RAM Usage

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by zdobson, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. zdobson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Indiana
    #1
    RAM question... I just got a 2.8 octo and it has the standard 2GB RAM. I've been monitoring my usage to see if I'd benefit from more. My active RAM hasn't gone above 1.3 GB or so, so I figured I was fine. Then I heard about page outs. I read the ins should be 10x the outs. Right now I have 531MB in and 386MB out.

    That makes me wonder what is the max amount of RAM the system will read as active? All 2GB? Also, people have mentioned seeing the beach ball when RAM isn't enough, which I have seen occasionally, but not a lot. Is that the only time you can see when computer is lagging? I know a lot of people can tell when the system is being sluggish, but I can't yet because I'm coming from a PowerBook G4 so there's no way to compare.

    I'm trying to learn how this all works, so please don't just tell me to buy more RAM. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. apachie2k macrumors 6502

    apachie2k

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    was NYC...now MIAMI
    #2
    BUY MORE RAM NOW!!! hahah j/k :D

    sometimes your just running your processor 100%, and more ram won't do anything... what are you doing app wise? i have never seen all my ram being completely taken up, due to some being reserved (inactive) and all. that's all i really know, good luck!
     
  3. ErikAndre macrumors 6502a

    ErikAndre

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    Nov 14, 2007
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    Florida
    #3
    I just bought my RAM this evening based on the shipping 8800GT Mac Pros... I got the 8GB pack from OWC.

    If you plan on using your Mac Pro (I mean really really using it -- Video/Photo Editing, Intense Gaming, etc..)... more RAM is for you.
     
  4. zdobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Well, I'm a photographer, so I use Photoshop the most. I also do some design in Illustrator and make video slide shows with FotoMagico and iDVD.

    I have Photoshop set to use up to 1.5GB of RAM, but I haven't seen it go above 1.1GB. Is it possible for Photoshop to use 1.5GB when only 2 are available for everything? I've been watching the efficiency in Photoshop and it usually reads 99-100%. Once or twice it's dropped in the low 90's.
     
  5. slater-k macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2008
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    London
    #5
    Photoshop can directly address 3.5 Gb, and you can add a patch extension so that it can take advantage of more ... so when you look at it this way, you could easily go up to 16Gb before your efforts don't go noticed by the system.

    One way to look at it is via system profiler, add the real RAM being used and the virtual memory being used. In my case this is usually over 10Gb when running just a bunch of small apps such as mail, safari etc.

    I guess, the answer for you is to do with how happy you are with your system running PS now, and how much you're willing to spend on extra RAM.
     
  6. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

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    Kreplakistan
    #6


    Asked about the same question earlier this week and last year. Curious about the answer as well.


    Slater : I was under the impression that the max memory that photoshop can use is 3Gb, and for plugins a 0.7Gb more = 3.7Gb. Photoshop could use additional 3.5Gb for ram disk for scratch.

    Never heard of any patch extension. What is it called,where can you get it,how does the PS utilize it?


    Haaa..quoting my self. So hot right now.
     
  7. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
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    NH
    #7
    Here's the KB on Photoshop CS3 and 64-bit OS:
    http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb401089&sliceId=2

    From the doc:
    -Kevin
     
  8. slater-k macrumors regular

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    #8
    :) best kind of quote!

    Info here, but essentially it allows PS to use 4Gb of RAM instead of scratch disk, and so speeds up stuff if you're using large files.
    http://photoshopnews.com/2007/05/29/photoshop-cs3-vm-buffering-optional-extensions-mac-only/
     
  9. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    NH
    #9
    Isn't this what PS and OS X are already doing? Basically using RAM beyond the 3.7GB limit up to 8GB for PS? And my understanding is this is more a OS X function than PS (using RAM as scratch).

    -Kevin
     
  10. ewxlt macrumors regular

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #10
    I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure more RAM will never hurt.
     
  11. slater-k macrumors regular

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    #11
    Yes, you're right. PS can directly access 3.5Gb or so of RAM. If you have more than 4Gb of RAM, it will use any surplus you might have as a substitute for a scratch disc, up to a further 4-ish-Gb. This happens by default. When this happens, it can cause PS to pause for a few seconds whilst you're using it. This intermittent problem is addressed by one of the plug-ins.

    If you're not experiencing any of those pauses and use very large documents (and have more than 4 Gb RAM), adobe says "you should install the Force VM Buffering plug-in".

    But if you do experience those pauses (& >4Gb RAM) they "recommend that you install the Disable VM Buffering plug-in" which will turn the buffering off, which in turn means that "Photoshop only takes advantage of the 3.5GB of RAM it can directly access".

    Apologies - i had thought that adobe's recommendation to use the plug-in actually changed the amount of RAM that could be used, but in fact it only changes the performance in using that extra RAM - thanks for the correction.
     
  12. Squonk macrumors 65816

    Squonk

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    Mar 15, 2005
    #12
    From what I understand any pages outs means that you have exhausted physical RAM and are swapping out to disk. If you have any page outs doing your "normal" tasks, then you would benefit from more RAM.
     
  13. zdobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Indiana
    #13
    So can you guys help me interpret this info from my system profiler? This image was taken after working with a lot of 50+ MB psd files.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Squonk macrumors 65816

    Squonk

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #14
    Here is my 2 cents worth:

    - You only have 62MB of available ram left. This means that to launch any more applications at this time, you are going to be swapping even more to disk.

