Increasing RAM usage?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mikethebigo, May 31, 2009.

  1. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #1
    Hey everyone, I'm new to OS X and just had a quick question about the way that it uses memory.

    I have the istat widget on my dashboard, and I've been monitoring the amount of free and used RAM. After I reboot the system, only about 20 percent of my memory is being used between the OS and the programs I normally use (adium, safari, itunes, etc.) Over the course of a couple days, the amount of used ram increases to about 50 percent, even though I'm just using the same programs.

    So, I'm just wondering how exactly the operating system deals with used and free RAM. Once the system uses ram for something, will that ram be reported as used until I reboot? Why does used ram continue to increase even though I'm doing the exact same things?

    I'd just appreciate if someone could enlighten me on how the system uses RAM and whether I need to reboot every few days for optimal performance.

    P.S. Yeah I know it's still only using 50 percent (i have 4 gigs) - I'm not afraid of running out, I'm just wondering for my own knowledge.

    Thanks for any info
     
  2. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    No, you don't need to reboot every few days. UNIX is good with memory.
     
  3. NathanCH macrumors 65816

    NathanCH

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #3
    I think it's good to quit apps then relaunch them every day or so.

    But if you're using torrents, and downloading at high speeds (1.0mbs/ - 2.0mb/s) then OSX sucks at memory. After I'm downloading for a few minutes at those speed all my ram moves over to "inactive". Everyone here says that doesn't make a difference, but they're wrong in this case. It makes a HUGE performance difference for me. I can barely do anything when I have like 20mb of ram free. Seems like all Torrent apps on mac have memory leakss :(. Anyways, just thought I'd throw that out there. Seems like barely anyone experiences this since they don't get such fast speeds.
     
  4. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #4
    I do use uTorrent. Do you think that it could be responsible for my available memory decrease?
     
  5. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    Not sure about uTorrent, but I know that Transmission has no memory leaks, as of the latest build.

    It doesn't make a difference, your problems are caused by something else.

    "Free" memory has not been used.
    "Inactive" memory was used, but isn't any more (because you quit the application that used it, or whatever.)
     
  6. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #6
    So then back to square one. If the issue is not a torrenting problem, why does my used ram continue to increase? What exactly is a memory leak?

    Again, I'm just a recent os x convert (been a windows guy my whole life) so I'd just like to understand what the OS is doing with my ram.

    Thanks again guys.
     
  7. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Okie land
    #7
  8. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #8
    Great article! Thanks, that answers some questions.
     
  9. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    A memory leak is when a program uses some memory, and then gets rid of all the references to it without freeing it, leaving it sitting there unused but allocated until the program quits.

    Despite popular belief, they're not generally a major contributor to overall memory usage.
     

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