Memory disappearing fast

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Robea, May 6, 2014.

  1. Robea macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2014
    Hi, I have a mid 2011 imac and upgraded to Maverick. It failed to run properly and the readout from Memory clean said I had 11 meg of RAM. I did the usual and removed programs, Memory clean gave me a gig back but that soon went. I bought and fitted 16 gig of RAM and all was well for a couple of days and now as I type it reads 4.28 gig with a very hesitant performance. What could be using 11 1/2 gig of RAM? Does anyone else have this issue. I am running no programs in the startup accessed through sys pref. Is this a known issue or is it just me?
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Just look in Activity Monitor for what is using your RAM.
  3. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2008
    North Shore, MA
    Everything. IIRC, Mavericks tweaked the behavior of the system to use as much RAM as possible for file caching (if it's not being used otherwise). Free RAM is wasted RAM and file caches are easily dumped if they have only been read.
  4. Robea thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2014
    Just rebooted

    Hi, thanks for the replies. The big user is kernal_task at just over 1 gig, then Firefox at 239.1 (which I am using to write this) followed by at 106 mb.
    I have just rebooted and the memory now reads 11.28 gig and the machine is running smoothly. When I posted the thread, it was very jerky. Memory is now down to 10.9. I can't believe that using nearly 12 gig of ram is normal on an idling machine.
  5. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    It's totally normal, and designed that way.

    If your RAM is free then it's wasted. The OS caches things into RAM to make your machine run faster. For example, your browser cache will be stored in RAM unless you happen to run out, then it'll just be dropped (and loaded if needed).

    The very worst thing you can do is use one of those "RAM cleaner" programs that claim to speed up your computer by cleaning RAM so that you have more "free" RAM. All you're doing there is slowing the computer down and wasting the resources that it has available to it.

    The only time you should be concerned about RAM being full is if you have a program that has a memory leak (solve by updating the app, or by simply quitting it regularly), or you're working on something that eats up a lot of RAM consistently - then you'd benefit from more RAM.

    kernel_task is the OS's kernel (if it were a living being, it would be the consciousness, and the CPU would be the brain). It will always use up a fair amount of RAM, and lots of miscellaneous things are put under its umbrella.

    In Mavericks use the activity monitor to look at the memory pane and check the "memory pressure" graph. If this is green, you are totally fine.
  6. Robea thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2014
    Food for thought

    Thanks joe-h2o, what you say makes good sense and I can see what you are getting at. My concern is that the computer ran out of ram and thus performed very poorly and now, even with 16 gig of ram in, it ran jerkily and very slowly. I was waiting to get on the internet and so played a game of solitaire (as one does) and the cards juddered across the screen.
    The computer seems to be preoccupied with its own tasks to the detriment of my tasks.

    When you say "update the app", any app in particular? - none show huge use in activity monitor.
  7. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Even with 16GB of RAM, if you have a HDD and not an SSD, the computer will still behave slowly.
  8. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Just to note I've found OSX using more RAM based on how much I have. When I had 8 gb I'd find it using 6-7 gb when I'm basically doing nothing (web browsing, iMessage etc). Now I have 24 gb and its using 10-11 when I'm doing the same task.

    I believe your lagginess issue lies elsewhere. It was mentioned your HDD, but I have to disagree. Maybe to a point of not being "as fast" but my iMac feels like greased lightning and I have a HDD. Shouldn't be any hesitations like you are describing from an HDD...

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