High Sierra - Excessive RAM usage ?

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by NiCk-, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. NiCk- macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    #1
    Hello guys,

    I've finally upgraded my 2016 TB MacBook Pro to High Sierra 10.13.1 by doing a clean install. I have no issues and performance seems to be on par - or slightly better - with Sierra but I've noticed that lots of RAM is active. At the moment, I have only iMessage, Safari and Mail open and that has 8.58GB RAM active. Is that normal ? Have you noticed anything similar ? Thank you in advance !
     
  2. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 3, 2004
    #2
    What problem do you think you have? RAM is better if it's just installed in the machine and not be used for anything?
     
  3. NiCk- thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2007
    #3
    Do you really find it so difficult to understand what "my problem" is or you just wanted to make a post with a smart remark ?

    The "problem that I think I have" is that something else may be using that 8GBs in the background and that is why I'm asking if anyone else has noticed something similar.

    If High Sierra needs 8GBs of RAM for 3 apps then I can't imagine how much it will need for 10 apps.
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    #4
    I don’t mean this with any offense but I don’t have a better way to word it: your understanding of RAM management harkens to the days prior to 10.8.

    You’re not having a problem, it may look confusing to you, but I assure you you’re machine is working exactly as designed.
     
  5. NiCk- thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2007
    #5
    Thank you for your answer. I'm no computer expert - I admit that - but if everything is OK then I'm happy with that.
     
  6. bizzwriter macrumors member

    bizzwriter

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    Aug 4, 2010
    Location:
    Left coast...
    #6
    Interesting. I was just going to post that after installing High Sierra on my 2017 i7 48GB RAM 1TB SSD (it shipped with Sierra) that my machine dropped from a typical 20GB-ish memory used to 15GB-ish memory used. This is with my typical apps being used (Mail, iMessage, iTunes, Chrome with 10 tabs open, Google Drive, an Excel spreadsheet open, a Word file open.) Pleasant surprise.
     
  7. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #7
    The difference between 20 GB and 15 GB usage may just be because of duration of usage and variability of use within each app.

    In fact, with your listed type of usage, After a fresh reboot I can have less than 8 GB used on my 24 GB iMac.
     
  8. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #8
    It's running fine on my 2 GB MBA. macOS will use a ton of RAM if it's available, but it doesn't actually need it.
     
  9. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #9
    I couldn't run anything feasibly with 2 GB RAM, even with very basic use. 4 GB is the bare minimum IMO.

    For the record, I have tried running High Sierra with 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, and 24 GB. I have 5 Macs with High Sierra. Those 5 Macs are now 3 with 8 GB RAM, 1 with 16 GB RAM, and 1 with 24 GB RAM. IMO 8 GB is the sweet spot for lighter usage, but for heavier usage 16 GB or more is recommended.
     
  10. Retromac2008 macrumors regular

    Retromac2008

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    Oct 9, 2015
    #10
    4gb is perfect for normal use
     
  11. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #11
    Nah. 4 GB is very usable in High Sierra, but 8 GB is noticeably better even without heavy usage. Without heavy usage though, 16 GB provides no significant benefit.

    2 GB is almost unusable though IMO.
     
  12. Retromac2008 macrumors regular

    Retromac2008

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    Oct 9, 2015
    #12
    i don t find differences [8gb vs 4gb ] with normal use, probably it s personal :)
     
  13. EugW, Nov 12, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017

    EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #13
    I find there is not much difference between 4 GB and 8 GB with very short term usage that is quite light. However, with a little bit more usage (but not heavy usage) over a longer period of time, with 4 GB, I encounter the spinning beachball much more often. It's much less frequent with 8 GB RAM, even when just running a few business type apps along with a half dozen Safari tabs, iMessage, and Mail. But yes, 4 GB can be very usable for light short term usage.

    OTOH, with 2 GB RAM, it's painful doing almost anything. Everything is slow, slow, slow, unless you just load one program or something.

    If I had to match what I'm talking about to a rating out of 10, it'd go something like this:

    2 GB RAM - 2 / 10
    4 GB RAM - 7 / 10
    8 GB RAM - 8.5 / 10
    16 GB RAM - 9 / 10
     
  14. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    #14
    I have not had any issues with 2 GB. What are you having problems doing?
     
  15. EugW, Nov 12, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017

    EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #15
    It may be a matter of what you're used to.

    I went from an 8 GB MacBookPro5,5 to a 2 GB MacBook5,1, and it made me want to rip my hair out because there were just so many delays. As soon as I upgraded the latter to 4 GB, most of those delays went away. I still eventually upgraded to 8 GB though, but that's because I got a killer deal on 8 GB. If I hadn't gotten the nice deal, I probably would have stuck with 4 GB, because it was just a kitchen machine anyway.

    If you've never used a 8 GB High Sierra machine much, then you may be more tolerant of 2 GB in High Sierra. Do you have an 8 GB laptop with which to compare?
     
  16. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #16
    I have a couple running OpenBSD with cwm. I am used to a fast response and I still do not notice delays with HS on my MBA.

    I don't use any 3rd party software on macOS though, so it could be that the built-in applications are more efficient.
     
  17. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #17
    What kind of built-in applications?

    If you're using the Terminal and Mail, it probably wouldn't be a big deal, but don't expect to run that well along with Apple's more RAM intensive apps.

    And yes, I run Microsoft Office, which can be a memory hog, but then again MS Office is an extremely popular suite of programs across all levels of users, even high school students, so I think it's reasonable to use MS Office functionality in this assessment.
     
  18. bizzwriter macrumors member

    bizzwriter

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    Left coast...
    #18
    Thanks EugW -- I'll see it if creeps up over the next couple of weeks of use -- I never turn off my machine, so things will definitely accumulate over time.
     
  19. Retromac2008 macrumors regular

    Retromac2008

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    Oct 9, 2015
    #19
    i used a 2008 macbook air with 2gb and Chrome was a big problem
     
  20. arefbe macrumors 6502

    arefbe

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    Sep 11, 2010
    #20
    I'm curious. Do you people with 12-48gb of RAM. Do you see a Swap Used on your machines? I have 16gb in my 2015 MacBook with no more than Safari, with 2 tabs, iTunes, Pages and Messages open, and I see that Swap has been used. Should that be?
     
  21. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #21
    I sometimes see small amounts of compressed memory with 16 and 24 GB machines, with occasional small swaps too, even when there is unused memory. And I can sometimes get beachballs too. Not sure why.

    It’s just that it happens less than with 8 GB RAM even with lighter usage, and a lot less than with 4 GB RAM.
     
  22. arefbe macrumors 6502

    arefbe

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    Sep 11, 2010
    #22
    Thanks, I appreciate your answer! I feel a little bit better, it's just very puzzling...
     
  23. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #23
    BTW, do you mean 2015 MacBook Pro? You can’t configure the 2015 MacBook with 16 GB RAM.
     
  24. Retromac2008 macrumors regular

    Retromac2008

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    #24
    edit, sure, he s talking about pro!
     
  25. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    #25
    Mainly Safari, Mail, Terminal, and Pages (yes, not built-in, but still Apple-developed). It does swap, but there is no noticeable performance hit. I quit applications completely when I'm done with them, so they do not stay open in the background, which helps to some extent.
     

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