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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > OS9 = RAM eater?

OS9 = RAM eater?
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Forum Regular
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
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Dec 18, 1999, 02:35 AM
I've got a 400mhz G4 with 256MB RAM and OS9. The "About this computer" box says that the OS is taking up 50MB of ram. Once it said it was using almost 100MB. Is this normal? The Mac is brand new and I haven't had time to clutter up the system folder, so I don't think it's an extension/ control pannel issue.
If it makes a difference, I installed one of the 128mb modules.
If anybody has any ideas on how to get some of this memory back, or if this the way it's supposed to be I'd love to hear from you!

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Dec 18, 1999, 09:24 AM
Not to start the whole VM debate all over again, but my G4 400 with 256 ram and VM set to 257 has OS 9 running at 35 megs. And that's with all of my software installed (Conflict Catcher reports 195 items loaded).


1. Do you have VM on?

2. Is the memory bloat happening after you run certain programs?

3. What extensions are you running?


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Join Date: Dec 1999
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Dec 18, 1999, 10:42 PM
Thanks! I turned VM on to 1MB for a total of 257. The Finder is now under control, only taking up around 33MB of RAM.
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: UK
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Jan 4, 2000, 11:06 AM
That is the solution. VM is very inefficient in MacOS 9...WinNT does it better...MacOS X will do things even better, hopefully.

Also, disk cache can alter the memory reqirements.

Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Sep 1999
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Jan 4, 2000, 02:50 PM
With VM on mine uses 40, with it off, 60 MB (256 MB installed).

Even NT shows dramatic change and you can tweak it so that it will not use VM if you have sufficient (192 MB+) and to increase the cache size.

Under OS X, you don't reserve say 256 MB + the 1 MB, you only reserve a swap file for additional VM you wish to reserve - so it doesn't write out to disk all the time. That is what VM has been on mainframes since the 70's. Modern OS?

Gregory Youngs
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