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nabl

 
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Member Since: Dec 13, 2007
Location: United States of America
Posts: 256
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Mac Specs: 2.1GHz MacBook with 4GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.6, iLife and iWork 09

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It looks like you pretty much answered your question. I can verify that previewing files takes a considerable amount of memory; opening a folder of about 500 images in Cover Flow and waiting for each preview to generate nearly tripled Finder's real memory for me, from 17MB to 46MB. Closing the window only restored about 10MB. However, I wouldn't call this so much a leak as a feature; if you notice, opening the same folder again will have the previews load much quicker—if not instantaneously—which leads me to think that Finder is simply caching the previews in case you want them again. I doubt Apple would leave such a huge memory leak in the Finder (though I could be wrong, of course).
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