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bryh28 Jun 23, 2000 06:47 AM
RAM consumption
When prompted by my iMAC (OS 8.6) that memory was insufficient, I checked usage levels. It appeared that the OS was using 30MB of RAM.
Is this normal?
Can I lower it?

dionysus_olympus Jun 23, 2000 12:26 PM
Yes, it's normal. Well, OS 9 takes about 40 MB more or less...How much physical RAM do you have on your computer? If it's saying that memory is insufficient, you may need more physical RAM to compensate...or else, you will be getting that msg. a whole lot!

Did you have your Mac today? :)
exa Jun 23, 2000 03:26 PM
Go to the memory control panel and turn on virtual memory a bunch (up to like 100mb) and see if that helps, that is, if vm is not on already; if not, time for some deleting/reinstalling in your system...
reader50 Jun 23, 2000 04:30 PM
I am able to cut OS 9 down to about 25 meg. I use this as a custom extension setting for gaming. I would not like to run this configuration for normal use - no cool stuff.
bryh28 Jun 26, 2000 06:52 AM
Exa, I had turned vm off earlier, and with it back on things did improve.
The thing is, I've read more than one person on these forums berating vm. Which is why I'd turned it off. What is the score with vm, good or bad, or both?
exa Jun 26, 2000 07:08 AM
I use VM... actually, I have 256mb of ram so you'd think I wouldn't use VM? Wrong... VM offers more stability to your system and keeps application's memory requirements down. It also keeps the system from bloating too much. VM supposedly speeds up some tasks too, by doing something with the resource forks (though, sometimes, I find VM slowing down things). In games, there is no framerate change so VM does not slow intensive processor tasks down (well for me, it is slightly faster with vm on). I would keep it on at all times... and if you have <128MB ram, you must keep it on.
WDL Jun 26, 2000 08:23 AM
VM used to be considered BAD - but starting with OS 8.X it really is functional.

I keep mine on, on all 3 of my Mac's, and I crank it up about 50% more than recommended. The only time I turn it off is for those apps that specifically recommend it be off.

I've tested various things I do with it on/off and cannot detect any difference with the sweep second hand of a watch - more sophisticated equipment might.

Two Macs are running on OS 8.0.1 and my iMac is on 9.0.4.

I really wonder if some of the people who knock VM have tested its use on their own setups - or just accepted the old school rote, that it's bad.

Try it - you can't hurt anything and you'll form your own opinion.

Knowledge makes us free - good ops!

wlonh Jun 26, 2000 09:04 AM
i have tried everything with my Mac that it is capable of

VM blows chunks, there is no substitute for real RAM... make your Mac happy and buy more

Fredo Jun 26, 2000 03:44 PM
I agree with wlonh that increasing physical memory is the best way to deal with insufficient memory hassles. However, I have found that my DVSE runs very nicely with VM set at over triple the physical amount. I purchased the machine with 128MB installed. Set VM at 400M. I have since boosted my physical to 256MB, and set the VM at 800M.
From what I understand, VM needs a lot of hard drive space to work properly. My DVSE has 13 GB, maybe that's the reason I don't have problems.
Fredo Jun 26, 2000 03:51 PM
Also, to increase memory for an application, close the application, highlite the application, not an alias, key command i, select memory in the show window, adjust memory amount, and restart.
Fredo Jun 26, 2000 03:54 PM

[This message has been edited by Fredo (edited 06-26-2000).]
bryh28 Jun 27, 2000 07:06 AM
Well having turned vm back on does seem to have made some difference. Notably to the original issue. The 30MB that the operating system was using has now been reduced to 20MB and everything seems to be running much more smoothly. I even had IE5 and Nav4.7 open at the same time yesterday!
Think I will try Fredo's suggestion for increasing allocation next.
The Wolfe Jun 29, 2000 08:35 PM
Virtual Memory dosen't automatically give you increased speed if you crank it up 9 billion%, but the act of having Virtual Memory on will decrease the amount of memory that some applications will use, thus speeding up processes in some low memory situations.

I set virtual memory at 128MB if a machine has 64MB physical RAM, and 1MB over the amout of phisical RAM if the machine has 128 or more. That has always been very stable, fast and efficient.

-Eliott Wolfe
Winnetka, Calif
blizzard Jul 7, 2000 07:47 PM
It's interesting listening to the heap sizes of everyone else's systems...I have OS 9.0.4, VM on, everything I need running, including some other stuff (fax software, gamesprockets, Microsoft stuff) and my total system memory usage only comes to 15.5 mb! Until, of course, I run MS Explorer, in which case it zooms on up to 18.1 usually. Only 64 megs physical RAM too...for gaming I use an 8.1 partition that only uses 10.1 mb system memory, with RAM Doubler installed.
Herr Newton Jul 8, 2000 12:03 AM
Curious... I run 9.04 on a G3 upgraded PowerCenterPro 210 (gotta love that 60 MHz bus...) and my system heap usually hovers around 20MB with VM. I tried using RamDoubler9, but it seemed to caus horrendous slow downs in IE 5.0 for some odd reason. anyway, no VM conflicts with Photoshop. (Nor any on some B&W G3s I have access to. Photoshop runs fine and at the same speed with and witout VM)
Misha Jul 8, 2000 06:00 AM
The one thing that I hate about VM is that it causes SoundJam to skip, even if you're not actually "using" the VM (i.e., have it set 1 MB above the 384 MB of RAM that I have and apps are only using 1/3 of that).

Also, it eats up battery life on PowerBooks since the drive rarely gets to sleep since VM is being used (HD is the scratch disk).

