Inactive ram?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Kalinatek, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. Kalinatek macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2005
    i just checked disk utility for the first time n i see that i have about 510-520mb of inactive ram is that okay? will like my mac use them when it needs to ? its only using 512mb and ignoring the other 512mb ram , it says that i have about 8-10mb of free ram , is this normal ?

    i am using a 2.0 iMac with 1GB Ram.

  2. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    Mac OS X puts a certain amount of RAM in reserve for future usage. So that is what you see there. That being said, if another app like Word, or iTunes needs some of that RAM, OS X will release the correct amount of reserved RAM to the app that needs it.

    Its nothing to worry about. Its just part of how Mac OS X manages RAM.

    Oh, and I believe you meant Activity Monitor, not Disk Utility as Disk Utility doesn't display anything relating to RAM. It only displays disk drive stuff.
  3. jim. macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2004
    C-ville, VA
    Hmm.. 8-10 megs of free RAM is pretty low if you are on regular usage. What were you running at the time? What do you Page ins/outs look like? On regular usage (like web browsing, email, etc.) I can see about 25-50% free RAM. When I'm doing web and other development stuff, then the amount is much lower. If you have so little free RAM and have a high amount of pages during regular usage, then you may need to get some more ram. Someone else (CanadaRAM?) may correct me, but that is how I interpret UNIX memory usage.


    Edit: Oh yeah, inactive is nothing to worry about. Maybe you looked at Activity monitor after heavy usage.
  4. Kalinatek thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2005
    yeah its the activity monitor sorry , i was just using safari , itunes , msn messenger and one more small software i forgot what it was..
  5. fartheststar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2003
    I am new to Tiger (from Jaguar) and i haven't really used the Activity monitor before.

    Can someone give me some tips on what I should see in "Free" and "Inactive Ram"? I run Final Cut, Office, iLife and Safari. Powermac G4 1.25 DP MDD, 1 Gig of Ram.

    I went "widget crazy" when I got Tiger installed on Sunday, and I now I 'question' what I see in Free memory. I had something like 150-200 megs in "inactive" memory and 300-350 megs in "free memory" when Final Cut wasn't running.

    Do I need to get another 512 MB stick to keep the system stable and run widgets? In the mean time, I've just disabled most widgets (running about 20mb each x 7 or 8 widgets.
  6. beige matchbox macrumors 6502a

    beige matchbox

    Mar 16, 2005
    Oxfordshire, UK
    Watch the pageouts

    If the number dramatically increases when you running final cut, your running out of ram alot, so need more ;)

    Otherwise i really wouldn't worry about inactive and free ram. Just the active :)

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