Yeah, it's paging files. It's normal and there's not much point in restarting; it's just your machine using your hard drive as a pretend version of RAM. If you're getting a lot of beachballs and everything is a bit slow, then you may need more RAM. Also, make sure you keep at least 8GB of free space available, taking into account Virtual RAM will use some space no matter how much RAM you have.
okay, so if I am using a ton of virtual ram (2.8 GB just running finder, safari, ichat) and then upgrade my reg. RAM the problem of using up a lot of HDD space and overheating CPU might flare back down to normal because the burdon would be on the more ram instead of in vm?
Well not really, I think that those vm statistics in activity monitor determine the max amount of virtual memory that they can use, not the size of the actual page file. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Yeah, the only reason I asked is because I'm booting from a partition that I made a little too small (using SuperDuper), otherwise it wouldn't be a big deal. I wanted to avoid partitioning again until I get a new computer. After I cleared out some junk I should be alright/