Memory Question

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mcmike100, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. mcmike100 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    I've been wondering lately if the amount of memory OS X uses on my Powerbook is normal. For example, right now I'm only running Camino with one tab and iTunes (not playing anything) and my memory usage (in Activity Monitor) is:

    Free: 68.03 MB
    Inactive: 538.77 MB
    VM Size: 5.15 GB

    I have 1 GB of RAM, by the way.

    I just restarted a little while ago and I had a lot of Free RAM, but then I opened a big program, the Free RAM went down, and even when I closed that program, the Free RAM didn't come back. So now even though I only have these two programs running, a big chunk of the RAM is in Inactive instead of Free.

    Also, is it normal for my virtual memory to be that big?

    Finally, why is it that under my hard drive icon on the desktop it says a certain amount of space is free, but then when I double click on it, at the bottom of the finder window it says a larget amount?

  2. Soulstorm macrumors 68000


    Feb 1, 2005
    That depends: The point is that the system needs more memory to operate if your hardware is not so fast. I have 1gByte in my G5 and right now, I have 500 mbytes free.

    The system has a tendency to take over the entire memory. If that memory is needed elsewhere (if you open another program that is), the memory is reallocated to match its new needs. That applies for Virtual Memory also.

    I have 6Gbytes of VM taken over by the system as I write these lines

    i have Safari, XChat Aqua, Adium open.

    But still, only 70mbytes free... it's a bit too much. Perhaps you could tell what processes take the most memory out of your system? You can easily check that in your activity monitor.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    No No for all intents and purposes,

    Inactive == Free

    Don't worry about it. OS X manages the memory, you don't have to

    The thing to look at is page outs. If you are accumulating pageouts at anywhere close to the rate of page ins -- say, 25% of page ins or more, then it is time to get more memory, 'coz you are hitting the hard drive swap files too often with the applications and data you have open.
  4. mcmike100 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Ok, thanks! Can anyone answer my hard drive icon question?


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