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My system is Ubuntu 13.04 64 bit + Unity and it uses ~600mb with no other processes-apps open and with preload 900mb, just the core system. Is this the expected amount? It seems a bit steep to me but perhaps this is normal behavior.

ps: my pc has 16gb ram

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Have a look at linuxatemyram.com and realize that its probably only a misconception about how memory is counted as free/occupied. –  guntbert May 9 '13 at 21:14
    
your pc has 16GB RAM and you are worried that the system uses 900 MB of it? RAM that's not used is just wasted, and if you have 16GB then you've wasted 15.1 GB of memory since it's not used. start using your pc instead of worrying about the ridiculous high memory usage. –  Alvar Dec 18 '13 at 12:40
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The operating system makes buffers of as much memory as it can find. To find out how much actual memory is used try this script https://github.com/vaslabs/pi-web-agent/blob/master/usr/libexec/pi-web-agent/scripts/memory_information, it removes cache+bufferes from usage calculations

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