RAM leaks in OS X

Discussion in 'macOS' started by akadmon, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. akadmon macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    What apps are notorious for not releasing RAM after they've been shut down? Tonight, after running the latest official release of Parallels, I noticed that more than 1 GB of RAM was still showing up as in use. I then quit all the other apps I had open at the time, but that freed up <100 MB. I thought that logging out will free up the rest, but to my surprise after logging back in the amount of RAM in use was the same as before I logged out (btw, no other users were logged in). Only after restarting the Mac did the RAM get released. Why did logging out not give me a clean slate? :confused:
     
  2. Blubbert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #2
    After you quit any application in OSX, the ram is released, but it is labeled as inactive, rather than free. The inactive RAM can easilly be assigned to any app that needs it, and its only purpose is to serve as a way of speeding up things, like opening an application you closed earlier.
     
  3. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    Thanks. Is there any way to distinguish between free and inactive RAM?

    I still don't understand why logging out does not wipe the memory clean. If what you say is true, then programs I used in the previous session should load faster than when they do after a reboot. Not sure if I can test this reliably, since everything is wicked fast on my Mac Pro :)
     
  4. Blubbert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #4
    You can check how much inactive, free, and used RAM you have by going to the Activity monitor, and then selecting System Memory, it'll show you a complete breakdown.
     
  5. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Ok -- I'm using Menu Meters which displays the Used and Free memory in the menu bar. I just checked the Activity Monitor and it turns out the what Menu Meters calls Free memory is actually a sum of what in Activity Monitor appears as Free and Inactive memory, i.e., the Inactive memory is not part of the Used memory as you suggested in your original reply. So my question stands: why does logging out not free RAM?
     
  6. Blubbert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #6
    As i said earlier, the RAM is released, but it is filed under inactive. That RAM can be considered for all intents and purposes to be free.
     

Share This Page