Why am I running out of RAM?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Jethryn Freyman, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007

    Dual 1.8GHz Power Mac, 3GB of RAM installed. This amount of RAM usage gives me pageouts, which give me beach balls, slow downs, :(

    TenFourFox is version 7 and had just six tabs open, none of which were particularly content-heavy.

    I had seven apps open: Fider, Colloquy (IRC), Mail, Transmission, iCal, and Activity Monitor. Nothing big running in the background. Uptime is 27 hours.

    It really does seem that OS X loves to eat RAM. The kernel on my 1GB of RAM eMac uses at most 70-80MB of RAM, I guess when it has more to use, the system will gladly take it.

    I was going to stay at 3GB of RAM on this Mac, but since a secondhand Mac Pro is probably at least a year off, I might end up paying the $50 to max out my G5 to 4GB...
  2. ThunderSnake macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2010
    Does it help to quit and restart TFF? I'm still using version 5, but I find that it doesn't always release memory when I close a window or tab. I have to quit & relaunch it once a week or so to free up memory. The same was true for the regular FireFox.
  3. mabaker macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008
    Run "Repair Disk permissions" once from the Disk Utility. It will clean the Inactive RAM and make it "free" (green). This will work only once per session, though.
  4. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    I have a Powerbook G4 1.67 and have similar problems.
    Mine is having problems with Safari, sometimes it seems to eat RAM, depends on which sites you visit but I do think that the culprit is Flash,yes that crappy Flash again.
    But I also know that the browsers are based on the same Webkit so that might also be the problem.
    Before, I switched of the dynamic pager and Safari seems to run much faster but when it reaches its max. RAM I would quit Safari and then reopen again and open all the last taps,this would release RAM.
  5. aednichols macrumors member


    Jun 9, 2010
    Not sure if trolling... this is what Repair Disk Permissions really does.
  6. zen.state macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2005
    It's using RAM because thats what OS X does. You have a decent amount of memory hungry apps running but you still have almost 1GB inactive. All inactive RAM can be made free by the OS when needed.

    Essentially this is a thread to ask why a computer is behaving perfectly normal. Why is this PowerPC board becoming so increasingly remedial?
  7. MacHamster68, Oct 10, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    Perhaps this will help you understand OS X memory usage a little better:

    all memory in OS X is "virtual". Some of that virtual memory is in RAM, some in system and application files on the hard drive, and some may be in swapfiles
    Wired RAM is memory that is pernamently "locked" by the OS and cannot be made inactive or moved to swapfiles. It must be there for the operation of the OS
    Active RAM is memory that is currently in use by either the system or an application.
    Inactive RAM may be thought of as a first stage swapfile. It contains instructions and data that are not currently in use within the OS or an application, but is left in RAM in the event it is needed again. If more Active RAM is needed, the Inactive RAM will be reassigned and if it contains data for a currently open application, that data will be rolled out to a swapfile. Otherwise the memory will simply be overwritten.
    Free RAM is just that. It is RAM that is currently not mapped into Wired, Active, or Inactive RAM. If more Active RAM is needed, the Free RAM will be the first to be remapped into Active status.
    Swapfiles are used to contain data being used by currently open applications for which there is currently no room in either Active or Inactive RAM
    System resources, fonts, application files, frameworks (shared libraries) are mapped into the virtual memory address space for each application whether they are in Wired, RAM Active RAM, Inactive, RAM, or in files on the HD, but these resources are never placed in the swapfile(s) because they are already available on the hard drive and there is no point in duplicating the code.
    Pageins occur anytime something is moved into Active RAM whether that is from Inactive RAM, the swapfile(s), or another file on the hard drive.
    Pagouts occur anytime anything is moved out of Active RAM which includes mapping into Inactive RAM, as well as writing to a Swapfile. Only data is ever written to the hard drive since instructions are already on the hard drive.

    If page-outs exceed page-ins, you definitely don't have enough RAM. Ideally, page-outs should be less than 20% of the number of page-ins (the fewer page-outs, the faster your machine is performing)

    So you are perfectly fine with your 3 GB

    To Tenfourfox which is esentially firefox , firefox has the habit of not empty its cache after you closed a tab instead keeps the info in its cache which is loaded in the ram for future use , say for example if you visit a site more often that comes handy as the site loads quicker .if you vist many sites tenfourfox is using more Ram to store all the date of one session
    But i find Safari is even worse when it comes to ram usage .
    Easy solution for that is eiter to close Tenfourfox from time to time or to empty the cache manually from time to time

    On top of that all the plugins use ram too , not a lot but if you got many plugins it adds up as if they are enabled they all get loaded in the ram by tenfourfox , but unless you collect plugins for a hobby and have hundreds of them , but normaly the essential plugins will only be a couple mb in size all together
  8. MacHamster68, Oct 10, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    sorry its not only the PPC board , on the intel board its the same , and its not even only on the Mac Forums , its essentially in most boards/forums about operating systems . and i guess you are a bit older too , we had to learn all that as we needed to do things manually in the beginning ,i mean i grew up with DOS ,Basic and Pascal and it meant in order to use the computer you did need the knowledge how the OS works and you did need to write your own apps , today the OS'es and apps do the thinking for the USER who has essentially only to be able to click the mouse .
    When the mouse was starting to get essential to operate a computer things got easier for most due to GUI's , one of my teachers said , wait another 10 years and we have only mouse cripples in front of computers and that was in the 80's, and today we got there People can use a computer some can really do amazing stuff on them , even children can ,but no knowledge needed really any more why or how things work .the result is a mouseclick away .
    You cant blame the Users today for that , its a result of advancing technology and Apple was actually pushing that to the stage we have now, computers that are easy to use

    But the OP is even asking the question " WHY"most wont and just fill up the computer with RAM if necessary or not and he is one of the more knowledgeable ones as he knows how to make a screenshot , there are many who cant even do that today if they cant find a app for it
  9. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
  10. MacHamster68, Oct 10, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    Did not want to get into that , but thats the present and the future , people read ID and get paranoid , because nobody is explaining things any more , people only get told to be careful when using the internet, because someone could empty their bank account and even take out loans in their name if they only go online :eek:
    ok in that case its a bit amusing , but to the OP dont take it as a offence , better safe then sorry ;)

    from wiki :
    In computing, the process identifier (normally referred to as the process ID or just PID) is a number used by most operating system kernels (such as that of UNIX, Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows) to (temporarily) uniquely identify a process.

    so to explain it in simple words as soon as you open a App it gets a ID not even always the same , only because it makes it easier for the OS to remember a simple ID then the whole name of a App
  11. Tyroler macrumors member


    Jan 2, 2011
    Hatfield, UK
    Had on the other Mac problem with Safari,but happy now with Firefox.
    Opera didnt work at all,and Chrome is not supported.
  12. MacinDan macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    Is "VM size: 38.64 GB" normal? On my Tiger system if I had that stuff open it would be 5 or 6 GB.

    Spinning beach balls don't sound normal with nearly a GB of inactive ram.
  13. MacHamster68, Oct 11, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    not worried about size of VM ..its just virtual so not existent and only becomes a problem if the HDD has a fault or is full and OSX cant for the those reasons not access the VM, but then we would ned to see the disc activity tab , and OSX is ram hungry , Leopard more then Tiger
    You will get beachballs too if your HDD is near full ,the HDD should ideally have at least 20% empty space left is a comon advice , i even leave always 30% empty

    that should explain everything




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