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

e²Studios

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 12, 2005
2,104
5
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.

Thanks!
Ed
 

Logik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2004
616
0
Ed H said:
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.

Thanks!
Ed

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

EDIT:
searched google.. and uh.. first page..

http://www.osxfaq.com/Press/04-02-02/sys-04-02-02.ws

for further reading:

http://developer.apple.com/document...tual/ManagingMemory/Concepts/AboutMemory.html
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Ed H said:
and whats the difference between wired and active? If anyone can help me clear my confusion it would be appreciated.
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.
 
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