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Lion - Memory Usage Problems

271173 Views 957 Replies Latest reply: Dec 1, 2013 1:28 PM by Jonathan Payne1 RSS
  • Jonathan Payne1 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Aug 20, 2012 2:43 PM (in response to nkko)

    Nothing is solved. Mountain Lion is no better than Lion. They optimized the OS for people with SSDs and those with HDD can just suck it up. I can't tell you the number of new Apple converts who started out on Lion and literally are wondering out loud where all that great software they have been hearing about went. This is an Apple disaster but they might be saved by technology if they just stops shipping HDDs as the main drive and switch 100% to SSDs in time. I am depressed about it. I bought a Mac mini at the same time as my MacBook Air. The mini is relatively unusable despite having the same amount of RAM and a faster processors.

  • Michelasso Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2012 2:46 PM (in response to nkko)

    nkko wrote:

     

    No reaction to the mountain lion. It seems that the memory problems are solved. Who was it who claimed that the uncontrolled growth of inactive memory is normal?

    Ah don't worry. He would invent yet another theory. What drives me mad is that I am stuck with Lion since my MacBook isn't supported by ML.

  • Amfipolis Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2012 2:53 PM (in response to mightymilk)

    During my Lion experience I was running out of memory (4GB) on my MBPro (early 2011).

     

    I had installed 16GB and I was still reaching the limits of the memory used.

     

    Since upgrading to ML 10.8 I am in a stable under 6GB memory usage leaving some 10GB for extra programs except Safari , Calendar and Mail and some Preview documents / books I read.

     

    I am happier with ML 10.8

     

    This is my experience and I wanted to share it 

  • bobbd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2012 3:58 PM (in response to Amfipolis)

    I thought I'd report on my issue since it's been solved. Now don't get excited, I found two apps that were causing my grief.

     

    I made sure, as best I could, that nothing extra was loaded at login or bootup. I  started Activity Monitor so I could watch. This was under Mountain Lion. I then proceeded to do almost everything that I normally do for 24 hours. Part way through, I reloaded TotalFinder, but that was it. After 24 hours I had not seen a trace of a problem, so I started reloading things slowly.

     

    When I got to Sophos, it went nuts. The problem was the on access scan when doing a multi-file copy. The process just took off, ate all free memory and most of the CPU. I killed Sophos and re-ran just to check and everything was fine. One could argue that if it was only the file copy, that was to be expected. Problem is that once it ran away, it stayed away, eating up CPU even thought the copy was done. I've since replaced Sophos with avast! and have had no problems. However, the same multi-file copy will have an impact whenever an on-access scanner is used. I also left Sophos a message explaining what had happened.

     

    At this point I figured that I had found the problem and was good to go. I started reloading what I originally had. When I got to an app called DirectorySync, I again found a runaway process as it was trying to sync two folders. I removed that, sent the developer a message, and continued to reload everything else.

     

    I have been watching with Activity Monitor for well over a week and have not had a problem. Free and inactive memory are acting as they should. Sometimes I have vewry little free memory, but that doesn't stop things from working reasonably fast. I see very few pinwheels/beachballs. Only when I'm really pushing things and have lots of windows open. I can't say that Mountain Lion is faster than Lion because it's been so long since I had a responsive system. Regardless, I'm happy and there are a few nicities that mountain Lion gives me so I'm happy about the $20 upgrade.

     

    That's my story. As always, your mileage may vary.

  • nkko Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 20, 2012 11:12 PM (in response to bobbd)

    Excellent job. I think that everyone who have problem with memory have to do the same.

  • Jonathan Payne1 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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    Aug 21, 2012 12:51 AM (in response to bobbd)

    To @bobbd:

     

    Do you or did you or have you used Time Machine backups?

     

    The reason I ask is that I have always thought that the main issue with Lion and ML that we have been experiencing as related to file system use. As the file system is traversed the file cache is loaded and it aggressively causes app memory to get swapped out.

     

    Your two apps both seem to traverse the file system. Assuming Sophos is an anti-virus app (talk about waste of resources) and DirectorySync is something that keeps two directory hierarchies in sync with each other, both those applications fit the category of walking the file system.

     

    As does Time Machine.

