Mac os x lion memory usage

Physical Memory is the total RAM you have installed on the system. Memory Used is the total memory that is currently in use, not necessarily by app, but everything. Basically, you can add up the four items on the right and you should end up getting very close to the Memory Used value. Let me explain these values:. Compressed — Memory in RAM that is currently compressed, so that there is more memory available to other apps.

Lion + 2GB of RAM, performance? | MacRumors Forums

Compressed memory is a new feature in OS X Mavericks. Virtual Memory is the amount of memory that the apps have asked for and does not indicate the amount of memory actually being consumed. Swap Used means data is being transferred to and from your hard disk and RAM. If you see a lot of amber or red bars in the graph, you are having memory issues that will be slowing down your computer.


  • Free Up Inactive Memory in Mac OS X with Purge Command.
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  • How to Monitor Your Mac's Memory Usage.

You can see them on Activity Monitor. I ran a backup to my NAS, and after a few hours, there were about 30 of them, and my free memory was nearly gone; I was not running anything else at the time. This was a very helpful discussion. Quitting and restarting the apps only frees up a small fraction of my 8GB and this is quickly reallocated and the problem comes back. It was only by restarting my computer that fixed the problem. Great command, as a web developer I use memory intensive applications all the time. More specifically however I often download large sql backups of our live databases and restore them locally on my machine.

This makes my life easier as I can modify code whilst still using a fairly up to date set of data and without having to rely on an internet connection or latency on connecting to a remote database.

I have found that restoring the database on the command line postgres gradually eats up my memory and when the restoration has completed sits as inactive memory up to 5 GB of 8 available. This inactive memory fails to clear or at least takes hours upon hours. I know I wont need to run this restore command that often so using the purge command prevents me from having to reboot. Thanks for the heads up. Thank you! Sometimes it will free up overnight as the system realizes it is not actively being used.

Many times it sits used Inactive. Running memory hungry applications does not force it to be freed from inactive programs, and the experience very obvious slowness due to lack of Free memory. Regardless of what you call it; hoax, misguided, unnecessary, the Purge command does the trick. I now have 6Gigs of Free memory useful for the applications that need it. I even testing out just leaving my Imac with 12 gigs memory overnight and only think that run in the background is firefox, safari and chrome.

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In the morning, of course, i have less than half a gig of free memory without doing anything. In my experience keeping my Mac from swapping to the disk and causing Page-Outs is key to maintaining optimal performance. I notice a significant slowdown on my Mac when free memory goes below MB. This becomes a big performance problem, and I found myself having to reboot to free up memory to prevent the Mac from swapping to disk.

This is a big PITA. I usually notice Activity Monitor reports there is about 1. Using purge fixes the problem for awhile until the free memory runs out again. I use my Mac Book Pro for work, and I usually find myself running purge once in the morning, and maybe 1 or 2 more times throughout the day to prevent disk swapping. I wish the OS would force Inactive Memory to be freed before using swap space. Anyone who tries to tell me that running purge is a placebo is just plain wrong.


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  • macos - Mac OS X memory usage on the high side. How to lessen or improve - Super User;
  • Troubleshooting Memory Usage Problems in OS X Lion;
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  • Mac OS X Lion - Wikipedia;

Unfortunately MacOS has a habit of cacheing some file access, and then not freeing that memory. For example, last time I ran purge I had 2. A great command, thanks for sharing this reference. You are correct, the memory management is a bit flakey, and I can easily go from 2. I use to have to reboot my machine each time just to free it up and get some higher performance out of my macbook pro.

This purge command is exactly the solution I needed! I recently made an Automator purge application. So I can purge using spotlight instead of Terminal. Thankyou very much…….

Lion + 2GB of RAM, performance?

There are no downsides, except for confusing newbies. It does not take memory away from applications in any way, ever! This memory optimisation hoax is the same misleading rubbish that plagued Windows for years. Please correct this article. Yes, yes, and yes, but I happen to have an application that changes its behavior when it sees free memory dropping below 1Gb, even though several gigs may be inactive. I have 8GB of memory max for my computer and some apps eat it all up XCode is one of them. Then my computer slows to a crawl.

Purge frees up enough to get it working again. This frees up 4GB of memory for me on Mountain Lion. What I would really like to see is a utility that limits how much RAM an app can allocate so I can put them in a memory sand box. Then I could make XCode and other apps behave themselves. Anyone know how I could do this???

Free Up Your RAM's Memory In OS X Mountain Lion or Below

There is a free app called free memory that does the same just clicking on your menu bar. It shows also there how much ram is free and other details. Lion definitely still has memory management issues. Purge frees up the Ram and things go back to full speed. Playing videos with a ton of inactive Ram results in stuttering. Maybe some apps hoard inactive memory more than others, interesting command though. Took about 1 minute of total system stalling to run. Snow-Leopard: you need Developer Tools. Lion: you need nothing. Just type purge into Terminal.


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  8. Xcode can not be installed in Snow Leopard, but only in Lion. Check out iCleanMemory on the app store. Does the same as the purge function, except that you can choose between quick, normal and depth RAM cleaning. I bet any motion designer, web developer, or graphic designer encounters this problem. Oh really?

    How to Monitor App Memory Usage on Mac?

    I had no idea. Did the purge command solved it? I have a MacBook Pro Early Hope this helps you out! John — Actually, no matter how much memory you have you will run into this issue sooner or later. So this is not a problem with insufficient memory… it will happen no matter how much memory you have it even happens on my Mac Pro with 24 GB RAM. What a bad a piece of advice. Transforming inactive into free memory will always make things worse and slower.