why does the "Free Ram" constantly go down?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by WillMak, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. WillMak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #1
    when I go to activity monitor, the free ram is constantly going down. I had 1.01 Ram free, but now it says i only have 33 megabytes left (this is after leaving my ibook on for about 5 hours) and its still going down!!!

    Edit: Wow that's strange, now some of the "inactive RAm" (I have 987 MB of it as inactive!!!) is going down and the "Free" Ram number is going back up a little bit...It also seems like my virtual memory is conastnatly going up as well.
     
  2. chucknorris macrumors 6502a

    chucknorris

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    #2
    Sounds like a memory leak to me. Look at the open applications in activity monitor to see if one is using a whole lot of vm or cpu or ram. This is likely the problem. For me, Firefox does this after freezing.
     
  3. WillMak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #3
    I checked the activity monitor and everything seems normal. However, I came across this on google: http://www.applelinks.com/articles/2003/03/20030303131234.shtml

    Which says that mac OSX likes to take Free memory and turn it into "inactive memory" or something. I don't know what to believe.
     
  4. chucknorris macrumors 6502a

    chucknorris

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    #4
    Very interesting, and convincing. I would say that sounds right, but we both might want to wait until somebody more os x savvy responds...
     
  5. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #5
    Safari does this on mine - starts off at about 13MB and ends up at around 90MB after an hour or two.

    Don't know why and I can't figure out how to stop it.
     
  6. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #6
    To my understanding, OS X will start using inactive RAM if there's no RAM left. To try this, wait until you have only a few MB's of RAM and a ton of inactive RAM and start opening apps like CRAZY.
     
  7. WillMak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #7
    That's good to know. I have like almost a gig of inactive RAM. Do you guys notice your free RAm dropping nd inactive ram rising as well?
     
  8. cblackburn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    This is absolutely normal, and it shows that Mac OS X is doing it's job. Mac OS X gets its speed by using a very aggressive cacheing scheme so that any spare memory that is free is used to store copies of commonly accessed files in memory so when the system needs them it can access them very quickly.

    Chris
     
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    This correct. The concern about the disappearance of free RAM is a mistaken holdover of MacOS 9 and Windows/DOS thinking. Free RAM is wasted RAM.
     

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