Almost no Free Momery, huge Inactive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Pborowka, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Pborowka macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2010
    Krakow, Poland
    Hi to all of you,

    I', very new in this forum, as well with MAC OS
    I know - you will call me ......... No problem

    But I have significant problem with my MBP with Snow Leo

    Please check this link

    You can find all processes going on in my system
    All are sorted by Virtual Mem

    The most important is on the end

    Free: 45mb
    InActive: 1.01 GB

    You will find Photoshop running - as a photographer I need a lot of memory, and CPU power

    If you have any clues, please let me know....
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
  3. Pborowka thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2010
    Krakow, Poland
    ok, I understood

    But - Why my mac with those running applications is very slow

    There was a time when I was working fluently (changes in real time) with over 200 RAW files in Camera RAW (Photoshop CS4), Brigde, Firefox and other running in background

    Now 3 RAWs in Camera RAW and any small changes comming after few seconds rainbow wheel

    Like I wrote - I don't know system well, I prefer to ask then kill my work

  4. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    You are a ........! ;)

    Both "Free" and "Inactive" memory is available for use by applications that need more memory. You aren't running out of memory.
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    It is possible the programs you are using to edit the RAW files need to be optimized. Perhaps they have cache files that need clearing, etc.

    Photoshop needs a large space on your hard drive for it's scratch file. It is best to put the Photoshop scratch file on a separate disk (if possible) that is used for nothing else.

    Lightroom needs to have it's catalogue file optimized occasionally.

    I guess what I am saying is that slow downs may be because of the specific programs and not OS X.

    memory that is "inactive" is almost the same as "free". If a program needs the memory, OS X will make it available to it. Memory that is "inactive" is memory that was recently used by a program. If that program is started up again, it will be given the same chunk of memory and will start up faster since it doesn't have to copy stuff from the hard drive first..... that data is already in memory.

    But if another program needs the memory, the OS X will just go ahead and use "inactive" memory.

    Hope this is clear.

    Condolences on Poland's recent tragedy.

    Update: Check out for some good tips on making Photoshop, etc run their best.
  6. JavierP macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2008
  7. Pborowka thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2010
    Krakow, Poland
    Thank you for your answer, I'll check MacPerformace

    Thank you as well for your condolences, it's very nice of you.
    It's strange to write - I was not my President (didn't like him, He did not get my vote, neither his Brother will have), but yes, it was tragedy, shocking to all of us...
  8. prss14 macrumors regular


    Jul 18, 2009
    You may also want to go into the disk utility and repair permissions. I do that every now and then. Things seem to move a little faster after that. Good luck.
  9. napzero macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2009
    quick manual remedy

    Cześć Paweł. I had this happen to me pretty often. I see you have a rather huge swap file, and a lot of inactive memory. I found out that by clearing this inactive memory periodically myself, I can keep the swap file from forming (assuming enough ram for everything) and keep my system snappy.

    The way to do this is to download Xcode from (registration is free), install CHUD (or the whole Xcode), open Terminal, and type 'purge'.

    This command will clear nearly all inactive memory, giving you a large chunk free. I even made myself a widget to do it instead of typing in terminal every time. Let me know if you would like a copy :D

    Also, I use Google Chrome for most of my browsing, so that I can kill Flash when I need to free some ram (find the process in Activity Monitor). I have seen it use well over a GB :eek:

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