Inactive RAM vs Free RAM?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by B.A.T, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. B.A.T macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    I am new to Final Cut Pro and it has crashed on me. When I run Activity Monitor it shows that I have 5.5 GBs of inactive ram. Does this mean that it is not available for Final Cut Pro?

    I'm not very well versed in how computers operate so excuse me if I am naive about this. It would seem to me (I am making an assumption) that 12GBs would be enough ram. The other programs that were open when this happened were Google Chrome, iTunes (current version), mail, safari, and Pages.

    I have a nearly maxed out 2010 i7 with 12GBs of RAM. Any advice would be great. Thanks.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Inactive ram is not used ram but it once was. That is it still holds some information just in case the application that was using it was restarted. If however the system needs it for other purposes its going to do so. In that sense free and inactive are similar in that you're not short in resources.

    The old adage for OSX really fits - free ram is wasted ram.

    Your page outs are low and thus you're not really running short of resources.
  3. Arman macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2008
    I recall someone saying the ratio of Page outs to Page in should be roughly less than 1:10 as indication of whether you would benefit from adding more ram.

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