[OS X TeX] New iMac

Justin C. Walker justin at mac.com
Thu Dec 3 01:02:21 CET 2009

On Dec 2, 2009, at 11:14 , Herbert Schulz wrote:

> On Dec 2, 2009, at 12:20 PM, George Gratzer wrote:
> Wow... now how can I get one of those new iMacs? I pretty much live  
> with my pre-unibody 15" MacBook Pro so maybe I can swing going from  
> 2GB RAM to 4GB RAM. Wonder what kind of performance increase I can  
> expect from that change? I'm still amazed by my system after having  
> the last 15" PowerBook before going Intel.


You can get a feeling for the effect of the extra memory by using some  
of the performance monitoring tools available on the Mac.

If you are willing to use Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities), run  

This will fill your screen with lots of data, and the data you want is  
on line 6.  It looks something like this:

VM: 19G + 377M   12132722(0) pageins, 326697(0) pageouts

The first part tells you how much virtual memory (disk + ram) you have  
[19 GB]; the second gives the amount used for shared libraries [377  
MB].  The second two values are the current counts since restart and,  
in parens, the change since the last sample.

Top samples every 2 seconds by default.

'man top' will give you more info than you'll ever need.

To exit the program, just type 'q'

Armed with this tool, you can make a run with the TeX processor of  
choice, and observe the changes as you go.  Run it on a clean system  
(or one that's not been TeXing for a while), and then run it again  
right away.  If there's a lot of pageins, and the count increases  
don't change much between the two runs, it could be that doubling your  
memory will help.

HTH (I'm assuming you don't normally fiddle around with this stuff;  
sorry if it's old hat).


Justin C. Walker, Curmudgeon at Large
Institute for the Absorption of Federal Funds
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb
    voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting
    the vote.

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