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zillatron
3rd March 2005, 07:33 AM
Hi all,

I have a 12" current model ibook (10.3.8), when i bought it i got an extra 256mb of RAM after reading everywhere that 256mb wasnt enough.

Recently ive started using my ibook all day at work as well as at home, and i'm finding that after waking from sleep it takes a little while for things to get back to 'normal' speed wise....

This has only started since i started user switching between my home and work profiles, i think it might have something to do with the fact that i have programs open in both profiles...and i might be maxing out the RAM....

In most mac forums people seem to say that 512mb is the minimum RAM. I figure that running 2 profiles pretty much all the time probably doesnt fit into the 'standard behavour'...

so my question is - what do you guys think, am i bogging down my little 1.2ghz G4 with too much to do, or am i a bit short on memory?

if its the later, would replacing the 256, with a 512 be enough?

Thanks,
Z

uncyherb
3rd March 2005, 09:16 AM
An easy way to check if you are maxing out your available ram is to open the "activity monitor" program that is located in your Utilities folder. Once open, click on the 'System Memory' tab down the bottom... if you are showing very blue & green, then you might want to think about moving up a stick of ram.

I run 768mb on my iBook g4 1.2ghz and it still runs into the occasional ram slow-down...

The simple answer will always be: more memory = better

zillatron
3rd March 2005, 09:23 AM
Thanks!

I'm new to Mac's (switcher as @ the day after macworld :D ) so you'll have to bear with me!

I've got 143mb inactive (Blue) and 11mb free (green)
285mb active (yellow) and 78mb wired (red)...

the 'Used' value is around 499mb.

those valuse are changing when i switch desktops, i'd imagine thats normal....

Ok so i'm guessing i'm running pretty close to the edge then?

more = better!

kim jong il
3rd March 2005, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by zillatron@Mar 3 2005, 10:23 AM
snip

I've got 143mb inactive (Blue) and 11mb free (green)
285mb active (yellow) and 78mb wired (red)...

the 'Used' value is around 499mb.

those valuse are changing when i switch desktops, i'd imagine thats normal....

Ok so i'm guessing i'm running pretty close to the edge then?

more = better!
RAM usage under OS X is not like Windows at all (or the old OS 9.x for that matter). OS X constantly changes RAM allocation according to the demands at the time. You might find that even if you open up a couple more applications that the 'free' component won't change appreciably. It may either decrease or, paradoxically, increase (as shown in the example below)

As an example I currently have 10 applications open and RAM usage is:
wired 75 MB
active 333 MB
inactive 211 MB
used 618 MB
free 23 MB
Virtual Memory (VM) 4.4 GB

Now, I have also opened Photoshop AND a 32 MB image and now the activity monitor says this about RAM usage:
wired 75 MB
active 325 MB
inactive 196 MB
used 596 MB
free 43 MB
VM 4.72 GB

So what happened? While I was opening images the OS decided to swap some inactive pages (4096 bytes each I think) to virtual memory; an increase of 320 MB but this has left me with more free physical RAM. After a while OS X does struggle to manage all this but what you really need to know is that more physical RAM allows the OS to swap fewer pages out to virtual memory and keeps these in physical RAM instead. The more data it can keep in physical RAM, the faster and more efficiently your machine will run. There is a limit to what you can have active or open at any one time and as you approach this limit, performance plummets. When it happens you'll know it.

cheers, kim

zillatron
3rd March 2005, 11:11 AM
Very interetsing!

>So what happened? While I was opening images the OS decided to swap some inactive pages >(4096 bytes each I think) to virtual memory; an increase of 320 MB but this has left me with >more free physical RAM.

Half decent memory mangment is an unusual thing to see coming from a windows background :D
espically in support where you are dealing with people opening more things than their PC can handle all day long...

I tried something similar, i opened another 5 or so apps, then closed them. the amount of free RAM didnt change hardly at all. and i actually ended up with more than i started with after i closed them.
I understand better what OSX is doing now, and the more = better thing makes more sense also.

768mb is not going to hurt it thats for sure - and for ~160$ its a cheap 'upgrade'.

Thanks for your informative posts!
Z