Just turned computer on, and 1.5 of 2 Gb of ram already in use??

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by i.love.caffeine, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. i.love.caffeine macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    #1
    So, I checked on my 2gb of ram, and it always seems to be in use, even when i'm just browsing a few websites.

    So i decided to turn off my computer, and turn it back on to see how much ram is in use.

    looks like 1.5 of the 2gb to me...any ideas why?

    [​IMG]

    I do have a dropbox app open when my computer starts, but that's it.......

    I can't upgrade my ram, so any way to reduce its use should make things faster :)

    ----------

    After uploading a picture online and making a post on Macrumors, i'm up to almost 1.9 of 2.0 gb used.....

    [​IMG]

    ----------

    Maybe this helps diagnose the problem....

    [​IMG]

    That is scrolled all the way to the bottom, sorted by Real Mem - so the biggest user is Google Chrome renderer at less than 150mb.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    Change the selection from "My Processes" to "All Processes" in the menu near the top of the Activity Monitor window and repost new screen shots of all the processes.
     
  3. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #3
    Keep in mind that free RAM is wasted RAM, and that OS X will dynamically shift resources as needed. That's not to say that 2GB might still not be enough for your usage, but just the fact that RAM is being used shouldn't worry you. Use it for a normal days work, and then look at the page outs. If it's any significant amount, then you're low on RAM and need to either adjust your workflow or upgrade, but if you don't get a lot of page outs, you're doing fine as far as RAM is concerned. Don't worry so much about the percent used at any given time, it's the cumulative effect that will really tell you about your usage.

    jW
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Mal is right; your RAM should be in use. Don't worry about tracking free or inactive RAM, both of which are available for apps to use. The only thing you need to watch is page outs, which are negligible in your screen shots. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
     
  5. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #5
    Previous posters are absolutely correct, don't worry about "free" RAM, only worry when you see lots of paging out.

    I'd probably also recommend not using Google Chrome -- it uses a separate process per web page and separate process per extension, which gobbles RAM like there is no tomorrow. I manage a Mac Pro with 6GB RAM which a work colleague insists to use Chrome on, and as he likes opening up lots of webpages, he can easily lead his machine to start paging out when running work software...
     
  6. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #6
    I'm pretty sure your RAM is suppose to be used. Maybe the reason is what the posters above said. I have 8GB of RAM and at start up, I have 4.5GB of free RAM; that would probably drive you crazy. I have a lot of apps open frequently, Parallels 7 w/ Win7 (which I delegated 4GB RAM and 2 CPU), Aperture, Adobe PS and LR. With that, I still have free RAM since it manages itself I suppose. But, there is this app that I use to manually free RAM and it's called FreeMemory and it tries to free memory as possible. Also, my swap file is 7GB on SSD but there is no performance difference when in use. Everything runs smoothly while in use, even at the lowest amount of RAM free.
     
  7. Major.Robto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #7
    Why can you not upgrade your ram? on a MBA?

    Two gigs is not enough for anything

    I had two gigs in my macbook and trying to use MSN, Chrome (2tabs) and Mail all being open at the same time causes the system to lock up alot and give the beach ball.


    I would get FreeMem off the app store to help free up some ram. I use it and it added something in the menu bar so I can monter how much ram is being used.

    if you want to buy it its worth it, It also gave my a pie chart after I bought it.
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    You don't need that app. It will not improve performance and in some cases can degrade performance. There's more to the picture than free memory. Inactive memory is also available for apps to use as needed, but it has an additional advantage when relaunching apps that used RAM held in inactive memory. Using apps like FreeMem remove that advantage, with nothing gained.
     
  9. Drew017 macrumors 65816

    Drew017

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    East coast, USA
    #9
    I have 2 gigs on my macbook and I've never had a problem! And after doing the same as the OP, my RAM usage (on Lion) looks like this...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Major.Robto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #10

    Can you link me to something that proves what you say is true? Kind of hard to believe you... I've been using the app for a while and love it and my system is running great. I noticed after upgrading it runs even better.

