Is this normal? High System Memory Usage!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by r3dhawk, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. r3dhawk macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2010
    I just bought my first mac (2010 13 inch base model) and i was looking in Activity Monitor when i noticed that my free system memory is around 15-20mb. Is this normal? The only things i have running is chrome, itunes, and steam. Would these programs eat up memory? if this is a stupid question please forgive me!!!!

    Attached Files:

  2. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Is that a screenshot soon after all your apps were open? If so, that does appear to be abnormally high memory usage. However, if you've used the apps for several hours putting them through some good use, and opened and closed other apps, it may be fine.
  3. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    when your mac has been running for a while the ram does get full.
    restart your computer then open the same apps you have running now and the usage should drop down quite a bit.
    nothing works quite as well as restarting your ram
  4. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Yep. Or just restart the app. Some apps like Firefox eat up memory like mad over the course of the day. I've seen it Firefox almost reach 1GB.

    I'm not completely certain of this, so hopefully someone can address this, but I think that 2.25GB of "Inactive" memory in your screenshot, can also be considered Free memory.
  5. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    the number under the pie chart i assume is the amount of memory installed in the mac, so 3.75 is not right for a 13" mb , it should be either 2gb or 4gb
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    looks fine to me.

    all the memory is used because there is memory being held in inactive memory from recent processes for later use. this makes recently used apps launch quicker. free memory is unused RAM and so you are using your memory to full potential.

    active memory will become quite big over time, especially with browsers, so if youre looking for more memory relaunch them.

    what you need to look out for is when active memory becomes full and yoru page outs are similar in size to page ins.

    more info:

    the integrated graphics is using 256 MB.
  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    It is 4GB, just that 256MB (0.25GB) gets subtracted for the Shared Memory of the Integrated GPU.

    Btw, the blue part in the pie chart indicates INACTIVE memory, so there is still plenty left.

    Mac OS X has an intelligent RAM management system and stores even closed applications in its RAM, so if you decide to re-open it, it will open faster.
    But if you need the RAM for other applications and documents, the RAM gets purged and the new application/document takes its place if necessary.

    A restart is seldom required, I can run my Macs for weeks without RAM problems and I open application after application (up to 15-25 at the same time).

    Btw, you can currently only see your processes, as you have MY PROCESSES selected. Select SHOW ALL PROCESSES to see all processes.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
  8. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Am I right to assume that the other 2 major OSes, Windows and Linux, do much the same? Apps certainly launch faster after the 1st time in Windows, much like OSX.
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Short answer: Yes.

    Sometimes Windows likes to make things start up fast the first time by making everything a default startup item but this is wasteful IMO so on my win machines I disable startup items.
  10. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Are you saying apps like browsers are somehow partially loaded up at reboot? I don't see any Firefox/Chrome processes when I bring up msconfig at startup. Or do you just mean there's lots of background processes running by default, like Quicktime, Adobe, etc. From my recollection, many of the processes at startup, I think, are third party. Maybe I'm misinterpreting you.

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