1 GB inactive RAM + heavy page-outs

mabaker

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Jan 19, 2008
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I’ve never had these kind of problems with Leopard on my G5, neither on Tiger. Both having installed less than 4 GB of RAM.

SL seems to have changed the RAM management quite a bit. I don’t know if it’s the video memory that is causing SL to slow down the whole system so much that it has to page out each and every newly opened Safari tab or PS document to HDD.

I wonder if any of you is experiencing the same problem?

Here is a screen shot of the RAM usage:



In other words, the page-outs are taking place even despite the supposed FREE Inactive RAM...
 

spinnerlys

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Sep 7, 2008
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What Mac do you use?

My iMac (C2D) has 10.6.2 and only a 1GB Swap file, currently 590MB are in use.
I have 4GB RAM, 1.18 GB is inactive. My Mac is running for six days, and has up to 20 applications open, which I closed yesterday.
Currently there are only seven applications running (obviously more, but the ones that are visible in the dock).
 

mabaker

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Jan 19, 2008
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Thanks for your data, spinnerlys! Seems that you also have the paging file in use while having some apps running. Maybe the behaviour is normal after all in SL?

I got the MacMini Late 2009 model. :)

On my Power Mac G4 with Tiger (1 GB RAM), I RARELY see any inactive RAM there and the paging file is rarely used as well. If it’s used the inactive memory goes down heavily.

I expected similar behavior in SL, but it seems it’s not the case at all.
 

bearcatrp

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2008
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Boon Docks USA
Looks like you need a bit more ram as your page outs are to high. 32 bit programs will do this since they cannot access more than 4gb ram but looks like you have less than 4gb.
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Aug 7, 2006
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It's an application thing.

Even on my Mac Pro, on a fresh boot, with 5 gigs of free ram, VMWare uses the page file even though all my ram is free.

Some programs just don't function as well as other when it comes to writing to the page file.

I wouldn't worry about it. Here's my MBP 13"...notice my memory usage, page useage, and my 10day uptime. 600k ins, 28k outs. 4 gigs of ram, btw.
 

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BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Jun 15, 2005
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Have you tried closing and reopening Safari? That seems like an awful lot of RAM being used by a single web browser.
 

-aggie-

macrumors P6
Jun 19, 2009
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Where bunnies are welcome.
Have you tried closing and reopening Safari? That seems like an awful lot of RAM being used by a single web browser.
I was thinking the same thing. I have 6 pages open including tabs and my Safari takes less than 300 MB. Also, I only have 2 GB of memory and my page outs are 1/4 of the OP's. I have all kinds of crap open.
 

to1986

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2009
165
1
In other words, the page-outs are taking place even despite the supposed FREE Inactive RAM...
This is definitely a SL problem, I have been experiencing exactly the same problems and it has driven me mad.

Ive searched the web and the only advice I ever get is install more RAM, but as u mentioned this never occured in Leopard despite running the same applications. I even resorted to clean installing SL which improved performance somewhat, but the poor memory management is still apparent.

With light use my page outs can be around 600 MB worth by the end of the day, I think thats close to 500,000 lol, and I am not someone that uses CS4 or any of the virtual machines.

Safari 4 is also unusable for long periods on SL, I also get the same kind of memory usage, and the only way round it is it to keep restarting it. Firefox is much the same, so I have resorted to using chrome and opera (which is damn good by the way!).

A lot of people (not everyone) appear to be suffering from the same issues on SL, but there doesnt seem to be a way around it yet. After all SL is still fairly new, so I am hoping apple are aware of this and fix it with 10.6.3
 

mabaker

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Jan 19, 2008
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I was thinking the same thing. I have 6 pages open including tabs and my Safari takes less than 300 MB. Also, I only have 2 GB of memory and my page outs are 1/4 of the OP's. I have all kinds of crap open.
Wow, I can only dream of such low numbers especially using Safari! LOL! I don’t know what’s the reason behind it but, yes, I don’t think I’m alone on this issue either - there’s also a HUGE thread on Apple’s official forums describing SL’s memory inconsistencies that are simply aggravating and bringing the whole system to a grinding halt, just like Windows 98/2000 days.

Indeed closing and reopening Safari, helps quite a bit but only for limited time till the RAM-o-memter fills up and the paging begins anew.

Thanks, Sean, for posting your data! It very much seems that either some of the SL are affected or it’s something in the hardware that’s making SL use enormous amounts of RAM for simple tasks…

to1986, yes! Exactly my thoughts! But then again how much RAM do you want to install in a mac that was perfectly usable with 2 GB under Leopard? I remember once there was a MacBook RAM limitation up to 6GB and from then on the system would slow down ENORMOUSLY - maybe Apple didn’t fix that issue till today with SL. But what they did is just smash more RAM (4 GB) across their line in hope to minimize the side effect.

