memory being used?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Cindy, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. Cindy macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    Another basic question.... I have 384 MB in my computer. Does it show anywhere on my eMac how much is being used and how much is left??
    I'm looking at screen savers, is 1.2MB too much to be used on a screen saver. Doesn't sound like it to me...
  2. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    [Hard Drive] > Applications > Utilities > Terminal

    type the word

    Take a look under PhysMem.
  3. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    Hey thanks! I never would have figured that one out. It says that I have:
    49.9M wired
    87.3M active
    188M inactive
    326M used
    58.3M free

    Does that mean I should have thought about getting more memory when I got this computer?
    I only have 58.3M left.
    I hear that iPhoto takes up alot? I won't be having very many pics in there at all. Most of them to just send out and not keep stored in there.
    What else would take up so much memory?
  4. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Memory intense apps:
    Any Adobe products
    Any 3D software

    To see the memory being shared (consumed) by the application, look under RSHRD after you typed top in the Terminal.

    1.2MB is very small for a screensaver. Be lucky to use only 10MB for a screensaver.

    iPhoto should take about 30MB+ of memory on your computer. (I don't have iPhoto installed on the machine I have with me right now, so this information may be inaccurate.) The more photos you have, the more RAM iPhoto will require.

    Also, jack up your memory to within your budget. Buy from wherever you feel comfortable.

    I suggest:
  5. sparkleytone macrumors 68020


    Oct 28, 2001
    Greensboro, NC
    basically, you just gotta trust OS X to do its job. the 'MB Free' result can be very misleading. Probably a good idea to get of how much memory you really have free is to add the inactive and free together. The inactive can basically be comandeered by any app that wants it, it just hasnt been officially given to be 'Free'.
  6. springscansing macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2002
    New York
    What 10.2 lists as "free" isn't what is actually available. OS X leaves stuff in the RAM until more free RAM is needed. This is why apps launch faster the second time you launch them.

    Try adding inactive to free and that might give you a better idea.
  7. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    The best way to tell if you need more ram is this:

    1) Run your normal workload for a bit
    2) Open Terminal and type either "vm_stat" or "top"
    3) Look at the number next to "pageouts"

    If it's high (note: "high" depends on how long your machine has been running.), then you would get some benefit from more ram. Pageouts indicate that the computer is writing stuff in memory on to your hard drive to make room for stuff in memory. Since hard drives are slow, this will reduce performance.
  8. jimthorn macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2003
    Huntington Beach, CA, USA
    A graphical way to see RAM usage and pageouts is the MemoryStick app. It's available at:

    It's a great little app that can even be run hidden, because it can show memory usage in its Dock icon.
  9. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    I got the memory stick on my computer now. What do the colors mean? I scanned the website you gave me. Didn't see any real explanations on the memory stick.
    Could you fill me in?
  10. besson3c macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2003

    I think you are off on the wrong track here.. reread her original message.

    Cindy: It sounds like you are getting confused between hard disk space, and memory (RAM).

    The more hard disk space you have, the more capacity you have for storing files on your computer. This has nothing to do with the quantity of files allowed, but the space consumed by these files. You probably have 40 gigabytes or more on your computer. 1.2 megabytes is absolutely nothing to be worried about (1000 megabytes = 1 gigabyte).

    The more memory (RAM) you have, the programs you can have open at any given time, and the greater the potential for them to run optimally. You say you have 384 meg of RAM. While 384 meg is not a *huge* amount of memory, it should be plenty for what you need. Apple recommends having 256.

    Don't worry about pageouts and all that stuff. This is far more complicated than what is needed to address your original questions. It takes some geekery to comprehend OS X's memory management model.
  11. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003

    Yes, I was mostly interested in storing space. I usually only have email open and a browser for internet opened at the same time and that's it.
    I would like to get instant messaging as I couldn't get that on my old computer.
    I'll ask questions on that one tomorrow. Whether iChat or something else would be better. I'm thinking that iChat is only for mac to mac??

    But, yes, I think this computer is a 40 gigabyte. Can't find it on the info but, I remember seeing it somewhere before I bought it.
  12. besson3c macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2003
    iChat supports the AOL Instant Messaging network, meaning you can chat with Mac or PC users using the very popular AIM (AOL Instant Messager), or .Mac (Apple's internet services) users using iChat.

    I think you will be fine for a long time with a 40 gig drive and 384 meg of RAM.
  13. shadowfax macrumors 603


    Sep 6, 2002
    Houston, TX
    rather than using a dockling app like that, you may prefer MenuMeters. it's a menubar app, which means it more than likely takes up less space on your dtop. it just displays used memory (U: ) and free memory (F: ). when you click on it, it displays much more extensive info, the same memory info you get from running "top" in terminal, as sparkley suggested.

    the app itself is controlled by a preference pane in /users/yourusername/library/prefpanes/. there are install instructions with the DL. but you control it by clicking its icon in the "system preferences" window. you can also have it display CPU usage, disk activity, and network activity. but i don't. hope you find it useful, i like to keep tabs on usage myself.
  14. Wardofsky macrumors 65816

    Aug 6, 2002
    You can download countless apps for a GUI of memory, but I normally use Process Viewer (Mac OS X - Util App) when something seems odd.

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