Just had OS X crash on me because of swap pressure. I have 2012 rMBP running the latest version of Mavericks (10.9.1), and it only has 8GB of RAM.

enter image description here

Since reboot, OS X now consumes 6GB, which leaves me almost no memory to do any work.

Is there anything I can do about it?

EDIT: Just had it crash again. I only ran Chrome with few tabs, and my super lightweight workspace. The trouble is, workspace lives in memory, so when system crashes, I lose everything. I guess I have to throw this shitOS away, and get a proper PC with GNU/Linux.

  • Which version - and we need more info - I have just run OSX in 2G
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 23:27
  • 10.9.1. imgur.com/oInenCC Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 23:29
  • Retina displays will burn a lot more memory than non-Retina displays. Also, the OS is using un-allocated memory for file cache. If a program allocates new memory, the OS will oblige and not use it for file caching.
    – Bert
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 23:58
  • 4
    That image shows no memory problems at all the graph is green and only a small height compared with what it could be
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 0:19
  • 1
    I am in agreement with Mark. Your OS is designed to use all the memory just as your picture shows. No pressure, zero memory swapped to disk, reasonable private memory allocations for MySQL and kernel services.
    – bmike
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 3:51

1 Answer 1


Memory being used doesn’t mean the memory can’t be used for anything else. Mavericks will put idle memory to work if it can.

For instance, 2.5G is being used for file cache — storing files in memory so it doesn’t have to hit the disk for them. As you consume more memory, that will go away.

Now, if it crashed on you due to swap pressure, you may not have enough memory for the work you’re doing with the machine (Or maybe not enough free disk.), but there’s no indication you have a problem right away.

I have 4GB on a non-retina MBP. It’s been up for four days, I run a fair amount of crap. It’s using 3.96GB of that memory, and hasn’t touched swap at all. (It’s also compressed about a gig of memory.)

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