something is eating up my memory!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Col127, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Col127 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2003
    ever since i've formatted my machine, i've noticed a strange phenomenon.

    it seems like my powermac is always running out of ram, because the system starts to slow down dramatically. i've never had this happen before, since i'm running off 896 MB ram and it was not a problem before i formatted.

    right now i'm running photoshop cs, illustrator cs, safari, textedit and suitcase x1 and there's only 13 mb of ram free according to activity monitor.

    anyone know what might be eating up my memory?
  2. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    Re: something is eating up my memory!

    i wonder why ;)
    but if thats not the case, maybe you should try adding more RAM, or maybe some hardware is defective...
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
  4. Col127 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2003
    lol...well i just installed cs recently over top photoshop 7 and illustrator 10.. does cs use more resources over previous versions? i wasn't aware of it!

    maybe that's why..

    and, no i have plenty of hd space... 11 gb free on my mac os x drive, where my apps are running..

    i've noticed that there's a large chunk of memory for "inactive" under the activity monitor. is that wasted memory? what does inactive mean?
  5. idkew macrumors 68020


    Sep 26, 2001
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    you need to re-make the situation when you have only 13 mb or ram left.

    then, launch terminal, which is in your utilities folder. then type top and hit enter.

    this should tell you the memory and processor use of each application. you will know who is the aggressor.
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Although the terms used can be confusing, that inactive memory is NOT wasted--this question comes up periodically.

    You can search these forums or elsewhere for a more detailed explanation, but basically "inactive" memory is memory that was, at one point, used by an application, but isn't in use any more. When an application frees up memory, OSX doesn't just dump that information--it keeps it in RAM, in case something needs to use that information again. That way, if you re-launch an app, or an app does the same thing repeatedly, the OS doesn't have to re-load all that stuff, and it goes faster. If something else needs that space, the OS just throws it out and replaces it.

    It's quite normal for a large chunk of RAM to be inactive after you've had your computer on for a while, and in fact having memory inactive is theoretically better than having it free--both aren't doing anything, and can be accessed if a program needs more RAM, but only the inactive one might do something useful if what it's storing is needed again soon.

    If you're seeing slowdown after a while, I'd be suspicious of Photoshop--it will tend to chew up as much RAM as it can, and that could lead to the OS paging to disk if the remaining free space isn't enough to run the other applications you have open. Use the activity monitor to sort apps by their RAM useage; if the computer feels slow, and there's little or no free and inactive memory (meaning that everything is being used, and the computer is probably using the disk), then RAM is indeed your problem, and the process list should show if it's Photoshop doing the damage.

    If the issue is Photoshop, I think you can set it's memory useage in its preferences; set it to 400-500MB, and that'll probably leave enough for your other apps, leaving only Photoshop to use its own disk cache, instead of forcing the OS to do the caching-to-disk work, slowing everything down.
  7. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Ok, so I did this as I am curious how much memory all my programs are using but I can't make sense of all the numbers and stuff. How do I tell how many megs of ram each program is using?

  8. Inspector Lee macrumors 6502a

    Inspector Lee

    Jan 24, 2004
    East Lansing, MI
    Do you have a scanner hooked up or scanner software on your system? Specifically, HP scanner software? This will devour major CPU and RAM. I installed the drivers for a scanner I have at work (HP5470c) and it turned my iBook into a quagmire. I finally had to $hitcan the thing - which wasn't easy.

    I. Lee
  9. idkew macrumors 68020


    Sep 26, 2001
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    from the terminal's manual on top (in terminal type: man top)

    The first several lines of the top display show various global
    state. All of the information is labeled. Following is an al-
    phabetical list of global state fields and their descriptions.

    CPU Percentage of processor usage, broken into user, system,
    and idle components. The time period for which these per-
    centages are calculated depends on the event counting mode.

    Disks Number and total size of disk reads and writes.

    LoadAvg Load average over 1, 5, and 15 minutes. The load average
    is the average number of jobs in the run queue.

    MemRegions Number and total size of memory regions, and total size of
    memory regions broken into private (broken into non-library
    and library) and shared components.

    Networks Number and total size of input and output network packets.

    PhysMem Physical memory usage, broken into wired, active, inactive,
    used, and free components.

    Procs Total number of processes and number of processes in each
    process state.

    SharedLibs Number of shared libraries, resident sizes of code and datasegments, and link editor memory usage.

    Threads Number of threads.

    Time Time, in YYYY/MM/DD HH:MM:SS format. When running in accu-
    mulative event counting mode, the time since top started is
    printed in parentheses in H:MM:SS format.

    VirtMem Total virtual memory, virtual memory consumed by shared li-
    braries, and number of pageins and pageouts.

    Below the global state fields, a list of processes is displayed. The
    fields that are displayed depend on the options that are set. Follow-
    ing is an alphabetical list of fields and their descriptions.

    BSYSCALL Number of BSD system calls made.

    COMMAND Command name.

    COW_FAULTS Number of faults that caused a page to be copied.

    %CPU Percentage of processor time consumed (kernel and user).

    CSWITCH Number of context switches.

    FAULTS Number of faults.

    MSYSCALL Number of Mach system calls made.

    REG Number of memory regions.

    MSGS_RCVD Number of Mach messages received.

    MSGS_SENT Number of Mach messages sent.

    PAGEINS Number of requests for pages from a pager.

    PID Process ID.

    PRT(delta) Number of Mach ports.

    RPRVT(delta) Resident private memory size.

    RSHRD(delta) Resident shared memory size.

    RSIZE(delta) Total resident memory size, including shared pages.
    TH Number of threads.

    TIME Absolute processor time consumed.

    UID User ID of process owner.

    USERNAME Username of process owner.

    VPRVT(delta) Private address space size.

    VSIZE(delta) Total address space allocated, including shared pages.
  10. Sparky's macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    This may sound a little more simple. OS 9 and earlier used the "info" pallet to "allocate" memory to each application weather to its default size (minimum) which would allow the program to run at that specified amount of RAM available or the "preferred" amount if available is what you set it at. Now in OS X you can't "allocate memory to an application but you can specify how much "percentage" of the available RAM on your system they use. Then (hypothetically speaking) if you had 1gb of RAM and you spec'd Photoshop to have 80%, then (after the OS uses its amount) you may be running photoshop on 600mb, but as soon as you launch InDesign (RAM hungry little bastard it is) you will then reduce Photoshop to say 400mb. The reason you see "13mb" of RAM available is because there is a certain minimum the system needs to use for Buffering and for scratch files.
    OK so it was a little long winded but that's my explanation.
  11. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Thanks IDKEW and Sparky's for your responses, both have been very helpful.
  12. About2SwitchOvr macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2004

    I noticed the samething, and this thread came up in my search.
    You explained it well enough for ME to understand. I was wondering about this, and your explanation cleared it up. Thanks!
  13. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    photoshop has a preference that tells exactly how much (percentage) ram it is allowed to use. so if the ram it's allowed to use is too small, it is only photoshop that slows down (because it needs to swap) but not the rest of the system. i would say photoshop is one of the best behaving apps and able to release resources after one quits.

    there's something wrong with 10.3.3 and i'd expect the dot-four update be really a lot faster.
  14. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    nnooo!!! not Mymemory!! :eek: we must save him! if we all work together... oh, not that memory. :p :D

    yes, free memory is wasted memory. also, i think some people have been having severe systeme problems related to fragmentation, which is unusual. i hope you're not one of them. :)

Share This Page