Activity Monitor -> System Memory questions...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ShovelHead84, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. ShovelHead84 macrumors member

    May 25, 2006
    12" pb 1.5 1.25 G 10.4.8

    1. can anyone explain the 'Inactive' System Memory as shown in the Activity Monitor? right now: Inactive: 327 Mb... Free: 498 Mb... do i even care? should i Resart periodically? can i 'change' the Inactive w/out a Restart? (i Sleep all the time/Restart when Free hits about 100 Mb...

    2. right now: Safari 350 Mb... on a fresh Restart Safari is approx. 50 Mb (if i remember correctly) and grows as it is open longer... are there Settings in Safari that i should tweak to correct this memory leak (if that IS a memory leak (that is the first time i have ever used the term 'memory leak' in a sentence))...

    (i am new to Tiger, before this 12" pb mine was a 1400c 166 MacOS 8.1... )

    thanks in advance...
  2. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    Unlike pre-Mac OS X operating systems, it has its own memory management system that runs as part of the OS. Any OS X app will use as much RAM as is available when needed. Same is also true for the OS. When the RAM is no longer needed it will release it back as free RAM.

    I believe inactive RAM is RAM that is allocated for a specific App or the OS, but currently isn't in use. If its needed by something else it should release itself and be used by what it calling for more RAM. This all part of the new OS X memory management system that wasn't part of OS 9.2.2 or below.

    I wouldn't worry about what app uses what kind of RAM unless you al of a sudden notice some performance issues. Some apps have memory leaks, meaning they don't release the RAM back as free RAM when the application is no longer running.

    So this is why Safari sometimes says 150MB and other times it says 50MB. Its just using what was needed to perform a task inside it.

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