I hope 10.6.3 will solve this issue but there’s little chance. Thank God we still have a choice of running Leopard on our machines! :eek:
 

t0mat0

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Aug 29, 2006
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Wow, I can only dream of such low numbers especially using Safari! LOL! I don’t know what’s the reason behind it but, yes, I don’t think I’m alone on this issue either - there’s also a HUGE thread on Apple’s official forums describing SL’s memory inconsistencies that are simply aggravating and bringing the whole system to a grinding halt, just like Windows 98/2000 days.

Indeed closing and reopening Safari, helps quite a bit but only for limited time till the RAM-o-memter fills up and the paging begins anew.

Thanks, Sean, for posting your data! It very much seems that either some of the SL are affected or it’s something in the hardware that’s making SL use enormous amounts of RAM for simple tasks…

to1986, yes! Exactly my thoughts! But then again how much RAM do you want to install in a mac that was perfectly usable with 2 GB under Leopard? I remember once there was a MacBook RAM limitation up to 6GB and from then on the system would slow down ENORMOUSLY - maybe Apple didn’t fix that issue till today with SL. But what they did is just smash more RAM (4 GB) across their line in hope to minimize the side effect.

I hope 10.6.3 will solve this issue but there’s little chance. Thank God we still have a choice of running Leopard on our machines! :eek:
Very interesting to hear - Have you got a link to the thread? I've been bashing my head against beachballing (and from the number of threads on beachballing, stalling etc i think others have without relaising it might be a SL memory issue).

Seeing Firefox, Safari cause beachballs for apparently no reason (4GB or 6GB memory installed)..

Anyone know the difference between Leopard and Snow leopard in the memory regard?
 

smogsy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2008
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i havent got a large page file however,

i have seen some bad memory management from SL

I have a Mac pro with 12GB of Ram booting into SL im down to 11GB

i have safari,cyberduck,itunes,adiumx open after a few hours of total im down to 9GB i can even leave my Mac running with no interaction, (just leave safari tabs open) to see my ram go down to 7/8GB

there definilty some weird activty going on. i know free ram doesnt mean anything, due to inactivate ram etc, but to drop GB a time is a bit odd
 

to1986

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2009
165
1
to1986, yes! Exactly my thoughts! But then again how much RAM do you want to install in a mac that was perfectly usable with 2 GB under Leopard?
Well that is my thoughts, we should not have to upgrade the RAM. If 2GB was insufficient to run SL I am sure Apple owuld have informed us before the upgrade was released.

Very interesting to hear - Have you got a link to the thread?
http://discussions.apple.com/messageview.jspa?messageID=11197541&stqc=true

I have to say you aren't going to get much out of it. The problem on the apple support forums, is that there are plenty of arrogant idiots, that proclaim they know everything, and feel that those that are having these issues must be idiots who aren't using their system correctly.

However it would be good if everyone posts and makes it clear there is an issue. Maybe if we can kick up enough of a fuss Apple might look into it? is there no way we can officially complain about it?
 

mabaker

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Original poster
Jan 19, 2008
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i havent got a large page file however,

i have seen some bad memory management from SL

I have a Mac pro with 12GB of Ram booting into SL im down to 11GB

i have safari,cyberduck,itunes,adiumx open after a few hours of total im down to 9GB i can even leave my Mac running with no interaction, (just leave safari tabs open) to see my ram go down to 7/8GB
See, this only confirms my supposition that the MORE memory you throw at SL the more it will use. That’s why I’m always pretty wary of all these “Upgrading from 2GB to 4GB” threads here on the forum cuzz the system will be as good as its RAM management features.

Do you have any paging issues, smogsy? Have you used your Mac Pro with LEopard, as well for a comparison?

I can tell from experience that MacMini (early2009) ran Leopard very well with 2GB stock and not many page outs at all. Isold the “old 2009” mini and bought the new 2009 mini ironically cuzz more RAM was included into the configuration. Yet I didn’t get much out of it in the end cuzz of SL’s weird paging issues. :rolleyes:

Here is the link to that thread again: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=11197541#11197541
 

t0mat0

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Aug 29, 2006
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http://discussions.apple.com/messageview.jspa?messageID=11197541&stqc=true

I have to say you aren't going to get much out of it. The problem on the apple support forums, is that there are plenty of arrogant idiots, that proclaim they know everything, and feel that those that are having these issues must be idiots who aren't using their system correctly.
I remember the issues prior to Performance Update 1.0 & HD Firmware Update 2.0. Took a few dozen pages, and calls to tier 2 then the tech to investigate.

There are ways to complain - Feedback to the mbp feedback page, and then calls to customer service asking for Apple tech to investigate the issues.

A decent way to collate the number of people affected is a thread.

