How to tell when to add memory?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by qveda, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. qveda macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2008
    I have a Mac Pro with 4gb of ram. Plenty most of the time, but sometimes things slow down a bit with heavy use of Photoshop.

    I only have the orig 320gb drive. so adding a second drive to put all the data (and scratch disc) on, may be my next step.

    What guidelines can I use to determine when I'd benefit from more RAM ?

    I don't think the Activity Monitor data by itself is sufficient.
  2. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    Look at activity monitor after doing some work. Look at the page ins/outs. If your page outs are 10% or more of your page ins, time to add more.
  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Here's a useful link...

  4. qveda thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2008
    One thing that seems to be memory intensive is Re-sizing and image.
    after trying a big enlargement, page ins: 389mb, page outs: 50mb, swap used: 250mb

    Using Lightroom, I noticed page ins: 400mb, page outs: 70, swap: 288

    However, Free: 32 mb, Inactive: 1 gb

    Does this point to some advantage of expanding my memory beyond 4Gb ?
  5. OZMP macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2008
    Inactive makes me think that Apple have some work to do...

    How often do you reboot your machine?
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Page Outs. Simple, if the Page outs in your Activity Monitor are increasing from 0, then you really need more RAM. Otherwise, you are fine and its a lag issue.
  7. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    You will find a pretty good explanation about "page outs" here

    You can find your "page outs" by going using the Activity Monitor found in your Utilities Folder (use the System Memory tab).


    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  8. qveda thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2008
    If I've been working with large images in Photoshop, I can get Page Outs of over 400mb, with Pages Ins of 700mbs.
    I guess that means I need more memory !
  9. Sirobin macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2008
    Hmm, this is under normal usage...I think I need more memory, too bad my computer is already maxed out:(

    Attached Files:

  10. Billydelp4 macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    I seem to be having a similar problem. It seems as if OS X isn't releasing any memory back into the system reservoir. this is a picture from just a normal days use i.e.very little final cut use along with itunes safari and mail. nothing major at all.

  11. carlosbutler macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2008
    London City
    i believe that wired is what you are actually using at the moment. as someone else said before, if you start up a big program even for a second and it allocates 2gb of memory, and you close it down, the 2gb will become active memory. inactive memory is there for reserve and free means its not being touched at all. i think:confused:
  12. Billydelp4 macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    now to get even stranger... I rebooted and only 4 gb show up

  13. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    check the RAM in the risers...make sure everything's plugged in properly

    you DEFINATELY need a scratch disk for photoshop

    from memory, as CS4 for mac is still 32-bit, it will only directly use 2.7-3.3GB RAM...however, i remember reading somewhere that it can use extra RAM as a scratch disk anyway.

    sorry if that's a bit vague, but i recommend that you get a scratch disk first...then see what you think
  14. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Genny, Genny, :D

    I agree with your assessment and recollection but not the recommendation. Go for the RAM first. It will help everything run faster and/or smoother! Adding a scratch disk may not noticeably improve anything unless his current scratch unit is fighting for drive access with another app of some kind.

    Also yes, pull your RAM trays and reseat the RAM modules! RAM sockets and RAM thermal sensors in the Mac Pro are weird - touchy-weird!

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