Any way to flush RAM besides restart?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by slooksterPSV, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Nowheresville
    #1
    Is there any way to flush the inactive RAM on OS X - besides a restart and log out? The reason I ask is cause with Activity monitor and top it shows I have 11MB free and 543MB inactive (I have 1GB of RAM). Is there an app that can flush this inactive RAM? I know why its there and how RAM works on OS X but I'm still curious.
     
  2. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #2
    I saw a post a week or so ago, here or somewhere else, that defined what wired, active, inactive, and free ram means.

    My understanding is inactive is basically free ram that can be used by any app.

    I did a search and came across this explaination:

    "Inactive" RAM contains data that can be thrown away at any time. For example, it could contain cached data from your harddisk. If an application reads a file from the harddisk, that file will be cached in "Inactive" RAM in case you read it again later. Or if you quit an application, the memory that held the code will be "Inactive". If you start the same application again, it need not be read from the harddisk, the OS just turns the Inactive memory into active memory."

    Basically I dont think there is any big need to flush the inactive ram.


    edit - google search turned up

    From Apple's Support Pages:

    Inactive memory
    This information is no longer being used and has been cached to disk, but it will remain in RAM until another application needs the space. Leaving this information in RAM is to your advantage if you (or a client of your computer) come back to it later.

    Free memory
    This memory is not being used.

    What does all this mean?
    This means you shouldn't worry when the Free memory is low. The only time Free memory should be high is right after the computer starts up. As you use applications or services, memory is used and transitions to Inactive. Applications that need more memory will take from the Inactive, but the Inactive is there just in case you need it again. If the combination of Free and Inactive is very low, then you might need more memory.
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #3
    Yeah, it's actually advantageous to have inactive RAM as opposed to free RAM. If it's needed for the same app multiple times, it's quicker to keep it inactive than archiving it as free RAM which would most likely be used by a different app/process first.

    RAM management in OSX is excellent but complicated. If you're noticing lots of beachballs and that your page outs are growing disturbingly quickly, then you need more RAM or you need to rethink your usage. Otherwise, just let it be. :)
     
  4. slooksterPSV thread starter macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Nowheresville
    #4
    Well you guys are right, and I knew that's what InActive RAM did. I guess I just like having free RAM - (still in PC train of thought sadly), but the InActive RAM is a good thing. Sorry for the post.
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia

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