Memory usage..

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by TimDavis, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. TimDavis, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

    TimDavis macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2011
    Why is a kerne_task taking up more memory than safari? 320mb
    even when my computer is doing nothing activity monitor is constantly using 50% of my memory.. wish apple would allow for 8gb D:

    using 11inch ultimate mba 4gb memory.:confused:
    2011 running lion
  2. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    A lot more goes on under the hood than you would think.

    When an uninformed (sorry - that's how it is with most people) computer user looks at the technical numbers of things that are going on in their computer, they simply won't understand a lot of it; even if they think they do. When it comes to RAM, I'd say most users who choose to opt for 8GB of RAM as opposed to 4GB of RAM are simply mistaken: They don't need more than 4GB, and they won't use more than 4GB with that given computer. Note the word most and not all (I find when I use the word "most" on forums, I get quoted with anecdotal evidence as if I just made a sweeping "all" statement).

    Alright, so your RAM is showing as having some of it being used: Do you know what this means? When you look at your free RAM and your used RAM, you probably are thinking that your used RAM is taken up, and your unused RAM is all you have that is free. This isn't necessarily the case. Your system will reserve RAM (so some will show as not being free) for certain tasks. So you may have your computer showing itself as using X amount of RAM, in actuality you have a lot more leeway than you'd think because of the things that are going on with the OS and software.

    Anyways, don't sweat it. Don't look at how much RAM you're using and worry about it unless if you really are hitting the roof (0 RAM used) and you need more. One usually will know when they need more RAM.
  3. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    He's right that there is a bit more going on.

    - The kernel manages your filesystem cache. RAM is used to cache parts of the filesystem to speed things up.
    - RAM used for integrated graphics has to come from some process, and this process is the kernel.

    So it's completely possible for the kernel to eat into the 500MB range with caches and the RAM needed for integrated graphics on the Air (tech specs say up to 384MB used as VRAM).
  4. seepel macrumors 6502


    Dec 22, 2009
    Too right you are, I almost jumped at the statement...

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