Virtual memory 40gb!?!? What the hell

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ploki, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    so i was working in logic as usual, and suddenly the disk starts doing something. and i check the activity monitor and figure that i have 1.5gb of inactive ram, 30mb FREE, and 40gb big page file.

    is it normal to have such a page file?
    why does activity monitor need 1gb PAGE?!?!
    why does MS messenger need 1gb page?!

    i have 4gb of ram.. 4*1
    i'm seriously considering of getting + 2*2.

    this is ridiculous! 4GB is alot, and i have only LOGIC AND FINDER OPEN
    i cannot be out of RAM!

    and in logic i only have about 2 instances of absynth and 1 massive and one battery.
  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    a.) Virtual memory ≠ ram
    b.) it is normal under Leopard to have the VM size that big. On my iMac at the moment my VM is reporting to be 60GB. It is not using 60GB. It is not a problem.
  3. matt321 macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Like said above, VM is not equal to ram by any means.

    Does you MacPro seem slow? If not, the extra ram is unnecessary.

    I've noticed that OS X gives out HUGE pages to any program, regardless if the program actually needs it.
  4. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    That's so odd. I'm running Tiger on my Beige (maxed out at 768 MB of RAM, hehe), and it only pages out about 3-6 GB most of the time. Is Leopard more liberal in grabbing up paging file, or is it tied to the x86 architecture, or does it just see I have only 768 MB of RAM and tie it to that floor? I suppose 4 GB is ~5x more than 768 (really closer to 5.5x), and that multiplied by 5 or 5.5 is 30 or 33 GB.. but still. Weird.

    I wonder why it grabs so much more than it really ever needs... even on my old mac it really never uses/needs nearly 6 GB...

    Haha, I have "VM" (if you could call it that on PCs) on this Toshiba with 1 GB RAM set to 1.6 GB.. and it almost never goes above 1.2 GB.
  5. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Short answer: OS X manages memory differently, your page file isn't 40GB, Activity Monitor and MS Messenger are not consuming 1GB each, and you're not out of RAM.
  6. Pring macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2003
    #6 indicates that it's a bug.

    1. Dig menu View -> Columns
    2. check one or more items which are not default-checked.
    3. Activity Monitor will indicate actual VM size.

    should fix it. Doing that dropped the displayed value from 40gig to 4gig on my machine.

    Running ' sysctl vm.swapusage' in the terminal will show actual swap file usage.
  7. Ploki thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    i still have only 200mb of free ram, running nothing.
    why the intense disk activity then?
    i mean, i wasnt doing anything and it started shuffling data around the disk.
    the disk activity was also maxed out.
    and yeah, while disk did his thing, the computer did has a bit lag...

    i remember this particular phenomenom from our beloved windows, happened exactly the same when i kept running the system fully loaded.

    this is kinda stupid :(
    i mean, its not SLOW slow, but the increased disk activity has some impact on performance. and it was rumbling for just about a minute.. then it stopped.

    i mean, im not new to computers :) im not stupid.. but it really seemed far fetched that system would fill up on a few plugins in logic and safari ?!
    damn it

    okay, i checked shared memory and VM just dropped to 6.7GB.
    still seems alot for not running anything... and yeah, Messenger does show nifty 400MB. quite alot for a messaging app. stupid ms
  8. matt321 macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Do you have time machine setup or an antivirus? Those could cause the unexplained disk activity...
  9. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    Oh, that's absolutely fine. What's important is how much <i>inactive</i> memory you have. Mac OS 9's "free memory" is basically Mac OS X's free memory + inactive memory; it uses all available memory so that it doesn't have to reload things into RAM more than it has to. This greatly speeds things up in situations from program launches (notice how the second time you launch Firefox or Photoshop it's way faster?) to opening large folders again. But the inactive memory can be quickly reallocated to a new task, meaning you're just fine. You only get in trouble when you have no free memory and no inactive memory.

    Could be Spotlight. Unless this is happening all the time, I wouldn't worry about it. How recently did you get your Mac? Did you recently install a bunch of new things?

    Every once in a while, it doesn't hurt to restart Mac OS X, just to clear things. You free memory which sometimes gets a little big fragmented/messed up. So if you've been running for days and things are getting a bit sluggish, try a restart. :)
  10. Ploki thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    i did a restart. i basicly installed logic and half of komplete 4 without rebooting. also transfered about 200gigs of data on to main disk and then 100gb to secondary disk :D

    i dont have antivirus, why would you need one? i didnt really need one on windows, having one here would be ridiculous. also time machine is disabled.
    computer works nice :) needed a restart.

    anyway, can you disable spotlight? not that it isnt useful, if using memory intensive applications it might be handy to disable it
  11. iCheddar macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2007
    South Dakota
    Seeing as you put a massive amount of data on your machine, it is taking spotlight a while to index it all.

    After a few hours(read:3-24) it'll have it all indexed and will stop hogging resources.
  12. Ploki thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    cool. thanks for replies.
    i thought it shouldnt be something critical, but since everybody is yacking about their mac pro being screwed up i was a bit worried. :)
    anyways, mine worked with no problems so far *knock on the wood*
    only things that crashed were things i didnt expect to work in the first place... so everything runs as good as it should :)

    have i ever told that i love this machine ?
    i cant bloody believe it i've been using windows (dos) for 12years. :D
    this is so nice. :D

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