file cache limit change?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by darshie76, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. darshie76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #1
    I have noticed an incredible increase in file cache usage....if the app takes 4-5 Gb, the rest of the free memory is taken by the file cache; which means that when a new app starts, it goes beyond the available memory, causing the OS to write on disk.

    Is there a way to limit the file cache, so I can keep aside few GB of memory when I launch an app, in the meantime that the OS purge the file cache on its own?
     
  2. drew627 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    #2
    Actually, Mavericks adopted a really aggressive caching and will cache as much as possible. It'll free those memory as soon as the system requires any.
     
  3. mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #3
    What kind of training do you have to determine the engineers at Apple don't know how to do memory management? Seriously.

    If you are really having issues with not enough RAM then the "memory pressure" graph will begin to turn yellow or even red. If it's still green, don't worry about it.
     
  4. darshie76 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #4
    That's what I was relying upon, but I've noticed that instead, the pressure just went up and I've got a screen asking to forcefully close applications, because all the memory was used.

    Safari seems to be the the biggest culprit, since when I have a lot of pages open (especially if they have videos embedded, say youtube and similar) the memory goes down (altho not instantaneously....I keep the computer on most of the time, and I notice the issue after a day or 2).

    Also any software that copy files seems to fill the file cache quickly, so I assume that the system is optimizing the file transfer....at which point I would expect the cache to be freed, so apps can use the memory when I launch them.

    Another strange thing is that kernel_task start to use a ton of memory; like it skyrocket from the usual Gb of normal use, to 7-8Gb.

    ----------

    I don't think that such comment even deserve an answer, since it doesn't really add anything to the thread.

    If everything was working fine, I would not have any problems.
     
  5. w0lf macrumors 65816

    w0lf

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    Sounds like you're running an app that doesn't work with Mavericks. Something isn't releasing memory right because kernel_task should really never be that high.
     
  6. darshie76 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #6
    Safari is one app that I use; another one is called "folder watch"; which is what I use to do backup of my drives. Other than that I use FCP, Cinema4d and quicktime....

    Gotta try to use specific ones and drill down to the one that is not releasing memory; altho the issue is always when the file cache is high; I don't see any app using an abnormal amount of memory (got the activity monitor up and running all the time, to monitor, just in case).

    The only one that is really giving me troubles is the safari web content (got a ton of them), and I get "QTKitServer Safari web content" most of the time stuck/non responding....which I can't understand what could be, since I have no windows open in safari with flash or video content. They don't take a lot of memory, but they are many....80 mb x 10 is almost a gb in the end >_<
     
  7. w0lf macrumors 65816

    w0lf

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    I would guess that it's "Folder watch".

    All web browsers use a lot of memory and I really wouldn't expect any system apps to be causing issues. I suppose if you have any extensions installed for Safari those could be causing problems.

    Don't worry about the Safari Web content not responding. I'm not sure of the exact root of the problem but it's not actually "Not Responding". Chrome was having the same problem but they whipped up a workaround and pushed it out in chrome 31 I believe. Sadly I don't really believe Safari gets enough development to bother using in this fast paced digital world, it's far too insecure and outdated. It also doesn't get enough support from web developers because the market share of non-mobile Safari users is freaking tiny.
     
  8. mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #8
    OK, sorry if that came off wrong. But it wasn't clear from your original description if there was a problem. There are too many threads saying "OMG, I have no free memory. That file cache thing is sucking all my memory. How do I turn it off?" when there is no problem.

    I would agree that if the memory pressure graph is getting "warm" then there's something bad going on. Unfortunately, I doubt there are many knobs that can be touched to change its behavior.

    If you think Safari is one of your culprits, then you could at least try using an alternate browser for a little to see if that helps the situation.

    Any utilities you have that somehow interface to the kernel to perform some task may be suspect. Remember, the software would have been designed to work properly on older versions of the OS may have poor interaction with 10.9.x. If there was some way to turn those off then that might be something to experiment with. That directory watching tool you described is a good example of software I would at least be suspicious of.

    Another type of software to think about is if you added any third-party drivers to your Mac. Those might not be totally happy with 10.9 and cause bad behavior.

    One experiment you could try is to create a new account on your Mac. That might eliminate some cruft and incompatibility of your software settings in your main account. See if the bad behavior continues. If it does, then you know the bad behavior has more to do with how you are using the computer and not some bad settings somewhere.

    If Safari is still acting up, maybe try a different browser.

    Check on third-party drivers. One way to do that is to check for kernel extensions and filter out the ones associated with Apple. That can be done without elevated privileges using the Terminal shell.

    Code:
    kextstat | grep -v apple
    Looking at those extra drivers, do you understand what they are? Are there updated versions available from your vendor? If you don't know what they are, you might want to un-install some software. Looks like that list can also be obtained in a less convenient form under the "System Information" app. Software -> Extensions. Sort by the "Obtained From" column.
     
  9. darshie76 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #9
    Thanks guys; so it seems that the problem was somehow the OS itself....got an update with some patch and once I restarted the computer, it seems to work fine again.

    The memory stays low, I don't get anymore Safari spinning beach ball left and right, when you have few pages open.

    To be honest, I've also updated flash; and now it seems to work as intended: when you are not watching a video, the plugin on that page deactivate, so it won't retain memory while you don't watch it. When you want to watch the video, just click on the video and the disabled message disappear.

    Not sure if it was Apple messing up, Safari plugin or Flash, but I am glad that now I have no slow down and no memory issues, doing exactly what I was doing before :)

    No worries Mfram; I get your point and sadly, I get why you came out in that way...I am no rocket scientist, but I understand that many on forums are still making electricity with hamsters on a wheel, running pentium 2 computers and power mac PPC 400 MHz; which has limited knowledge of what is going on, and when they see something weird, they go around freaking out.

    I tought that you were just flaming because I was trying to do something that goes against the guru at Apple :) They are humans like us, they can make mistakes, and I would not think lesser of them, just because they mess up something (if they fix it lol, otherwise I do get pissed). Glad that we clarified; I don't like useless discussions just for the sake of a fight.
     

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