Question about RAM Usage

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BiikeMike, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. BiikeMike macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2005
    When you look at the activity monitor, there is wired, active, inactive, and used RAM. What the heck does all that mean?

    Like right now, I'm not doing anything except running Firefox, Adium and Activity monitor, and it says I'm using 1.45GB, and only have 567MB free. How can that be possible??
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
  3. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2006
    inactive is the same as free.

    it was allocated for an app but freed up. it still contains the cache for the last app incase you need it again so it won't have to access the hdd, saving time and energy. if you need it for something else, it will be used the exact same as free.

    so for true free ram, add the free with the inactive.
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    There's lots of threads on this already.

    The short answer is: Don't worry about it. Let OSX do its memory management thing - it is very good at it and you don't really have to know.

    The only thing to watch for is PageOuts. If you start accumulating a large number of PageOuts (that is, more than 10% of your PageIns) that means you are regularly exceeding the amount of physical RAM you have, and suffering slowdowns writing to hard disk.
  5. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2005
    Thanks for the link Wild Cowboy.

    And yes, I know I don't have to worry about it, but I still want to know what it means! And I know I'm not in any danger, as my pageouts are less than 1% :)

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