    Also Flash is a ram eater, so stay off flash basied sites.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    Yes, I already posted the link in my first post in this thread. (post #4)

    For Flash-related issues:
    • Find your Flash version and make sure it's the latest version available. Never install or update Flash from a pop-up on a website. Always go to Adobe's site to get Flash or updates.
    • Install ClickToFlash (Safari), Flashblock (Firefox) or FlashBlock (Chrome) to control which Flash content plays on websites.
    • Try using the YouTube HTML5 Video Player to watch YouTube videos, when available. (May impact fullscreen viewing. See link for details.) As far as performance impact, YMMV.
     
  12. Major.Robto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #12
    I meant a link to what you were saying about freemem, I know thats not on the apple KB page. also flash block chrome does not work right with youtube and many other sites, its missing alot of features.

    I think No script is better, but I have no clue if it has been ported to chrome.
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Do you know what FreeMem does? I would expect you would, if you've been using it. It "frees" inactive memory and makes it free memory, which means it removes the advantage that inactive memory has.
    I haven't checked, but I don't think NoScript affects Flash; only JavaScript.
     
  14. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #14
    You think that's bad. Mine says 3.72 GB is in use. I only have 4GB.

    Don't worry too much about it. If it's that much of an issue to you, try resetting your PRAM as it clear the RAM disk contents. You'll always know when you're using too much RAM, the computer slows down.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    No, it doesn't. Simply restarting your Mac clears the contents. There is no need to reset the NVRAM.

     
  16. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    Oct 31, 2009
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    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #16
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    As it says on that page:
    Also, PRAM refers to PowerPC Macs. On Intel-based Macs it's NVRAM.
     
  18. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #18
    Thanks for clarification. Those Apple support pages are hard to go through.
     
  19. alexreich macrumors 6502a

    alexreich

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    #19
    When I boot up my mini and open Safari and start using multiple tabs about 1.5GB RAM is in use. No surprises there, doesn't affect my machine at all, I've got 8GB RAM. Lol. :D

    If you are dissatisfied with your machine's performance, upgrade the RAM! Max it out while you're at it so you won't ever have to put more money, time, or thought into RAM. That's what I did with my mini. 8GB RAM was only $94 when I got it about 1.5 years ago.
     
  20. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #20
    More placebo green in a pretty pie chart makes you feel better :p

    RAM "optimisation was all the rage on Windows in the early 2000s -- lots of apps claiming to improve performance, but actually all they did was purge working OS buffers, Mark Russinovitch wrote a great article how these apps were hoax software back in the day, and FreeMemory works in the same way today on OS X:

    http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/internals-and-architecture/the-memory-optimization-hoax

    Relating to the purge command built-in to OS X and to which FreeMemory is basically a free/for-pay wrapper:
    "Do keep in mind that while this command will appear to free memory, it will not increase system speed or RAM capacity."
    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57372267-263/purge-the-os-x-disk-cache-to-analyze-memory-usage/

    OS X uses a very similar virtual memory system to Linux and there is a great description of what is going on any why forcing inactive RAM is detrimental to your performance:
    http://www.linuxatemyram.com/
    http://www.linuxatemyram.com/play.html

    If you want to actually understand how your OS memory system works:
    https://developer.apple.com/library...tual/ManagingMemory/Articles/AboutMemory.html

    On the other side, there are some claims that Lion's VM contains a bug in which the balance of anonymous and disk cache pages in the unified bufffer cache is not handled optimally. Again, this should only be observable if you get substantial swapping, not just because you don't see lots of green in some hoax app pie chart...;)
     
  21. ioio macrumors newbie

    ioio

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    #21
    --- Post Merged, Jan 20, 2016 ---
    Hi, I have a similar issue with a macmini. What are the unidentifiable files in the list? Are they possibly things I could delete if I had my computer cleaned?
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    If you read the replies in this 3 ½ year old thread, you'll learn that your RAM should be in use. Free RAM is wasted, as stated earlier. You don't have to worry about it unless your memory pressure is in the red under normal operation. You don't need to "clean" your Mac.
     

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