How do I properly decipher Mavericks Acivity Monitor Memory tab?

johnnnw

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 7, 2013
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With Mountain Lion I knew exactly what I was looking at regarding page outs and all that. Lately I've been some bad slow down and with Mavericks page outs is gone and it has this "memory pressure" thing?

Here is a screenshot:


I suspect I need more RAM, but I don't understand what I'm looking at on Mavericks Activity Monitor memory tab.

Can someone help with explaining what all this new stuff means and how to tell how dire my more RAM situation is.

Thank you in advance :)
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
Apple's KB article explains the activity monitor pretty well

Your memory pressure is not in the red and while a bit high but its not horrendously bad
 
Last edited:

johnnnw

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 7, 2013
1,213
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Apple's KB article explains the activity monitor pretty well

Your memory pressure is not in the read and while a bit high but its not horrendously bad
Thanks for that.

Back when there was page outs it wasn't unusual to have 5gb of page outs in a few days so I'm pretty sure RAM would solve my slowdown problems but I just don't like how much more expensive it is than it used to be so I'm trying to wait.

Sometimes when I open something new everything gets really jittery and laggy for a few seconds so I'm almost sure that could be improved with an upgrade to 8gb.
 

Merode

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
521
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Warszawa, Poland
How about storage, maybe it's just slow HDD? SSD would help, even with lower amount of RAM (SSD swap is going to be faster than HDD swap :p).
 

bobr1952

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2008
2,040
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Melbourne, FL
I personally like the memory pressure feature of Mavericks--and I can see a real difference between my rMBP with 8GB of memory and my 2008 iMac with only 2. My rMBP is always in the green whereas my iMac is normally in the yellow--but not the red. A bit slow for some things but fine for what I use it for--so if you continue to run in the green, you should be fine.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,249
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Thanks for that.

Back when there was page outs it wasn't unusual to have 5gb of page outs in a few days so I'm pretty sure RAM would solve my slowdown problems but I just don't like how much more expensive it is than it used to be so I'm trying to wait.

Sometimes when I open something new everything gets really jittery and laggy for a few seconds so I'm almost sure that could be improved with an upgrade to 8gb.
From the Apple link above, it sounds like if you don't see any red in the memory pressure area, then it's not really swapping?

Memory pressure is indicated by color:

Green – RAM memory resources are available.
Amber – RAM memory resources are being tasked.
Red – RAM memory resources are depleted and OS X is using the drive for memory.

Tip: If the Red state occurs, quitting apps can free up RAM. You may also be able to install more RAM to prevent memory depletion.
 

johnnnw

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 7, 2013
1,213
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I personally like the memory pressure feature of Mavericks--and I can see a real difference between my rMBP with 8GB of memory and my 2008 iMac with only 2. My rMBP is always in the green whereas my iMac is normally in the yellow--but not the red. A bit slow for some things but fine for what I use it for--so if you continue to run in the green, you should be fine.
That's odd then. It was in the green but I was still getting really bad slowdowns that seemed like a RAM problem like an old laptop I had did, same type of issue. I guess it's possible it's not a RAM problem, I just suspected that because of the stats in ML.