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Automatically reclaim memory from leaky programs
Authored by: marianmi on Jun 09, '12 05:13:16PM
I have to add my comment to this thread, since most of the people here don't want to understand how useful the purge command is. While generally I can't complain most of the times about the memory management in OS X, in some versions of Snow Leopard it was was quite bad. Leopard and Lion were/are better.
In any case, the idea is that some machines are memory limited - the macbook airs (4GB), my old 2007 macbook pro (4GB). Even if you could add more RAM (I may go up to 6GB), it would not make sense (change of machine soon, losing dual channel,...).
While the disk cache is heaven on earth when having loads of RAM, it's not for the rest of us. Take Safari - just after a search on google, you open up dozens of pages to see if they have what you search. Most of them don't. You close them. You will not open them again. They are still in the cache, eating up your memory. You ran out of Free Memory. Safari SHOULD release the Inactive, but most of the time it does not. The end result: you have LOTS of swapping because of the Inactive Memory caching crap.
To the guy that said to remove one DIMM to make the change permanently: if you like caching so much, open up all of your apps in /Applications, and let them sit in the background. Run your computer like that PERMANENTLY without restarting. You might want to play Chess.app in a week of two, and when you do, it will start so much faster /s Yeah, RAM is faster than DISK, but swapping like hell is so much slower than loading once into Free Memory.
In conclusion, you have lots of RAM, don't look here. But don't bash this hint, which is SO useful for many people. You might want to change the name about leaking memory though. That's wrong.

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