RAM usage - increases over time?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rcf-dds, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. rcf-dds macrumors member


    Jul 31, 2009
    Cleveland & Columbus, OH
    I don't know much about RAM and how it really works but here's my question:

    (i have new unibody 13" MBP w/ 4GB RAM)

    When i do a fresh restart i have anywhere up to 2.5-3GB free with basically NO applications open. But as time passes, web browsing, sleep, etc the amount of free RAM available goes down to <2GB even when i exit all apps...

    1. Is this typical? What's the explanation for RAM being eaten up over time? Is it advisable to do a fresh restart every couple days or so just to free up RAM again?

    2. Is it even common with 4GB of RAM for half (2GB) of it to be used all the time? (I'm guessing yes, but just wondering what's the explanation) For those who only have 2GB of RAM, do they always have 1GB being used? Or would even those 2GB's always be taken up?

    Thanks, sorry for the dumb q's, i dont know much about RAM but i love my new MBP!
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    It's normal that the RAM fills up over time, even when the applications have been quit.
    They will re-start faster, if they're still in the RAM (Random Access Memory), but also over time quit applications that are still in RAM will be flushed out by new documents/applications if the space is needed for that.

    And if you have 4GB of RAM, use it. You paid for it.

    Also have a look at Activity Monitor > System Memory.

    from http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1342?locale=en_GB
  3. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Some RAM will always be being used, usually around 700MB, this can be from just running the basic utilities in the OS.

    However it is normal for it to run under 2GB free, especially if you don't cmd+q all the applications you open.

    In the end, just don't worry about it, it's nothing incredibly important, as it is normal. If you're worried, upgrade to 6GB, or if you have the money, even 8GB.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Snowbound macrumors regular

    May 19, 2008
    If over a couple of weeks you start to see a noticable slowdown, just restart and you'll be fine. Otherwise, it's just normal.
  5. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

    May 21, 2009
    I don't ever worry about how much i have "free"

    my mbp has been up for weeks and this is what my activity monitor looks like. Notice all the "inactive" ram. That will remain used for a while incase you boot up the program that was using that space and it will boot much faster. BUT, if something else needs it, it will be reassigned. Thats the most important difference between mac os and windows in my opinion. Much better memory management. If you have "free ram" of any amount you are doing fine.

    Attached Files:

  6. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    The thing to pay attention to is your pages out, you only have 10MB of pages out so as you said you are doing absolutely fine.
    Now if you had LOTS of pages out then you would need more RAM as that means it is writing out to the HDD because you have no space in your RAM.

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