In your opinion, how much swap is "acceptable"?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by Rodrigo Yoshida, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Rodrigo Yoshida macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Since I have a MBA with 4gb RAM I always have about 200~500mb swap used in my system. I rarely notice any slow down and my memory pressure is almost always green, sometimes getting yellow if I do some heavy task.

    Even with my system performing quite well I am "worried" about that swap and the possibility that it can make my MBA runs slower soon. So in your opinion, how much swap is acceptable without harming the performance?
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    As much as you don't notice any reduction in performance, really ;) I think that 200 to 500MB of swap does indicate a certain memory shortage, but the question is how actively it is used. If your memory pressure is green, there should be no problem though. Nowadays, 4GB is surely on the low side, but for average home and office computing tasks, it is still plenty.

    Anyway, what would your action be if one tells you that your swap usage is too high? There is not much you can do but get a new machine with more RAM. And it would only make sense if want to improve your performance.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    DOn't worry about the amount of swap. What matters more is the RATE of swap OUTs. Swap INs are ok and normal but it is the swapping out that indicates you need more RAM.

    Actually with an SSD based system you can stand some swapping. It is not nearly so bad on an SSD as on an HD.

    Swapping makes the system go faster. It is moving the least used data from RAM so as to make room for data you are actually using. It only is counter productive if the rate gets out of hand.
  4. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    I have a 4GB MBA, 2yrs old, it normally has 3 users logged in (teenagers), and usually runs fin with approx 7GB virtual memory in use, and about 1GB swap...memory pressure in the yellow but no slowdowns or issues, SSD just as fast as when new.

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