System Memory

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kjs862, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. kjs862 macrumors 65816

    kjs862

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    #1
    When I go to activity monitor and select system memory a lot of my memory is inactive (blue color) and my computer seems to be running slow. Out of my 3gb of ram I have 1.82 inactive, and 32.84 free.

    Is there anyway I can make that inactive memory free memory?

    Ken
     
  2. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #2
    Technically that Inactive Memory IS free.

    OS X keeps some stuff in memory from programs that recently closed (on the assumption that you'll try to run the app again or that it might need that memory again), but if something comes along that needs it, it can readily take memory from the Inactive pool.

    There was a great explanation of OS X memory management that I read recently, and I'll see if I can't find it...

    Edit: Found it.
     
  3. gavd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #3
    As I understand it the OS will reclaim inactive memory when it needs to. Think it does this by putting inactive memory pages into the swap file (where they can be retrieved into physical memory later).
     
  4. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #5
    If your machine is "running slow" - can you give us a shot of your Activity Monitor?

    You should be more interested in the number of Page In/Page Outs than the free RAM.

    You might also check to make sure your HDDs aren't about to die - before the last HDD in my PowerBook died, the system started to act slow first, then started to behave somewhat erratically. It was a relatively slow process, but it ended with a dead hard drive. :(
     
  5. kjs862 thread starter macrumors 65816

    kjs862

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
  6. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #7
    It's hard to tell how long it's been since you restarted your comp, but your number of page-outs is extremely reasonable (especially given your number of page-ins).

    The only thing I'd recommend is maybe using something like StopDashboard to keep Dashboard's memory usage in check. You'll have to wait for Dashboard to "start" each time you want to run it, but if you don't run it that often, it's not really a big deal.
     
  7. WillJS macrumors 65816

    WillJS

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    #8
    Run this AppleScript. Widgets are subprocesses of the dock. This AS will rstart the dock, thus, quitting the widgets untill you open Dashboard again. Then when you do, they will just take a second longer to load.
     
  8. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #9
    That's one way to do it. Another way is through the Terminal: just type "killall Dock" and it'll restart.

    The Terminal command is what the StopDashboard widget does; works great for me.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #10
    Don't obsess about how OSX handles memory.
    Let the OS do it.
     

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