Why does my mac pro using so much virtual memory?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Coolpowers, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Coolpowers macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2008
    Greetings All,

    like a mounth ago I bought a new Nahelm Mac Pro, 2,26 GHz, i'm very happy with it, here is the configuration:

    16 gb ram ( 8 x2 gb ram)
    640 gb + 2 x 1 TB Harddisk
    two GT120 video card
    Two Samsung T240 HD screens

    and the other stuff are standart

    The other day I didnt have anything to do so i was just having fun a little with some drawings on painter and photoshop while doing my everyday stuff (watching some streaming videos, or listening to music..etc) since it is my only computer, i do it for my work but also for my fun when I have nothing to do. When I watch a streaming video, let's say from youtube, i have it in full screen in one screen and on the other screen, I do my other stuff, like msn and doodling on photoshop and painter with my tablet..etc and my computer starts to lag, starts to respond very slowly, in a way that i cant do anything at all, and the streaming starts to play slow as well, then i reduce the size of the video instead of full screen and it looks a lil better for some time but then again it slows down my computer. Then when I check Activity Monitor I notice that I still have 10-12 GB free ram since I have only my everyday stuff open. but it shows 54 GB virtual memory and I dont understand what uses this much memory? I mean ok I make multi tab browsing..Etc but not more than I used to do on my old pc laptop with 4 gb ram, why does it use virtual memory when I still have 10 GB free ram? what should i do to avoid such situation other than not opening those applications at the same time? I wish that I was clear enough to explain my problem, I'm attaching a screenshot of my Activity Monitor, if you can help me i will be very glad, thank you very much in advance

  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    It's not using any virtual memory: you are reading it wrong.
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    This comes up from time to time.

    In Leopard there is an odd situation where activity monitor reports a high virtual memory usage. If you control click / right click on the top bar where it says Process ID, Process Name, User etc. etc. and add the column "Private Memory" your virtual memory should drop by a lot (mine drops by 40GBs down to ~9GBs).

    I suspect the problem is more to do with how OS X is actually quite bad at handling Flash which is from the youtube in your description that is causing the lags. From that screenshot you haven't run out of ram so the problem really lies elsewhere, are your photoshop files especially large?
  4. Coolpowers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2008
    Thank you very much for your replies,

    I did what you told me xUKHCx and it did drop to ~11 GB

    in this case i suspect as well that it may be caused of flash because thoso photoshop files that i use when i have nothing to do are 10 - 50 mb files..not more than that..and i donthave more than one or two files open at the same time in photoshop when I use it just for fun..

    Thank you advance for all your replies

Share This Page