2011 15" RAM Use Too High?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by 999999999, May 29, 2011.

  1. 999999999 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    #1
    Hello all,

    I have 2011 15" 2.3Ghz MBP and the most significant issue I've had with my new machine since I bought it is how it handles RAM.

    Basically, my computer was unusable with the stock 4GB if I wanted to have both Aperture and Firefox open at the same time. Beachballs were constant and at one point I had amassed 8GB (!) of swap. More RAM seemed like the obvious solution, so I bought and installed an 8GB kit which still feels insufficient. As you can see from the screenshot, WindowServer is occupying an insane 3.07GB, followed by Firefox with 1.01 and the Simplified Chinese Input Method (SCIM) at 990MB.

    My impression is that for the most part, only 1st-party apps run in 64-bit, and the benefit of allowing these applications to address more RAM is questionable at best for most users—why is an input method eating up 1/8 of my total memory? What is WindowServer doing with over 3GB? This is an issue because if I open anything else RAM-intensive (i.e. Aperture), the new program will find itself starved for memory and take a performance hit. Before anyone mentions it, I did run a search for similar problems and found 3 threads, none of which turned up satisfactory answers. So, I humbly pose the question of what, if anything I can do to stop the RAM-devouring madness.

    Thank you, human supercomputer.

    P.S. The numbers are courtesy of iStat Menus 3.
     

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  2. TheGdog macrumors 6502

    TheGdog

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    #2
    RE:2011 15" RAM Use Too High?

    There is no way window server should be using up that much ram. Look below at my screenshot. I have a 2009 macbook 2gb ram with quite a few apps running. just about 60MB. I would try reinstalling. But before you do that, log in under another user and see if its the same.
     

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  3. superericla macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #3
    Do you use the Simplified Chinese Imput Method? If not you could disable it to free some ram. Your window server ram use is unusually high as well. My 2011 15" is only using 67 MB of ram currently.
     
  4. 999999999 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    #4
    Thanks for the prompt responses! I would prefer not to reinstall because at the moment I don't have a large enough external drive for a full clone, plus I tend to see that as a nuclear option and it seems strange to have to do that on such a new computer. I also have a problem with the palm rest getting unusually hot, so in all likelihood I'll need to swap this machine under warranty.

    After restarting, WindowServer usually ratchets up to about 1.5GB within an hour or two. I will say that I'm a pretty heavy tab user in Firefox—at press time I have 32 open across three windows, plus iTunes and Skype. However, there have been times when I've had tons of tabs open and WindowServer has behaved itself. It seems nearly random. As for the Chinese input method, I use it constantly so that's unfortunately non-negotiable, though I still don't understand its obscene RAM footprint...
     
  5. TheGdog macrumors 6502

    TheGdog

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    #5
    RE:2011 15" RAM Use Too High?

    You can actually reinstall the OS system parts without touching your personal files. If you insert the disk and DON'T reformat the HD, just hit install. Always a good idea to back up though. You can also try setting up a new user to see if it has the same issue. Its not odd for firefox or any browser to take up a lot of ram when its being heavily used. But window server should by no means be taking up that much ram.

    Onyx is a great program that does a lot of maintenance stuff, could be something that Onyx could fix.
     
  6. 999999999 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for the tip! I reinstalled the OS last night and WindowServer has been behaving itself since. I do have and use Onyx, but it had no effect on that issue. Thank you again for your help!
     
  7. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #7
    Firefox and some of it's Add-Ons eat up memory if left open for a long time. Make sure Firefox and all it's Add-Ons are up to date and quit Firefox if not using it at the time.
     
  8. 999999999 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    #8
    That's sounds advice, but one thing I noticed about the WindowServer issue was that even closing ALL open applications and logging out and back in did not free up that RAM. I don't mind FF taking up about a gig; given how many tabs I keep open, plus my various add-ons, that seems entirely reasonable. Since reinstalling, WindowServer has been hovering at about 120MB, which is obviously a vast improvement over the 2.5-3GB it consumed before.
     

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