RAM Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stevehp, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. stevehp macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    It's not a house, it's a home.
    Hi All,

    I am new to the Mac world and I don't know toooo much about computers. I have the ministat to monitor my computer...I have 2 GB of RAM on my new MB P...Normally when just surfing the web, etc (after a restart) I will be running at 1.4GB of RAM left...Here is my question. Everytime I open photoshop, dreamweaver, or word (which aren't UB), I have a lot less memory to play around with (obviously). When I close the programs (fully quit, like not even in the dock anymore) I don't get that RAM back...Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

  2. stcanard macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    Short answer is yes, this is normal. Realistically don't pay attention to the RAM unless you're seeing swapping and trying to figure out why. OSX will keep things loaded / cached, and all sorts of things to try and keep things fast.

    As for this situation, there are a couple of possibilites:

    1) (most likey) Since these are PowerPC apps they are emulated. When you start the app, OSX is loading Rosetta, which is basically an application to emulate the PPC architecture. After you close the application OSX is almost certainly keeping Rosetta running to speed up the start of any new PowerPC apps, and this consumes memory. Don'y worry though, If you run out of memory Rosetta will just get swapped to disk, so having it running won't affect general performance

    2) As always, caching comes into effect here, and those caches will only be flushed if the OS needs the memory

    3) Since you're new to Macs and OSX, ensure that you've really "Quit" the application -- unlike Windows closing the last window doesn't always quit, the application may still be running in the background. Check your Dock to see if there is a little black triangle beside the icon -- if so its still running, and still using memory

    (Apologies if you think the last one is too simple, and already know that -- but I see this happen a _lot_ for people that are new to the platform)

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