How does OS X manage memory

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by paulsalter, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. paulsalter macrumors 68000


    Aug 10, 2008
    I have read a few things on this but unclear on how it works

    After I have been using a few apps, my free memory gets down to about 40MB and Inactive memory is about 500MB

    my understanding (which could be wrong) is that inactive memory is memory allocated to an app but the app isn't using it so it could be freed up for another app to use if required

    when I get to the above situation, why do I start seeing lots of page outs (using HD as not enough ram ?) and the inactive ram stays at 500MB

    I would have expected inactive ram to reduce, and when this gets low and free memory is low, then it starts paging out

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