Memory Status- Can someone explain the difference?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by elgrecomac, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. elgrecomac macrumors 65816

    elgrecomac

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego
    #1
    I would appreciate a brief description of the status of memory on my MBP, specifically what are the folllowing:

    • FREE
    • WIRED
    • ACTIVE
    • INACTIVE
    • USED

    Thank you!
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
  3. elgrecomac thread starter macrumors 65816

    elgrecomac

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    What, did you want me to hold your hand for you? It's not that hard to find or understand.
     
  5. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #5
    Here is an explanation of some of the information displayed at the bottom of the memory pane:

    Wired: Wired memory is information that can’t be cached to disk, so it must stay in RAM. The amount depends on what applications you are using.

    Active: Active memory is currently in RAM and actively being used.

    Inactive: Inactive memory is no longer being used and has been cached to disk. It will remain in RAM until another application needs the space. Leaving this information in RAM is to your advantage if you (or a client of your computer) come back to it later.

    Used: Used memory is being used by a process and not immediately available.

    Free: Free memory is not being used and is immediately available.

    VM size: Virtual memory, or VM, is hard disk space that can be used as memory. VM size is the amount of disk space memory being used. Mac OS X can use more memory than the amount of physical RAM you have. A hard disk is much slower than RAM, so the virtual memory system must automatically distribute information between disk space and RAM for efficient performance.

    Page ins/outs: The number of times Mac OS X has moved information between RAM and disk space.
     
  6. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #6
    just curious. my page ins are at 111MB, is that normal or do i need more ram?
     
  7. westlakers macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    #7
    I have a one-year old MBP, I noticed that the inactive memory size keep growing and the free memory keep shrinking. by the time the free memory close to XX mb, my MBP is slowing down dramatically. and then I know it is time to reboot. So I reboot my MBP every 3~4 days, sounds not like an Apple product more a M$FT product.
     
  8. nutbolt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    #8
    Is my Mac using ALL the RAM installed??

    Hi

    I'm a complete noob and am pretty confused about RAM.

    I have a Dual 2.7 GHz PowerPc G5, 3GB DDR SDRAM. (upgraded from 1GB RAM)

    Adobe Illustrator had recently decided to give me a spinning disk icon (SBBOD) in place of my cursor, which lasted hours (like a prat I didn't save my work and was therefore very patient). I opened up Terminal (which I don't really know how to read) and typed 'top' to get info about the processes and noticed that almost 2GB of my RAM is free. Yet Illustrator was still having a hissy fit.

    this is the info in the terminal:

    (I deleted the stuff about all the other apps as I don't think they're relevant.)

    I'm thinking Illustrator had something 'unexpected' happen and stopped responding or it needed more ram and stopped responding, but the mac seems to limit its ram usage to around 1GB which I've noticed before. Maybe that's all my computer needs or is there something I need to do to start using this extra 2Gig (is it as simple as just plugging the RAM into the tower)? Can anyone give me an idea of whats going on, please?

    If you've read this far, thanks for putting up with my long winded explanation. And thanks in advance for any help
     

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