Inactive system memory - why is the pie chart blue?!!!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mrfop, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. mrfop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    #1
    Hello all.

    When I come to download lots of music and check out the latest tunes (via Safari), whilst also doing some general surfing, I tend to get large amounts of inactive system memory leaving me very little free memory for me to do other stuff. Please see the attachment for a screenshot of Activity Monitor.

    I'm unsure if this is a problem, is it? If it is, what can be done about it?

    Thanks :)

    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    thats just ram that has stuff in it but it's not flagged as keep, so it's like a cache thats not vital, it's a good idea to keep it though the ram can be used for other stuff, consider blue and green as free.
     
  3. mrfop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    #4
    Hi, how come I get pages out then (see attachment)?

    Thanks

    Dave
     

    Attached Files:

  4. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    American living in Canada
    #5
    Thank you for that question! I always get many pageouts with my Macbook Pro. I NEVER had a single pageout ever on my powerbook and both computer had one gig of ram. I'm not sure where my memory is used up because When I have it show all processes and I add up the RAM usage for each, it never adds up to even close to a gig, and yet I get pageouts.
     
  5. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    not to sound ignorant, but what are pageouts?
     
  6. zakatov macrumors 6502a

    zakatov

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    South Florida
    #7
    OK, three things:

    -your activity monitor is only showing "my processes". Switch to "All Processes" to see all processes and maybe you'll see what's eating up the RAM.
    -Restat Safari, it has a memory leak.
    -LimeWire's also a memory hog.

    Now, someone asked about pageouts:

    Page-ins is when stuff from RAM is loaded onto the hard drive (virtual memory)
    Page-outs is when it's recalled from virtual memory.

    The way you use this info is by seeing how many page-outs there are and if there are too many (relative to page-ins), then your virtual memory is being used a lot and you will benefit from adding more physical RAM.
     
  7. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    what sort of page-in/page-out ratio is desirable?
     
  8. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #9
    0 page outs.
     
  9. zakatov macrumors 6502a

    zakatov

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    South Florida
    #10
    right here: [​IMG]
     
  10. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #11
    I would not worry about it unless an app is taking up huge amounts ie 1 GB. X is great with RAM management.
     
  11. mrfop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    #12
    Well, if that is the case, I'm not happy. :mad: Could you elaborate as to why you think this. And also, if it is indeed a problem, what can be done to prevent it - quit a few programs? I would rather not quit programs.

    What strikes me is the cumulative nature of this problem. It is cumulative because without quitting programs, it gradually gets worse - when I push the applications I am using, the free memory gets used up ... and then it does not return to free memory once I step off the gas within the open apps.

    Of course if the blue 'inactive memory' was indeed free, as Hector has suggested, then this would not be a problem. However, it would seem that once the free (green) memory is used up (leaving a fair amount of blue 'inactive' memory), the pages seem to go/come (?!) out.

    Sorry for the complicated explanation, but dis is vats happenin peeppoll! :eek: :D

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  12. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #13
    Well the way apps will work is they will use the RAM. OS X just leaves that info in the RAM even if the app does not need it. As it may need it in the future. Since the RAM would otherwise go unused why not leave the stuff in the RAM? Then if a different app needs the RAM it will use that inactive RAM if there is no used RAM. But as time goes on if you run out of RAM(free) then X will put inactive data to disk as(virtual RAM) its really nothing to worry about unless some app is using some crazy amount if thats the case then you need to look into why its using so much. So just post a screen shot showing all the process not just your user ones ordered by RAM usage.
     
  13. mrfop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    #14
    Hi All,

    OK here's two screenshots, one before and one after I opened Limewire. The Pages Out increases slightly. Now this would not happen if there was free memory - or it hasn't thus far.

    Anyway, could someone point me in the direction of some more detailed info on whether or not this Pages Out thing is a problem? I understand everything everyone has said so far, but I'd just like to read up on it a bit myself.

    Also, what is this Memory leak in Safari that Zakatov mentioned? How do I restat it?

    Cheers.

    D
     

    Attached Files:

  14. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    There's no way you can compare those 2 pictures and assume that ONLY Limewire is what might have changed your RAM picture.

    There are plenty of other things that have changed and could cause the page outs. As it is, your page outs are massively low, and this really shouldn't be an issue.

    Don't forget, "inactive memory" should be counted as "free memory" for all intents and purposes. I'm more curious what app/apps might be trying to set aside that much RAM for later if it needs it.
     
  15. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #16
    Even with lots of RAM, you can get occasional page outs like you see, particularly when opening RAM-hogging apps like Limewire.

    Here is some discussion of memory management from Apple. It's not exactly what you're looking for, but there might be some useful information there.
     
  16. Cross macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #17
    lol 512MB just does not cut it with Tiger, I had over 10000 page outs o_O

    But then finding SD Ram is even funner...
     
  17. thegreatluke macrumors 6502a

    thegreatluke

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Earth
    #18
    :eek:

    Is uh... 126,960 pageouts something to worry about?

    I have 512 MB of RAM and I HAVE opened these apps today:
    - Firefox
    - iTunes
    - Adium
    - Rita
    - Seashore
    - Civilization IV
    - Cashbox (very lightweight money management app - nothing heavy)

    I figure Civ IV used a lot and Seashore some.
     
  18. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #19
    It's nothing to worry about unless you find your Mac getting sluggish a lot. If you do find it sluggish at times, the situation will get much better if you get more RAM.

    If you're happy with the performance, don't bother.
     
  19. todd2000 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Danville, VA
    #20
    Only 126,960 huh? I've got you all beat

    I need more Ram, and im also curious about this memory leak in Safari, since I leave it open 24/7 and I like to minimize a lot of windows for lookig at later rather then bookmarking them.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. cardude280 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    West Virginia
    #21
    hey what about 383693 page outs and is it odd that firefox is using 2.51gb of virtual memory


    ps; im using firefox 2.0b1
     
  21. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    Well.. you're using a beta that may or may nor be optimized. So I wouldn't put any stock into how much RAM it's sucking up.
     
  22. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #23
    Virtual memory usage is not a useful measurement of anything. It doesn't mean what it used to mean on OS9.
     
  23. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #24
    I have 25000 and somehting page outs. So far I've watched on HD trailer, browsed the web, and listened to some podcasts? Should I upgrade my RAM?
     
  24. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #25
    The rate of pageouts is more important than the number, and the way the system feels is more important than both. Here's what you can do:

    1) Open something that lets you view pageouts, and put it somewhere you can see.
    2) Go about your normal business
    3) If you notice lag, glance at the pageouts count and see if it's going up.

    If you're getting pageout-induced lag, then you can get rid of it by getting more ram. If not... don't worry about it.
     

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