8GB of RAM, still not enough!

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Nielsh, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Nielsh macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2011

    Now, I've read all of the stories about the "intuitive way" Mac OS handles RAM, and how the memory displayed as "Inactive" is perfectly normal, and will be adressed to other applications when needed.

    Well, I'm kind of concerned about that now. When using heavy applications like Logic Pro and Safari alongside eachtother, My 8 glorious gigs get depleted almost immediately and I'm stuck with about 60mb of free ram and about 4 gigs of inactive ram. Well, this is where this "memory addressing" should kick in right? Well, not a second later Logic Pro gives me his death note about not enough memory available, and there goes Logic Pro, closed.

    Same goes for other applications, if they don't force-quit, the spinning ball of doom shows up.

    So, I'm kind of curious, is Mac OS one big gaping memory-leak, or could there be something else going on?

    (for additional info: I've had this issue ever since Snow Leopard)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    This is an odd behavior. Is this all the Mac does with regards to RAM?
  3. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    My personal opinion is that Lion and more so Mountain Lion have memory management issues that cause problems.

    These include: Reboots, apps that fail, slow downs.
  4. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Welcome to the "new' iOS X. Since "Lion", Apple engineers seem more interested in making OS X feel similar to iOS for new adopters and all the iDevice users while focusing less on what made OS X such a great platform, the OS ;)

    As an ADC member since 10.1, developers have witnessed this since "Snow Leopard", and much to our surprise many bugs are still open and unaddressed since "Lion". Memory management being one of many.

    "Mountain Lion" may have improved, but it still is a long way from what "Snow Leopard" offered. Also, don't believe those that claim inactive RAM is a waste and the OS uses all the RAM and handles it, blah blah blah. It's blatant rhetoric, and as your situation clearly demonstrates, is false. I have 16GBs RAM on my 12-Core Mac Pro, and running Final Cut Pro X with other apps, it's been a far cry from "Snow Leopard".
  5. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    It seems like ML doesn't release RAM if the application is still open. I use iFreeMem (which probably just uses a terminal command) to clear my RAM from time to time when using applications that eat RAM...
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Snow Leopard has been the last great OS X version Apple has released. Agree completely.
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Seems like they got issues and don't fix them because they think people usually have way more RAM than they need anyway.
  8. wd40 macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2007
    I posted in another thread about my inactive memory problems but received no response.

    I have a 2011 2.2GHz i7 with 8GB of RAM and if I open up chrome, inactive memory jumps above 3GB and free falls below 100MB (ususally below 50mb lately).

    Running 'purge' doesn't clear the 3GB of inactive - it just clears a couple 100MBs that soon leak back out.

    What the heck is Chrome storing that keeps creating 3GB of inactive memory?? If I quite chrome > restart > re-open chrome (40+ tabs), it doesn't jump to 3GB+ inactive until the last few tabs load...

    Is there a way to just clear this excess 3GB that chrome keeps holding onto?? No matter what I do to clear up chrome (delete local storage, shockwave cache, flash cache, extensions, etc.), it always returns when I start the app up.

    I'm so tired of the color wheel and bi-hourly restarts...

    Any suggestions? I've google the heck out of this issue and there's a lot of discussion on it. But no one seems to have an answer that addresses the cause. Apps like "Free Memory" don't speed things up for me at all. If anything, they make things worse (if that's even possible)

  9. dcorban macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    40 tabs? How can one person "read" 40 tabs simultaneously?

    Do you have adblock for Chrome installed? It increases memory usage dramatically.

    I currently have 128mb "inactive" even after days of use and no reboot.
  10. Djlild7hina macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2009
    I use purge a lot on my 2009 macbook with 8gb ram. I'm usually just running safari/chrome though and a clean install of ml. no clue what's up with my comp haha
  11. speed3 macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2009
    I don't think the problem is caused by a single application. There's something going on at a system level that causes the available memory to fall to almost zero for no apparent reason. At first, I blamed Safari and switched to Chrome but the problem persisted. Then I restarted with no applications running, purposely avoided firing up ANY browsers and just opened up Mail and another non-memory intensive application but to no avail. I was hoping that the 10.8.1 update would fix it but the problem reoccurred immediately after updating. The only thing that works for me is to use an app like "Free Memory" (free in the App Store). The fix doesn't usually "stick" the first time around. In fact, I typically need to free the memory five times or more before my system settles down. Even after that, the issue can randomly reappear after a few hours.
  12. colloc macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2012
    It would be easier for everyone to help if you would post up a screenshot of your activity monitor window, with processes arranged by real memory usage.
  13. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    If you work on complex projects, you do not open 40 reference pages 2000 times in 3 days. Or you can do that-have fun.

    Do not use WebKit or WebKit2 based browsers (Chrome, Safari, ...), if you need more than 20 open tabs.
  14. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Try Firefox on the same configuration.

    The problem is the WebKit/WebKit2 framework. Safari uses this framework and had memory management problems in Mac OS X 10.2.x, 10.3.x, 10.4.x, 10.5.x, 10.6.x and 10.7.x. It is a well known WebKit/WebKit2/Safari problem. The problem disappears if you reboot your machine, and if you use a non-WebKit browser, such as Firefox.
  15. speed3 macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2009
    Right, except that: (1) I've never experienced this issue before despite having used all previous versions of OS X and Safari; and (2) as I wrote above, I reproduced the problem after a restart and without starting up ANY web browsers.
  16. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    I have 8GB of RAM and even though I don't love Firefox by any means, it's my primary browser. Using FF and some other applications, I'm still getting about 1.88GB of free RAM.

    If all else fails, it's worth giving FF a try.
  17. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Is Logic Pro the only app that complains about free memory? I'm on 4GB with a MBA and running multiple VMs, Xcode, and more I never have any crashes - not even due to lack of RAM. Sounds more like an issue with Logic Pro and not with the OS unless there are other apps displaying the error and closing.
  18. irnchriz macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005
    Logic Pro is the cause of your woes Im afraid. There are numerous threads on Logic Pros issues with memory and they all exist regardless of the OS you are running on. You should take a trip to: http://www.logicprohelp.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=1
    Chances are someone on the Logic forums will be able to assist you.
  19. mabaker macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2008
    I was the one who was plagued with memory woes under SL and Lion. ML improved on these things amazingly well - it's for me the best OS X release yet (of course I would have loved Rosetta to be still supported).
  20. fisherking macrumors 603


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    i dunno...i run logic all the time, often with safari open (10-12 tabs open).
    mail is running (and the usual iapps: calendar, notes, reminders).

    altho it's rare, i sometimes get a memory error in logic (8gigs ram, 10.8.1).

    am you using airport? try turning it off, rebooting. sometimes, after working on several large logic projects, i will get an error. i reboot, and open ONLY logic...
    and work. and eventually, open safari, etc etc.

    pretty rare tho.
  21. dcorban macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    I just opened 42 tabs with different webpages in Safari. Activity Monitor reports 906MB free memory on a 4GB system. My system doesn't feel slow at all.

    *edit* Now I opened, and have running, every major application on my system, including all of iWork and iLife, along with Safari's 42 tabs. 429MB free and still running smoothly.
  22. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Wait a few days.
  23. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
  24. CodeBreaker macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sea of Tranquility
    I think, since Lion (possibly SL), the inactive memory is freed after a longer duration and after making sure the process that allocated that space is fully terminated and chances of re-spawning it are low. Can't say who is the culprit here: Apple or BSD?

    Also note that a decent part of the inactive memory is disk cache and can be freed using the purge command.

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