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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > VM ON or OFF?! Aaaarrgghh!

VM ON or OFF?! Aaaarrgghh!
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Dec 28, 2000, 12:12 PM
 
G4 400 448 RAM 9.0.4. VM on or off?

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Dec 28, 2000, 01:49 PM
 
With that much RAM, leave VM off. On the other hand, you need to allocate memory to yoru applications. The Finder Help menu will tell you how. Open Help and type in "adjusting your memory usage."
And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
     
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Dec 28, 2000, 02:10 PM
 
Off - unless you've got time to spare...
     
WDL
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Dec 28, 2000, 07:02 PM
 
The later Apple OS's should have VM on all the time - your ops will be more
stable, faster and you'll have better file mapping.

David Pogue and Apple both say this - it's on on all three of my Macs.

Let the flaming begin.

WDL
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 28, 2000, 07:10 PM
 
VM ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Set to AT LEAST 1 meg. With your amount of RAM, leave it at one meg.
SillyPooh... dont be ridiculous. VM does not slow anything down at all...

Cipher13
     
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Dec 28, 2000, 07:21 PM
 
OFF!

VM most decidedly messes up some operations. Do this test:

-turn on Platinum Sounds (or any soundset, for that matter)

then try the following, once with VM on, once with VM off:
-open a folder with lots and lots of icons and set it to icon view
-drag a selection rectangle around all the icons

It should make one "pop" sound per icon. With VM on, however, it can't keep up.

The same test works with menus -- try scrolling through the Apple menu with VM on and off... when VM is on, it can't keep up with the sounds.

Also, I like to listen to MP3s while doing stuff. If I have VM on, just opening another application, or holding down a menu too long, can cause the sound to skip. With VM off, there is nothing I can do to get the sound to skip, short of crashing the machine. (This is with SoundJam MP, by the way, not QuickTime, which is vastly easier to get to skip.)

In other words, VM causes timing issues.

This behavior is repeatable. I have seen it on everything from 604s to G4s.

I also dislike that VM eats hard drive space. With 448MB of RAM, that means a minimum VM file size of 449MB.

tooki
     
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Dec 28, 2000, 08:09 PM
 
Tooki, Sounds skip... thats it. They skip regardless, its the way they've been implemented, layered on top of everything
There is NO slowdown in anything else, and some things even speed up.
SoundJam is a crappy player.
I run 250 megs virtual, and with Audion, you CANNOT make it skip
Give it a try.

Cipher13
     
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Dec 28, 2000, 08:52 PM
 
I've got 1 GB of RAM in my G3 Power Mac and when I tried to turn on VM the computer said that with this much real RAM Virtual Memory is always off. Can't be turnede on. This tells me VM is only a substitute for real RAM and should be off if you have enough of the real stuff.

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Dec 29, 2000, 12:23 AM
 
When I had 128 MB RAM, I used VM. Now with 256 MB, I keep it off. I agree with tooki, if you have enough physical, VM slows you down.
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Dec 29, 2000, 02:08 AM
 
dont make me laugh guys, OFF!!!, VM take up HD time an no matter what u guys say SLOWES DOWN THE HARD DRIVE, by all means aviod using VM, on my old comp i was forced to use VM cause i only had 20 megs of ram and it dystroyed my hardrive, because of too much writing and deleting from VM.
and VM is much more unstable than RAM, that why a lot of programs warn you to turn of VM before starting it.
get it in your heads guys hard dives wernt desinged to handle RAM
     
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Dec 29, 2000, 03:44 AM
 
Hey guys... I think there is more people with VM off then on, and after a few months using my G4, I have to say that my experience with VM on was... kinda... confused... so I'm one more with VM off...

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Clinically Insane
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Dec 29, 2000, 03:57 AM
 
Y'all really don't get it do ya?
Fine, keep it off.
I'm not even gonna bother argueing on this one.
Have fun with 90 meg Systems
Later...

Cipher13
     
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Dec 29, 2000, 04:22 AM
 
For what its worth
VM works great .
However, if you work with digital video and have any freezes. You'll probably notice your system is a rock with VM off.
I love my G4!
Later
Chuck
     
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Dec 29, 2000, 05:03 AM
 

VM off makes the finder interface faster, using the example tooki gave.

how exactly does VM work?

my PB just crashed twice for nothing after i turned VM off, and restarted. not sure if its just coincidence

[This message has been edited by Macfreak7 (edited 12-29-2000).]
     
