General Question

yannick's avatar

Where is all my RAM going?

Asked by yannick (985points) September 20th, 2009

To be more specific, I do know where the RAM is going. I’m running Snow Leopard on a low-end, current model iMac, with the 2gigs of RAM it came with. Ideally I’d like to bump it up to 4 but my real issue is that iTunes is consistently hogging between 700–800mb of memory. Is this normal..? It seems incredibly high to me. Right now I’m running Safari, iTunes and Adium and I’ve only got about 25mb of free RAM. What’s the deal..?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

That is really high for iTunes.

I wouldn’t worry about free RAM. It is being used in the cache. RAM is a lot faster than your hard drive so OS X is storing as much stuff as it it can in RAM so it doesn’t need to read the hard drive as much. It is very good at pushing stuff out of RAM if it needs the space for current stuff.

I am a bit baffled at what iTunes is doing. I would restart and see if the trend continues.

Last login: Fri Sep 18 21:18:03 on ttys000
john-powells-imac52:~ johnryanpowell$ uptime
2:13 up 2 days, 14:01, 2 users, load averages: 0.10 0.23 0.23
john-powells-imac52:~ johnryanpowell$

ITunes has been running constantly and I’m not seeing that kind of memory usage. Are your audio files in a lossless format?

edit :: I should also add that I use a iMac with 2Gigs of RAM and 10.6.1

markyy's avatar

I’m not an iTunes expert but I’d say that is not normal. Unless you are building a library that’s a couple of terrabytes perhaps. I’ve seen games use less memory than that, maybe you are experiencing a memory leak bug? Make sure this isn’t a 1 time thing and submit a bug report.

simpleD's avatar

iState Menus is a great, free tool to monitor memory usage, among other system statuses, in real time. You can keep half an eye on it and notice when a process starts to be a hog.

RandomMrdan's avatar

Are you talking about the real, or virtual memory? Because I’m showing 55MB on “real” memory, and 1015MB on the “virtual” memory for iTunes, and I keep it running constantly.

I just think it might be memory that was being used and is now idle waiting to be used again. I could be wrong, but it’s always been my assumption.

If the computer is running slowly, restart it, and hope it smooths back out again I suppose.

I’m running a Macbook Pro unibody with 2GB of DDR3, just running regular leopard without the snow leopard upgrade.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

It’s my calling. Thanks.

yannick's avatar

Well it’s a day later and I’ve restarted at least once since I posted the question. I’m looking at real memory here not virtual by the way. iTunes is currently playing my 12 or so gig library of 192–320kbps aacs/mp3s, and although usage has dropped off a bit, it is still sitting at around 520mb of ram. Is this normal..?

Currently I’ve got 235mb wired, 1 gig active, 500mb inactive and 17mb free. approximately. Also @johnpowell, not sure how relevant this is but you mentioned it so here it is: uptime, 20hrs approx, load average 0.70, 0.75, 0.65.

Maybe there isn’t anything wrong, it just seems as though things are very snappy when I’m only running 3 apps… :/

@Noel_S_Leitmotiv thanks for the helpful link :P

cameronw's avatar

Yannick – i’m having the exact same issue- Very little “Free” ram and crushingly slow system. Computer used to work fine.

Any solutions / developments?


Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther