Leopard taking up too much physical memory: Is this normal?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Soulstorm, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Soulstorm macrumors 68000


    Feb 1, 2005
    I'm not a newbie in OS X, so I know the methodology for OS X taking as much memory as possible in order to work, and when other applications need more RAM, OS X reallocates it.

    However, I have only 1GByte of memory in my Intel Core 2 Duo iMac 17" and I want to see if everything is ok. I noticed that only 204 mbytes of physical RAM are available for other processes, and the mds tool is taking up 68 mBytes of memory with only my startup disk indexed. If I activate my 2 external disks the physical memory usage will go to approx 100 mbytes!

    Programs I have open:
    XCode (downloading the latest documentation from Apple), Safari, iTunes, Adium, Activity monitor.

    I just installed Leopard by using erase and install, so nothing old is interfering. Is this memory management normal? I am using 10.5.1. Also, can anyone explain me what does "wired", "active", "inactive" memory mean? I hope this memory usage is normal...

    Attached Files:

  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    That display is not 100% accurate and/or clear.

    Inactive memory is free to be re-used, the same might apply to "Active" (though that much I'm not clear on)

    I know that wired is IN use and cannot be swapped. As to the rest - I think they can.

    Running my Apple - I have 3GB - of which 2.5 are free after startup. Running a couple of days - I only have 35MB free - but when I re-launch memory hungry apps - the memory "Re-appears" and gets assigned to that app.

    So not as bad as you might think - that said, Leopard does like it's fair share of ram... It performs nicely @ 1.5GB for most - 2GB is fine - over 2 is expensive - and only necessary if you really NEED it.
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    In general it seems normal when compared to mine.

    However mds on mine is only taking up 9.83MB with just my internal (about 70GB of data) and my spotlight is only using 6.3MB.

    You still have some headroom to work with and your page outs are very low so it doesn't look like you are really pushing the ram, assuming that screenshot is from after a period of normal usage(?).
  4. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Having only 1Gig it will seem the system is taking up more RAM. All seems normal though.

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