Still, VM has its perks... my System (VM off) yesterday was using up more than 80 MB of RAM after a day of useage. That's ridiculous...
wlonh Jul 8, 2000 10:58 AM
hmm yes 80M is a bit out of control... wonder why that never happens on my Macs? (of course, i never ever use VM)
seanyepez Jul 10, 2000 12:25 PM
I would have to agree with Misha and Lon on this one for the most part.

In the past, I've noticed that having virtual memory on slowed down my system beyond recognition. This is because those "click" noises that you get when you're browsing folder windows (Appearance Control Panel option) aren't as dynamic and quick as the clicks when I have virtual memory off.

However, I've been running for the past few days on virtual memory (PowerBook's standard 128-megabyte chunk with 64 additional megabytes of virtual RAM), and my system has been incredibly stable. Unreal Tournament will actually run.

I don't really have an opinion, now. Perhaps it's because I disabled LibMotoSh that my system is so stable. I'll have to formulate an opinion once I have time to perfom testing.
elzinat Jul 10, 2000 01:26 PM
In my opinion, the best way to approach the issue of memory is to just buy physical RAM, and then not need to worry about how VM is affecting your performance. Unless your hard drive reads and writes faster than your RAM, in which case your computer is very strange...
MacOS761 Jul 11, 2000 11:04 AM
…or you have a RAM hard drive! Did you know they exist? That's crazy! Would make for a pretty fast server, tho…
elzinat Jul 11, 2000 03:03 PM
RAM hard drive? that's tight!!!! where can I see one?
of course, then if your computer crashes the consequences are Much more severe. and those probably cost a whole lot o' dough, too.

A random thought about purchasing RAM, which I don't think was yet mentioned here. if applicable (if your machine uses SDRAM), get 222 speed DIMMs, not 322 speed. 222 are faster, it's worth the few extra dollars!

How do you measure a man?
By how quickly he can get people to call him a nut, of course!
Cipher13 Jul 12, 2000 01:11 AM
Ok, most people here are saying that their systems are using bout 20meg RAM - I have a sawtooth 400 w/128 megs and I get the the system using 37 megs on average - after loading IE 5. Not sure about before.
And thats with VM set to 1 meg (like it always is). If I turn VM off, I get around 50 megs used by the system right off startup - and of course that grows as I use it. BTW those stats are just from the "about this computer" menu item, not using Macsbug or anything to get the heap sizes.
Are those sizes about normal for my comp? Anyone that has a similar one what are you using? I know that extension sets and all make a big difference but I just mean generally.
Last thing - opinion, LibMotoSh on or off?

wlonh Jul 12, 2000 01:22 AM
LibMotoSh causes zero trouble for me, and for Misha as well

others say different

and i have always stated clearly on these fora that LibMotoSh is controversial, not because of stability issues or because it eats RAM (it creates neither issue on my Macs) but rather it is claimed that it can cause miscalculations... what sort of miscalculations you say? it has been claimed that if you are building a bridge (for example) using your Mac and have Libmotosh on your Mac the bridge will not be engineered properly due to miscalculations

well then, you say, wouldn't it make SETI@home mess up then? according to the response i got from berkeley many months ago, no.

[This message has been edited by wlonh (edited 07-12-2000).]
Herr Newton Jul 12, 2000 01:25 AM
Originally posted by Cipher13:

Are those sizes about normal for my comp? Anyone that has a similar one what are you using? I know that extension sets and all make a big difference but I just mean generally.
Last thing - opinion, LibMotoSh on or off?
Last things first: LibMotoSh prolly won't do much on a G4. I remember seeing some benchmarks awhile back where it actually slowed a machine down substantially. Of course, your mileage may vary.

What are you running for control panels and inits? Email me a list at (tis my spammable address) and I'll look through it quick
elzinat Jul 12, 2000 02:50 PM
Cipher, I have a Sawtooth 350, with 192 MB, no VM. right now the Finder claims ~55 MB initially upon startup. As I don't have any Adobe products, I have never been able to run out of RAM (but then I\'ve never tried having multiple copies of IE open at the same time
blot Jul 13, 2000 02:44 AM
Well, don't complain guys, mine is about 90+ MB (VM - off) -- no kidding! However, my PB has been very stable and I've not run out of memory yet
Cipher13 Jul 14, 2000 12:04 AM
I think I'll get another 64 RAM once the prices come down (RAM prices in Australia are absolutely ridiculous).
90 megs?!? How much RAM do you have installed???

blot Jul 14, 2000 10:21 AM

Reason why RAM consumption is so large is probably due to maxing out disk cache at 8160K, setting ATM cache to 5Mb, setting Reaper to 200%, having a picture as the desktop and a different set of sounds in appearance manager and also installing different languages.
wlonh Jul 14, 2000 10:33 AM
Cipher13 Jul 15, 2000 09:54 AM
I always try and keep my system trimmed to a minimum.
Custom system sets, all processor consuming things off, nothing installed that isn't necessary...

Gregory Jul 15, 2000 04:15 PM
just for fun (I have 256 and disk cache default 8MB) I pruned extensions to what I actually do need, nothing extra, disk cache to 4800k didn't have any adverse affect at all) and turned on VM.

Before I was seeing 50MB with VM off and everything except Multi-User and File-Sharing enabled. Now, with VM on, only using 29MB and even that could be reduced a couple meg.

Fast, and very stable. And watch out for what installers try to put in extension folder - I found one extension was a performance killer - and it got past Conflict Catcher. I can't recall what it was though, sorry.

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