By desktop, I mean creating extra desktops that you can flip to for extra screen real estate, not separate monitors. They used to call it spaces.

I like to have a couple ready in case I need them, but most of the time I don't. Wondering what the penalty is for having empty ones running.

1 Answer 1


Quick unscientific testing says: not enough to be significant.

I increased the number of desktops from 1 to 16 (which is apparently the maximum), and kept an eye on the memory usage of WindowServer – it went up a few MB. CPU seemed unaffected too. Definitely neglegible on any modern hardware, and far outweighed by the resource usage of programs like Firefox, which is in the hundreds of MBs.

If you enjoy the extra space, by all means go for it.

  • I think the catch is that you eventually have more programs open. But as long as your memory page-in page-out is low, you will be fine. Aug 1, 2014 at 14:42

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