iMac using a lot of RAM...doesn't seem right...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by HXGuy, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    Should it really be using this much? I don't have any memory intenstive programs running I don't think and while I know that the Blue is "inactive" and will get used by something that needs it, the computer actually feels sluggish with having so little "Free Memory" available.

    This is a 2.93GHz i7 iMac, it should not feel sluggish, right?

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Quit the apps that use much RAM, e.g. Chrome, Mail, iTunes etc. Simply relaunching them will free up some RAM. I have to do this frequently with Safari
  3. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009

    OK, I'm of two minds here, so bear with me.

    First of all, you (the OP) say that the computer _feels_ slow and sluggish when the free RAM is low. You can drive yourself nuts with mental correlations like these - I do it myself from time to time.

    If you can further describe or quantify the sluggishness, that would be helpful.

    Secondly, Snow Leopard is very aggressive (perhaps overly so) in keeping data in RAM. Generally speaking, if there's data in RAM that isn't being used at the moment, then it will be marked as inactive. So, if you have a lot of inactive RAM, you can view that as free. However, some people (including myself) have noticed that swapping occurs when the amount of inactive RAM is high and free RAM is low or very close to zero.

    Swapping will make things feel sluggish or unresponsive.

    I think I've tracked this down - in my case - to using Parallels 4.0.

    I agree with Hellhammer, quit apps from time to time to truly free up RAM.
  4. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    I didn't see it mentioned but it seems you have plenty of inactive memory so you shouldn't really don't have a memory issue. OS-X will use that when it needs to.
  5. djc6 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    HXGuy, your screenshot shows that Activity Monitor is only looking at 'My Processes' - what does it look like when you select 'All Processes' from the pull down menu? What about sorting by CPU usage instead of memory?

    Have you looked at the Disk Activity? anything hammering the disk?

    What about Applications -> Utilities -> Console? Anything strange appearing in the logs when the sluggishness occurs? Look especially for any messages repeating tens, hundreds, thousands of times from some broken application.
  6. djc6 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I see from your process list that you've got VMware Fusion. Running an XP VM with 500MB allocated to it always slows down my entire computer. Also, VMWare's resource use won't show up unless you select 'All Processes' as it runs as root.

    I ended up switching to Parallels 5 and its made a profound improvement in the overall performance of my machine. My VMs no longer suck the life out of my entire computer.

    Also, my boss sometimes has issues with Little Snitch which I also see you are running. Monitoring all network traffic can be somewhat resource intensive. Turn it off for a while and see what happens.

Share This Page