More memory

Discussion in 'iMac' started by HappySnail, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. HappySnail macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    I've had my iMac for a few years now and it seems to be running out of RAM more and more. I used to be able to run every application i wanted at the same time no problem. These times however are gone. I have 2GB of RAM and struggle to run photoshop and any other applications without it freezing. The memory seems to be the problem but I can't be sure.

    The page ins and outs seem high (anything in the millions sounds bad) even though i have no idea what they are:
    Ins: 2,442,360 (9.41GB)
    Outs: 1,963,241 (7.49 GB)

    I've never had this problem before and there always seems to be a fair bit of memory marked as Inactive even when there's no free memory left.
    It has been fine in the past and it seems odd that it would suddenly become a problem now when running less of the same apps as before. I'm not sure what the page ins are and can't find much on them but they do seem unusually high.
    Is something wrong here or is it simply time for an upgrade, and if so would 4GB solve my troubles for now?
  2. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    Your Page Outs indicate you are using your hard drive as a scratch disk. If those numbers are in the MB range you are fine but when they move to the a few GB then more RAM is often the solution since it is significantly faster than your hard drive

    I also use Photoshop and just got Aperture. As you can see form the Activity Monitor screenshot below I am using pretty much all of my 8GB. NOtice my Page Outs are less than 1 GB so I am pretty good. If you are trying to run Photoshop CS5 or other powerful 64-bit programs then more RAM is almost required for smooth operation. That is the benefit of 64 bits, it lets you use more RAM if you have and it needs it. Inactive RAM, the Blue color, holds things like information form previously opened and closed programs so they can load almost instantly. Wire is RAM used by the system.

    Attached Files:

  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Definitely upgrade to 4GB. The page ins are fine, but that amount of page outs is not good. That basically means that it has to store that much information on the hard drive and use that like RAM, which is much slower.
  4. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    Depending on your iMac model, you may be able to go up to 6Gb (4+2) - tell us your model and folks here will advise.
  5. HappySnail thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    Ok thanks. Thankfully it's not too expensive, just wanted to check that that was the problem and the page outs seem to confirm it.
    Cheers for the advice.
  6. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    First, I agree that more memory will solve your problem.
    Recently, my borther called to say that their Mini (which is used by the entire family) was running really slowly. Similar to your situation, I had him use Activity Monitor to verify that they were running out of physical memory. What was odd was that they only use the system to web surf -- the original memory should have been fine for this. We went through a few things, and in the end he looked at the Accounts-Login Items. Over time, several items had been added to each user's login, as "helpers." When he removed them, performance returned to what it had been previously.

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