Over a gig of RAM "used" before even opening any programs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mattcube64, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. mattcube64 macrumors 65816

    mattcube64

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    Missouri
    #1
    Macbook 2GHz Core Duo
    2GB of Corsair RAM (1GBx2)

    Okay, maybe this is completely normal, I don't know. It just seems kinda weird.

    When I turn on my Macbook and log in, I can display my widgets, and before opening anything (other than those widgets, about 13 of them, some complicated, some just the Google search and dictionary), iStat Nano's RAM "tracker" displays that my RAM usage is slowly climbing. Eventually, my "used" RAM climbs just past a gig. However, only about 150MB is Active, about 200MB is Wired, and nearly *700(!)* Megs is inactive. Why does my Macbook use a gig of RAM, but keep 70% of it inactive?

    Is that normal? Is there some type of "cache" I need to clear, or what?

    Thanks.
     
  2. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    I only have a 1GB of RAM but this happens to me often too. I'll have 70mb of free memory, just Safari and iChat open, and about 500MB inactive.
     
  3. polevault139 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #3
    widgets take up alot of RAM for how small they are look at the activity monitor before you open up you widgets and then get a more accurate reading.
     
  4. NewbieNerd macrumors 6502a

    NewbieNerd

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4
    I'm pretty sure the inactive RAM is just RAM that has been used before and is left there as a kind of cache for if the same Apps or whatnot are reopened that were using that RAM before. If and when you no longer have free RAM, the OS will use that inactive RAM just the same.

    I may be wrong about all that, but I feel like that's the case. :)
     
  5. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #5
    INACTIVE RAM is free ram. it has been used and released.

    It's like HDD space for trash that has not been securely deleted – it's available to be written over but has, as yet, not been utilized for such.

    ADD the inactive to the free to get the true amount of FREE ram you have available.
     
  6. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #6
    i think you're right. i was playing around with cover flow in itunes, and 600 mb were allocated to the program. when i mimimized the window, itunes had shrunk to only 32 mb or so, but the inactive memory increased 500 mb.
     
  7. WillJS macrumors 65816

    WillJS

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    #7
    Try this AppleScript:

    tell application "Dock"
    quit
    launch
    end tell


    Widgets are subprocesses of the dock, this restarts the dock.. thus quitting the widgets.:)
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    Don't obsess over the way OSX manages RAM -- just leave it to do its thing.
     

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