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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

MacBook Pro - Running 3 programs and almost no RAM left?


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w.markegard

 
Member Since: Jun 15, 2009
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I'm running Safari, Word, and Activity Monitor right now, and I have 115MB free.......... Is that normal?
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chscag

 
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Take a screenshot of the Activity Monitor and post it here to this same thread so we can see what's going on with your memory. We'll also need to know how much memory you have installed and what year model MBP machine you have.

Regards.
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DarkestRitual

 
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how much inactive RAM do you have? How long has your machine been turned on? OS X keeps things stored in RAM so it can run apps you have been using commonly/most often more quickly. It will rewrite things to RAM as needed.
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vansmith

 
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DarkestRitual is on the right path with this one. OS X allocates and uses memory in a different way than you may be used too. Please do as chscag has asked and post back a picture of Activity Monitor when you experience this deficiency of RAM.

To make the screenshot easier, simply push Shift-Command-4 and when you see the cursor become a crosshair, simply push the spacebar. Now, hover over AM and click. Picture will be on your desktop. (This was in case you were unfamiliar with this method).

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w.markegard

 
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Here's what Activity Monitor looks like right now.
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First off, this article would be a good read. This is a good one too. I hope those make your understanding of memory management in OS X a little more clear.

In that picture, you have ~30MB free, ~200MB wired (being used by OS X), ~1GB active (in use by applications) and ~530MB inactive (not really in use but will be used if a previously open application wants it's memory back). If you run out of free memory, memory from the inactive figure will be used.

Inactive memory, while looking like it consumes more memory is quite helpful. For instance, let's do an experiment. Open an application that you haven't opened since you last boot. Make a mental note of how quickly it opens. Now, quit it completely and re-open it. Notice how much faster it opens? To quote the second article in its discussion about inactive memory: "...the idea being that if you opened an application you are somewhat likely to do so again and if the memory is still labeled, the application can start very quickly".

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w.markegard

 
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Thanks for the replies. I never new about the inactive memory. I'm good now.
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macandnorm

 
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Can someone who knows about normal ram usage look at my activity monitor screen shot and tell me if it looks normal.
I am about to upgrade to 4gb next week as I use iMovie quite a bit and it is extremely sluggish, even with everything closed.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macandnorm View Post
Can someone who knows about normal ram usage look at my activity monitor screen shot and tell me if it looks normal.
I am about to upgrade to 4gb next week as I use iMovie quite a bit and it is extremely sluggish, even with everything closed.
Looks normal to me.

It also looks like a 4 GB upgrade would be overkill for you, since you aren't using all of what you have now.
Combining your Inactive and Free, you have 25% of you total RAM available for use.
Adding more won't make any significant improvement if you still have 25% available of what you have now.

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macandnorm

 
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hmm, thanks d3v1l80y.

then i wonder why it takes imovie so long to do things. i do have a lot of movies on there but that shouldn't matter once they're loaded right? i mean, i get the rainbow circle whenever i do just about anything and if it's not the circle it at least just waits almost five seconds after a command to do anything. i know i don't have a mac pro but i thought apple would at least make software that works with even some of the lower end hardware...
should i reinstall ilife? have any of you heard of imovie being extremely slow and sluggish. imovie has even crashed on me about 5 times in the two weeks i've owned this mac.
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