Memory management

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RichardBeer, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. RichardBeer macrumors regular


    Jul 11, 2009
    As I understand it, OS X should not perform page outs or use swap file unless there is not enough available memory. However recently I've found that I've been seeing said page outs.

    What strikes me as odd is that I have 4GB of RAM, and yet I run a web browser, an instant messenger, a 3D game or so like World of Warcraft and Second Life, and iTunes. For these common uses I'd have thought that 4GB should be more than enough.

    I'm not noticing any performance problems; it just struck me as odd, I suppose what I want to ask is, is it normal?

    PS: Just in case the attachment is not showing, it's usually just a few MB on the swap file and the same on the page outs, usually after around six hours of use.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Have a look at Activity Monitor (Applications / Utilities /) and select All Processes and sort by Real Memory to see what the culprit may be.
    Also check the "System Memory" tab to see what your "Page ins:", "Page outs:" and "Swap used:" are.

    image below uses sorting by CPU as an example
    Further reading:
  3. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2011
    Gallifrey, 5124
    You are worrying too much. OS X manages memory quite well, and as long as you aren't experiencing performance problems don't worry about it.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You don't need to worry if you occasionally have page outs. The only time you need to be concerned is if they're significant and frequent. Also, be aware that the page outs shown is a cumulative number since your last restart. You may go 3 weeks with no page outs, then have enough memory demands that you page out for a few minutes, then run for several more weeks with no page outs. If you're not paging out significantly and frequently under normal use, don't worry about it.
  5. RichardBeer thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 11, 2009
    Ah yes, sometimes it won't even page out at all. I just wondered if it was a harmless occurrence on such a small scale or if it was a problem. Performance is totally unaffected.

    Thanks :)
  6. freedevil macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2007

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