RAM Usage too high?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by newmakkie, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. newmakkie macrumors newbie

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    Saudi Arabia
    #1
    :( My Macbook Pro is also using about 1.15GB RAM with virtually everything shut down (mail, safari, ical, itunes, etc). Yet, my husbands uses only about 400-500MB with the nearly identical applications left running.

    I have 4GB RAM, he has 2GB RAM.

    We compared the running applications one-by-one, and mine uses nearly double his for each exact same application.

    Does a laptop use more memory if it has more memory to use?

    This really bothers me. There does not seem to be any reason for mine to be consuming more RAM when running the same small applications as his does yet I can't figure out why?

    Ahhhhh!

    Macbook Pro Mac OS X (10.5.2) 2.4 Penryn
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    UK
    #2
    The computer might as well use the RAM if its available, don't worry about it :).
     
  3. newmakkie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Activity Monitor

    [​IMG]Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

    Not sure if that .jpg will appear or not, but it shows the high RAM usage (I only run Skitch to snap a shot occasionally, it is not normally running).

    Granted, I have the RAM to use, but still, that seems ridiculous that my mac uses that much, yet my husbands uses a fraction of it for the near identical processes! :(
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #4
    Don't worry, be happy.
    Let OSX manage the RAM.
    You have zero page outs, that's what matters. You want the page out : page in ratio to be 5% or less.
     
  5. secretpact macrumors 6502

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    May 24, 2007
    #5
    Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, anybody:
    Computers store the information they need to access quickly in the RAM and in a file on the hard drive, called a page file. If you have more actual RAM, then it will load more data into the RAM instead of your hard drive because it can read data off RAM faster.
     
  6. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2007
    #6
    Why exactly are you worrying about it? You have all that RAM. What's the point of having it if you don't want it to be used? Just let the OS do its job.
     
  7. newmakkie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Worrying because...

    Guess I'm worrying because I'm a 3 week old Mac newbie.

    So is my hubby.

    That combined with my strong "why?" impulse, I'm trying to understand how two nearly identical new Macs can use massively different amounts of RAM running nearly the identical processes.

    My virtual memory is also nearly double that as my husbands. I thought the VM would be lower if the system were indeed using actual memory rather then VM. Guess I don't understand VM as well as I thought.

    I mean, if his machine has 2GB and it only using about 450-500MB, and mine has 4GB and is using about 1.3-1.5GB, then both machines are using about a quarter of their RAM capacity.

    What then is the benefit of the extra RAM. Maybe I just wasted my money on the upgrade.

    Guess there are no answers on this one, huh?
     
  8. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #8
    You can run more applications at the same time.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #9
    Welcome to MR, newmakkie. One hint would be to Search the forums or to have a look in the Guides section of the site, where many commonly asked questions are answered. We have covered this topic many times. Under Guides: Hardware are articles about RAM.

    More RAM doesn't do much if anything for you if you are using just one program. If your program and data memory usage remains below 2 GB, then the performance delta 2 GB to 4 GB will be minimal.

    Where more RAM comes into play is when you are multitasking, or using programs and data sets that use a lot of RAM.

    Photoshop for example can use up to 3 GB of RAM for itself. Digital audio, digital video, and virtualization (Parallels, VMWare) are other examples of types of programs that benefit from lots of RAM.

    When you are running multiple programs at once, having more RAM means that you can switch between programs faster, because the OS doesn't have to immediately flush the previous program out of memory when you go to another one. It holds it in memory for as long as that memory isn't needed for something else. That's one reason why the "Free" memory in the graph is often low -- the Inactive memory is available for use, but is not currently needed, so it is caching the previous info for a quick switch back.
     
  10. newmakkie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    RAM cont...

    First, believe it or not, I HAVE searched far and wide for an answer to my question. I have Googled it, searched several forums, and gone to apple.com. I must have been searching wrong.

    Good advise though. I follow it religiously! I'm a self-confessed research junkie! I RARELY even post to any forums because most of the answers are already out there.

    OK....on to RAM.

    So, is my system assigning double the RAM to each processes simply because it CAN? If I took out my 4GB, and put back in my 2GB, the system would adapt and use less like my husbands?

    Of course, I would never DREAM of doing such a thing, it's just a hypothetical question.

    Also, would you mind sending me the links for the articles you mentioned? I would like to read them.


    Thank you for the informative reply. I appreciate it.
     
  11. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #11
    You must understand that RAM usage on OS X works very differently than on Windows or Linux. On Windows a program starts up and loads in to RAM and then when it needs more RAM it will use it. On OS X, it will take as much RAM as it can (hence more RAM usage), but when another program needs the RAM, the former will give up RAM for the latter program to use. When you should look at is not free or used RAM, but rather wired, active and inactive. If you never shutdown your computer (as you only sleep it) over a few day it will show like 5MB of free RAM, but when you're idle may show xGB INACTIVE.

    I hope this clears things. Also if it's shows a low page in and out and swap used, you should be in good shape.
     
  12. newmakkie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Good Explanation.

    Thanks.

    That is kind of what I thought since, well, I couldn't think of any other solution.

    It's there, so OSX uses it.

    ALL figures on mine are nearly double that of my husbands 2GB mac, even the wired, active, (and inactive of course).

    I am currently showing:

    337.43MB page ins. (I don't know if this is high or not.)
    0 bytes for page outs and Swap Used.
    477.10MB Wired
    770.40MB Active
    141.57MB Inactive
    VM 36.80GB
    Used 1.36GB
    Free 2.63GB

    I normally just shut the lid on my Macbook Pro, should I shut it down at night instead?

    Thanks again.
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
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    #13
    Click the Guides tab at the top of this window
    Then click on Hardware

    Buying RAM
    Understanding Intel Mac RAM
     
  14. newmakkie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14

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