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def
14th September 2007, 05:43 PM
So I installed the iSat menu and it's very pretty. I can see temperture, fan speed and memory use in the menu bar. Brilliant.

Except I've noticed that over the course of a week, the memory use goes steadily upwards despite not opening any extra apps.

What's eating it? I've never really looked at this before. Is this a sympton of a "memory leak"?

D.

PS OS 10.4.10, iMac G5 with 2GB ram
Open apps include Safari, Terminal, Calender, Thunderbird, Address Book and (the culprit?) Excel.

purana
14th September 2007, 05:46 PM
If it was a memory leak, the system would fall over after running the app with the memory leak for a number of days. ie. said app takes memory, and never gives it back when it's not needed. Grabs more. Grabs more. Falls over when nothing is left to take. Sort of like that.

Memory usage going up and down day to day and hour to hour is normal. Don't forgot it also is used for various things. Not just programs. File caching during file copy is an example of such usage.

Stop being overly concerned about something that appears to work fine.

feeze
14th September 2007, 05:54 PM
Goto Applications -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor.

This App will give you a detailed look at how your memory is being allocated.

forgie
14th September 2007, 06:03 PM
Wired and Active memory are the two types of memory that are actually "used up". Inactive memory is (AFAIK) memory that can be cleared out at any moment, but is actually mapped to something, so it can be a cache, or something that OSX thinks you might need to re-load into memory.

Excel may have memory leaks. Safari 2 definitely has memory leaks. A small memory leak will lead to more and more memory being taken up, but it usually won't be crippling.

When you say your memory is being taken up, how much "wired+active" memory is actually being taken up?

At the end of the day, OSX caches a whole lot of stuff to make things faster - it does this be leaving stuff or pre-emptively loading stuff into RAM. Unless you are actually having memory shortages, I wouldn't worry about it.

kim jong il
14th September 2007, 06:35 PM
... Safari 2 definitely has memory leaks. A small memory leak will lead to more and more memory being taken up, but it usually won't be crippling.

Safari 2.x is an issue under 10.4.10. Not only do I have to restart Safari every couple of days (it hogs all free RAM) I have to restart my computer just to stabilise things; that never happened under 10.3.9. 10.4.x is a dog IMO. :(

Johnny Appleseed
14th September 2007, 07:01 PM
The longer you use your apps, the more gets saved into memory. Relax, it's just OS X making full use of your RAM (unlike OS 9).

Currawong
14th September 2007, 09:41 PM
The simplest analogy is to imagine inactive memory as a cache of recently used, but possibly unneeded data. It's going to be a lot faster loading from memory than from the HD. There's an app somewhere that will clear inactive memory for you. It's fun to experiment with, as you get to see just how sluggish your system would be if that caching system wasn't used.

Squozen
14th September 2007, 10:56 PM
Safari 2.x is an issue under 10.4.10. Not only do I have to restart Safari every couple of days (it hogs all free RAM) I have to restart my computer just to stabilise things; that never happened under 10.3.9. 10.4.x is a dog IMO. :(

A dog on your system. There has to be some kind of issue with it, as my machines run just fine with all the updates. They're both Intels, are you on a PPC?

edit: Hang on, you're still running Safari 2.x? What on earth for? Genuinely puzzled, as Safari 3 seems far better to me...

kim jong il
15th September 2007, 03:41 PM
A dog on your system. There has to be some kind of issue with it, as my machines run just fine with all the updates. They're both Intels, are you on a PPC?

edit: Hang on, you're still running Safari 2.x? What on earth for? Genuinely puzzled, as Safari 3 seems far better to me...

Yes, I should have properly qualified my statement and yes it is a PPC. I only just updated to 10.4.10 (from 10.4.8) just the other week so Safari 3 hasn't been an option for me until now and so maybe I'll check it out. :)

I've also noticed that I have occasional network issues with Safari in 10.4.x that I don't get with 10.3.9 (I utilise two boot volumes and having really only quite recently adopted 10.4, I've been checking out the differences).

Cheers :)

EDIT (17/9/07): I have played with Safari 3.x.x. and I like it. It doesn't seem to become unstable like earlier versions (although with the caveat that I haven't experienced the same uptime with the new browser and system as with older versions). Network connection issues (rare) remain that don't occur on my other two running 10.3.9. :)

entropy
5th April 2008, 12:13 PM
So is inactive memory a problem at times? does the OS swap it to active if needed?
I have just been running azuerus (now quit) and while running nothing but mail and safari it says Inactive memory is 459mb and free memory is only 28mb (out of a possible gig).
I understand that this inactive memory is there to speed things up if I wanted to relaunch azeurus or something, but if I am not planning on visiting channel BT for a while, should I clear this inactive memory (eg. by rebooting) or just not worry about it?

cosmichobo
5th April 2008, 01:01 PM
G'day,


I have just been running azuerus......

I too use this app, and I find it is very resource hungry... RAM and CPU... especially if left running for a longish time (which, given its purpose, is what you tend to do with it).

Once you quit it though, things should sort themselves back out...

I'm glad I read this thread, as I've wondered about the whole wired/active/free memory stuff... I added 512MB recently, and couldn't say I noticed great improvements. Certainly didn't see more "free RAM", though I'm guessing now that the OS is simply using the extra RAM for more caching opportunities...