Using all the RAM, normal?

tigress666

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 14, 2010
3,287
15
Washington State
Ok... so I just got a new rMBP with 16 GBs of RAM. Yesterday I checked activity monitor to see how much RAM I was using and it said 9 GBs. This was with Firefox,itunes,mail,adium (aim client), terminal, maybe pages (don't remember), messages open.

Today I opened it after some one pointed out that with as fast as applications load, you don't need to have everything open at once (which made me think he has a point, I'm so used to having everything open but when he pointed that out I realized it was cause things took so long to load). So I closed the mail app (and I don't have pages open right now) and checked activity monitor and it says I am using 15.99 GBs of RAM. WTF?! (I already thought it was a bit weird yesterday it said 9 GBs when I've been running the same stuff except replace Pages with MS word on my previous Macbook with only 4 GBs of RAM. But I figured maybe that was why my computer was so laggy). It's not saying there is much memory pressure yet and it hasn't used any swap yet. But I'd rather it not use swap (I hear that reduces your life of your flash storage).

The biggest usage of RAM is from Kernal_task with 972 MBs (firefox unsurprisingly second at 410).

So is it normal to just fill up the RAM usage? Or should I worry that i have something hidden that is taking up RAM on my computer (entirely possible, I used migration assistant to just get all the software over on this one and have it mirror my old one. And I did the same with the old one from my previous computer. So I haven't done a fresh install in like 7 years?).
 

tigress666

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 14, 2010
3,287
15
Washington State
Yes, it's normal. If it's there it will use it. As long as you're in the green on memory pressure I wouldn't worry about it.

Victor
Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I find RAM is usually what I end up pushing first on my computers so i was going to freak if I'm already maxing this out and it's brand new.

Though it is beach balling a bit today (which was my huge pet peeve with my old mac and a big reason to push me to upgrade. Though I find I never manage to get a computer not to beach ball even when I get a new one. At least it's nowhere near as bad as how long it would take with my old one before it would stop, usually just does it for a second or two). Activity monitor though says it is really low memory pressure (definitely a lot lower than it said on my old Mac which it also claimed was green but definitely had a higher bar height).
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,372
1,987
San Antonio, TX
Yea, I notice sometimes I can be using 8-10 gb of RAM out of my 16 even during light use. Used RAM as an indicator for RAM usage has pretty much become obsolete with Mavericks.
 

sixrom

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2013
707
1
I have found that the various MBP's I've had are quite good at managing ram. My new 15" retina equipped with 16GB and Mavericks trends towards very dynamic usage. By all indicators it's perfectly normal and the speed reflects it.