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Dec 29, 2000, 06:32 AM
 
Nope, it doesn't.
Bad example.
First of all, soundsets are always gonna be intensive, esp. when they've been thrown in the mix in the Appearance control panel and just run on top of everything.
That argument is redundant. Soundsets slow the computer infinitely more than VM does (seeing as VM doesn't slow the computer really... theoretically it does, but its has been brilliantly implemented, and the way it works means it doens't matter all that much that a HD is so much slower than RAM).
You are all speaking theoretically... and theoretically is often wrong once you step into the little known realm of reality

VM works by creating a file on your hard drive equivalent to the amount of RAM you have + virtual.
Memory is stored in there.
Now when that particular piece of memory is needed, it is retrieved from the hard drive and put into RAM... and stays there till its time is up and has been pushed out by something else that needs the room.

Jeronimo... YOU WILL HAVE 1 MEG OF RAM THAT IS BEING SWITCHED AROUND.
Even the likelihood of that particular 1 meg being requested, is, probability wise, 1 in 449. And even less in with all things taken into account... MUCH LESS.
How long does it take to find and load 1 meg from a hard drive?!?
I guarantee you now slowdown.

But... your choice dude
Do whatcha want.

Cipher13

[This message has been edited by Cipher13 (edited 12-29-2000).]
     
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Dec 29, 2000, 12:39 PM
 
Virtual memory was created when ram was unsufficient to contain all applications running at the same time. Now ram is cheap and you can go up to the gigabyte of space. There's no use any more for these swapping techniques that are costly in HD usage.

I'm sorry Cipher, maybe you find your system with virtual mem ON more stable, but this is in no way logical.

Now, I've got 192 megs on my pismo. That's not much compared to some other people but it's fine though. I prefer to have virtual mem OFF because I like to save the most out of my battery and try to spin down the HD as often as I can. I really don't mind the system taking up to 60Mb of ram. What is 30Mb more gonna do to my way of working? I also do a lot of photoshop work on this machine and since the program manages it's own virtual memory itself, I don't want the OS to interfere further in moving data in and out of the disk.

Maybe for the casual user, running Mac OS on his iMac is better with virtual mem ON because he can open more programs at the same time, and I say fine, but for people with a lot of ram, virtual mem is not necessary and will extend HD access time.

[This message has been edited by SillyPooh (edited 12-29-2000).]
     
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Dec 29, 2000, 04:26 PM
 
Off

When using Photoshop it doesn't like VM. Yes there is a speed difference (gain) when it's off. The only gain is less use of RAM when VM is on. BUT this is manipulation. Why use HD memory when you have phsical RAM. For all of us that have VM off we are in for a shocker. OS X uses VM and we won't have any say on the matter. It's on 24 / 7 .

The reviews of the PB have mentioned that the system was slow. Part of me wonders if that is because of VM. Any PB testers please let me know.

Thanks!

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Dec 29, 2000, 04:37 PM
 
Off

When using Photoshop it doesn't like VM. Yes there is a speed difference (gain) when it's off. The only gain is less use of RAM when VM is on. BUT this is manipulation. Why use HD memory when you have phsical RAM. For all of us that have VM off we are in for a shocker. OS X uses VM and we won't have any say on the matter. It's on 24 / 7 .

The reviews of the PB have mentioned that the system was slow. Part of me wonders if that is because of VM. Any PB testers please let me know.

Thanks!

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Dec 29, 2000, 10:39 PM
 
Originally posted by Richard Clark:
Off

When using Photoshop it doesn't like VM. Yes there is a speed difference (gain) when it's off. The only gain is less use of RAM when VM is on. BUT this is manipulation. Why use HD memory when you have phsical RAM. For all of us that have VM off we are in for a shocker. OS X uses VM and we won't have any say on the matter. It's on 24 / 7 .


The reviews of the PB have mentioned that the system was slow. Part of me wonders if that is because of VM. Any PB testers please let me know.

