New rMBP 13" uses a lot of ram even though I'm not doing anything

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by -kickAss-, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. -kickAss- macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2013
    Hi guys,
    so i went to the store yesterday and bought the rMBP 13" i5/2.4ghz/256ssd/8GB ram. I've been checking the Acitivity Monitor quite often and it says that I'm using around 2.5gb of memory even though I'm not doing anything! and when safari is open with around 5 tabs its ~3.5gb of memory. Its my first mac so i don't know if its normal. On my old sony vaio i never went over 3GB even with 20 tabs open using chrome.
    I want to install parallels so that i can run win7 too
    now I'm thinking about returning this model and order the 16GB Ram version.
    money is tight but if i make such an big investment might as well kinda future proof it.
    I'm planning on majoring in computer science and want to keep this mac for ~4years
    so what do you guys think?
  2. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    This is just how Mavericks/OS X works. Free RAM = wasted RAM, and it's meant to be used. I wouldn't worry about it.
  3. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    I would definitely go with 16GB in your case, especially if you intend to be using this machine 4 years from now. It's a safe bet software will only get more demanding over time.

    I was able to use all 8GB in my MBP as far back as 2011--only on a few occasions, mind you, but I'd much rather have too much RAM than not enough.
  4. -kickAss- thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2013
    not unusual for mac to use so much ram?
    so you think 8GB of Ram should be enough for my needs(CS major,parallels, photoshop, keep it for 4 years)? and can you tell me what "swap used" means?
    and do you guys think the processor is powerful enough?
  5. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    • Physical memory: Your installed RAM memory
    • Memory used: The amount of memory that is currently used. This is a combination of app and wired memory. Read below.
    • Swap used: How much data that had to be saved to your SSD instead of RAM because not enough RAM was available.
    • App memory: The amount of memory that your open (or previously opened) applications have been allocated by OS X. OS X generally allocates more memory than an application needs since the allocation process is (relatively) time-consuming. App memory isn't neccessarily how much memory is currently used by your applications.
    • Wired memory: This is the amount of memory that is currently being used by your applications.
  6. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    Wouldn't this mean it consumes more battery life from the RAM usage?
  7. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

    Dec 5, 2008
    Southern Maine

    Keep in mind part of that RAM being used is for your video. Try pushing the system to see what happens. Open up a few Photoshop files, get Parallels running a couple programs for you, open 40 tabs in Safari. What does memory look like then? Can you swap between tabs, programs, windows, etc. smoothly?

    If everything is still smoothy and RAM usage looks good, especially in a situation like that which you hopefully won't see normally, you should be fine.

    That said, if a $200 RAM upgrade allows the computer to last at least 1 additional year for you (which is a gamble based on the type of usage you will have), it's financially worth it and lowers your yearly cost of ownership.

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