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os x processes disk activity: virtual memory ?

by MacRuud / November 15, 2009 6:34 AM PST

It may well be that the continuous disk activity I experience with my Mac Pro dual 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (yes we came a long way since the Macintosh SE...) is nothing to worry about. But I do not understand why so much activity is going on even when only the Finder, Safari and Activity Monitor is running. In the Activity Monitor window I notice a process named "VCStatus" that is very active (apparently continuously starting, stopping, receiving a new PID every time) and that the process called "notifyd" has accumulated a virtual memory size of 2,37 GB. Activity Monitor shows that the rate data is read and written have an average of about 2 MB/sec (data written far dominates).

Because I really like a quieter Mac my question is for the Mac OS X experts among you:
- is this disk activity usual ?
- what is the function of these processes (VCStatus,notifyd) ?
- where can I read and learn about hidden OS X processes like this ?
- can I tell OSX to use RAM in stead of Virtual Memory ?

I cannot include screen clippings in this post, but they are available for those interested.


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Check out MacFixIt
by tkessler / November 16, 2009 12:25 AM PST
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Using virtual or real memory
by MacRuud / November 16, 2009 2:24 AM PST
In reply to: Check out MacFixIt

Thanks for this link.
Very interesting stuff.

It is a pity that Mac OS X apparently does not allow you to choose between the use of real or virtual memory by applications, as in this Mac Pro I have invested big time in installing extra RAM.
This RAM now is not used to the max most of the time. Also it would make my Mac operate more quietly and perhaps, even faster.

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possibly lead to instability?
by tkessler / November 16, 2009 10:52 AM PST

I guess the idea is that OS X will do the best job at managing memory usage if left to its devices. User input and influence on that will only add an avenue for destabilization.

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