM. I haven't really witnessed a slowdown on my computer b/c of any sort of shortage of RAM but I was just curious if this was typical (since this is my first mac). I have 4 GB of RAM and I often find myself with around 1-1.5 GB of free + inactive RAM. I had a linux system with 3 GB RAM before and it used between 1-1.8 GB of RAM and it seems like this system is using around 2.5-3 GB (active + wired). However, various OS X laptops in the past have functioned really well in the past with 2 GB and even 1 GB of RAM right? Is OS X just putting more processes in my RAM to speed up my system because more RAM is available OR does snow leopard just have high memory consumption?
 

karohan

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Original poster
Jun 25, 2010
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Hmm right now wouldn't be the best time b/c I just logged on and everything is fine. However, I do remember yesterday my free RAM being around 70 MB, my inactive being around 1 GB, and I'm not completely sure about the active/wired but they were split sorta equally. I'm pretty sure both were taking over 1 GB at least.
 

spinnerlys

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Sep 7, 2008
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Hmm right now wouldn't be the best time b/c I just logged on and everything is fine. However, I do remember yesterday my free RAM being around 70 MB, my inactive being around 1 GB, and I'm not completely sure about the active/wired but they were split sorta equally. I'm pretty sure both were taking over 1 GB at least.
Repetition is key:

 

karohan

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 25, 2010
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spinnerlys, I have set my activity monitor to all processes. I shall monitor which processes may be taking up more RAM when it happens. Right now the only processes over 100 mb of RAM is Safari at 260 MB and kernel_task at 135 MB.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
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Seattle, WA
Hmm right now wouldn't be the best time b/c I just logged on and everything is fine. However, I do remember yesterday my free RAM being around 70 MB, my inactive being around 1 GB, and I'm not completely sure about the active/wired but they were split sorta equally. I'm pretty sure both were taking over 1 GB at least.
Do you remember what programs that you were using?
 

spinnerlys

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Sep 7, 2008
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spinnerlys, I have set my activity monitor to all processes. I shall monitor which processes may be taking up more RAM when it happens. Right now the only processes over 100 mb of RAM is Safari at 260 MB and kernel_task at 135 MB.
I specifically meant the Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor link, as free and inactive memory together are the available memory. And if you don't experience any slow downs or excessive swapping, the RAM should be used. Why did you get it in the first place?
 

karohan

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Jun 25, 2010
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Spinnerlys, yeah I know that. I'm not extremely worried b/c I typically have at least 1 GB of inactive + free memory available and I don't experience slowdowns. But I'm curious how people used os x with only 2 or 3 GB of RAM (which could have happened only a couple years ago).

iBookG4User, well I was using Safari, Mail, Adium, iMovie (importing some HD content from my video camera), and had MPEG Streamclip running. I also had a couple widgets (iStat and the notes thing), along with a couple Finder windows.
 

spinnerlys

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Sep 7, 2008
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Spinnerlys, yeah I know that. I'm not extremely worried b/c I typically have at least 1 GB of inactive + free memory available and I don't experience slowdowns. But I'm curious how people used os x with only 2 or 3 GB of RAM (which could have happened only a couple years ago).
Years ago, many applications were not as RAM hungry, I used a G4 iBook with 768MB, later 1.25GB of RAM and 1GHz for many tasks, and it didn't feel slow at that time, I even abandoned an Athlon XP 2.4+ GHz PC, which felt slower than my iBook. I used my iBook for browsing, video editing (Avid Xpress DV) and photo manipulation and some text editing of course. It was more than bearable, it's just that we are now used to more RAM, that going back is kind of hard. I wouldn't want to work with a Mac or PC with 2GB RAM, all my Macs have 4GB anyway, at work the Macs have 4GB+ and only the Windows boxes have 1GB or 1.5GB and are slow like Pluto.
 

karohan

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 25, 2010
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Years ago, many applications were not as RAM hungry, I used a G4 iBook with 768MB, later 1.25GB of RAM and 1GHz for many tasks, and it didn't feel slow at that time, I even abandoned a Athlon XP 2.4+ GHz PC, which felt slower than my iBook. I used my iBook for browsing, video editing (Avid Xpress DV) and photo manipulation and some text editing of course. It was more than bearable, it's just that we are now used to more RAM, that going back is kind of hard. I wouldn't want to work with a Mac or PC with 2GB RAM, all my Macs have 4GB anyway, at work the Macs have 4GB+ and only the Windows boxes have 1GB or 1.5GB and are slow like Pluto.
Yeah, that makes sense. This is by no means a problem because I haven't experienced any slowdowns and I don't anticipate to but I do hope to be able to run virtual machines soon, so I hope I don't experience many problems with that.

That's probably your culprit right there.
Just using iMovie or the transferring of content? Can I ask how transferring content requires RAM?