how to make ram..[Activity Monitor]

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by iEric, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. iEric macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    How do I make ram from INACTIVE to FREE?
    Whats the difference between the two?

  2. Nny macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2004
    Stop paying attention to Activity Monitor. If you keep playing with it you'll go blind.
  3. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003

    An application or the OS is taking up that space. The App or OS isn't using it at the moment, but it could. Example, a Safari window, you have a webpage up, but you minimized it so the area is taking up my safari and the information of that website, but you are not activly using that Safari window at the moment. So its INACTIVE.

    Free means no App or OS in the area and it is free to be allocated for anything that could need it. As in NOT IN USE.

    Good idea to free that up, no, so don't go blind, and find something else to do with your time.
  4. whocares macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Free RAM is, well, free RAM, ie un-used RAM.
    Inactive RAM is RAM that was used by an application that has now been quit. If you reload that application, it will already have lots of stuff preloaded in RAM and should startup faster.

    I wouldn't worry about the Free/Inactive RAM, as OS X will deal with it by itself, presumably in the best possible manner. You should be more proccupied with virtual memory and the number of 'pageouts' (from the VM on the hard drive) you get...
  5. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Varmit is wrong, whocares is correct: free RAM isn't being used by anything at all, but "inactive" RAM is exactly that--RAM that was previously used by an application, but is now just sitting there.

    If the application ends up wanting to use that same information again (you re-launch iTunes, say), then it's already in memory and it goes faster, since no loading from the hard drive needs to occurr. If something else needs that space (you launch Word instead), the stuff there gets instantly thrown out and replaced by Word's data.

    Therefore inactive RAM is actually better than free RAM--at least the inactive stuff might have some use, whereas the free stuff is just sitting there doing nothing.

    As Nny said, you'll go blind staring at Activity Monitor trying to make something out of nothing. Pageouts are the only issue that really count.

    ...Y'know, somebody really aught to pin this topic up at the top of this forum permanantly--it seems to get asked about twice a week.

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