RAM usage seems high for doing near nothing

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by oftheheavens, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. oftheheavens macrumors 68000

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    #1
    so activity monitor says I'm using 4.7GB and all i am running is music in iTunes and obviously safari. I have a new late 2013 maxed out (except RAM) iMac. Is this normal for 50% of my RAM to be taken just sitting here?

    I am going to up it to at least 16 soon, but curious as to why it is using half my RAM on near nothing.
     
  2. rritterson macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Unused ram is wasted ram. OS X is very aggressive about using free RAM as cache and other things. It will remove caches as needed if RAM fills up.
     
  3. bbfc macrumors 68030

    bbfc

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    #3
    This was introduced in Mavericks. The OS will use all available RAM (to cache). As long as you don't notice any slowdown or see any Swap usage, then you're fine.

    Free memory is wasted memory.
     
  4. twintin macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Yes it is. Mine also usually hoovers around 50% +/- 1 GB. But it does not change much when starting new apps during the course of time. In fact, even my two Windows machine takes around 50% of RAM after boot.
     
  5. oftheheavens thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    awesome thanks guys!

    still gonna upgrade ram to at least 16GB
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    Unless you are doing some really heavy duty photo or video editing, you are very unlikely to notice any improvement going from 8GB to 16GB.

    Use your iMac for a day like you normally would then start Activity Monitor and look at the memory pressure at the bottom of the memory tab. If that is green, you do not need more memory.

    Also... take a look at this article.
     
  7. oftheheavens thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Informative, thanks! I'm Going to take a look at the activity monitor when playing a game and listening to iTunes today. Gonna try to get some gopro video to edit as well and watch it with that during editing. May be just fine with 8 now that I understand a little better how OSX seems to use ram.

    Knowledge has occurred!
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    Please check back in and let us know what you see there. :)
     
  9. oftheheavens thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    went to 7/8GB used when i launched borderlands 2, no lag though. So should be fine for elder scrolls online as well. I'll test video editing as well but that will have to be another day.

    wish i could figure out how to make the windows transparent like I thought they were gonna be.
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #10
    Did that memory pressure section stay in the green the whole time?
     
  11. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    The RAM management is indeed too aggresive at times. It uses pretty much all of the RAM when barely any apps are running and there is no quarantee that it will free up the RAM in time when you load virtual machine or stuff like that, so it can use swap more than it's necessary. Witnessed that several times when testing. But since with SSD there is no THAT MUCH apparent difference when the swap is being used I haven't paid much attention to this before, so can't say for sure if it was perfect with Mavericks for me or not. One way or another, there is definitely a room for improvement in this regard.
     
  12. oftheheavens thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    it did, just ran into a snag though. I back grounded BL2 and was chatting on FB with a few tabs open as well as iPhoto and iTunes. RAM maxed out causing webpages to reload as i switched back and forth. Think this would be a sign to up it a bit yeah?
     
  13. bbfc macrumors 68030

    bbfc

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    #13
    Not all the window is transparent, just the menu bar and sidebar apps.

    ----------

    I don't think it's too aggressive, but in Mavericks the OS will use all available RAM to cache files for quicker access. If RAM is required for another app, it will compress any inactive to free it up. It's a very clever system.
     
  14. SmOgER, Jun 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    That's what it's supposed to do. But at least with Yosemite DP1, as I said before, it often fails with this task (in time or at all). Having less cached files is obviously better than having swap of foreground memory-hungry app (cause it couldn't free up/compress that much memory in time), and with SSD there is very little point to cache so much files in the first place IMO.
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    Yeah... if you plan to be keeping that game in background like that, I think so. Is that something you will be doing often though?
     
  16. oftheheavens thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    I often have to come in and out of whatever I'm doing in the foreground to answer emails, pick up calls (if i can get handoff to work) and other work type stuff. Will i be doing it every day all day, no not at all. I think I will be doing it enough to justify 16GB though, 32GB would be way overkill for me.
     
  17. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    lol, 16GB is already a big overkill.
     
  18. oftheheavens thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Well I'm at 8GB stock so common sense says to just double it instead of adding just 4 more

    I haven't gotten around to video editing since i just unpacked my gopro from my move but I want it to be as smooth as possible and if I am getting website pages that reload already I think it is safe to say I could use a bit more ram.

    I could be wrong I suppose
     
  19. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    based on what criteria you determinated that 8GB is not enough for you?
    The only thing really which would suggest you so is if system is using swap. The memory usage alone doesn't mean crap to be completely honest. ;)
    use as much memory as you can (but be reasonable of course) while watching whether it starts using swap or will it simply just free up the unused ram to meet the demands. If it's the latter, you are completely fine.
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #20
    If that memory pressure graph ay the bottom of Activity Monitor was coming out of the green while you were multitasking that game, then yes, you would benefit from more RAM.
     
  21. oftheheavens thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Cool thanks again, it will be a month or so before I was even thinking of getting ram so I will just keep an eye on it ;-)
     
  22. jmazzamj macrumors regular

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    #22
    I do think Yosemite is a memory hog, or at least it is as of now...

    I never saw any swap in my 2012 with 4 GB, but I did see that on Yosemite for the first time...I hope they improve the memory usage before final release.
     
  23. cynics macrumors G4

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    #23
    I did the same thing. In actual performance you won't notice much if any difference. Instead of 50% of 8 gb being used while you aren't really doing anything you'll see 50% of 16 gb being used while you aren't really doing anything.

    I went from 8 gb to 24 gb and noticed no difference in ESO (I don't play Borderlands). And right now I'm in Safari and have iMessage open and thats it, activity monitor shows 17 gb used.

    Like mentioned I'd save the money and upgrade when you start seeing swap and on memory pressure. Unless you just have the money to spend and just feel the need to add more RAM.
     
  24. m4v3r1ck, Jun 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014

    m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    #24
    RAM usage seems high for doing near nothing

    Amazing RAM maintenance! While doing a offsite backup I got a swap of 2GB, after a while it returned to zero. Usually I get 23,xx GB used out of 24GB. No further issues with RAM.
     
  25. eastamherstbias macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I have 16 ram and it constantly says I have 2.5 free. under Mavericks I had 6-9 free.
     

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