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Full Version: Physical Memory Vs System Buffers
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What is more important in considering RAM usage, physical memory utilization or system buffer usage?

For example, I have a machine which, according to the free command (below), has over 90% physical memory usage, but only about 40% system buffer usage. Should I be concerned that the physical memory usage is so high, or am I okay since the system buffer usage is only 40%?

                 total       used        free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           4956       4507         449          0        512       2076
-/+ buffers/cache:       1918       3038
Swap:          2047            0       2047

Also, top command shows physical memory usage, while the gnome system monitor shows system buffer usage, so I can't figure out which number I should use.

Buffers are just used to store files that have been erquested from disk. It cinreases performace since it's quicker to read from RAM than a HD. Buffers can be useful, but if an actual process needs the memory, they'll be sacrificied. So, unless all your memory is taken up by actual processes you are probably OK. But if things atrt getting slow (especially when reading from disk) then adding more RAM might help (since you'll have more buffer space available to cache files in).

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