Massive Memory Usage?!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by cleanup, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    I'm beginning to doubt my purchase of my iMac. I have 1.5 GB of RAM, which I personally installed, and the iMac recognizes it. Right now, I have Finder, Dashboard (NO WIDGETS), Safari, iTunes, and Activity Monitor running. Activity Monitor says I have only 60 MB of free RAM. There is over a GB of "inactive memory". What does this inactive memory do? If it's inactive, why isn't it "free"? Or maybe I'm asking the wrong questions? Is inactive memory memory that isn't being used, or is being used in some other fashion? Because if it's being used, I don't understand how Mac users get by on even 2 GB of RAM...

    Just as a note, when I restarted the Mac, I had over a gig of free RAM. That's more like it. It usually hovers around 500 or 600 MB free, which is still not much considering how much RAM I have.

    Could someone shed some light for me on this?

    [Edit] Checking my Activity Monitor... what's WindowServer? It's taking up the most memory (both physical and virtual) on my Mac. I disabled Windows File Sharing and the process is still there, unless it's something else?
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    "Inactive" memory should be counted as "free" memory. It's simply memory kept in reserve for an application that asked for it. If another applications needs it, it'll be given over to that active app.

    WindowServer is part of the the Aqua GUI.
  3. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    have you installed additional fonts? the fonts library can store excess caches (huge actually) that sometimes need to be dumped. (it would appear inactive as well)
    I'd suggest running Onyx (on its default settings) and see if that helps.
    I've had a few similar events and Onyx did improve things dramatically.
  4. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Welcome to UNIX and the world of unused memory is useless memory. See yellows explanation. You will find this with any UNIX like OS.

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