Question about Ram and the Top command

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by totally_fly, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. totally_fly macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2002
    Hi, well I just recently got some ram, and i've noticed an improvement, but i'm looking at the usage of my ram in a Terminal, and it's really freaking me out!

    heres a snippet from what I found when i excecuted the Top command

    PhysMem: 112M wired, 400M active, 546M inactive, 1.03G used, 222M free

    Can someone explain what each of those things mean? I would greatly appreciate it.
    Also, why is there so much inactive physmem? why isnt it in the free section, and why is Virtual memory being used instead of physical memory? look how crazy the VSize is!!

    29132 runner 14.1M
    29131 SecurityAg 116M
    29130 Installer 141M
    29083 MagicMenuH 106M
    29081 UniversalA 115M
    29078 MicrosoftM 254M
    29075 SystemUISe 127M
    29072 aped 22.7M
    29071 Dock 125M
    29070 pbs 14.6M
    29065 loginwindo 111M
    29064 Window Man 200M+

    thats crazy!!! why cant more of that be used by the inactive ram ??? makes no sense to me! and anyways what is virtual memory? is that data on my harddrive?
  2. totally_fly thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2002
  3. PieMac macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002

    I am curious too as I just increased my RAM from 384MB to 640 on my iBook (700 Mhz) and I am getting similar numbers. Plus, I am still a Mac convert of only 6 months and still have much to learn!
  4. Billicus macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2002
    Charles City, Iowa
    I believe OS X uses virtual memory wether you have oodles and oodles of physical, or not. And, just because something is inactive doesn't mean it isn't being used. It just isn't doing anything at the moment. That's why your free and inactive numbers differ. :rolleyes:
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    what are your thoughts? that it's paged out?
  6. Billicus macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2002
    Charles City, Iowa
    Yeah, probably something like that. Like you have a hidden application. It has information in RAM, but it's inactive at the moment.

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