Previous 1 2 3 Next 148 Replies Latest reply: Jul 12, 2014 10:35 PM by Trane Francks
Joasousa Level 1 Level 1

Up until Lion I had no problems with my Macbook Pro 2010 with 4 GB of RAM, even while running Fusion with a Windows virtual machine.

After Lion (why did I upgrade....) I already have made a 8 GB upgrade because using Fusion became almost impossible.


Right now, even with 8 GB of RAMs I have poor performance. The memory usage keeps increasing until there is only 50 MB of free ram and 4 GB of inactive memory, and the lag and beach balls begin all over the place. They disappear if I free enough RAM to get it to 300 MB so this is a clear memory management issue.


And please don't say "Don't worry about inactive memory" and "Free memory is wasted memory". If that were true I wouldn't be getting beach balls all over the place. There is something very wrong with Lion memory management, inactive memory isn't being properly managed and Apple really needs to do something about it. Getting low memory problems with 8 GBs is ridiculous.


Is anyone experiencing similar problems? If this keeps up, my next notebook won't be running MacOS.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.1)
  • parker612 Level 4 Level 4

    Here's a 38 page forum discussion of several people having the same problem your having! It sounds like its an issue with Lion

  • Lexiepex Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    You are wrong. Did you upgrade tp 8GB of memory with the exact ram specification? If No, that should be corrected. If Yes, it is not the memory slowing you down.

    Look into Activity Monitor <all processes> click on the %CPU column and make a screeen shot, then click on the Real Mem column and make a screen shot (when you click a coulmn once the highest are on top, when not click a second time).

    post the two screenshots.

  • Joasousa Level 1 Level 1

    Yes I did. Correct memory specification, both RAM "sticks" bought at the same time, correct bus frequency, good memory, etc.


    CPU is not the problem, I checked.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5

    Go to the App Store and download 'Free'. It is free and it frees your memory!

  • Lexiepex Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    I disagree, although there are a number of free "tools", like Coktail, Free Memory, etc, they serve at nothing:

    What they do is make "free" the "inactive memory", nothing else, in fact that is counter-productive:

    Inactive Memory is the memory that was used by a now closed app, and is still linked to that app, to make it start faster when started again, when memory is needed for a newly starting app, and there is not enough memory for it , this inactive memory is freed automatically. Thus for practical purposes you can add the amounts of "free" and "inactive" when you want to know the amount of memory that can be claimed by a new starting app.

    Joa: please check also the Real Mem column!

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5

    That's the theory, but it doesn't always work like that. I've noticed similar problems to the OP, and here's a very detailed description of problems with free/inactive mem and swaps:


  • Lexiepex Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    Mmmm, I think that when there is no glitch in the OS (or firmware), there is no problem with the memory. So we have to solve the glitch, not put a bandage on it.

    He could try a PRAM reset.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5

    Why would you do a NVRAM reset for RAM memory management issues? The two are entirely unconnected.

  • Lexiepex Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    and a smc reset, so the firmware is covered. How do you know it is a Ram issue, just because Joa thinks so? The "beach ball is all over the place", so it may be totally different. Solve the problem, not bandage it.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5

    Because the same symptoms are reported widely all over the blogosphere as well as here on ASC. Just a few examples, you can google to find plenty of others.


    1. /


    These were already linked to, but perhaps you missed them


    2. ing-woes.html



  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7
    Apple Watch

    And please don't say "Don't worry about inactive memory" and "Free memory is wasted memory". If that were true I wouldn't be getting beach balls all over the place.


    That is a serious logical fallacy.  Did you ever pay attention to your memory use in Snow Leopard?  Or Leopard?  If you had, you would have noticed exactly the same behavior.  So noticing it now and blaming that for your problems does not make sense.  I have had exactly the same thing happen (ie, all inactive memory and very little free memory), without any performance issues.


    As for your "proof" of clearing some memory to make the problem go away, I think that has more to do with whatever you're doing to free that RAM rather than with the fact that you freed some RAM.


    If I had to guess what your problem is, I'd probably guess third-party software issues.  But that's just a guess without more information.

  • Lexiepex Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    Softwater: you do not have to write that you are right, because you cannot know, knowing so little about Joa's situation. I specifically asked about a screen shot of the &CPU and the RealMem columns in Activity Monitor, so that I can see for myself what crapware is running. I explained how inactive memory works, in Apple's OS, and it does not harm anything.

    Joa: give me the screenshots.

    Thomas: Right On, same suspicions as I have. THX for your explanation.


  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    Launch the Activity Monitor application by entering the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search, and select the “System Memory” tab. What values are shown in the bottom part of the window for “Page outs” and “Swap used”?

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5

    You are, perhaps deliberately, ignoring the point that the same symptoms have been widely reported: page outs when there's plenty of inactive memory. I'm not saying I know the answer, I'm saying that flushing the memory is a solution.


    You can stick to the apple 'story' about how memory management is supposed to work all you like, but clearly a lot of people experience page outs when the system should be freeing inactive memory. I'm not expert enough to know why that is, but I do know that user intervention by means of actively freeing that memory (either directly through terminal commands or via apps like Free Memory) can reclaim that memory and immediately speed up the system.

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