Trying to understand OS X Memory Usage.. *brain explodes*

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by e²Studios, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. e²Studios macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    I'm a switcher from the Windows world and im finding the way memory is managed to confuse me. Maybe its just that i dont understand the terms more than a lack of understanding. I seek help if anyone can help me with this *opens Activity Monitor*

    Currently Here are my memory stats
    Wired 77.82
    Active 95.89
    Inactive 144.52
    Used 318.35
    Free 192.36

    VM Size 4.08 GB
    Page Ins/Outs 108408/73428

    Isnt inactive the same as Free? and whats the difference between wired and active? If anyone can help me clear my confusion it would be appreciated.

  2. Logik macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2004

    2 words... Search Function

    Inactive = reserved but not used.

    wired = actually being linked to vs. being worked with currently is my guess. regardless i'm betting a search of some sort would likely result in some better explaination

    searched google.. and uh.. first page..

    for further reading:
  3. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Wired memory is memory that OSX cannot write to disk. This memory is reserved for critical OSX system apps. Active memory is memory currently used to run all non-essential apps, such as iTunes and Safari. Inactive memory is just that, memory used by apps but are not actively managed by the OS, so its likely this inactive memory may be written to disk at any time. Free memory is unused memory, and if you have a lot of it, it means your system is not slowing down due to disk pagings.
  4. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    You learn something new every day (shame most days what you learn is pretty useless!) :p

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