     

    When I first switched to Lion it was my backups that were the first indication that something was wrong. Instead of taking 1 minute (over the network to my other Mac with a disk attached) like it had been doing for years, it suddenly was talking 10 minutes or 20 minutes.

     

    So - do you use Time Machine? And if so, is it to a Time Capsule or do a local USB hard drive?

  • bobbd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2012 4:46 AM (in response to Jonathan Payne1)

    I did use Time Machine wirelessley to a Time Capsule. But I haven't used it in at least a year and a half, certainly well before Lion. I found that it had a tendency to slow my machine (mid-2009 MacBook Pro 13" 8GB) to a crawl at times. Also, actually using Time Machine to get at the backups was excrutiatingly slow. My wife, on the other hand, on the same OS (can't remember whether it was Leopard or Snow Leopard) was fine.

     

    So whatever the problem was with the file system, was probably affecting me back then as well.

     

    One thing I did notice last weekend. I created a clone using a sparsebundle and was then copying it to a portable drive (my off-site backup solution) and the time estimate was 7 hours. Another machine's backup of a similar size was a sparseimage and the estimate had been 3 hours. I disabled avast! on-access scanning and the estimate dropped to 3 hours. However, the on-access scan was only affecting the file copy and not dragging down the whole machine.

     

    As for whether running avast! is a waste of resources or not depends on one's situation. I have a lot of friends with Windows machines plus my work laptop is Windows. I need to ensure that I don't spread anything. As for whether it's worthwhile for Mac specific issues, I know that the chance of infection is very rare at the moment, but unless avast! has a noticeable impact on performance, file copies notwithstanding, I prefer to keep it going. It seems to take very little CPU or memory most of the time. Plus it's easy enough to turn off in those situations when it significantly increases file access times.

  • Michelasso Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2012 9:26 AM (in response to mightymilk)

    Ok, I had to see it with my own beautiful eyes...

     

    Mountain Lion, Safari 12 tabs, Mail, System Preference, Terminal, my typical configuration during this thread:

     

    Schermata 24-08-12 alle 18.14.14.png

     

    This with a 3GB Intel GMA 950 unsupported MacBook2,1 late 2006. Yes, it IS possible thanks to old 64 bits GMA 950 kexts (no QE/CI support, though) and a hacked boot.efi. It feels actually much faster than Lion apart from Launchpad that gets stuck, the broken thumbnails in MC and other little things. HTML5 HD videos do NOT stutter though! They do in Lion. Thanks Apple for letting us down:

     

    Schermata 24-08-12 alle 18.15.51.png

     

    NOW! Where is the smartard that made me wasting months trying to make him understanding that something is deeply wrong in the OS X Lion Memory Management System?? With the same configuration in Lion 10.7.0 I already had 3GB of swap space used!!

  • Bobdc6 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 2, 2012 12:15 PM (in response to mightymilk)

    I just replaced Safari 6 with Safari 5.1.7, seems to have helped a lot, plus I have my search box back.  I haven't had to reboot or purge all day, no spinning ball ( I'm running OSX 10.7.4).  I'm happy for now.

  • Bobdc6 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 4, 2012 5:42 PM (in response to Bobdc6)

    Just had to restart my MacBook because of spinning ball.  This is the same as before I installed Lion and Safari 6, so I can live with it this way.  It ran ok for about 50 hours.

  • Westdene Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2012 1:00 PM (in response to Bobdc6)

    I am noticing above average CPU usage and excessive heat whenever I scroll on any webpage (Safari or Firefox - flash is disabled) and in MS Word docs also. I would really like to keep my 2007 15 inch MBP running efficiently as a desktop replacement using  the MS Office suite and a web browser (preferably Safari or Firefox) and Mail. I've cleaned out everything, so have a bunch of free HD space and a clean instal of Snow Leopard followed by an install of LIon on top of SL.

     

    But this problem with scrolling in programs is really maxing out the CPU and causing the computer to be hotter than ever before.

     

    Any solutions? I'm really interested in making this 2007 MBP as simple, secure and functional as possible - I like the connectivity Lion provides to my newer Apple devices, but surely there must be a way to make this OS and this stupid scrolling issue less demanding on the CPU? RAM appears to be fine.

  • Joel Bruner1 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 6:51 AM (in response to Westdene)
    Off Topic...

