Is something wrong? Memory utilization question

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by TSE, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #1
    Using no apps or anything on Mountain Lion on my 2011 MacBook Pro with 8 GBs of RAM, Memory Clean (and Activity Monitor) say I have around 4-4.6 GBs of RAM available. For doing nothing.

    I regularly go down to almost 0 MBs available by running just 1 Virtual Machine in Parallels Desktop 8 with 2 GBs of RAM allocated to Windows 8, running Safari with Flashblock installed and a couple tabs, iTunes, and Microsoft Office.

    Does this sound right? I never had any problems with RAM in Snow Leopard. In fact, under the same usage noted above (With Parallels 7 and Safari 5, however), I usually had 2-3 GBs of RAM available VS. none.
     
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #2
    Use Activity Monitor to see what is taking up your RAM.
     
  3. TSE, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

    TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #4
    Screenshot with just Safari 6 running, with 6 tabs and a Flash Youtube video playing after a fresh restart.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

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    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #5
    Looks normal, you have 3.62GB available. Your largest process is only using 654MB.
     
  5. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #6
    So just running the OS takes up ~4.7 GBs of RAM? With Safari taking up ~700mb?
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Yes. You are fine. OS X tends to try and make use of available RAM to cache things for faster access. If you had 16GB of RAM, you would see it use even more. As long as you are not seeing a lot of pageouts in Activity Monitor, you have more than enough RAM.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Your memory usage looks normal. You don't have to monitor memory usage, as OS X manages memory automatically. The only thing to watch for is page outs, which may indicate that you don't have sufficient RAM. If you don't have page outs (which you don't), you can safely forget your memory usage and just enjoy your Mac.
     
  8. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #9
    You're including inactive memory in your estimate of used memory. Inactive memory is free memory. You're using wired + active. Inactive memory is memory that was used and has been released back to the system.
     
  9. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #10
    It's interesting that OS X and Windows have different ways of using memories, if what you guys are saying in this thread is true. Windows tries to use as little memory as possible to try and conserve memory for Applications, whereas Mac OS X tries to use as much memory as possible to optimize performance. Is that what you guys are saying?

    Anyways, thanks for the help.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    Mac OS X isn't dominating your memory usage, competing with apps. It's managing your memory, making it available to apps as they need it. After all, what's the point of having RAM if you don't take advantage of its benefits?

    Using Activity Monitor to read System Memory and determine how much RAM is being used
     
  11. zeeklancer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #12
    First off. Windows and OSX both try to use all of your ram.

    Running "Memory Cleaner" is going to slow you down. All it seems to do is remove memory from cache thus causing you to use your hard drive more often.

    Linux, OSX, and Windows will try to use all your free memory as cache. If you take your "free + cache" that is your true available memory to use.

    Examples of how things get in to cache and why you want to have near zero "free" memory at all times.

    1) You watch funnyvideo.mp4 its 12 megs. That 12 megs will be taken away from your free and added to cache.

    -- This is good because you now have funnyvideo.mp4 all loaded in to ram. Meaning if you decide to watch it again it won't have to read it off the slow disk.

    2) You download funnyvideo.mp4. As it writes it to disk it keeps a copy in ram as cache. This is good because when you go to click the video once it is done it will not need to load form the slow disk.


    Now you my think well that sucks, I want to use that memory for application. That is fine, you still can! The OS keeps tract of the memory that is dirty and clean. Everything in cache is always clean, not dirty. That means that at any given time ram marked as cache can be freed and used for a program that needs some memory to do something with.

    EDIT: Oh and turn off the stupid memory cleaner. YOU DON'T NEED IT. AND THE PROGRAM IS STUPID.
     

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