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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Oct 06, 2007
    Posts
    9
    The Paging File!
    Hello Everyone!

    Edit::: *Is it PAGING File or SWAP file?? I just noticed that iStat actually says SWAP....*

    So this is my first time on these forums as I just recently got the new 24" iMac (came from being a 15 year PC user).

    Anyhow, I've gotten most things set up how I like but I've noticed something that is starting to bug me a bit. I installed the iStat widget for my dashboard and I've noticed that when I initially boot up the system, there is no paging file usage at all, even if I open up a couple bigger applications like InDesign or Photoshop CS3 (or both).

    As time goes throughout the day, and I open and close applications, the paging file begins to grow. It gets as much as 2GB sometimes or even more. Even if I close ALL applications the paging file remains that big! As this happens, the OS sort of slows down more and more (the bigger the file gets) and switching between applications gets slower. Eventually I am forced to reboot the system to regain the speed again.

    The system initially came with only 1GB of RAM but I thought this would be sufficient as I usually don't run more than maybe 4 or 5 applications at once, 2 of which are heavier and the rest are light like Firefox, Messenger and iTunes. However, it seems like maybe I need more RAM? But would getting more RAM help me in this situation, or would the sytem just use up all my RAM and then start packing stuff into the paging file again and not remove it until I reboot?

    Any information or advice on this would help a lot. I don't want to spend money on additional RAM if there is another way around this problem, and I certainly don't want to have to reboot my system all of the time just to regain performance.

    Thank you so much!!!

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Apr 28, 2006
    Posts
    2,542
    Specs:
    iMac Core Duo 20", iBook G4, iPhone 8GB :)
    I'd say more RAM is always welcome especially if you are working with Adobe apps. Paging file and Swap file is one and the same thing.

    If you want some more detailed info on your paging file, open Activity Monitor (spotlight it) and then see the "virtual memory" usage for each app.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Oct 06, 2007
    Posts
    9
    So I did open it and I see that Growl for iTunes is using 744MB of virtual memory.... along with a few other progs using a lot.

    Can I clear this off somehow or is that normal or what should I be doing now that I see the virtual memory usage?

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Oct 06, 2007
    Posts
    9
    kernel_task is using 983MB?

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Apr 08, 2007
    Posts
    86
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro 15.4", Core Duo 2.16ghz, 2gig of RAM
    To clear some RAM, I sometimes run a permissions verification in disk utility on for my / drive (Machintosh HD). This clears the cache and some inactive RAM usage. 2GB should be plenty for just about anything, but DDR2 667 SODIMMs are getting ridiculously cheap now if you want 4GB.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Oct 06, 2007
    Posts
    9
    Yea I'm considering getting a 2GB chip since I have 1 slot open.... would cost me just under $100. I just don't want to get more RAM and be faced with the same problem again.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Apr 28, 2006
    Posts
    2,542
    Specs:
    iMac Core Duo 20", iBook G4, iPhone 8GB :)
    Apps using lots of Virtual memory is quite common. I don't think 700MB for iTunes is an odd figure, especially with Coverflow turned on. But if you get more RAM, you will surely be able to work with a lot more apps without any slow down. I work a lot with Photoshop and other such heavy apps and I don't have to restart my system for days. Kernel task does use a lot of memory though there's nothing you can do about that.

  8. #8

    osgfx.com's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 09, 2007
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    Posts
    4
    Specs:
    Power Mac G5, 2GHz, Mem=1.5GB
    Clearing the paging file
    I have this same problem. I run InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat frequently at the same time. I may run 4 or 5 other apps during the day as well. At the end of the day, Data BackUP is supposed to run to a USB backup drive that I have on my G5 but it fails because it can't create a temporary file needed to execute the program. I believe that's happening because the paging file is full and I only have 1.5 GB of ram on the machine. The problem goes away with a 'restart'. So nobody has really answered the question clearly. Is there a way to clear the paging file without a 'restart'. I'm going after more ram soon.
    scott
    reno, nv

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Apr 28, 2006
    Posts
    2,542
    Specs:
    iMac Core Duo 20", iBook G4, iPhone 8GB :)
    Leopard is said to have a non-contiguous paging file system so you won't run out of Page-file space.

    Also, I would suggest you run iDefrag. That really helps speed up the system and resolves all kinds of pagefile issues. But there are a few here who are hostile to iDefrag so...

  10. #10

    osgfx.com's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 09, 2007
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    Posts
    4
    Specs:
    Power Mac G5, 2GHz, Mem=1.5GB
    Defrag
    Quote Originally Posted by goobimama View Post
    Leopard is said to have a non-contiguous paging file system so you won't run out of Page-file space.

    Also, I would suggest you run iDefrag. That really helps speed up the system and resolves all kinds of pagefile issues. But there are a few here who are hostile to iDefrag so...
    I'll look into it. I'm used to disk utilities since I work heavily with graphics apps on my PC. Thanks for the info.
    scott
    reno, nv

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