MacBook Pro 4GB is not enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DJ-R, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. DJ-R macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2010
    I wasn't expecting MacBook Pro with 4GB ram will run out so fast. On Windows it never hit the max.

    Look at the photo I attached. Only a few megabyte left of ram. Wow and everything else became so sluggish.

    4GB of ram... I have Mail, Adium, Contact, Preview and Photoshop which I just launched.

    Only these programs are running, nothing else... just folders.

    What is going on? 4GB of ram can't handle this? I need 6GB or 8GB? really?

    Attached Files:

  2. Shadow Runner macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2010
    Yes you don't have a lot free but you have 600 mb of inactive.
    This means your mbp has that in "reserve" for the application it was for. If you ever open it again it doesn't need to reload that ram.

    I believe you can close those apps by right clicking and clicking quit on the icon. That should help clear up some ram.

    I believe what I am saying is correct but could be off by a bit.
  3. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    prl_vm_app (Parallels) is the problem. you shouldn't be running out of RAM unless you're doing stuff in PS, or any other resource-intensive application.
  4. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    parallels is crap tbh :)
  5. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
    What about WindowsServer, Safari, Parallels, iTunes... (>1GB of hogged Ram)? You have to quit (CMD+Q) them to close them. Just hitting the red button wont do anything but closing the window. The Application is running though.
  6. Reelknead1 macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2009
    I have the same issue, I some times run out of ram just using word, itunes, and safari. Its crazy, luckily my SSD doesn't slow the computer down to much with swapping but its still driving me crazy because I have to have to restart the computer everyday.
  7. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    i also had this issue, but its not realy an issue its due to the multi tasking and you have to fully quit out of programs to free up space on the ram but i was also thinking of going up to 8gb just to save me time.
  8. DJ-R thread starter macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2010
  9. tastychicken macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2008
    I think alot of users get caught up in the terms and look at only the free memory available.

    Take a look at this article which explains the differences in detail:

    From the article for the lazy:
  10. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Is taking a macbook pro to 8gb ram worth it if you're in parallels a lot? My 15" 2.53ghz i5 build is on its way to me and has 4gb ram like the rest of the builds
  11. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    the free memory still matters. freeing inactive memory and reallocating it takes more time than it does to allocate free memory. having mere megabytes of memory is not normal and slows the system down to a crawl. moreover, there's no question something's wrong because 500MB has been paged out and 1.6GB has been swapped.

    start with repairing permissions. is the OS updated? and check the Accounts - Login Items and /Library/LaunchDaemons for Parallels.
  12. stevemiller macrumors 68000

    Oct 27, 2008
    i've posted this before, but i wanted to mention again that i've had this problem nonstop since installing snow leopard. i understand inactive memory *should* still be available if needed, but real world usage seems to suggest otherwise.

    when free memory dips down to 30mb or so - and it does VERY often - the system becomes unusably sluggish and has on occassion generated up to 10gb of page-outs.

    i do not have any virtual machine software on my system; i've reformatted multiple times; and most tellingly, i tried reverting to leopard for a while and the problems instantly went away (when running the exact same software) - but came back just as quickly when i decided to give snow leopard a chance again several months later.

    obviously the easy solution would be to stick to leopard, but it doesn't change the fact that apple is getting lax in their software quality control... or conveniently tweaking performance requirements to match their ram upgrade options (or in my case prodding me to upgrade my entire system less than 2 years after purchase).

    just sayin.
  13. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    I've had a similar experience, though it was never so bad to get to 30MB free...10.6.4 made it a lot better, though.
  14. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I have a Mac Pro tower, and it takes advantage of triple-channel DDR3 RAM allocation. It runs better when you have three slots full instead of all four (ie. running with 12GB installed instead of 16GB). When you have all four slots filled (or 8 slots on the dual), it shares the memory bandwidth between the third and fourth memory stick and your memory bandwidth is decreased by half. Also, in the "Activity Monitor" it shows most of the free memory as GREEN "Free" space when you have all the slots full, but when you are running triple-channel with only 3 slots full, most of the RAM is displayed as BLUE "Inactive" space on the RAM chart. Quite interesting.

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