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Lion and Macs with 4GBs of RAM (or even 8GBs)

51163 Views 69 Replies Latest reply: Mar 24, 2014 8:16 PM by udance4ever RSS
  • woba Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 5, 2011 6:00 AM (in response to John Kitchen)

    Running Lion server on a 2009 Mac Mini with 4 GB the computer is much faster than under SL server after everything is installed correctly.

    Only issue is that after restart of the computer the DNS server needs long time to restart. It seems to be a bug i have the same on a 6 GB MacPro Quadpro

  • walter86 Calculating status...
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    Aug 5, 2011 10:56 AM (in response to John Kitchen)

    The advice is good, thanks for that. But I totally disagree about your definition of "small memory Mac". Apple TODAY sells most of their Mac with 4GB of RAM, this must be considered a sufficient amount of RAM to work with with the software they sell the computer with (Osx Lion). Moreover, machines like the most modern Macbook Pro can upgrade just to 8 GB of RAM, so you can't consider it a minimum (sometimes insufficient)... it's the maximum! Here there's a bug (and it's big) and Apple has to fix it, otherwise they have to change the name of Macbook Pro in Macbook (without "Pro") because a Pro machine which cannot run Pro applications without problems is not Pro.

  • wcarlton Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Aug 5, 2011 12:39 PM (in response to John Kitchen)

    For what it is worth, I took the following steps on my mid 2010 27in iMac and it is working flawlessly under Lion, including Aperture.

    1. repaired permissions in Aperture

    2. rerpaired (not rebuilt) Aperture database

    3. set Aperture to be 'assigned' to 'none' desktops by selecting options in the dock. This solved the fullscreen issues

    4. GOT 8gig more ram for a total of 12. Wow that made a huge difference. My machine runs very smooth and very quiet now. Aperture runs like a dream.

    The ram was the best 80 buck I've spent in a while.

     

    Will

  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,740 points)
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    Aug 5, 2011 12:41 PM (in response to wcarlton)

    Aperture is a hungry beast, isn't he?

  • wcarlton Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Aug 5, 2011 12:55 PM (in response to dwb)

    Yeah and prior to getting more RAM I am pretty sure he was ACTUALY eating my hard drive. At least it sounded like it!

  • pvcooper Calculating status...
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    Aug 7, 2011 12:24 PM (in response to etresoft)

    Almost always in software where a new release comes out there is a general tendncy for the developers to use more memory when building new features and better ways to do things. These changes almost always override any new virtual memory tricks or low level efficiencies. I changed from snow leopard to lion and although most of the programs tend to run a bit faster once in place and in a full screen window like the iOS system uses, the startup time is quite a bit worse. I can handle it, but because many people tend to finish up by quitting a program and removing the virtual full screen window automatically allocated to thse IOS like features, Lion seems slower. Also there is a maximum if 16 virtual full screen windows so it is not really practical to leave all of the full screen apps running. If I were Apple and wanted the user experience to be better, I would not fix the maximum number of full screen apps and let the virtual memory manager deal with those that are not used instead of stopping at 16. This limit is so much more like Microsoft when they ran out of windows in Windows 3.1.1 and other earlier versions. The UNIX kernel should be able to handle the pageouts. In the end more memory is always faster as programmers always are faced with the tradeoff between memory and speed.

  • dlehman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 9, 2011 10:23 AM (in response to dwb)
    If a user's computer is slow under Lion but wasn't with Snow Leopard, before adding more RAM, the first thing to do is make sure the user has a solid Lion installation. The upgrade method Apple has chosen to use leaves too many incompatible (not crashing incompatible, mind you, just not Lion ready) plug-ins, services, contextual menus, etc. Get that taken care of, make sure the user has up-to-date software and drivers and often that slow Lion computer has begun to purr. And frankly, sometimes the only solution is to erase the drive and install Lion on an empty drive.

     

    Can you be more specific about what the best way is to find and disable "incompatible plug-ins, services, contextual menus"?

  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,740 points)
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    Aug 9, 2011 1:06 PM (in response to dlehman)

    Can you be more specific about what the best way is to find and disable "incompatible plug-ins, services, contextual menus"?

