How do I only have 23Mb free RAM?

jive

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 14, 2006
501
0
Scotland
I have 2Gb and it says it's only got 23mb free, I'm running Safari, Mail, iTunes and Azureus so wtf? Or am I reading it wrong?
 

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WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,230
1,124
You need to look at free + inactive RAM...you actually have over 1 GB of "free" RAM. Inactive RAM is RAM that was previously used for an application but is now available to be allocated to other applications. It just keeps the old data until the space is needed in case you want to reopen an application.
 

trainguy77

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2003
3,567
1
Yeah, inactive RAM can be reallocated. It contains data that may be useful, however it has not been used in awhile. So there is no reason to turn it into free RAM as there is still RAM to spare, but if needed it will use the inactive RAM.

EDIT: You system has been on for awhile so that is to be expected. Nothing to worry about.
 

Echo toxin

macrumors newbie
Aug 13, 2006
23
0
It seems OS X manages memory much more efficiently than Windows. I regularly see over 1Gb free on my Windows PC yet it still swaps everything out to the page file if you don't touch an app for a few minutes. Incredibly annoying! :mad:
 

Catfish_Man

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2001
2,579
1
Portland, OR
Echo toxin said:
It seems OS X manages memory much more efficiently than Windows. I regularly see over 1Gb free on my Windows PC yet it still swaps everything out to the page file if you don't touch an app for a few minutes. Incredibly annoying! :mad:
Algorithms for deciding optimal use of swap and physical ram are notoriously tricky; there's a thread on kerneltrap right now about an "auto-tuning swappiness" implementation for linux that attempts to manage it based on the type of apps you're running. I agree the Windows implementation of it is fairly poor though :/