I recently switched from a 2014 mid MacBook Pro Retina with 2.7 GHz and 8 GB of RAM to a 3.1 GHz and 16 GB of RAM. I noticed something very strange which is that 1) when I am dong very basic tasks such as downloading something for the new MacBook Pro, it occupies 6 GB of memory used and 2) the CPU usage seems to be high compared to my MacBook Pro with 2.7 GHz when doing the same thing (i.e.: downloading same sized files and size).

Why is this the case? Most curiously, I'm wondering why the memory used for the new MacBook Pro is at 6 GB when simply downloading something.

  • Okay got it, I also didn't want to flood two questions in 2 separate posts. But I'll make note of it – PutsandCalls Feb 6 '16 at 10:59
  • Yes, it is the same system. Just different specs – PutsandCalls Feb 6 '16 at 11:01

It is rather difficult to compare a fresh 'cold' new system with a 'warm' fully synchronized and updated one. New Macs have a lot of catching up to do; iCloud service syncing and system patches being two of them.

On the other hand OSX - and every other OS really - chooses a healthy part of the available RAM (real, physical memory) above swapping to disk (virtual memory) for obvious reasons. Having 8 more Gigs available probably decreased your swap file by a couple gigs. Granted, swapping to those post-2013 SSD's is reasonably fast, but no (or less) swapping is always faster (and better for your battery).

Chances are high your increased RAM usage is part of those 2 reasons.

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  • I was suspecting something related to swapping of memory but I didn't know it was better to have less in virtual. Thanks! – PutsandCalls Feb 6 '16 at 11:30

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