How to tell when to add memory?

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

  1. qveda macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #1
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #2
    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

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    Here's a useful link...

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1342

     
  4. qveda thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #4
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #5
    Inactive makes me think that Apple have some work to do...

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

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #6
    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 P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #7
    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).

    [​IMG]

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

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #8
    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

    Sirobin

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Hmm, this is under normal usage...I think I need more memory, too bad my computer is already maxed out:(
     

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  10. Billydelp4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #10
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. carlosbutler macrumors 6502a

    carlosbutler

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    London City
    #11
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #12
    now to get even stranger... I rebooted and only 4 gb show up

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #13
    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

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #14
    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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