A little disspointed with 8GB RAM although I am using it: Only 2GM Memory free

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vyruz Reaper, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Vyruz Reaper macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #1
    I am doing a lot of research and working with pdf files that are over 10GB big and tons of pictures, like about 3000 that I use apertures to sort out etc. 4GB was not cutting and frequelnty iStat would tell me I have 0 free ram. My system would screech to a halt and it became very slow and unresponsive. I would run the preview app(8GB file) aperture with about 3000 pictures) and chrome with 6-8 tabs open at a time. So I decided to upgrade to 8GB ram and I still get the unresponsiveness and slowness I was experiencing. I bought the 8GB kingston RAM in hopes of buying brand name brings good performance. iStat tell me I have about 2GB of free memory and fluctuates around there.

    For my type of work, should I go back to 4GB and get a SSD? It seems I need the memory. Or maybe I just have bad performaing RAM? Buy another brand? Im a little stuck here.

    I have a core i5 15 inch 2.4 base model.
     
  2. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #2
    When you have the 2GB free, is the CPU maxed out? is the HD spinning like crazy?
     
  3. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #3
    CPU isnt maxed out and the HD is not spinning like crazy
     
  4. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #4
    hmmm ... typically when a system slows down, there is some sort of a bottleneck. Either in the system resources, or in some cases in the application logic.

    i.e. if the application logic cannot handle a certain task efficiently, it might slow IT down.

    However, you say that the rest of the system/apps are impacted.
     
  5. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #5
    You can use the activity monitor to see which programs are taking up what resources. Take a look at page outs, page ins also.
     
  6. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #6
    here I just did some quick work. I am attaching a screen capture. Sorry for the big image size, I had to leave it big so you can see. Although its 2GB free, its at 3.7GB free and I am still experiencing lag and slowness without the HD or CPU going crazy

    [​IMG]
     
  7. aohus macrumors 68000

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    #7
    definitely keep the 8gb ram, as you are utilizing most of it, and grab an SSD card ASAP. I guarantee you will get a huge performance boost from it.

    Additionally, 10GB PDF file? Thats nuts. If these are text documents, they should NOT have used PDF. scribd can be a good alternative. idk about security of it though.
     
  8. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #8
    I'm re-reading your initial post.

    Which application is specifically lagging? Preview? or others?
     
  9. Hisdem macrumors 6502a

    Hisdem

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    Jul 3, 2010
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    Boca Raton, FL
    #9
    Could you please switch the Memory tab in iStat to "Advanced"? Just to see how the swap is going. My MBP, even with about 500MB of free RAM starts using swap memory, slowing down everything. :confused:

    Oh and you can use Command+Shift+4 and press the space bar to take a picture of the iStat menus alone ;)
     
  10. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #10
    Activity monitor will give you a lot more information than istat.
     
  11. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

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    Honolulu
    #11
    Apple's Preview PDF reader is good but I too have noticed slowdowns when trying to open and use "large files" even in the sub gigabyte range. I can easily see how your system can crawl to a halt with the file sizes that you are dealing with.

    Try Using Skim. http://skim-app.sourceforge.net/index.html

    Performance may be better or worse but its worth a try. I don't know the exact nature of your work but another option may be to import the PDF images into iphoto as you would still be able to organize and view them with much faster responsiveness.
     
  12. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    preview the most, followed by laggy scrolling in chrome and intermittent responses from apertures
     
  13. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #13
    I have skim and its no better or worse
     
  14. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #14
    10 GB PDFs???? Wow.

    I don't believe memory isn't the issue, throughput is.

    What's your access medium? Internal Drive? Network? External Drive via Firewire? External via USB?

    FYI I use full blown Acrobat Pro and it's slow as molassas because my resolution is high and the access medium is slow. If I move the files to my SSD it flies (as it should).
     
  15. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #15

    How do I go advanced for iStat? Here is a quick snapshot of the page ins and outs. Remember this is a VERY small fraction of the amount of files I will be using and I only used it for about 5 minutes. I will be using the files for hours, manipulating them, compiling them etc.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #16
    If you are opening the files and preview is trying to read it, then it is an HD performance issue.

    If you minimize Preview, and switch to other apps and they behave slowly while other apps are static, there might some swapping taking place, and again the HD is getting hit.
     
  17. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #17
    I moved everything onto my own Internal Hardrive. 5400RPM Hitachi drive. Maybe a SSD is the answer, but its way more money than I want to spend on them right now, not to mention no trim support etc.(GB on other drives are even more $$)
     
  18. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #18
    Thanks, So it looks like i NEED BOTH SSD and 8GB ram?
     
  19. Corndog5595 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 16, 2010
    #19
    Try running OnyX. It “dusts” off your system for you.
     
  20. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #20
    The memory stats look pretty decent, little swapping is almost always going to happen.

    I bet it is I/O. These files are huge, and it looks like Preview might not be the best for manipulating files this large.

    You can never go wrong with more RAM :)

    As for SSD, I am not an expert on them, but read speeds will be waaaaaaaaaay up there. I believe write is as well, but I dunno by how much.

    Before dumping more $$ on hardware, is there another forum or source of info for your line of work where people describe their workflow. I have this feeling that Preview might not be the professional solution you seek, but that is just my gut feeling at this time.
     
  21. Hisdem macrumors 6502a

    Hisdem

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    Jul 3, 2010
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    #21
    To change the memory in iStat to advanced, just click the small "i" in the widget, select "Sections", and change memory to "Advanced" :)

    However it seems like your Mac could use some cleaning. Try running OnyX as suggested.
     
  22. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #22
    >.<

    Far too slow for such massive pdfs.

    You need quicker storage. Firewire Raid, SSD, anything. 5400 laptop drive

    way
    too
    slow
     
  23. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #23
    I just noticed his post after you posted.

    Yes, bingo. Your internal HD is most def it. Depending on your budget you can pick a route. FW on a very fast drive might do the trick.
     
  24. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #24
    oh wow.. so a firewire 800 7200RPM external HD is faster than my internal??
     
  25. Vyruz Reaper thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #25
    i just installed onyX and ran it. Hopefully i see some performance increase
     

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