    - When was the last time you rebooted? Was it right before working these 50 images? Reason being is that the stats for pages in/out are cumulative since your last reboot. If you hammered on the system yesterday with 10 applications at the same time, you may have already recorded these page outs.

    - see if you can find UB versions of those two PowerPC apps - they are slowing you down with Rosetta and consuming lots of RAM (Virtual).

    - oh sure, there is Safari taking up a bunch of RAM. On my system, I reboot only when I have to but I quit and relauch safari every couple of days to drop down it's memory wasting. Gmail really makes the browsers consume memory.

    I'm sure someone else will be along with some better input, but that's what I'm seeing... :)

    I'd add at lease 2GB more to your machine.
     
  15. zdobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I rebooted this morning, so all this is from just today.
     
  16. MacAlbos macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2008
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    Kosova
    #16
    I've just installed 4 GB of Ram in my MBP, what’s funny is that when I swapped to XP to check if the ram is recognized, it shows that it got only 3 GB of ram, though in Leopard shows that it has 4 GB.
    It’s the opposite thing with graphics, in Leopard shows 256 MB whereas in XP 512 MB.
    Is this normal or ….
    I’m new to Mac (since 23 Jan 08) and this is my first Message at all.
     
  17. unclegit macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2008
  18. Squonk macrumors 65816

    Squonk

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    Mar 15, 2005
    #18
    Since XP is a 32-bit OS, that maximum RAM that it can access is 3GB. Vista and 64-bit XP can see way beyond 3GB.

    I'm not sure what to make of the video memory...
     
  19. chrisw88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    That window doesn't actually tell you very much for sure. When a page hasn't be accessed for a while, it's put into the Inactive list. The system (kernel) will grab pages from there and put them on the Free list when the Free list gets too low (depends on how much physical memory you have). Theoretically, you could really have Free + 0 (everything in the inactive list is about to be used) or Free + Inactive (everything in the inactive list isn't going to be used again) available. So the Free number doesn't really mean that much in terms of if you have enough physical memory for any given task. The total pageouts is high compared to the total pageins (which can be a relatively simple indicator of a problem), but you had just restarted and were working on quite large files, so that might be ok (depends on the implementation of the app you were using).

    What you really want to see is the number of pageouts as they're happening. To do that, open a terminal window and type "top" (cntl-C to stop it). You'll get a bunch of info, and a few lines down the pageins and pageouts will be listed again. This time, however, you'll also get the current numbers (every 1 sec) in brackets. Place the window somewhere so you can see the pageouts number in brackets and run thru things again - ignore the other numbers. If that number stays low (say < 25 or maybe a little more), you're probably ok. If it goes much above 25-50 you're likely thrashing memory at that time and your system will be slowed to a crawl. Depending on when it happens (i.e. something you do all the time, or something you do once a week), how long it goes on for, and how high the numbers go, will determine how bad the problem is for you and if it's worth it to you to get more memory.

    If you're interested, there will be an intro doc on Memory Management / VM in the developer docs on developer.apple.com somewhere.

    Good luck!
     
  20. sketchguy macrumors member

    sketchguy

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    Jan 31, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    Will Apple + OWC RAM exist together in harmony?

    Preparing for my Dual 3.0GHZ/4GB/8800GT arrival on Feb 18th.

    My CTO config was ordered with 4GB (4x1GB) I'd like to add another 8GB(4x2GB) from OWC for a total of 12GB. Looking to confirm that both the Apple and OWC modules will work just fine together.

    Also, after watching the RAM installation video up at OWC, will I have to move the stock Apple 4x1GB to the upper memory riser, and the new OWC 4x2GB to the lower memory riser?

    This is my first desktop Mac since a 450MHz "Sawtooth" back in '99, so i'm extra psyched to compliment my 2.16GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro (soon to also be upgraded?!)

    Thanks,

    -Steve

    p.s. Next up, new hard drive(s) purchase...
     
  21. BryanLyle macrumors 6502a

    BryanLyle

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    Aug 2, 2005
    #21
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A93 Safari/419.3)

    more ram = more gooder
     
  22. bigbird macrumors 6502

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    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #22
    No, don't do that. Pull the stock 4 X 1GB out. Split the OWC 4 X 2GB into Riser A: slots 1 & 2 and Riser B: slots 1 & 2. Then put your Apple 1GB's into Riser A: slots 3 & 4 and Riser B: slots 3 & 4. You want you biggest matched dual channel RAM accessed first, which is slots 1 & 2 of both risers.
     
  23. sketchguy macrumors member

    sketchguy

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    Jan 31, 2008
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #23
    Thanks much for the clarification bigbird!
     
  24. MacAlbos macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2008
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    Kosova
    #24
    Thanks for the clarification squonk I was afraid that I did something wrong during the ram installation :D
     
  25. colinet macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #25
    This patch. Is this the 'official' Adobe patch that lets you use some ram as a scratch disc? Because that's the only patch I know of. I've got 13gig of ram in my 3GHz 8 core MacPro and have been working on some really big Photoshop files that really would have benefited from being able to use more ram. WHY is Photoshop limited to only 3.5gig? Are there other patches that will overcome this?
     

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