OS X Steam uses ALL the RAM

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by FigmentNewtonII, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. FigmentNewtonII macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois, United States
    #1
    I have a Mid-2010 Macbook Pro
    CPU- 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    RAM- 4 GB DDR3
    GPU- NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256 MB

    Every time I open Steam, it ends up reducing the amount of free ram into the Megabytes. These are two instances that happened when Steam was essentially the only program open.

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    I've already tried uninstalling and reinstalling Steam to see if that would help. Unfortunately this still happens. Is this a problem with Steam and its coding or is it a problem with my computer?
     
  2. cledet macrumors regular

    cledet

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    It's only using 200MB of RAM. You have a lot of inactive memory though. That should be treated as free RAM.
     
  3. FigmentNewtonII thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois, United States
    #3
    So why does the amount of inactive RAM shoot skyward every time Steam is open?
     
  4. cledet macrumors regular

    cledet

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    Some program allocate and use a lot of memory initially then release it right away hence inactive memory. Regardless, I don't think you should worry about it.
     
  5. FigmentNewtonII thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois, United States
    #5
    So shouldn't the amount of inactive RAM go way as soon as Steam is closed out?
     
  6. cledet macrumors regular

    cledet

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #6
    No.
     
  7. carlili4190 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    #7
    When I have a lot of inactive memory I open up terminal and type "purge". I'm pretty sure it just frees up all the inactive memory. I don't know if there are any long time effects using that command though.

    Use it at your own risk.
     
  8. FigmentNewtonII thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois, United States
    #8
    I've been using that command. Thing is that Steam will fill it back up right away. So I only use it when I close out Steam.
     
  9. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #9
    What games & programs did you quit before checking for inactive memory?
     
  10. Graeme43 macrumors 6502a

    Graeme43

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Great Britain (Glasgow)
    #10
    If you are that worried, there is an app on the Mac App Store called memory booster that you can set to free up memory. I run it and I have set it to try and help when it gets to 25mb free (I have 10GB) but it isn't really neccesary :)and I had 10.9 beta on my machine and I opened 10GB of virtual machines and my Mac ran totally fine thanks to the compressed memory of Mavericks :D

    Blue/inactive memory will/should be freed up if something requests more memory
     
  11. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000

    Dirtyharry50

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #11
    I think people fixate on this stuff way too much. The system is designed to regulate itself without manual intervention with utility programs.

    Unless you observe some marked reduction in performance, I see no reason to even look at memory allocations. Who cares what app is using what so long as the system is humming along fine.

    If you can fire up and enjoy a game without feeling that something is wrong, why go looking for troubles?

    This reminds me of how people feel a need to check FPS in games often. They need some numerical assurance that all is well it seems. Personally, I go by my perception of how the game is performing and would only look at FPS if performance was poor and I wanted some quick help gauging the impact of various settings changes I might make to correct it before doing another play test, etc.

    For a moment here I thought the old bug where Steam would slowly consume all available system memory was back but I can see above that isn't the case fortunately. This was a real problem some time ago but it's long since been fixed. Actually, Steam wouldn't consume all system memory now that I think about it. It would consume about 4 gigs and then crash.
     
  12. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #12
    This is so very true, years back I know of a game that was super popular on PC (and later on Mac) that actually cheated on the in game fps counter to stop the complaints over performance. It basically had this line in the code for the public fps counter!

    fps = fps * 2

    Funny thing is NOBODY ever called them on that :) Perception is everything :)

    Steam is a 32bit application, it cannot ever use more memory than the 32bit memory limit which is ~4GB. It crashed as it just ran out of memory allocation space!
     
  13. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000

    Dirtyharry50

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #13
    That's a riot! Too funny. It should have dawned on me about Steam being 32bit, etc. No wonder! Thankfully, it is working like a charm ever since they fixed that issue.
     

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