Swap swap swap!!! Need more RAM?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 11, 2004

I have a gig of ram on my G4 iMac, am running Tiger 10.4.1, and have noticed through Activity Monitor that after leaving my computer on for a while (hours, days) I have an incredible amount of "inactive memory" (like over 500mb), almost no free memory, and my computer is not as snappy/quick. Also, my swap disk is being used like crazy. I do leave basic apps (Mail, iCal, iTunes, Safari, iChat, etc.) on all the time, but I wouldn't think that this would lead to such a memory drain. I have maxed out the RAM...what can I do to prevent this? Clean install? I am soon going to be buying a Powerbook....granted it will be faster, but will the same problem occur...should I get like 1.5gb? Advice?



macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2004
C-ville, VA
How many widgets do you have running? If you look in Activity Monitor under the Memory tab, what does Pages ins/outs say? If the number for outs is really high then you need more RAM. This could be due to you having a large number of widgets running, as many here seem to forget that those take up memory.

There are some who say that Safari caches RAM like mad when it is left idle, but I have not seen that personally.



Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
Portland, OR
Please note, inactive memory should be counted as "free" memory.

Are you using any haxies (using APE), or (as noted) a ton of widgets, or any UI "enhancements", or perhaps have a startup item that is sucking down the RAM? Take a peek at the app list associated with RAM usage in Activity Monitor.