Memory use

Discussion in 'macOS' started by zephonic, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. zephonic macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    greater L.A. area

    my machine is a MacPro 4,1 (2.66GHz quad) with 12GB of RAM and a bunch of HDD's. It currently runs 10.8.5

    I have iStat Menus installed, and it keeps me informed of a bunch of stuff going on, CPU/network/disk activity, temperatures, and memory use. When you look at the attached screenshot, you'll see that the memory is nearly maxed out, but Cubase is the only application running (uses 4.33GB) (except for some possible background activity from Box and Grab).

    Two big chunks of memory are labeled 'Wired' and 'Inactive'. Can somebody explain what that means? Is there a way to manually free up this memory?

    It is starting to affect performance a little, but the upgrade to 24GB of RAM is still pricey.

    memory use.png
  2. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    Unused ram is wasted ram this topic comes up all the time this is normal what you are seeing. OS X has good memory management as you see by only the pageins meaning it has loaded what it needs into memory with 0 pageouts meaning it needed to make space in the memory for something new. Now if you were seeing massive amounts of pageouts then you would actually have something to be concerned about as it is that is perfectly fine and not effecting your performance at all.
  3. The Economist, Jul 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015

    The Economist macrumors 6502

    The Economist

    Apr 4, 2011
    It all looks normal to me too. Well, except the fact that Cubase seems to be a very, very memory intensive application.

    As a rule of thumb, you know you've encountered RAM bottlenecks when page outs are over 1 GB.

    Have a quick read here to understand what wired, inactive and all that means. It will help you understand why you don't have RAM problems.

    Here's Apple's latest support article for Activity Monitor and RAM usage in the most recent releases of OS X.

    What kind of performance issues are you having?
  4. zephonic thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    greater L.A. area
    Thanks both for your replies.

    Cubase is a digital audio workstation and 4.33GB is actually on the low/average side. I have virtual instruments that vary in size from a couple of 100 MB's to several GB's. Load a few instances of them and you max out your memory pretty quick. Even with the project that was running when I took the screenshot, it is still reading many of the samples and sounds directly from disk in real-time. When I got this machine in 2011 I figured 12GB would be enough to load the entire project into RAM, but looks like that is not the case.

    I still use an older version (6.5.5) and it has long been known to not run all that efficiently on OSX. So it could be that the performance issues are not necessarily memory-related. But I looked at the graph and wondered what 'wired' and 'inactive' meant. Thanks for the links.

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