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I've been relying on activity monitor to check my performance problems and what it relates to. I recently installed CleanMyMac and noticed that the memory reported by it is way different than the activity monitor:

mem difference

Am I calculating the memory wrong? Or there is something I'm not accounting for? I expect to have 4.00 - 2.91 = 1.09 GB of free memory, instead CleanMyMac reports only 27.5 free memory. Is there anything I am not considering in Activity Monitor?

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You are doing the calculations wrong. In the column you see: physical memory, memory used, cached files, and swap used. Physical memory is total RAM. Memory used is amount of RAM used for running processes. Cached files is the amount of RAM used for storing cache files, and swap used is the amount of disk (HDD/SSD) space that is being used as though it is RAM. So the calculation should be: Physical memory - (memory used + cached files). In your case: 4 GB - (2.91 + 1.07) (give or take).

However, what's really important is memory pressure. The system is good about using the RAM wisely. Your performance shouldn't be impeded as long as the memory pressure stays in the green.

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