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  • William Kucharski Level 6 (14,965 points)

    RobertSfeir wrote:


    I did the Get Info on each app, and checked off the box that says start in 32-bit mode.


    That made Safari go from 500MB or RAM to 60, iTunes from 560MB to 170MB... etc... In all I dropped my RAM usage by 2 gigs...


    Simple, and free. Those services don't need 64bit operations really, you're not gaining anything by loading a page milliseconds faster or sending an email slightly faster.


    Actually, that's not true; you're actually forcing each of those apps into a 32-bit address space, causing all sorts of address space gymnastics to occur, especially if they need to address more than about 3 GB of RAM for whatever reason.


    Feel free to do it, but it will have performance implications for the app in question.

  • RobertSfeir Level 1 (15 points)

    I never said there wouldn't be a tradeoff.  The fact that folks can't upgrade past 4Gigs of RAM in the first place makes it that having a 64Bit application on that machine useless since it should never really be trying to grow past the 32bit address space.  If you had say 6+Gigs of RAM I can see how that might be a problem.  In this case it seems like Lion is just generating a massive virtual file and it's causing some really heavy swap when in 64bit.  Dumping it down to 32bit simply tells OSX you don't want to use more than that.  Sure you can end up with more pagination if there is something trying to grow higher, but the mere fact that you have it set to 32bit tells the app to never grow past 3.5Gigs (500MB reserved for system as you already know I'm sure).


    I think the implication on a system that CAN'T go above 4Gigs in memory is probably non existent. I'd love to see some technical white paper on why I'm wrong here.



  • RobertSfeir Level 1 (15 points)

    So I'm looking at your screen shot.  Yes Safari is suing 2Gigs of RAM, but really:  So what?


    In your case you have 8Gigs of RAM, no other applications currently needs the RAM and more importantly your page outs are at 0.  That means that the OS hasn't had to move memory in and out of swap because it's trying to juggle the additional memory when you switch applications. I'd leave it where it is if I were you Joe and not sweat it.


    Are you experiencing a slow down?  If so, what are you running when you see it? Is that the exact configuration? If so it's not a memory issue slowing you down, there's some other plugin kicking safari in the tail.  I'd turn off extensions and see if it helps.



  • William Kucharski Level 6 (14,965 points)

    RobertSfeir wrote:


    I think the implication on a system that CAN'T go above 4Gigs in memory is probably non existent. I'd love to see some technical white paper on why I'm wrong here.



    Mostly because it's not just a matter of supporting 4 GB of physical addresses (4 GB of RAM) but you're also forcing addresses to always be below 4 GB in the virtual address space.


    So for example, there's no reason an app can't use virtuall address 0x200000000 even if you only have 2 GB of RAM, but when run in 32-bit mode you're explicitly telling the system not to allow that, so it may need to shuffle different bits of the app as needed to keep virtual addresses below VA 0x100000000.

  • RobertSfeir Level 1 (15 points)

    OK I can see that, but if it's a real problem then I (and others with systems that can't go over 4Gigs) should see a very high page in to page out ratio with a big swap space, no?



  • TheSmokeMonster Level 4 (3,230 points)

    why would 4gb of ram effect the ability to run in 64bit mode successfully?

  • RobertSfeir Level 1 (15 points)

    It normally doesn't, but from what I've seen and others have reported, apps like Safari gobble up tons of RAM when running in 64bit mode (regardless of the amount of RAM you have available) effectively slowing down the whole machine and rendering it unusable.  Switching safari to 32bit drops the memory usage considerably, and enables folks to be able to use their machine normally.


    Again I'm not saying this is the end all be all solution, but for folks that are getting hammered by this problem, switching an app to 32bit solves the issue if only temporarily until there is (we hope) a fix from Apple.



  • bazokajoe_2k Level 1 (45 points)

    Thanks for the response, Robert.  It isn't a problem...yet.  It's the weekend and I'm not dealing with my heavier work.  I just upgraded to 8GB because I was -constantly- out of memory @ 4GB.  I'm talking 3-4GB of page outs over just an hour or two.  It was pretty ridiculous.


    I worry with such large sizes because Lion seems to have a habit of making memory inactive, not free, which means I would have significant issues down the road.  The other part is that 2.5GB is where I stopped it.   Whatever the reason it would take up that much space means that it wasn't going to just magically stop.  Then I would have a big problem.


