Mountain Lion memory

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by mac-collector, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2012
    I want to ask the people who have used ML if they feel it is any easier on the RAM compared to Lion. Some describe Lion as quite the memory hog, do you notice any improvement? If so how much?

  2. macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2012
    I'm glad you asked, because in DP3 I do see better performance overall than Lion. The main processes running in the background seem to be taking up less memory.

    Take a look at my processes and see what you think:

  3. thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2012
    I'd say that looks better than Lion - only 2 GB. I struggle with keeping it around 3 GB with just a few apps running (browser, iCal, Mail, dropbox...) Did you disable/not start dashboard? Or is it really taking <15 MB of RAM?
  4. macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2009
    I performed a clean installation of DP3 on a 2010 13" MacBook Pro and all seemed well until mdworker (User) started kicking in randomly. Spotlight had long since completed its indexing but I noted CPU loads of 100% and temperatures in excess of 80 °C. Quitting the process via Activity Monitor calmed things down for a while, but the process kept resurfacing.

    Not sure if it was a problem with the operating system or incompatibility with one of my applications, but I was forced to go back to 10.6.8. Has anyone else experienced this issue?
  5. macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2012
    @ssn637: I haven't noticed the issue, and I haven't heard of that bug as well.

    @mac-collector: Dashboard now seems to be rather efficient because, if I'm not mistaken, it seems to become disabled in the DP3 after a short while of inactivity (ie. not in the dashboard space for more than 10 mins), thus using a low amount of memory.
  6. macrumors 68040


    Feb 10, 2008
    United States
    Judging by the page ins, you took that screenshot just a few minutes after you turned on your mac. Would be great if someone could post how the memory usages are after a considerable time and some heavy lifting.

    The only thing about Lion that I really dislike is the memory management. I'd be really happy and upgrade in a heartbeat if ML is better in that respect so I don't have to use the purge command every five minutes.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    With the same apps open +Adium I'm using 500MB less than you with Lion 10.7.4

    And I have not rebooted in almost a week.

    Attached Files:

  8. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2012
    In my experience, it's just not worth trying to run on anything less than 4GB these days. Just booting to the desktop will basically fill up 2GB, and as soon as you start running apps you'll overflow. One thing to keep in mind is that the amount of memory used by the graphics stack has increased with Lion, given all the new visual effects they've added.

    Besides, RAM is pretty cheap these days, and upgrading the amount of memory you have is probably the simplest way to extend the life of your machine.
  9. macrumors member


    Feb 17, 2012
    Midwest USA
    Where do we draw the line between it being the OS maintainer's fault or just the natural progression of technology? I understand that in comparison, windows memory management looks pretty "lean-and-mean" these days, but why are we even comparing OS's that are designed in two completely different mindsets?
  10. macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2011
    I much prefer the aesthetics of Mac OS X. It's just enjoyable to use. But I have to say that Windows 7 performs better in my experience. Believe it or not, Windows 7 is snappier running in Parallels than native Lion on the same machine!

    I really believe it all comes down to the virtual memory problem that has been exacerbated in Lion -- it just kills performance. Has anyone noticed any improvements in this area in Mountain Lion?
  11. macrumors 65816


    May 29, 2011
    East coast, USA
    I'm wondering what the performance of ML will be on 3GB of memory. Right now I have 2GB, but am considering upgrading RAM and OS X. Right now on SL my Mac's wonderfully fast... but I want an upgrade.
  12. macrumors 68040

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    FYI, i have a VM with mountain lion DP3 in it.

    With 2gb of ram allocated to the VM, and app store open, and safari at, i have 930mb of free ram.

    It is also FAST. I'd say faster than Lion, when running in a VM under lion :D

    Memory management seems to be much improved over lion.

    I suspect Lion was a little too aggressive with regards to swapping things out and attempting to keep recently accessed data in RAM. It runs fine with an SSD, which is likely what apple tested most with at a guess.

    Mountain Lion is certainly different.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    I still have to check my mem usage, but the latest update to ML DP3 has made things feel much better.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2007
    Here's after a fresh boot.
    Screen Shot 2012-05-02 at 12.22.28 PM.png

    Here's with things open.
    Screen Shot 2012-05-02 at 12.18.38 PM.png
  15. macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2011
    glad to hear that ML is better on ram usage. That's really my only dislike of lion. I understand its 64-bit but I've run plenty of 64-bit OSs and none take up memory like Lion.
  16. macrumors 68000


    Jun 1, 2011
    Planet earth.
    Can anyone comment on the performance & memory usage of Mountain Lion compared to Snow Leopard?

    I had Lion installed for a few days when I got my MacBook Pro, but it was absolutely terrible.
  17. macrumors 603

    Oct 14, 2008
    Dunno, Lion surely feels snappier than Windows 7 running on the same iMac. With Lion I can open 40 tabs in Chrome + having lots of applications open and it runs happily. With Windows, even 20 tabs result in noticeable slowdowns.

    Bottomline: why would you care what the activity monitor shows when the performance is good?

    P.S. I run some benchmarks between Lion and ML DP3, they were virtually identical.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2011
    Well I have 8gb of RAM with lion so I don't really have to worry about it, but its just habit to check. I started out with 4gb and that was getting pushed to the max when doing music production and having a few other programs open but having the same thing open in Win 7 would only be like 2.5gb of used ram and around 1gb in Ubuntu.

    It's not the end of the world, I still like Lion
  19. macrumors 68040

    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I suspect they've tweaked the behavior with regards to swapping things out and placing memory into the "inactive" pool.

    I don't believe Lion is a "hog" simply because it is bloated, i think perhaps the VM system just wasn't quite tweaked right with regards to priority placed on swapping and caching.

    It probably tested fine on SSDs before release, and works fine on an air, but on a mechanical disk it sucks a bit.
  20. chevalier433, May 9, 2012
    Last edited: May 24, 2012

    macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2011
  21. macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2003
    I run DP3 on an MBA 2009 with SSD. It runs quite OK compared to Lion which barely crawled along.

    Not sure if it is due to memory or if the system itself is snappier.

  22. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2006
    Good to hear. It seems they have fixed some things under the hood compared to lion. :cool:
  23. macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012
    Ram Usage

    Hi guys
    Running MLDP4 not from fresh installation on MBA 13" early 2011 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3.

    The RAM usage is much much lower than with lion I am genuinely impressed! Lower by 20%!
  24. macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    Sweet, more ram for the apps to use as well as a snappier computer.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
    I never have memory problems with Lion, and I have 4gb of RAM.
    You guys are taking into account that "inactive" RAM is practically the same as "free" RAM, right?

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