Memory Usage in OS X


Okay, first post here and I'm excited to be part of the group!!! I have a new iMac G5 (got it two weeks ago) and I'm a convert from Windows XP. I have always appreciated Macs, just never took the plunge until now and I am NEVER GOING BACK!! Anyways, I was wondering, in OS 9 when you pull up the "Apple/About This Mac" window, it gives an idea of what program is running and how much RAM it takes. How can I find out how much RAM each of my programs is taking up?

Thanks so much, hopefully I can learn to contribute as much as each of you :)
The nearest equivalent in OS X would be Activity Monitor, located in /Applications/Utilities/. It can be a little confusing, but the info you want is in the "Real Memory" column of ths list.

Don't be disturbed when you find dozens of mysterious processes in that list, like "mds" or "launchd". It's normal.

Edit: Maybe I should also mention that this isn't really relevant the same way it was in OS 9, since OS X uses a dynamic virtual memory system. It's still interesting to know sometimes, but in my experience it is of very little practical use.
Well, if not mistaken that's like the "Task Manager" for Windows, it shows all the processes and applications running, well processes is a little more intricate. Yeah I finally found the "Virtual Memory" tab under OS X. I'm using 7GB for Virtual Memory, if what I saw was correct. Widgets take a heck of a lot or RAM and Virtual Memory. So would going from 512MB to 2GB really make a super huge difference (as much of a difference as on a Windows computer)? I mean I run 4 or 5 programs easily and it starts to slow down when I run about 11 or 12 windows in OS X. So would 2GB of ram make a difference?

And if so, does the iMac G5 need dual channel configured memory?

Again, thanks for the help with that topic!!
Yes, it's like Task Manager but only better.

As for memory, yes going from 512MB to 2GB will make a huge difference. Mac OS X makes much better use of its RAM than Windows, so you should see a giant leap in performance, especially with your 2GHz processor.
Thanks for the information, I'm thinking of purchasing a Gig this week to bump it up to 1.5GB and later down the road in about 9 months going to buy another gig to push it to 2. Thanks for all the help guys. Again, do single-core processors need dual-channel configured memory? (2x1GB or just buy 1GB and pair it with the 512mb) Can it handle and use dual-channel configured memory?

I've seen that buying 2x1GB is better than a 2GB stick, plus it's better than buying two seperate 1 GB sticks. Just wondering on this little bit of information. Thanks
As far as I know, you won't see any performance difference reg. the dual-channel mem. Just add the 1 GB stick to your config - should be fine with the iMac G5.
if you have too much ram... nothing will happen. you won't see it get faster and faster the more ram you add. once you have got enough for the most you will ever use, the rest lies dormant. i would think you would be fine with 1.5gb, it's 50% more than i have, and i'm fine. unless you are editing huge images (and i mean in the region of 15,000x10,000 and above) you won't really use 2gb of ram.
Well that's a very obvious point, but the idea is that you can never have too much RAM, it will always be used, especially since I have Final Cut Pro HD and am getting Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc, plus to be able to watch .avi's on top of that while listening to iTunes. Anyways, thanks for the help and I appreciate giving me information based on your Dual 1.8 G5, thanks!