4 GB is not enough (over 50 GB of Swap used)

Brandon263

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2009
396
19
Beaumont, CA
I had to restart my new MacBook Air with 4 GB of RAM because there wasn't enough space left as it as using all the available memory for SWAP. It's a bit ridiculous.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1371920707.111792.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1371920745.858843.jpg
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
What version of OS X are you running? IF you're running 10.7.x, make sure you update to 10.7.5 and the the security update that will be available. If you're running 10.8.x, make sure you update to 10.8.4.

And looking at the process list, are you running the latest version of the dropbox software?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,001
30,930
Boston
4gb can be on the low side, but a reboot will certainly reset the swap space and improve performance..
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
24,709
I agree with the other posters. How long has the MBA been running? With that sort of swap file it may indicate a memory leak in one of the programs you've got. Ensure everything's up-to-date as a start.

Reboot the computer, and untick the option 'Reopen windows when logging back in'. Keep us updated!
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
An SSD with swap on it may be fast, but it is more limited in space than a regular hard drive.
I know. I was sarcastically making the point to those in other threads who said 4GB RAM was enough because any memory paging would occur quickly in SSD. Thus completely ignoring the pitfalls of relying heavily on limited-space, limited-write-cycle-lifespan storage media.
 

Brandon263

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2009
396
19
Beaumont, CA
I just got the Air this morning. It's the new 1.3 Ghz Air with the latest OS X 10.8.4 pre-installed. All the apps running are the latest versions since I literally downloaded them hours ago so I am not sure why there should be any memory leakages. In 14 years of using Macs, I have never had this happen to me. I'm very disappointed.
 

NorCalLights

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2006
591
75
I just got the Air this morning. It's the new 1.3 Ghz Air with the latest OS X 10.8.4 pre-installed. All the apps running are the latest versions since I literally downloaded them hours ago so I am not sure why there should be any memory leakages. In 14 years of using Macs, I have never had this happen to me. I'm very disappointed.
Newness doesn't necessarily mean the programs are free of bugs. 50GB of swap is a lot if you're really just using the stock programs, but perhaps the act of downloading and installing new programs is driving up your memory usage. Also, your computer may be actively building its Spotlight index. Let us know what happens in the next 24 hours of usage.

Separate from your other issues, I would argue that 4GB of RAM is definitely not enough for a computer you plan on keeping for 3 to 4 years... The BTO option to double the RAM to 8GB is only $100, and since you can't upgrade later, I consider it a no-brainer on any new Air. In fact, it is the only BTO option that I would strongly suggest.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,881
368
Inside
I don't think this is OS X's fault. It's working as designed. Try running it with just one program at a time while keeping a close eye on the memory usage. If you see it starting to climb without stopping and going into swap, you'd have found the problem. I've had this happen to an older XP machine of mine. Problem then was a poorly written video converter.
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
I just got the Air this morning. It's the new 1.3 Ghz Air with the latest OS X 10.8.4 pre-installed. All the apps running are the latest versions since I literally downloaded them hours ago so I am not sure why there should be any memory leakages. In 14 years of using Macs, I have never had this happen to me. I'm very disappointed.
My question is what is dropbox doing that it is using so much CPU? (According to the images you posted.)
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,881
368
Inside
My question is what is dropbox doing that it is using so much CPU? (According to the images you posted.)
It could very well be the problem application. It might be stuck in a loop or race condition that is using up all of the system's resources.
 

ayres

macrumors regular
Sep 27, 2010
242
13
Hi op, change 'my processes' to 'all processes'... Lets see what root activities are running.

I bet kernal_task is high.
 

HiDEF

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2010
1,706
391
Miami, FL
I'm not a genius but from all the 4GB vs 8GB threads, it seems it all depends how you're going to use the air. If it's for a year or so and you're an average user, 4GB's should be enough, no?
 
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coldjeanzzz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2012
655
17
Why is Mail using up so much RAM and why is Dropbox running at 400+ CPU usage?

Restart your computer, neither of those things are normal
 

Miat

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2012
695
652
Page Outs: 64.52 GB
Swap Used: 59.00 GB
I run 4 GB RAM on both my 2012 Air and 2007 iMac. Even after being on for several days, including lots of browsing and some video encoding, I have never seen numbers bigger than about 5% of the ones you are getting.
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,667
169
Bay Area, Ca.
WTF? With just that? Something there has a fierce memory leak. The stuff you have there shouldn't even require 512mb ram lol.
 

torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
3,414
2,293
Sydney, Australia
Ive been running my 2011 MBA with 4gb of ram since launch and ive never had that warning come up or even close to that amount of swap used. There is defiantly an app or process playing up there. Why is mail using 1gb of memory lol??? Here is a screenshot of my activity monitor.

Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 11.22.50 am.png
 
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Fifteen20s

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2012
145
23
I would like to piggy back on this thread if I may.


I bought a new MBA last weekend, base model 13in. Only programs on it, other then what it came with, is pages and numbers.

At first I was nervous about 4gig memory being enough. I have used my MBA as my primary machine this week to get a feel for it and what it can do. I have kept activity monitor up watching CPU and memory usage and am satisfied I do not push it, there has always been available green in the memory usage pie chart.

When reading this thread I looked at the page outs and there are zero, but there is 359.6mb Swap used?

Google has told me that memory swap is the machine swapping tasks from memory to virtual memory. Is this a sign that my Numbers / Pages use has pegged my memory? Is it normal use and nothing to be concerned about?
 

Brandon263

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2009
396
19
Beaumont, CA
After restarting, resetting PRAM and SMC, repairing permissions and cleaning up the computer using Onyx, the computer is working fine. Although it is showing huge pageouts (~4GB), it nonetheless feels marginally faster than my rMBP 15 and there's no lag. The display actually doesn't look that bad either. :)
 

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HiDEF

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2010
1,706
391
Miami, FL
After restarting, resetting PRAM and SMC, repairing permissions and cleaning up the computer using Onyx, the computer is working fine. Although it is showing huge pageouts (~4GB), it nonetheless feels marginally faster than my rMBP 15 and there's no lag. The display actually doesn't look that bad either. :)
What display do you have, LG or Samsung?