Why is my Macbook using so much ram?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by waloshin, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    The highest I see is kernel_task at 362 mb.

    I was running Cafe World with the latest Google Chrome and I doubt that Cafe World would use 7 gigabytes of ram.

  2. mediasorcerer macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    so its using almost 5 gig[active]what have u got running,sometimes things run in the background without realising,how old is your machine please?
  3. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Its a first gen unibody Macbook 2.4 ghz.

    Openoffice is using 113 mb

    Flash for Chrome is using

    Safari was using 650 loading no flash.

    Shockwave Flash for Chrome was using 1 gb of ram.

    Software Update 125 mb's of ram.

    WindowServer 150 mb. * What is WindowServer
  4. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    You have near zero page-outs, so why do you care how OSX is managing the memory?
  5. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Because my system slows down.
  6. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    If you aren't getting page-outs then the RAM is not slowing anything down.

    RAM that isn't used isn't helpful in any way.
  7. stevemiller macrumors 68000

    Oct 27, 2008
    i have 8gb of ram in a 2.8ghz unibody mbp.

    after effects cs5 eats through all my memory, even on a fresh boot with no other applications running, by tasks as simple as ram previewing a 15 second standard definition png sequence with no effects. the png's themselves literally only take up about 30mb on disk. and yes, i've tried lowering the max ram usage in after effects preferences; it just ignores it.

    the machine has gotten worse and worse over time for these types of things. and if page-outs are the only thing that earns a person the right to complain, well i've got almost 4gb right now on maybe 2 days uptime. although whats really important are the real-world implications, mainly that os x regularly bogs down and become unusably sluggish.

    maybe apple's messed up ram management in snow leopard, maybe developers are getting really lazy about memory leaks, assuming we all have infinite amounts of ram. i dunno, but there is definitely something out of whack.
  8. Ebro10 macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    I am having sort of the same problem as waloshin except my mac has a lot of inactive memory that it is not giving up and can slow my computer way down cause at times it will only have 30 MB free.

    Attached Files:

  9. Starfox macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2011
    This should be a good read: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1342

    In short: Free *AND* Inactive are both available for application use. Inactive memory makes application startup faster, so it's acting kind of like a filesystem cache - no need to worry.
  10. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    Take a look at cpu usage and disk activity. Computer slow down mainly because cpu, disk and/or mem is being used extensively. That means you need to look at all three to see what's going on. You simply can not explain slowness by only looking at mem usage.
  11. Ebro10 macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    This did help me to understand memory usage but why is my computer running so slow then? even after i do a restart about an hour and it is running slow again. I am going to upgrade to 4GB soon on a single stick would that help my computer run faster and not lag so much? when I first upgraded from 2GB to 3GB it was faster but over time it started to use more memory and was acting like it was before when I had 2 GB.
  12. Ebro10 macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    I have also been looking at those and they are not very high.
  13. adrian1480 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2010
    may be something else. run a Verify Disk Permissions in Disk Utility and see if it finds a lot of permissions to correct.

    If you've never run this before, you'll probably be surprised at how many permissions get mucked up over time.

    You might also want to consider installing and running Onyx. it's got a lot of cleaning/housekeeping features in terms of system maintenance.

    In fact, install Onyx anyway and use it at some point in the future.
  14. Ebro10 macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    Thanks this worked for me, so far it is running faster but i just did this so hopefully it wont get slow again.
  15. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011
    Rather than upgrade to 4gb on a single stick, get two 2gb sticks (if possible). Running dual channel memory is fastest in pairs.
  16. ohla313 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    I just did the disk permissions thing. I ran disk utility and selected verify permissions and got a lot of them then I repaired and now my free ram is much higher. did i do this correctly?
  17. jegbook macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2007
    Something not mentioned is free hard drive space. Most likely it's not related, but when free hard drive space starts getting low, maybe below 10GB, virtual memory can suffer. Also, if space is that low, then fragmentation is likely bad, so there isn't much contiguous hard drive space.
    I still think trying to keep a good 15% or 20% free hard drive space is a good idea.

  18. ttrumpeteric macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    Fixed it

    I changed the settings for the amount of data Flash can store, and deleted audio and video licensing history.

    Attached Files:

  19. Loughman17 macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2012
    I still don't understand

    Okay guys. I am new to this Forum and I just don't really understand why our computers are using as much ram as they are? As you can see in my screen shot. Im not running much. But yet I'm using all of my memory? Can someone try and explain to me why so much is being used?

    Back when I had 4GB of ram. I would run VMware and would only be using around 3.5GB of ram. I figured moving up to 8 would help a ton while running VMware and other programs. But for some reason It always seems to be running around 7.5 now.

    Thanks Guys and sorry for not understanding fully the past posts.


    Attached Files:

  20. iforbes macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    The post below is the key post and, as it states, the inactive memory is actually available. From your screenshot, you have a little less than half your memory in 'inactive' which means, for all intents and purposes, you have a little less than half your memory free.


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