Thanks!

what!? you seriouse, i have never heard that, thats BS, and stupid, if you have enough ram why would the system still force you to use VM?

     
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Dec 30, 2000, 04:08 PM
 
rambo47, I think that you cannot use VM on with 1GB of RAM because you will have a swap file with MORE than 1GB in your HD...
I use applications like, photoshop, flash 5, premiere 5.1, after effects and pro tools, and most of those applications HATE VM on... so that's the main motive to keep it off (for me). I was just wandering if I could turn it on just to save some more RAM, but PT for example, cannot run with VM on. For those applications that I mentioned, how much RAM should I use for each? right now I have: AE (270), PS (120), premiere (200), illustrator (180), flash (160). What you think?

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Dec 30, 2000, 06:13 PM
 
I don't use VM on OS 9, but about OS X:
VM is always ON on OS X, I don't remember now the unix command that shows you the size of the swap file, but on my iMacDV400 with 192 MB of RAM, it was 2.5 GB the last time I checked it.

in OS 9, I give 120 to PS, 100 to flash

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Dec 30, 2000, 10:09 PM
 
Depends on what I'm doing. For some audio editors, VM can't be on. For most everything else, VM on is faster and more efficient. Set it to 1 MB above your physical RAM amount.

I know for a fact that some apps run faster with VM on because I've benchmarked UT with VM on and off. UT is 0.9 FPS faster with VM ON (using a demo I recorded). That's with 180MB RAM allocated to UT (256 total).

"Aaaarrgghh!" is right, because there is no hard fast rule for whether VM should be on. Sometimes your mac is faster with it on, sometimes its not. This is assuming, of course, that you have plenty of physical RAM. Too little physical RAM and your mac will always run better with VM ON.

Hopefully OSX gets here someday and fixes all this, but for now the Mac OS has an awful memory management scheme.

[This message has been edited by Phaedrus (edited 12-30-2000).]
     
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Dec 31, 2000, 05:07 AM
 
See the thing is virual memory does more than just use HD as RAM, it manages your RAM better on PPC machines, allegedly. Basically, like has been said already, keep it on, and unless you're doing something that asks you to turn it off, leave it on. I have mine set to the max 996MB (128 real) so I can open all my adobe apps without worrying about them. My MP3's skip but I have an IDE drive so there you go. And that is why, rambo, you can't turn VM on, the minimum value of virtual ram is (physical RAM + 1), and the maximum value is 996 MB. So like uhm, you do the math.

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Dec 31, 2000, 01:54 PM
 
I have 768 of RAM installed if I turn VM off, The Finder/System takes over 100mb of RAM! When I am "working" I use my favorite applications Illustrator 9, Photoshop 6 and Indesign 1.5 my "left over" memory is about less than 100mb. That's fine and all but sometimes I have to open up IE and/or some other small application, now I'm running the risk of one of my programs freezes my system.

anyway having only 2 256mb and 2 128mb DIMMS I was going to purchase 2 additional 256mb, but instead I'm buying 1 512mb DIMM and which when VM is off that extra 128mb DIMM will be to the system and now I am comfortably running all my apps with some to spare.

Memory is CHeap, my computer crashing while I'm "working" isn't.

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Dec 31, 2000, 03:25 PM
 
Well, hopefully VM will be better implemented in OS X. In particular: no conflict with audio or video processes.
The biggest problem under OS 9.x seems to be that for some audio there is screwup with VM ON; while some application's tech support depts have told me that for THEIR stuff it needs to be ON to secure stability - not for lack of memory (it can be set at just PhysicalRAM+1MB) but for something about the way having VM on has the system handle memory overall. [Think about it: it's GOT to (for some arcane reason) be less efficient use of memory, because most every app (incl Finder) takes more memory allocated with VM OFF.]

VM is inherent in OS X ? Well, great: then presumably Apple has reworked it to behave w/AV stuff !
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Jan 2, 2001, 01:22 PM
 
I would keep VM off as it hampers programs like Photoshop. I just bought 256 mb Dimm from Crucial Technologies and it cost e under $140.00 and that included free 2nd day shipping. Memory is not going to get much cheaper then this unless yo want one from brand 'X' that will fry your board.
     
   
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