What does Memory pressure color mean?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by Perfa, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Perfa, Nov 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013

    Perfa macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2012

    One of our Macs has 2GB memory. Mavericks was a real success on this machine, but I have yet to understand what the color means.

    On this machine the color is always yellow (never green). Used memory could be below 2 gig, no swap file, but still yellow.

    Also what is the definition of the actual hight of the pressure line? On the other machine with more mem the line has higher amplitude, but it is still green even tho it actually swaps now and then.

    So one machine, no swap, yellow color and another machine has small swap, but color is green. It makes no sense.

    I have read all about Mavericks memory management i can seam to find, but there is no info about the actual color coding.

    Im sure Apple don't want me to bother and just chill :D but i want to understand the system.

  2. josh.b macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2013
    It is like traffic lights. Green = good to go, Yellow = caution get ready, Red = stop you need more ram
  3. Perfa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2012
    Yeah I got that already! But thx anyway.
  4. Perfa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2012
    Actually the only conclusion i could think of is that mem pressure color is not a function of swap used.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
  6. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Wilmington, DE
    Memory Pressure is an inversely related to the ratio of pages available to total physical pages (total installed RAM. The number of pages "available" is computed as:

    Number of External (file-mapped) Pages + Number of Free Pages + Number of Anonymously Mapped Pages flagged as Purgeable (if dynamic paging is enabled, which is almost always is).

    5% and 15% are thresholds for internal level indicators "Critical" and "Urgent", but those may not directly correspond to the coloring of the pressure graph.
  7. Perfa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2012
    That sounds to me like a simple and logical explanation. It explains my own experience of having high pressure even though there is free memory or no swap. Even though there are pages available they are few compared to total number of pages. Simple.

Share This Page