Wish Obsidian was less memory intensive

I’m blessed to have a new 14" M1 Max MBP with 32GB RAM so I am not complaining nor would I have an excuse to do so. In that spirit, this is merely an observation, a wish. I wish Obsidian used less memory when running. :grinning: I suppose this is the “price” of using an Electron app. Obsidian is ugly and resource intensive but I find its benefits far out weigh the negative impact on system resources.

You have 32GB memory in the machine, and Obsidian is using less than 3% of that. Why is that a problem? Is everything on the machine slowing down when you’re running Obsidian?


No, everything is fine, which is why I said I was blessed and was not complaining and had no basis for doing so. :grinning: I just wish Electron apps were more efficient. :grinning:

Have you tried switching to Craft? :stuck_out_tongue:


I use both (and Apple Notes). :grinning:

I use Craft for all work notes. I use Obsidian for research and writing. I use Apple Notes for personal notes. I tried an experiment in using Apple Notes for both work and personal notes (see my previous posts) but after weeks of giving it the “college try” I found Apple Notes just makes it too clunky to copy a link to share in another note. AN is workable but inefficient. That’s too bad because I like the deep system integration of Apple Notes. Craft excels at linking.

I’d actually consider switching my writing and research to Craft if it could handle footnotes, unfortunately it can’t.


Don’t worry, it’ll use more memory when you have a lot of it free, since it won’t evict it. That’s on purpose and actually makes the app faster.


Thanks, that is good to know!

I suppose it depends on how one defines efficiency.
In this case, Obsidian is using slightly more memory than the App Store app, but allows the developers to target three platforms (Linux, macOS, Windows) using a single code base so they can focus on implementing features, rather than jumping through the hoops of making three different native apps. That’s pretty efficient to me.

Granted but I was thinking only in terms of the end user and the computer resources consumed in running the app. :grinning: Again, I have plenty of resources so I have nothing to complain about and I’m just making a wishful observation. One can always wish for apps to use less rather than more resources. :grinning:

Efficient for who exactly? Not the customer

1 Like

Certainly for the customer too.


Playing around a bit with Obsidian and RAM, and, for me, the formula is roughly:

  • Obsidian Helper (GPU): 150MB + ~100MB-200MB per active (simple) graph view and 25-50MB per overlaid modal (e.g. grouping selector)
  • Obsidian Helper (Renderer): 70-100MB per open vault
  • Obsidian: ~60MB
  • Obsidian Helper: ~15MB
  • Obsidian active services: ~40-50MB

So you could hit 1GB with several open vaults in text/document view, or maybe 2-3 larger vaults in graph view, or somewhere in between.

The three Affinity Photo apps I recently purchased seem to use around 750MB each just to get going. On my 16GB MacBook Air. And I’m okay with that. If the task demands it, I’m willing to spend the resources.


After you having your new 14" M1 Max MBP, I am curious about your real-world usage thoughts. Two issues in particular: (1) why you chose M1 Max over M1 Pro, and (2) MBP form factor vs M1 MBA. Wondering if the higher sharp front edges of the MBP bother you.

I need more RAM than my current M1 MBA can give me, and am debating on whether to pony up for the M1 Pro/Max MBP or wait until next year to see if the new MBA’s have more RAM.

Probably like you, I have no need for the enhanced GPU capabilities, but would probably appreciate the brighter screen. And it doesn’t seem like I would be sacrificing much battery life.

TIA for your help.

Out of 32 gb memory, how much is unused (free) memory available when running Obsidian?

One can do A PhD thesis on these PKMs for real for academics.