For Mac users who have limited RAM on their Macs, there are a couple of rather easy ways to free up RAM when running multiple applications at the same time. Free and cumbersome. Or, $1.99 and easy.
FreeMan Does Free RAM
The Mac App Store has a dozen or so utility apps which claim to free up unused RAM on your Mac. Some do it automatically, others with a click.
Either way, the basic idea is to take RAM away from Mac apps that are not using it at the moment and give it to Mac apps that need it.
You can free up a bit of RAM using the ‘purge’ command in the terminal.app. “What’s that?” you ask.
The terminal.app lets you muck around inside your Mac, away from Finder and apps, at the command line (think DOS, CP/M, Unix, Linux without point and click).
OS X lets you clean up– purge– the RAM that could be used by other apps by opening terminal.app, entering ‘sudo purge’, adding the password, and waiting a few seconds.
Or, you can use FreeMan.
Click FreeMan in the Mac’s Menubar and you’ll be treated to a drop down display of RAM usage at the moment. FreeMan also has Preferences where you can setup a threshold for the app to free up RAM automatically.
Assign a keyboard shortcut to FreeMan and you can free up RAM with a few keystrokes.
Does FreeMan work to give you more free RAM? No. And yes. The extra RAM an app needs to use must already be on your Mac, but used by a different app. Yes, extra RAM usually results in improved performance.
FreeMan seems to produce results better for Mac’s with limited RAM– 4GB or less. But less so for Macs with 8GB or more, though your mileage may vary.