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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Deciphering Activity Monitor

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Member Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posts: 33
danimal is on a distinguished road

danimal is offline
Hi all,

I'm looking at my System Memory under Activity Monitor, and was wondering what "Wired," "Active," "Inactive," "Used" and "Free" means. Some are pretty self explanatory I suppose, but I'm kind of confused as to what "Wired" means and the difference between "Inactive" and "Free"

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Member Since: Nov 29, 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 741
imacmatt09 will become famous soon enough
Mac Specs: iMac Core Duo 17'' 1.83 ghz 512 mb ram

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- Wired: Memory an application or OS requests to be "pinned" or Never swapped out for any reason. You might use this area for interprocess communication or internal system tables, maybe the swap tables.
- Active memory, normal memory that qualifies the parameters of the LRU( least recently used algorithm ). Recently accessed memory is keept on board, memory that ages by not being accessed has a LRU number and will eventually move to the INACTIVE catagory.
- Inactive, ready to be swapped out if necessary.
- Free, in 10.3 Apple seems to have keept open 200 meg of free memory. In 10.4 Apple seems to have bumped that up to 300 meg.

from here
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