Free RAM ~16-17mb What wrong?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PhillOS, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. PhillOS macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #1
    Open Programs:
    Adium, Safari, VLC, Finder, (naturally)

    RAM usage as i write: (according to istatpro)
    Wired:243mb
    Active: 509mb
    Inactive 269mb
    Free 17mb (???)

    Specs: 2.0ghz dual core MB with 1gig RAM.

    Aren't those values awfully low for just two open apps? Secondly, can anyone explain what the difference between inactive and free is?, and lets assume that free and inactive are the same, the number still seems really low for just those 3 apps..
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    Here are the definitions of the 4 types of memory, as I understand them:
    Wired: Allocated, and in use
    Active: Allocated, not currently in use but reserved for applications that may need it
    Inactive: Allocated, not currently in use, reserved for operating system caches and other such things that might be used later
    Free: Not allocated

    Having little free RAM is normal under Mac OS X, even with just 3 applications open. However, if you are experiencing slowdowns due to frequent paging in and out, you need more RAM. The way to check this is to open Activity Monitor and look at the Memory tab. If you're paging out more than 1/4 of what you're paging in, you are frequently exhausting your RAM supply, forcing the system to use virtual memory.
     
  3. PhillOS thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #3
    thanks for your answer, my current page in/out is ~50k/~14k, so everything should be fine!
     
  4. Macula macrumors 6502

    Macula

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Location:
    All over the place
    #4
    That's a thoughtful response. At the same time, though, I would suspect a Safari memory leak, especially if it has been running for quite some time.
     
  5. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #5
    Yes, you make a good point... Safari may not be releasing memory when it really should. It's been known to do that ever since Apple created it.
     

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