Same problem for me.
I've got an iMac 2011, with 12GB RAM.
Yesterday upgrade from ML to Mavericks, and today the memory used grows and slows down all the system, because swap are in use.
the process responsible of that is kernel_task, who grows in memory a lot (all ram + 1-10GB swap).
it persist about 10-20 minuts, then all goes well, and another time grows, and so on...
It makes the work too hard and slow.
reboot my computer doesn't solve the problem, it persist...
I have the same problem. Before the upgrade to Mavericks I could work all day doing what I call "normal" work and rarely have paging problems. When I did it was usually because I had multiple tabs open in Safari to Flash heavy websites. Perhaps once per week I would need to close Safari, use the "purge" command and my system would be good as new.
With Mavericks I can do "normal" work for about 5-6 hours then I'm paging like crazy. I'm even more careful than before to close apps I'm not using, but I still seem to max out my RAM. The "purge" command does not free up as much RAM as it used to and I'm forced to reboot.
Now I feel like a PC user, needing to reboot my Mac every day just to keep it working right. :-(
Solved for me... I don't know what to do exactly, I tried to deactivate a lot of apps, restart some times, stay all night with the iMac open, and then all works fine. No more memory ups. All apps works fine for me, and kernel_task stays between 0,6 and 1,2GB stable.
Solved for me! perhaps let time to the system stabilize for itself?
In 10.9 I've noticed massive issues with Flash Player in Chrome and Firefox, as soon as you play a video, you're looking at 80+% CPU use and often lots of RAM as well. Safari spikes a little here and there as well, however it seems to be optimized in some way to be more forgiving. This is incredibly annoying though since I'm not too keen on Safari at all, ***** to have to use it to play video.
IMO this more about Mavericks being unpatched and less about anything else right now. 'S what you get for updating to a new OS early into it's dev cycle. It's possible that a browser update or Flash Player update in the near future might help as well, but I wouldn't hold my breath. FF25 just came out and it's still bad as ever on there. Will see if any new Flash Player updates make the difference..
"kernel_task" is right at the top of my memory column and won't budge.
It remains at approx. 700MB of physical RAM useage and 8GB of VM.
Also after three days without rebooting my pageouts shows 130,000+ even though I have 12GB of RAM and have only opened a few small Photoshop files.
These things never happened with any of the previous OSs for me.
And iconservices is the second item in the memory column and has created files that are many GBs in size in the private folder.
I don't see how this can be normal.
I made a clean install now and I'm having the same problem! after a certain time, the kernel task rises to about 100% CPU and doesn't decrease anymore.
I think it is related to locking the screen with password and screensaver and coming back. it always starts after unlocking.
obvious I can't feel any system slow down because auf the speed of the MBAir but it makes me kind a nervous...
I'm having the same issue.
Macbook Pro 13-inch Early 2011 running Mavericks, with 16GB RAM and SSD so I should not be having any bottlekneck!
I cannot export any movie from iMovie 10.0 without it crashing due to memory error. After watch multiple times in Activity Monitor as iMovie begins to export, kernal_task will start hogging memory (It peaks at 10GB!) and then it results in a crash of the application because of memory usage being too much. Ironically iMovie itself never used more than 500-700mb. This is ridiculous...I don't know what is going on but this needs to be fixed!
it does not help most the time use rebot to solove this problem.
cant find out which task use most all ram (or memory leak) in background, activity monitor wont show you, even you add up all the process used memory.
have tried use purge with sudo, but you will make os slowe to respond, and then ram will slowly run out...