How do I only have 23Mb free RAM?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jive, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. jive macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2006
    I have 2Gb and it says it's only got 23mb free, I'm running Safari, Mail, iTunes and Azureus so wtf? Or am I reading it wrong?

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  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    You need to look at free + inactive actually have over 1 GB of "free" RAM. Inactive RAM is RAM that was previously used for an application but is now available to be allocated to other applications. It just keeps the old data until the space is needed in case you want to reopen an application.
  3. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Yeah, inactive RAM can be reallocated. It contains data that may be useful, however it has not been used in awhile. So there is no reason to turn it into free RAM as there is still RAM to spare, but if needed it will use the inactive RAM.

    EDIT: You system has been on for awhile so that is to be expected. Nothing to worry about.
  4. Echo toxin macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2006
    It seems OS X manages memory much more efficiently than Windows. I regularly see over 1Gb free on my Windows PC yet it still swaps everything out to the page file if you don't touch an app for a few minutes. Incredibly annoying! :mad:
  5. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Algorithms for deciding optimal use of swap and physical ram are notoriously tricky; there's a thread on kerneltrap right now about an "auto-tuning swappiness" implementation for linux that attempts to manage it based on the type of apps you're running. I agree the Windows implementation of it is fairly poor though :/

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