Memory Usage On Powerbook

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Nspace, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. Nspace macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    Perhaps I am reading something wrong, but with only finder, msn messenger and suitcase running, and safari, in addition to the os, I have 61 mb out if 512 mb free.

    That does not seem right. Im on my PC 512 is plenty of memory for what I do, perhaps the amount of ram should be increased on osx? i don't know.

    Is this normal or should I be looking into more memory, it just seems weird that 512 mb is being chewed up like that. I found this in the activity monitor by the way.

    Just got the notebook, my first mac, on Monday so bare with me if this is a dumb question :D
  2. TDM21 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    um... no. I think you should have alot more ram free. How are you finding out how much ram you have? Activity Monitor?

    In Activity Monitor select system memory at the bottom, Show all processes in the drop down box at the top and look through all the programs and processes and see whats eating up your ram. Report back here and maybe someone can help
  3. EminenceGrise macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2004
    How long have you had it running? Have you copied a large number of files recently?

    The reason I ask is that OS X will use any available RAM to cache files from the hard drive, so that programs, etc. will load faster (by reading them from memory rather than the (slower) disk). If you have copied a lot of files recently, or have had other applications open since the machine was last restarted, the cached copies will consume some RAM. If the Mac needs more space to run applications, it will automatically purge some files from the cache to make room. My guess is that if you reboot the computer, and then run just those applications you listed, you memory usage will be lower (because rebooting will clear the memory disk cache). Note that you don't have to reboot the computer to clear the cache all of the time, this is just a way to show the memory usage before a bunch of files get cached in RAM from disk.

    You don't need to worry about getting more RAM unless the disk starts thrashing all of the time and the computer slows to a crawl when you are just running a normal number of applications - that means you're beginning to use the disk swap file because there is not enough RAM to contain your running applications. You shouldn't have trouble with 512MB of RAM though, unless you're doing 3D rendering or working on huge Photoshop files or something.
  4. abhishekit macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    akron , ohio
    Thats ok. I wouldn't worry too much about 'free' memory. because OS X keeps a lot of memory as inactive. I have 768 MB ram, and usually only 20-30 mb is 'free'. And anyways, free memory is going waste.
    Still, if you want to see more free memory, occasionally log out and re log in.
  5. Nspace thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I rebooted and checked Activity monitor, it says there is 279 mb with sarafri and suitcase running. So maybe I just needed to reboot, weird stuff. It says there is just under 90 mb inactive as well.

    Good point about the hd access, i did not think about that.

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