By using the Apple thread, more legit tech media will link if there are enough cases involved and requests to cover the issue.
The Snow Leopard Memory Hog thread seems a good place to comment.
 

to1986

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2009
165
1
I remember the issues prior to Performance Update 1.0 & HD Firmware Update 2.0. Took a few dozen pages, and calls to tier 2 then the tech to investigate.

There are ways to complain - Feedback to the mbp feedback page, and then calls to customer service asking for Apple tech to investigate the issues.

A decent way to collate the number of people affected is a thread.

By using the Apple thread, more legit tech media will link if there are enough cases involved and requests to cover the issue.
The Snow Leopard Memory Hog thread seems a good place to comment.
Well I did send in some feedback, will leave a message on the apple support forum thread telling people to do the same. I sent it to the mac os x feedback as I thought that would be relevant. If anyone else wants to do the same the link is:

http://www.apple.com/feedback/macosx.html

When you say you made calls to tier 2, what do you mean?
 

Denarius

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2008
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Well I did send in some feedback, will leave a message on the apple support forum thread telling people to do the same. I sent it to the mac os x feedback as I thought that would be relevant. If anyone else wants to do the same the link is:

http://www.apple.com/feedback/macosx.html

When you say you made calls to tier 2, what do you mean?
Well, with any luck we'll see 10.6.3 before hell freezes over. Perhaps that will address these issues.
 

MrBrekke

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2009
277
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Norway
Well guys here is my ram usage.
I only find the 6GB page ins strange can anyone tell me why i have 6 GB page ins and only 30 MB page outs.

Thanks for any reply.


added 2 images taken now after a shutdown/startup with no programs running.
 

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MrBrekke

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2009
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Norway
how come you guys are getting so high page uouts?
the most i ever have seen for my self have been around 400 MB and that was when having 3 wm's running at the same time
 

mabaker

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Jan 19, 2008
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how come you guys are getting so high page uouts?
the most i ever have seen for my self have been around 400 MB and that was when having 3 wm's running at the same time
That’s a question for $100 000 indeed! :confused:

Let me repost what a member said about “page ins”, the number you’re seeing is indeed high as hell as mine currently is about 570 MB:

OK, to summarise what it means, your computer has a certain amount of RAM, which is its "memory". It simulates more RAM by allowing extra data to be saved to the hard disk, which is known as Virtual Memory.
To do this, it breaks your memory space up into "pages". Applications that need access to data that is in memory call the data by page. If an application calls a page and it is in the RAM, then it is a "page in" occurs. If an app calls for a page from memory, and that page is currently stored on the hard disk and has to be read back into the RAM, then a "Page Out" occurs.

Pageins occur anytime something is moved into Active RAM whether that is from Inactive RAM, the swapfile(s), or another file on the hard drive.
But then again wouldn’t it mean that you should have 6GB of RAM installed to have 6 GB page ins? Or at least 4GB of RAM and 2 GB of Virtual Memory?

I am no expert in these things but ever since SL is getting sluggish on me after 10+ hours of normal, light computing, something must be wrong indeed.
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
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I think theres some sort of memory leak for Safari. I'm getting over 400+ ram usage but none of it is in wired. I only have 4 tabs opened also. The same windows/sites in Firefox results in only 40MB of ram usage, all in wired.
 

soms

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2007
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Seattle
I think theres some sort of memory leak for Safari. I'm getting over 400+ ram usage but none of it is in wired. I only have 4 tabs opened also. The same windows/sites in Firefox results in only 40MB of ram usage, all in wired.
I'm 99% certain there is as well. No matter if the site has flash or not, Safari really starts bogging down after being open for a few hours, even with only 2-3 tabs open. VS: Firefox with close to 25 tabs open and no more than 100mb used.
 

mabaker

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Original poster
Jan 19, 2008
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^ I concur!

Do you guys have Top Sites enabled? When disabled the RAM usage of Safari drops 60%! Unbelievable.
 

mabaker

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Jan 19, 2008
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You might want to try out Google Chrome. It's slightly less RAM intensive.
Chrome is good but its CPU usage soars at times which is pretty unexplainable to me…

Anyhow the problem persists still. I have been using the computer for several hours now till the RAM magically or not was filled and the paging began.

Now I decided to get some work done and to launch Word (25 sec launch time) and InDesign (40 sec launch time). What I found amazing was that the Inactive memory STILL oscillated around 1 GB and settled finally for 1000 MB. Everything else, including Word and InDesign have been moved to the disk virtual memory.

Something ain’t right for sure.



EDIT: I just ran Disk Utility Repair Permission procedure as advised on the official Apple forums, look how much RAM it freed up:



That is interesting although I have no idea what Repair Permissions has to do with RAM in Mac OS X.