Why So Mush

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by waynepixel, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. waynepixel macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2003

    I was looking at the app Activity Monitor In Panther and to my surprise OS X is using a lot of virtual memory.

    Does any one now why, and would it be a good idea to get a second hard disk to let OS X use that for virtual memory.
  2. waynepixel thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2003
    Is this just a stupid Question or is it that no one knows the answer.

    Any One here have any idea's .!!!!:confused:
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Well, I'm not sure what a lot is, but virtual memory is meant to keep your data available, even when you haven't used it for a while. It's always going to be larger than real memory, unless you don't have disk space.

    It doesn't really make sense (to me) to have a drive just for virtual memory but a separate partition helps performance somewhat. You'll have to search for instructions on doing that. Increasing RAM until it's full is always a better way to help performance.
  4. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I'm from the PC side of things but how much RAM do you have in your system?

    The OS shouldn't be touching a page file unless its running out of RAM. Better to put another stick of RAM in there and try and keep the OS from paging out then to purchase another hard drive. I think one of the few times you have a legit reason to do his is for apps like Photoshop and the scrap file it uses. Its better to offload it to another hard drive. *shrugs*

    General rule of thumb for any OS.
    More RAM == Happy OS.
  5. Dros macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2003
    Well, the thread title "why so mush" may not have inspired too many people to read more.

    Get more RAM. However, the virtual memory of os x is much more efficient than the previous os, so it isn't terrible to be using it. You can speed it up by partioning a space reserved for it, perhaps, but I don't know any hard numbers to back that up.
  6. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    As SiliconAddict mentioned, if you have enough physical RAM, the OS wouldn't touch Virtual memory, which is nothing more than HD space acting as RAM. On a WinXP system, 512MB is sufficient RAM to turn off virtual memory, although some programs require virtual memory no matter how much physical RAM your system has.

    My dual G4 has 2 sticks of 512MB or 1GB RAM, but never looked at how much virtual memory Panther uses. Programs are running fine, so why even bother.

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