low memory pressure = can’t use more ram?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nathansz, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. nathansz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    #1
    i recently bought a 2012 macbook pro. it needs to perform well so i swapped the 2 x 4Gb of
    ram from my 2012 mini with 2 x 2 GB that were in the macbook

    my plan was to buy more ram at a later date to get the mini back above 4GB

    what i’ve noticed now is that activity monitor always shows memory pressure as green and istat shows it never going over 30%

    the mini is our htpc, household file server and retro gaming machine

    it usually only runs vlc, itunes, transmission, safari and open emu

    given the current memory pressure, would adding more ram even do anything or in this case is 4GB as much as it can use

    thanks
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    macOS is almost unparalleled when it comes to memory utilisation. The more memory it has, the more it'll eat when idle to ensure system performance is as smooth as it can be. Free RAM is wasted RAM. Conversely if you have limited RAM, it will be more conservative with that and use memory compression to avoid paging to disk.

    If you upgrade to 8GB, you'll see your OS using a lot more when running just a few apps. :)
     
  3. nathansz, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018

    nathansz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    #3
    edit

    (this quoting system never seems to work correctly on my phone)
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #4
    If you're always in the green from your usage it means that the machine is never doing anything that taxes the RAM already there. You'd probably see it shoot up during a software update or something, but it sounds like there would be little if any benefit from your HTPC use case.

    It couldn't hurt, if it's cheap enough, but I'm not sure it would actually benefit you unless your usage patterns change.
     
  5. nathansz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    #5
    i think i understand but just to clarify,

    if my memory pressure is always low does that mean it is using as much ram as it can,

    or is it keeping some free “just in case”

    and if so would adding more ram make the system seem “snappier”
    because it can hold more things in memory ?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 2, 2018 ---
    i have other machines for other tasks so i don’t think it’s use will ever change

    it’s too bad it can’t output 4k, other than that i can’t think of any reason to ever replace it
     
  6. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #6
    It means that your usage isn't even raising to the level where it needs to manage the RAM that's there. If you're taxing the machine past what the RAM can handle you'll see it go orange or red and performance will drop. If you're always in the green you're not doing anything to push the limits of the machine in anyway, so you're fine as-is.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    It mans that its using all the ram it needs, and its not in a situation where the resources (ram) is running low. Adding more ram will not impact performance and its operating at peak efficiency
     
  8. nathansz, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018

    nathansz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    #8
    thank you for your very clear answer.
    you've saved me spending cash for no reason!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 2, 2018 ---
    thanks
     

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