    Inside both your Library folder and the root level Library folder you'll find folders called Internet Plug-ins, Contextual Menu Items, Input Managers, Services, and Input Items. The Contextual Menu Items & Services are probably not going to slow your computer down but they can still be outdated and cause stability issues when you try to use them. Rather than delete them all out of hand, I created new folders adding disabled to the end of each (in other words, Internet Plug-ins disabled) and moved all the files there that were older than the creation date of Lion. Then, using the name of the files I moved, I looked for new versions and installed them. So I installed a new updated version of Flash for example. After restarting my computer was noticeably faster but since I hadn't been able to find new updates for everything I removed, I slowly added items back (I colored them using labels to keep track of what I added) and restarted. It didn't take me terribly long to do this and in doing so an installation that hadn't gone terribly well turned out to be successful without costing me another $70 for RAM.

  • dlehman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 10, 2011 6:39 AM (in response to dwb)

    Wow, fantasically helpful, detailed instructions. Thanks for taking the time to do this-- much appreciated!

  • HippopotamusMan Calculating status...
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    Aug 10, 2011 7:35 AM (in response to John Kitchen)

    I have a 4GB MacBook Pro, and I came up with a hack which helps greatly with the battery/temperature/memory issues that show under Lion.

     

    The following thread describes my hack: two versions of an AppleScript-based fix and one version of a launchd-based fix ... I now recommend the latter.

     

    This is very detailed, geeky stuff ... but it works for me to autmatically free up memory and keep the battery/temperature issues at a manageable level, without my having to add more memory to my machine.

     

    YMMV, but good luck: https://discussions.apple.com/message/15882892#15882892

    .

    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7), Take a hippopotamus to lunch today.
  • Sjazbec Level 4 Level 4 (1,665 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2011 7:51 AM (in response to John Kitchen)

    booting Lion in 32bit mode on machines with under or equal 4GB is generally faster compared to 64bit mode while booting the 64bit kernel with MORE then 4GB is faster:

     

     

    Running 64bit apps on 32bit OSX is not a problem. In Snow this behaviour was standard. The 64bit Kernel just cannot use 32bit only drivers. Drivers included in Snow and Lion are hybrids : 32 and 64 bit capable, so depending on which kernel is booted the correct drivers is picked up on boot.

     

    For Lion Apple sets the booted kernel to 64bit per default. This is the biggest change because Snow always booted into 32bit mode, but alas it can be reverted and you lose nothing.

     

    While it is true that 32bit Operating Systems have a 4GB barrier, Apple uses the PAE ( physical adress extension ) trick : in PAE mode the Ram above 4GB will be accessed by re-adressing the available space. This can, but must not have necessary performance-issues. having Ram like 8,16,32,64 GB of Ram of course would only effectively used by booting the 64bit kernel which can adress all the Ram in one space without any tricks.

  • Sjazbec Level 4 Level 4 (1,665 points)
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    Aug 10, 2011 7:57 AM (in response to dwb)

    Aperture3.1 ( native 64bit mode , no plugins from 3rd parties )  with the latest update ( 3.1.3 I think ) applied under Lion is faster loading and processing then on Snow with the same update. On 4GB with 32bit boot for me MBP5,1 late 2008 and even more noticable on iMac 27# late 2009 ( also 4B ) .

  • pvcooper Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2011 9:02 AM (in response to dwb)

    An example of what Lion should have attempted to do for the Customer. This an arduous task never before had to be done on previous releases. I think we have an Applsoft to replace our beloved Apple. IMNSHO.

  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,740 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2011 9:13 AM (in response to pvcooper)

    Back in the days of Archive & Install (which I believe Apple should never have dropped) Apple did remove items - lets call them unproven plug-ins etc. However since there are so many applications that dump things into both the user Library and the root level Library Apple had to err on the side of caution, quarantining things that weren't known safe. Users cried foul because their beloved plug-ins etc didn't work - they weren't loaded - and then howled because they were expected to dive into the Previous folder and figure out what could safely go back.

     

    Apple can't win - it is darned if it does and darned if it doesn't. Based on my non-scientific survey (the number of users who have come to me for help) the problem isn't as big as it appears here on the support community. With at least 1 million upgraders, even if only 1% had upgrade problems, that's a lot of people coming here to complain.

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