7 Replies Latest reply: Mar 8, 2012 5:03 AM by steffen_anywhere
mailtohuy Level 1 (0 points)

I noticed that Lion is eating up about 90% of my MBA's 2GB RAM. With Snow Leopard, the laptop has almost never ran out of memory (it occasionally did when I ran very memory-intensive app such as Windows XP in VirtualBox). With Lion, my memory is almost always at 10-20 MB free (the same level of free memory when I ran WindowsXP VirtualBox). System usage up to 33% most of the time. And the exhaust fan is running like crazy. Most notably is that all of that happens when I run a normal load: browsing Safari while listenning to iTunes.


I don't know which system threads are running in the background that eat up that whole lot of memory. So what are the most memory-hogging system features and how can I turn them off to reduce the system's usage of memory? Thanks.

MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7), Macbook Air with 2GB RAM
  • sdevan Level 2 (465 points)

    2 gb is really light for Lion.  Do a Get Info on Safari and other memory hogs and check run in 32 bit mode.  This will help.

  • CT Level 6 (17,545 points)

    Open up Activity Monitor (from Utilities) and select "All Processes". Then you can see what is going on.  Latest Safari is a pig and will use lots of RAM.


    I gotta say, 2 MB is precious little RAM. Since the Mac plus, the minimium required RAM by Apple has always been enough to run the software, but has never been enough to run it well, IMO.



  • macjack Level 9 (51,622 points)

    2GB RAM is a bare minimum. Instead of trying to turn off features add some RAM and you should be fine.

  • kisuke3 Level 3 (910 points)

    are you seeing webprocess at the top of the list in activity monitor?

  • mailtohuy Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. That's what I am asking: which features should I turn off?

  • macjack Level 9 (51,622 points)

    You can follow CT's advice and see (probably web apps) but the way Lion handles RAM is that the active app is given all the RAM available and the other open apps are given the minimum to stay open. Also, how much free space do you have on your HDD? The OS uses free disk space for virtual memory.

  • steffen_anywhere Level 1 (70 points)

    Go to the Applications Folder and select Safari. Get Info by two finger clicking and selecting 'get info'. Then tick the box which says: 'Run in 32-bit Mode'. Safai should be closed during this.

    Generally speaking, RAM is well organized by the OS but 2GB is not a lot, especially for Lion.