Pageouts at over 18% -- Will 4GB in the Air be enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by iceberg888, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. iceberg888, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

    macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    In another thread, I've asked about heat/noise between the 13" MBA and 15" MBP. But I've been wondering about RAM as well as I contemplate replacing my macbook. I've heard that the typical rule of thumb is if your pageouts to pageins ratio is below 10%, additional RAM won't help you.

    It's been just 24 hours since my last restart (I had to update some software otherwise I often go several weeks before a restart), and my pageouts are 18.5%. I have the usual suspects running: Safari (10-15 tabs open), Excel, Powerpoint, Skype, Transmission, Adium, and Windows XP via VMware Fusion (with other versions of PowerPoint and Excel running). I also briefly streamed some Netflix earlier today and had NPR's radio player in the background.

    I know the SSD is a much better solution for virtual memory than a spinning hard drive, but I also seem to remember reading that RAM is still many times faster.

    I don't think that I'm a power user as I don't process videos or anything, but I don't really want to change my habits to accommodate the 4GB limit. (And will I pageout more in the Air since the nVidia chip hogs 256MB?)

    Can anyone comment on whether they have similar or higher pageout levels and whether the Air is up to the task?

    Or at these pageout levels does it mean I really should get an MBP with 8GB of RAM? :confused:

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
  2. macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2005
    4GB is usually enough except in rare cases. I'm running a similar load and I'm still showing 500MB completely free. I tend to bring up Activity Monitor, select to see "All Processes" instead of just yours, then sort by Real Memory to see who's using the memory.

    I use Chrome because in the past I've seen Safari have huge memory leaks. Chrome does not. I've never been able to run Safari more than a week or two before it brings my system down to its knees because the system is swapping so much because Safari has hogged up all the memory.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    Currently I show 48MB free, with Safari hogging 1.2GB and Fusion using about 650MB. I might try Chrome if it's more efficient, but I was hoping I wouldn't have to change my routine.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    How does one get Safari to 1.2 GB? Firefox with my normal usage pattern never gets that bad...
  5. macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Safari uses a lot of ram for me as well, ~700mb, so I switched to Google Chrome, it uses ~150mb + 20mb x #of extensions installed...Google Chrome is also noticeably a lot faster than Safari
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2009
    Safari is a memory hog. And it doesn't free up ram from a tab once you close it. Chrome does that, as each tab is a separate process, and hence uses less memory.
  7. macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    In my previous experience i've seen Chrome itself use about 70-120MB, that's JUST the app. With Chrome each tab is a separate process and because of that, each tab takes up another 40-60MB... And if it's a large site on a tab then even 90MB. So tbh I found Chrome a worse memory hog than Safari, which is only using 333MB and I haven't shut down for about 3 days, have 8 tabs open.
    If that was Chrome it would be using around 500MB.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2005
    Calling Chrome a memory hog doesn't add up or matter. 500MB != 1.2GB. Safari leaks. 3 days is nothing.

    Chrome doesn't have memory leaks. You can keep it up forever and it won't be taking up 1.2GB.

    Safari just keeps on eating up memory forever. No amount of memory is enough. 1.2GB is obscene. There's no way Safari should legitimately use that much RAM. It is leaking, and it will continue to get worse forever. I've spent too much time trying to track down Safari leaks. I used the webkit nightly builds for a while, I tried removing extensions, I monitored usage. No avail. Still leaks. I doesn't increase linearly. There are certain websites that make memory usage take off. It maybe heavy javascript sites like Yahoo, GMail, google stock quotes. Once it uses up the memory it never gives it back even if you close down all the tabs and windows. You have to shut down Safari to get the memory back.

    OP: I think you've discovered your memory hog. When I did use Safari, I had to break down and close it whenever the system would start slowing down. 1.2GB is way way way beyond what Safari should be using. Try Chrome. On my system Chrome is using 120MB right now + a process per tab which is still pretty small. We're talking 10% of what Safari is using, 90% less. That is a huge difference.

    Firefox also works fine with little or no leaking.
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    I'll start using Chrome today and see if that improves things. Thanks!
  10. macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2010
    I have xp on parallels ( 512 mb dedicated - using only 184 now.. dunno why.. )
    parallels 6, skype, msn, word 2011 mac, excel 2011 mac, activity monitor, chrome ( only mac rumors ) running right now...

    free mem - 2.16 gb , wired 1.08 gb, active 568 mb, inactive 207.mb

    used = 1.84 gb

    page ins = 1.45

    page out = ZERO

    swap used = 492.9 mb ( I think xp is using this not mac os )

    so if I open up more tabs in chrome... i'll still have 1.7-1.8 gb free mem....

    after opening, closing and reopening chrome or safari..many tabs... free mem goes down to 1 gb or less..but i guess its because these apps sit in inactive memory to launch fast....
  11. macrumors 6502


    Sep 9, 2008
    San Juan, PR
    To add to the Safari hog discussion I agree on it, but wait until Apple releases Safari 6? or a version running on WebKit2. It will be almost the same as Chrome with Tabs running on different process and Sandbox.

    I like Safari more than Chrome but this huge memory use thing on Safari is crazy.

    Using Chrome even the latest stable version feels like using Beta software all the time. Safari feels very solid and stable, integrates better with 1Password than in Chrome.
  12. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    Running the VM is what is causing your page-outs. I have a 4G "Ultimate" and I have very few page-outs even with Outlook, Safari (with a bunch of open tabs) and Word or Excel 2011 open. If I fire up Parallels 6, the page-outs shoot up. As soon as you give 1-2GB of RAM to another OS, you'll start running out of RAM.
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    I currently have 512MB dedicated to XP on Fusion, that's why I was surprised at the number of pageouts.
  14. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    Remember, there's the room taken up by Fusion itself, plus another OS looking to access the same 256MB of RAM shared with the graphics adapter.

    I have 1.75GB dedicated to Windows 7 64-bit, and it routinely pushes page-outs up around 50% of page-ins. I might scale it back to 1GB.

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