what is inactive memory

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by patrickng89, May 8, 2010.

  1. patrickng89 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #1
    Hi guys,

    A mac newbie here. everytime i play game on the os x i get the beachball alot. the game takes up 2gb of ram and theres always this inactive memory which is almost 1gb of ram. can someone explain what is that?

    PS: i have the mid 2010 mbp 15'' base model
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #2
    hey mate.

    inactive RAM is RAM that was previously reserved for an application/process but has now been closed or no longer needs that RAM. its still technically assigned to that program, but if another program needs it then its free to be taken.

    amount of free RAM is Free Ram + Inactive RAM. :)
     
  3. patrickng89 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #3
    the game i was playing takes up 2gb of ram and with that my safari lags quite badly and i get loads of beachballs.

    PS: i assigned 1gb ram to vmfusion win 7. will that affect my performance on os x? Does that mean i only get 3gb of ram when running os x natively
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (nokia e63: Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.2; U; Series60/3.1 NokiaE63-1/100.21.110; Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    Ohhh you have virtual machines. Yes it does mean that you will have 3gb available ram. This would also explain the massive slow down.
     
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #5
    I beg to differ

    If I have no free ram but alot of inactive, my systems still bog down like none other. Has been my experience across many machines as long as I can remember with osx
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    Remember that OS X currently has a bug that doesn't always free up inactive RAM for other applications meaning that apps will have to use swap file (HD) which is a lot slower than using RAM. That's why so many people are facing beachballing even though they have a lot inactive RAM
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #7
    Wirelessly posted (nokia e63: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    Duke: Swap memory comes into play with inactive ram

    hell: where is the link? There Are no bug from what I know. The ram is handled differently.

    Excuse my replies, moible + alcohol is bad i'll reply properly tomorrow lol
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    Swap memory? Unsure what you mean here

    All I know is that even with a ton of inactive ram and hardly any "free" ram (as in the case of using ram hungary programs and then not needing them anymore), my system is very slow and the page outs increase dramatically

    I wish there was an app or a command that would wipe the inactive ram and reclassify it as free (maybe there is?)
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    See this
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #10
     -> Restart... :p
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #11
    Wirelessly posted (nokia e63: Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.2; U; Series60/3.1 NokiaE63-1/100.21.110; Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    duke: ifreemem. Download it.... It will do what you are after.

    Hell, much mobile can't read that lol... Sorry... Will reply when I awaken.!
     
  12. Win^ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    #12
    How much used RAM are you's getting after a restart?

    I'm using up 1.2gb, which, i'm not sure is a lot.
     
  13. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #13
    ok hangover nearly gone.. i can think clearly again :D

    what applications are you running? when does the slow down occur? there are explanations for everything - i do understand how OSX handles RAM (to some extent) so maybe i can help explain why its happening.

    that specific instance was more coming from top sites and opening to new tabs etc. there isnt a bug related to inactive RAM not being used (i read all the links).

    computers have a "swap file" which is basically your virtual memory container. when virtual memory comes into play, everything reads from the swap files.

    inactive RAM doesnt necessarily mean that it will be used up by other applications instantly. it all depends really.. maybe there are still ties to the RAM from somewhere else, maybe its doing some paging to bring back pages, can you describe your scenario?

    iFreeMem. :p

    read and replied ;)
     

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