    Westdene wrote:

     

    But this problem with scrolling in programs is really maxing out the CPU and causing the computer to be hotter than ever before.

     

    Any solutions? I'm really interested in making this 2007 MBP as simple, secure and functional as possible - I like the connectivity Lion provides to my newer Apple devices, but surely there must be a way to make this OS and this stupid scrolling issue less demanding on the CPU? RAM appears to be fine.

    RAM is fine? Then this isn't really the thread you should be posting to eh? Here's a question though, answer it silently to yourself: when you scroll are you using a scroll wheel or gestures OR are you grabbing the scroll bar on the side and dragging? WAY back in 10.2/10.3 days I remember that "mouse-down" click events caused lots of CPU gobbling... so that's an idea.

     

    Possible Culprit?

    NOW - for something on topic. While copying about 3TB of data from one computer to another I noticed the Inactive getting gobbled up by the second to the point of exhausting all Free RAM. The copy was not via Finder but rather from the command line: cp -Rfp (copy recursively, force overwrites, preserve attributes) I tried to recreate with /System and other directories that every else has but couldn't seemed to have to do with the content and actual names of the folders. Seems that folders with parentheses and colons containing PDFs where causing large amounts of Inactive memory to be created, the colons were not surprising that they could cause issues, since colons are allowed in Unix file names but are not in MacOs so they are translate to backslash in the Finder. As for the PDFs, these were Apple hardware take apart PDFs so unfortunately I can't just post this test folder up.

     

    What was I found though is if I turned off Spotlight the memory usage issue went away when I performed a copy at the command line! Anyone want to give this a try and report your findings? It seems this could be related to Spotlight indexing not returning memory to Free?

     

    To turn OFF Sportlight in the Terminal:

    sudo mdutil -i off /

     

    To turn ON Sportlight in the Terminal:

    sudo mdutil -i on /

  • Jonathan Payne1 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 7:04 AM (in response to Joel Bruner1)

    Yes. But it's not spotlight per se, it's the file system. Creating a boatload of files causes those files to be read by spotlight, especially if they are PDFs or text in general, because the contents of PDFs are indexed word by word.

     

    I have a mac mini, powerful as all getout, which is mostly idle and used as a place to store photos and music, and my children use it from time to time. It's ALSO used for Time Machine backups over the network from two other computers in the house.


    If I go use that computer, which has 4Gb of RAM, a computer running almost no applications, and look at the memory usage, I often see that inactive memory is 2Gb (can you imagine!?!?) and that it has swapped, and that there is no free memory. This is a computer that has just mostly been used as a file server.

     

    The thing is, This state of the art mac mini is slower than my original mac mini in all sorts of simple tasks, such as LAUNCHING AN APP! How is it possible that I come to launch Chrome and this idle, unused mac, bounces the dock item 15 times just because it is used as a file server for the occasional Time Machine backup?

     

    It is possible that Spotlight is really messing things up though. Maybe spotlight USED to tell the file system not to cache the files it was reading, since they are not likely to be read a second time. All files read and written by user facing apps would definitely want their files to be in the file system cache, but something like spotlight should advise the system that it is reading each file JUST ONCE and so it should be flushed from the cache the moment it is read, so that spotlight doesn't cause useful files to be flushed.

     

    But there's no point in discussing this any more. This is all guess work about a problem that Apple has not even acknowleged since it first appeared Lion over a year ago. And truth be told, it does not even materialize if you have a computer with an SSD in it.

     

    I am disgusted and disappointed.

  • OsvaldoFerraz Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2012 10:29 PM (in response to mightymilk)

    Here's a new thing, I'd like to share with you.

     

    On the last days my Free RAM started to vanish in a couple of minutes after restarting the system.

    And the strangest thing is, when I open the Activity Monitor, the somatory of the Ram used by te apps doesn`t match AT ALL the total used in ACTIVE RAM. What does that mean?

     

    In the figure below, all my apps opened doesn`t reach 1,5Gb total... although the active memory is about 4.5 Gb...

     

    Anyone can help me solving this mistery?

     

    Thaks in advance.

     

    My system is MacBookPro i7 2011, 8Gb Ram, Lion

    my Captura de Tela 2012-09-13 às 02.13.30.png

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