Reblog: Mountain Lion How-to: Reduce the RAM usage

Brian Bojan Dordevic
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I talk about RAM on my Macbook running OS X Mountain Lion in this latest post; while writing my mind fly away with a MacBook Air.

I use to be the Windows desktop dude with the ego to have more RAM the better on the system attitude. It was easy when you have a desktop with plenty of empty RAM slots on the motherboard; need more RAM? All you need to do is go out and buy RAM then add it into the spare slots.

Laptop form factor simply lacks room for more RAM slots for upgrading. The Apple newer laptop; you have zero room adding RAM.

Keep your desktop clean

I have tried this on my MacBook and it is proven to reduce my RAM usage by 50%. The key is to keep your desktop clean at all times.


My Mountain Lion desktop with only finder, documents folder, downloads folder and trash in the Dock. Keep it simple keep it clean will reduce your memory usage as much as 2GB of RAM.


If you like iOS, Mountain Lion is so cool in this regard. Pinch with thumb and three fingers bring out your Launchpad.

Basically this is my desktop and how I access my apps on Mountain Lion on a daily basis.

Memory Clean by FIPLAB for Mountain Lion

I installed Memory Clean in Oct and it’s a handy little app that clears your inactive memory from your system. The app makes it easy for you to see how much RAM been “eaten” by your system and with a touch of a button, the app went to work its magic.

FIPLAB Memory Clean

Caution: Please don’t do anything intensive while you are cleaning your memory with Memory Clean.

I hope you find this post awesome, share and comment are welcome. Please do follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I tweet a lot on a daily basis, you might find me charming.

Couple of thoughts of my own: I’ve found that RAM is not a bottle neck of OS X. Usually it’s your Hard Drive. Ever since I moved from MacBook Pro, to MacBook Air and SSD world, my computer started flying. MBA is, as you know has a weaker CPU, but SSD gives you the impression that you are using a device from the future.

Once your Mac eats up all your memory, it starts using your Hard Drive as a virtual memory repository. Hard Drive is extremely slower than your RAM memory, and than the beach ball’s of death start hitting you badly. But in some cases this “swap memory” (from RAM to HDD) occurs too frequently, and there are a couple of things that get you there:

1. Flash – Flash is a killer, not only it works crappy on mobile devices, it also works awful on laptops too. I always use click-to-flash browser extension, so I get warned when I am about to ran flash on my computer. It can be such a memory hog. Especially if you’re streaming a video. All that video tends to get stored either in hard drive cache, or in your RAM itself.

And on top of it, it gets buggy. No matter that you’re not watching your video clip anymore, flash is still hogging your RAM with remnants of the video. You solve that issue by restarting your machine. But it happens pretty much instantaneously.

2. Your browser – Browsers lately have became bloated and slow, and the one that fits your Mac perfectly is the Safari itself. Not only it’s the fastest browser, it is also consuming the least amount of memory on your computer. Ever since Mountain Lion came out, Chrome is considered bloated piece of software. And on top of that, if you quit Chrome, you’re on the good path to quit Google altogether. The main RAM villian is actually Firefox. So keep that in mind. Every extension / plugin you add to your browser, your computer gets slower.

Sometimes refresh your local browsing cookies, delete everything and start over. Either way your browser tends to hog your machine on the medium time span. If you aren’t running flash, you should restart on approximately weekly basis, if you’re on bloat ware. Also keep in mind, that you don’t really need to have all those windows open. Every browser window is eating up RAM. This will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. When you’re done with the window, just close it.

3. Regular computer usage –  Over time, bugs, glitches and minor problems tend to hog up your memory. Refreshing your computer every week or so, might be a smart idea.

Also I monitor my memory usage in Dashboard via iStat Nano.


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