MBP & Mavericks: Swap Used = I need more RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phositadc, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. phositadc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #1
    In Mavericks Activity Monitor, does a "Swap Used" value greater than 0 indicate that I would benefit from more RAM? I have 8GB and it's telling me that only 3.19GB is being used, but it's also saying Swap Used is 98.0 MB.

    I've literally been doing nothing but using Safari to browse the web (and non-intensive web browsing, like Amazon).

    Does this suggest I would benefit from more RAM?
     

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  2. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #2
    If that's the normal assortment of apps you're using, then no, you don't need more RAM.
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #3
    You only need more if the memory pressure goes up and becomes red.
     
  4. phositadc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4

    That's not the normal assortment of apps that I use, which is why I was a bit concerned to see Swap Used greater than 0. In mountain lion I thought Swap used indicated the need for more ram, but it seems mavericks handles things a little differently.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #5
    Nearly every system uses a bit of swap. It's completely normal even under a light load. A system not using swap would be cause to worry as using it means the system is healthy and performing as desired.
     
  6. chrfr macrumors 603

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #6
    Swap used is of no concern when it's at a low level like that, and with all the free RAM you have.
    When you're in the midst of using the computer normally, open up Activity Monitor and see how much RAM you're using then. If you're not consistently using all 8GB, there's no need for more.
     
  7. rex450se macrumors regular

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    Apr 9, 2011
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    Independence, MO
    #7
    I have never seen any swap used on my late 2013 rMBP. Is it really something to worry about?

    Victor
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #8
    I wish Apple didn't remove the swap pages read/written in the activity monitor. This almost feels like the switch over to idiot lights in cars back in the 70s

    As for the OP, from what you post, you're not running out of resources
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #9
    Your memory pressure is in the green and very very low.
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    Probably not. Just use the machine and don't worry about it.

    I wish the Apple never included the memory section at all. All it ever does is seem to cause people to think that they need more ram when most people wouldn't notice any different if they had 4GB installed. While perpetuating the inaccurate thought that free ram is better to have on a UNIX based system.
     
  11. phositadc thread starter macrumors 6502

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  12. TheEnthusiast macrumors regular

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    Aug 22, 2013
    #12
    The system uses swap, even in cases where it may seem superfluous to do so. Absolutely normal, and it probably happens on systems with 16GB of RAM.
     
  13. slo-climber macrumors member

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    #13
  14. WallToWallMacs macrumors regular

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    Jan 26, 2014
    #14
    You're all good, best course of action though is to open up terminal and run 'top' and keep in mind that it doesn't really give all the gory details such as applications that are cached so it speeds up the next launch etc. for most people 8GB is more than enough even - heck, I've got a MacBook Pro 13-inch, Mid 2012 with 8GB memory and everything is 'all good in the hood'.
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    Memory graph green = :)
    Memory graph yellow = :(
    Memory graph red = :mad:

    Same as traffic light.

    I agree though that mavericks is still displaying to many numbers and words. they need to dumb it down more!
     
  16. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #16
    [​IMG]

    4GB, two browsers, a game and PowerPoint open, no swap used. The machine was rebooted a day ago, before that I think some swap was in use.

    I guess sometimes OSX thinks it is better to use some RAM than to compress or purge memory. I will not even try to understand when and how it does it.

    One funny thing I noticed: On my 16 GB work iMac (with crappy HDD) often only 5-6 GB are in use. My 13'' rMBP with 8 GB more often shows 7-8 GB in use, with similar tasks. I wonder if the system has different preferences for desktops and laptops, and for whether or not it is charging.

    In the end, neither RAM usage nor swap usage is a clear indicator that one needs more RAM. Things are complicated. The best thing to do is to trust the memory pressure, and to see whether the system is running smooth or not.
     

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