    Lastly, simply because my computer has enough memory to deal with it, it doesn't excuse sloppy programming.  There is absolutely zero reason a web browser should be taking up that much memory.  Absolutely none.  I'd rather that memory be available for Aperture or Photoshop than being taken up by 3 tabs in Safari.


    I've had Safari open for about 4-5 hours now and it's hovering around 500mb of memory used, but I haven't been doing much with it, either.


    Any way you cut it, as soon as a web browser starts using more than 1GB of memory with just a few tabs open, you have a big problem.  Because I've beefed up my system to not be bogged down the problem doesn't remove the importance of the problem being fixed.


    It's like having a bad leak through your basement foundation and saying that because you cut a small channel from the leak to the drain so it doesn't flood the basement that's a good fix.

  • stamatgeorge Level 1 (105 points)

    If Steve was alive right now and received many complaints, he would be saying the following at his Apple Safari team:


    "Can anyone tell me what Safari is supposed to do?" Having received a satisfactory answer, he would continue and say, "So why the **** doesn't it do that?"



    Everyone having Memory problems should create an Apple Bug account and report it NOW to Apple at




    Imagine if 500 people created an account and report this issue. Do you think Apple will not fix it ASAP ?



  • pimeye Level 1 (0 points)



    Keep waiting for somebody else to mention Mail. Even running it in 32-bit mode it takes up 3.7GB of my max 4GB RAM on my MacBook Pro. I need to feel better that there is somebody else out there with the same problem.


    From all these posts I run Firefox and dare not run Safari.


    I can hardly run Word at the same time and I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY LONGER!!!!!!

  • bazokajoe_2k Level 1 (45 points)

    Thanks for the relativley tasteless post.


    You assume that people haven't.  I have.  Posting about it here helps see if there is a crowd-sourced solution to a problem, which can be quite helpful.


    I'm certain Apple is aware of and working on the problem; they've hit hiccups in the conversion to 64-bit w/sub-processes for sandboxed tabs, quite obviously.  It's just a shame because I can't stand other browsers...

  • TheSmokeMonster Level 4 (3,230 points)

    Do any of you have Google Mail or use google services? If so remover google voice and video plugin and tell me what safari is outputting then. I had an issue with this plugin before, where it made safari web content take a ridiculous amount of cpu.


    Deleting this plugin for now helped. I also sent a bug into Google

  • Michelasso Level 1 (80 points)

    stamatgeorge wrote:

    Everyone having Memory problems should create an Apple Bug account and report it NOW to Apple at

    I did. Actually more as an OS X memory management problem. And I've got some follow ups from Apple developers. My issue (huge swapping activity) apparently has been fixed in 10.7.2.


    But I also know of other people that opened a Bug Report about Safari being a memory hog. The same BR have been closed as "working as designed". Apparently Safari seems to keep in memory part of all pages loaded since when it started. For example that should be why it remembers about the position in the previous pages and (sometime) the text we input in others. To me the cost in terms of RAM of those features is way too high. True, one can always restart Safari (and I do), but I would't mind an option to disable that kind of caching. When going back to a previous page it can still take seconds to load, so I don't see much benefits.


    BTW there is no need to yell.

  • Sithalchemist56 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok so most of these replies have been focused on safari hogging memory. This isnt the case on my end. When I'm done doing my online classes and homework for the day I hop on wow. Here's the issue I'm having to restart my MBP after five hours of usage to dump whatever is taking up the space on my ram.


    I opened up the activity tracker and it shows wow using up 1.73 gigs of ram? I don't see where else the memory is going. Because hovers at 1.73 and doesn't budge. So after about 4-5 hours today I was down to 22 mbs of ram and can't figure out why. Wow didn't change it's consumption of memory used either.


    Going to put in a help desk request and see what they tell me.

  • David Ferleger Level 2 (155 points)

    Using Lion on 17" MacBook Pro -

    I don't know about MDS - don't know what it is - but after seeing available HD space disappear gradually down to nothing when using computer - I tried all sorts of disk cleaning utilities - and have found that ---- AT THE LEAST --- gian swapfiles are engulfing the var/vm folder, taking up that HD space.


    I read elsewhere that this is a Safari memory management problem.

    Is it also MDS, whatever that is?


    Is there a solution?


    Sometimes restarting or doing shutdown and restart helps.

    Sometimes the same HD space remains disappeared.





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