High Sierra hates 8GB of RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ToroidalZeus, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #1
    MacBook Pro Retina Early 2012
    8GB of RAM
    Upgrade to High Sierra
    Memory Used: 7+GB
    Swap Used: 4GB
    Memory Pressure: Yellow->Red
    Switching tabs would cause delay and be unresponsive.

    Upgraded motherboard to 16GB version (because the ram is soldered onto the board)
    Memory Used: 7.5-11GB
    Swap Used: 0GB
    Memory Pressure: Green
    Everything normal.

    My computer was borderline unusable with 8GB of RAM on High Sierra because the OS would try to swap 4GB to the disk. With 16GB, OS feels fine, like it felt with regular Sierra. For reference, my use case is browsing the web with multiple tabs and using Office Suite; Not exactly the most demanding power user.

    If you don't have at least 16GB of ram with High Sierra then you are going to have a bad time.
     
  2. shafez macrumors member

    shafez

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Egypt
    #2
    Retina 13" late 2013 8gb, High Sierra APFS no problem, see attached image Memory.jpeg
     
  3. Audit13 macrumors 68000

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #3
    I'm using an Air with 8 GB of ram, HS, and 256 GB nvme ssd. It feels very snappy with Safari, Mail, Word, Excel, and iTunes open. I don't all of the programs at the same time but the machine doesn't seem to be struggling.
     
  4. EugW macrumors 68040

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #4
    There have been some reports of memory leaks, etc. I wonder if that might have been the cause. It sounds like your usage is similar to mine and usually 8 GB is just fine.

    That said, I got 16 GB in my MacBook Core m3, partially for future proofing, but partially because in very occasional instances 8 GB can be limiting for me. However, those instances were probably heavier usage than what you describe.

    BTW, I have two laptops with 8 GB and High Sierra, and they are fine.


    Well, if they're not all open at the same time, 8 GB will most likely be fine.

    The heavy usage I describe was having everything open simultaneously, with lots of browser tabs and several PowerPoint files.

    However, I have 24 GB for my iMac. 8 GB is not enough on that machine, but I have more applications open (on those dual 27" screens) and use Photos with a bazillion photos too.
     
  5. Audit13 macrumors 68000

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #5
    All the programs are open at the same time, just not all being used at the same time. I'm not that good a multitasker.

    I used to use chrome but switched back to safari as chrome had memory leak problems the last time I used it.

    I try to limit myself to the apps included with high Sierra.

    I'm okay with 8 GB as I don't consider myself a power user.
     
  6. whg macrumors regular

    whg

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #6
    At this time I suggest to stick to Sierra. High Sierra runs fine on my 2013 MacBook Air 11" with 8GB RAM and my 2015 MacBook Pro 15" 16GB (without dGPU), but I discovered an unusual battery drain while sleeping. This was much better with Sierra. And I don't trust the new file system APFS, so I installed with keeping HFS+ which is proven and still works very well.
     
  7. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #7
    High Sierra results in smoother operation, improved responsiveness and better battery life on every computer I’ve tested it on so far. And it works great with 8 GB. If you are experiencing memory pressure issues, probably you are running in a software bug. Would be helpful if you post the ram report.
     
  8. Mr. Dee macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Location:
    Jamaica
    #8
    I have an Early 2015 13" MBP and I'm still on Sierra. Some of these upgrades (both Windows and macOS) are becoming more pointless. Sierra works fine on it and I have no intention of sacrificing my Adobe CS6 just for High Sierra. If it stabilizes by the time 10.14 is released, I will upgrade to 10.13x.
     
  9. ToroidalZeus thread starter macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #9
    This is with 12 tabs, 5 of which are YouTube videos.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #10
    Yeah, Chrome is quite a memory hog... So you are having issues with Chrome?
     
  11. ToroidalZeus thread starter macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #11
    I initially had problems with Safari. When switching between tabs, the tabs would disappear and the page would remain gray. Using Safari doesn't impact the RAM usage substantially.

    I don't have a screen shot with 8GB. I had about 7GB wired with 4GB of Swap.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. NoBoMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #12
    Lots of tabs = issues, imo. And Chrome has become a memory hog when compared to Firefox, Safari.

