MBP too much ram in use

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by luke71933, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. luke71933 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    #1
    I got MBP 2012 13" Mid 2012 and i got 4gb of ram. when i go to activity monitor I can see that I only have 2gb free and 1gb wired and only 850 is active do i have something wrong?I gt no apps in use nto even a single application
     
  2. markus843 macrumors regular

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    North america
    #2
    I have the same thing, I think it's normal. I could be wrong, though.
     
  3. TheRdungeon macrumors 6502

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #3
    that's exactly what should be happening. When you use more apps more RAM will be used
     
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #4
    If u are recent Windows convert, in OSX, the apps don't quit automatically when u close the last window, u must explicitly tell it to quit THEN it unloads from memory.
     
  5. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Aug 3, 2006
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    Oregon
    #5
    Unused memory is wasted memory. If you're experiencing slow downs maybe there is a problem, but otherwise what you're seeing is normal.
     
  6. theBostonian Suspended

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    Apr 15, 2012
    #6
    A useful command to free up inactive RAM is to open the Terminal (cmd+space then search for Terminal) and type in "purge" then hit enter.

    This will clear your inactive RAM freeing it up so that you don't use the swapfile on the HDD.
     
  7. Irock619 macrumors 68000

    Irock619

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    #7
    Shouldn't the OS do this without a command? Seems odd to me.
     
  8. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #8
    It does. OSX actually does a pretty good job managing memory. If you're going out to a page file all the time, you just need to upgrade your RAM.
     
  9. theBostonian Suspended

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    Apr 15, 2012
    #9
    Yes, it should but OS X has some of the worse memory management I've encountered; the inactive RAM stays "inactive" for ages, even after closing all programs. Hence, the "purge" command is very useful in a tight spot.

    8GB of RAM should be plenty for my uses since I don't do anything really intensive, just a VM here and there. It's amazing how much RAM gets categorised as "inactive RAM" and so the OS doesn't utilise it unless I reboot but rather than do that I just purge it and I'm good to go.
     
  10. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #10
    Or, you could put in up to 16gb of ram and not have to worry about ram shortages ever again. Going from 4 gigs to 8 or 16 also increases your integrated GPU ram from 384 to 512 mb. Not too long ago, that would have been either impossible or insanely expensive, but it's possible now to do 16 gigs for under a c-note!

    With God as I my witness, I shall never close another tab again!:D
     
  11. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

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    Dec 21, 2011
    #11
    The memory hoarders always crack me up. :) What use is idle memory?
     
  12. luke71933 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 17, 2012
    #12
    I was told that the macbook wont be using the full 16gb so it is not worth it and it cant handle 8gb module on each slot. also which type of ram should I buy and which brand for SSD
     
  13. Irock619 macrumors 68000

    Irock619

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    #13
    Not sure about the 16GB of ram but there is an SSD buying guide at the top of this forum.
     
  14. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #14
    OSX is really bad in memory management. It just doesn't like to free up inactive memory. I got 1.6GB swap used with 2.64GB essentially free inactive memory. Linux and Windows both do a better job. OSX just consumes insane amounts and doesn't collect its garbage very well. Used to drive me nuts when I was running some local server tests a while back.

    @luke while more RAM helps the problem of OSXs rather buggy memory management, I don't see why you'd want 16GB. You have 4GB and report 2GB free. That seems as if even 8GB is a waste of money let alone 16GB.
    RAM that one doesn't need is just useless.

    As for the SSD I would get a Samsung 830 or 840 depending on which is cheaper.
     
  15. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #15
    OS X actually has one of fastest/best memory allocators available (you can look up the source code in the open-sourced kernel repo). All the figures you see in the Activity Monitor are absolutely meaningless unless you are experiencing some performance problem. Symptoms are there to identify the sickness, not the other way around. The only meaningful value for 'everyday' use is page-outs/(page-ins + page-outs)

    BTW, I have 16Gb RAM on my retina MBP and after a week of rather high usage I have only 2Gb 'free' right now, but my page-out count is exactly zero. What does it mean? That 16Gb is a total overkill for my use. I would have probably been completely happy with 8Gb.
     
  16. theBostonian Suspended

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    Apr 15, 2012
    #16
    With all due respect, I'm not an imbecile; with my usage patterns (I work with documents and research) 8GB ought to be plenty of RAM. The same work that I do on Windows 7 causes about 3-4GB of RAM to be in use at any one time, whereas in OS X (10.8.2) I'll often have 6 or 7GB tied up as inactive, in use or wired.

