Free memory vs. Inactive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by G5Unit, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    I'm calling the cops
    #1
    My PowerMac G5 hasn;t been running as fast as it used to. When I go under activity monitor I see that I have a lot of inactive memory? What does that mean? Sometimes I only have about 20 mb of free memory though.

    Here is a picture when safari, adium, itunes and mail is running:
     

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  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #2
    For all intents and purposes, inactive memory is free. It is memory that was used by a program that has since been released. It retains the old data in case you come back to use that same app again. If the RAM is needed for something else, the OS will use it.
     
  3. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816

    fivetoadsloth

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    #3
    Yes, as wildcowboy said inactive memory is "free", I would recommend upping your RAM to 2 gig, thatll make quite a difference. :)
     
  4. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #4
    I would definitely recommend getting more RAM. You have a ton of page-outs which indicates you've ran out RAM. Once that happens, you'll see a serious performance decrease. I would put at least another gigabyte (2x512).
     
  5. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    I'm calling the cops
    #5
    What are page in and page outs?
     
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #6
    Page ins are when data is sent from your hard disk to RAM. Page outs are when data goes in the other direction...this is undesirable because it's much slower than if the RAM was able to handle all of the information on its own. If page outs are significant compared to your page ins and your system feels sluggish, it's a good bet that more RAM will help you tremendously.
     
  7. eyedoc_00 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    #7
    I have had my iMac G5 for about 2 years, why would I now start to get more page outs vs. page ins. For instance, my page outs are 431969 and my page ins are 414970. I have 1 gb of memory. The programs I run constantly are mail, dashboard and safari. All the rest of the programs are open only when in use. I seem to be getting the spinning beach ball a lot in safari.
    Thaks for the help.
     

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