    Due to sandboxing, each tab is, in essence, a separate complete invoke/instance of your browser. And each plugin in use gets its own instance as well. So for Youtube, you get three "browsers" running (main process, Youtube tab, instance for HTML/Flash playback).

    Don't see where/if OP posted type of drive in their machine: HDD swapping alot will slow things down.
     
  13. Honza1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    US
    #13
    HDD may be the issue here... I have 2012 Mac Mini with SSD as main drive and only 6GB RAM. I am running High Sierra and it is OK even when running virtual machine (WMware Fusion) with Windows 7. It is by no means speed daemon (especially with W7 VM). Memory seems OK over very, very, long times - I reboot may be once per month, basically for system updates only. So, I do not see any memory leak to talk about... It's using some Swap, but it is not very large (I have always seen less than 1 GB) and thanks to SSD it seems sufficiently fast.
    I have two other Macs with 6 or 8GB used by my family and no one complained or reported any issues. Each has SSD as main drive. I think my conclusion is, that more than memory itself, it is the SSD which you need to be happy on HS.
     
  14. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #14
    I tried HS and quickly reverted back to Sierra.
    On most points i'd have to agree, seems to be lacking optimisation and polish.
     
  15. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
  16. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #16
    Mmm, then its rather difficult to tell. The way the system uses RAM is different depending on how much you have. If you have more of it, it will be more generous with allocating larger regions for various caches and otherwise discardable memory regions. So your usage with 16GB RAM does not necessarily reflect your usage with 8GB RAM.
     
  17. EugW macrumors 68040

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #17
    Don't forget that these OSes use memory compression. If you have tons of unused RAM, the OS doesn't bother compressing RAM very much. If you do not have tons of unused RAM, it will compress (yellow), but try to avoid the swap.

    Nonetheless, even with lots of RAM and low usage, sometimes there will be some compressed RAM and small swap files. Not 4 GB swaps, but sub 1 GB sized swaps. With my 24 GB iMac, I currently have a 353 MB swap, even though I have less than 7 GB used at the moment. Also, of that, 520 MB is compressed memory. Dunno why.
     
  18. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #18
    High Sierra plus various heavyweight apps run like butter on my 2013 MBA with 8GB RAM. Chrome runs fine with 50+ tabs & various extensions (though running uBlock Origin adblock is a big help). Big impact on battery life though, so I've scaled it back recently.

    Do you happen to run Google Drive? I've noticed that tends to knock OS X for six - I used to fear every time I had to work with a particular colleague who heavily depended on Google Drive / other Google apps - though maybe it's improved recently.
     
  19. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #19
    My late 2013 13 inch with 8gb of RAM high sierra runs like butter with 9 desktops open with pdf's and browser tabs open in every desktop.
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #20
    What tasks are you doing? My iMac has only 8 and the majority of time, I see very little memory pressure and the swap space is barely used.
     
  21. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #21
    Your mileage may vary
    Making sweeping pronouncements based solely on your personal hardware/software/workflow/usage is usually misleading

    I have a 2011 MacBook Air with only 4GB RAM and it runs fine on High Sierra with no noticeable difference from Sierra
     
  22. digitalcuriosity macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #22
    My old 2011 MBP with 4GB RAM started out very sloooooow and rocky, it was about unusable i went back and reinstalled something in software update and it really made a difference in performance.

    I am using Opera on my MBP as i do on my other non Apple Windows systems, and find it works very well, i don't have tabs open so i don't put much strain on memory.
     
  23. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #23
    You don't need 16gb of RAM to run High Sierra.
    8gb is more than enough.

    Perhaps the OP is "trying to run too much".
    I often see posts here from users who keep a dozen windows in a browser running along with other RAM-hungry apps, and then "wonder where the memory went".
     
  24. digitalcuriosity macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    #24
    I agree for people like me who started with an Apple II then my first non Apple PC a Gateway computer with the first Windows, i took a lot of joking from the Dos users and trust me the first Windows was not good.

    But you learned quickly there is just so much you can do with the limits of your hardware and with the Apple Mac and the better non Apple computers, life with our systems is a lot better but there are still limit's we must deal with.
     
  25. EugW macrumors 68040

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #25
    What's wrong with keeping a dozen windows in a browser running with other apps? In 2018, that's actually normal usage.
     

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