    My pageouts were high, indicating the swapfile was being used and thus performance was being degraded (since the HDD has a lower bandwidth than the RAM modules). After a cursory look on Google I discovered the "purge" command and have never had problems with pageouts since.

    Why should I upgrade my RAM because Apple is sloppy with certain aspects of their OS?
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #17
    I don't remember suggesting that you were an imbecile :confused: I was simply pointing out that many people (again, I am not talking about you!) are often prone to imagining problems where there are none. I never experienced any problems with OS X memory usage compared to other OSes, as OS X allows me to have dozens of applications with dozens of windows open without a noticeable performance degradation (the same thing doesn't work that well in Windows 7, for instance). You might have had a different experience of course and I am happy that you have found a solution to your problems.
     
  18. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #18
    I beg to differ. Basically emptying unused memory, or releasing orphaned swap's is just a series of potentially unnecessary operations. As far as I understand it, OSX starts cleaning up only when it deems it to be needed soon.

    Naturally, with all the unused cycles lying around all the time, you could deem it prudent to do more active cleanup. OTOH, I expect software design to migrate to a more usage efficient paradigm in the future (more and more, unused cycles lead to power savings).
     
  19. pbmagnet4 macrumors regular

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    Jan 25, 2009
    #19
    I honestly think this has alot to do with the most recent update.
     
  20. luke71933 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 17, 2012
    #20
    should i go 1x8gb module or 2x4gb.does it make any difference if not ill go with 1x8gb as if i want to go 16 i just buy another 8gb module and not buy another set of two x 8gb
     
  21. nephilim7 macrumors regular

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    Jun 13, 2008
    #21
    OSX uses as much memory as you have to speed up the user experience (keeping recently run apps in memory, etc). If it is needed for any real use it is reclaimed. Running purge does nothing that the operating system itself wouldn't do if it needed that memory. Read up on OSX Memory Management. I have 16 gigs, and from a cold boot as I work I will be 'using' up to 14g while only actually using 3-4. Impact? None. Most of the people that languish over memory haven't the slightest idea what it is, what it's used for, and what effect it has on their experience.
     
  22. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    Aug 3, 2006
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    Oregon
    #22
    Most recent Macs use dual channel memory. If you're going to upgrade, just go with 2 x 8GB now and be done with it.

    That being said, I don't think you NEED more RAM unless you're experiencing slowdowns.
     
  23. zeeklancer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #23
    I don't think you could be further from the truth.

    Any ram not being used is wasted ram. I want the system to use ALL my ram as using ram speeds up the system.
     
  24. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #24
    Whoever told you that is flat out wrong.

    Your computer, as it's a 2012 Mac, can handle up to 32GB of RAM according to the chipset's specs. Since 16GB sticks don't exist yet, you're stuck with "only" 16GB RAM as your maximum right now.

    Unless you're constantly running out of RAM though, don't bother buying more, you simply don't need it. OS X on a fresh boot uses roughly 1.2-1.5GB of RAM all by itself, with nothing else open. If your normal workload is under roughly 2.5GB's worth of apps, your 4GB of RAM is plenty. Buying more would be like sticking a huge engine in your car and driving it like a granny.
     
  25. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #25
    OSX has no smart caching like Windows. It is only the WinXP thing of not removing pages at close and than being faster with relaunches. Using more RAM than the app needs doesn't help performance it just wastes RAM and kills performance of those apps that could actually make real use of the RAM or keep them from page in and out when they otherwise wouldn't need to.
    When another application needs the ram more desperately it is problem if it stays wasted in a place where it isn't really needed at all. I did some testing with a program that I artificially limited to 2 and 4GB RAM. I ended up with 10GB swap which didn't go away until a restart. A disk cache that just went rampant and killed of the entire system performance. The problem with OSX seems to be that it doesn't release RAM or allows some processes to consume way more than they should.
    Wasted RAM is wasted RAM if it isn't released to an application that needs it more than what it is currently wasted on.
    I ran the same program under Linux with no problems at all. In my personal experience one runs into performance problems with OSX much more often that relate to not enough RAM available. OSX does poorly with limited RAM. Windows does a way better job.
     

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