kernel_task and mds: 270 MB of RAM at startup!!?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by narsil, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. narsil macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2008
    Alright. So I know that lots of people have had beefs about kernel_task, mds, mdworker, etc. using up too much cpu time and/or memory in various manifestations of OS X. I personally had a problem under Tiger that caused mds and mdsworker to absolutely go mad with cpu usage, but I got that resolved without too much trouble. This time, however, I'm stumped.

    You might say that I'm over-reacting and that I shouldn't worry as long as I have some inactive/free memory left over, or that OS X will make sure I get the memory I need for whatever program I'm currently using, yak yak yak, but I don't give a crap about that.

    As the title of the thread says, upon starting up my mac, kernel_task and mds are using a combined 270+ MB of memory (real). This is with no programs other than Finder running. No, they aren't actively doing much; no cpu usage from mds (except when using Spotlight, but that makes sense), and ~1% from kernel_task. They're just sitting pretty in rootland with their sticky hands in the RAM jar.

    Now you might also say that mds and kernel_task need all this RAM for the system to function properly, but I know that can't (or at least shouldn't) be true, because they never used to need that much RAM. I first noticed the problem when I switched to Snow Leopard a few months ago. I had only switched to Leopard a couple of months before that, but I think the problem only started with Snow Leopard. It certainly wasn't a problem in Tiger (from memory, mds and kernel_task used <70 MB combined in Tiger most of the time).

    So if you made it through/skipped that rant, what I really want is to:

    1) find out what mds and kernel_task are doing with all that RAM (right now as I type: mds has 129.1 MB; kernel_task has 145.9 MB)
    2) stop them from doing it, consequences be hanged.

    If the problem comes to any sort of resolution, I'll try my best to describe the solution in enough detail so that any future n00bs with the same problem won't have to start a thread of their own. (That's how these things should work, right?)

    I hereby entreat the Mac gods to turn their faces favorably toward my machine, and ask humbly that the most honorable sages of this board confer their wisdom upon me.


    mid '07 macbook
    OS X 10.6.2
  2. tenmiler macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2007
    Summit county, Co
    Wondering if anyone can help on this--same issue

    I just thought I'd bump this topic up. Brand new MB Pro 17" 2.6, and kernel_task is same big chunk, but 700MB of REAL Memory with nothing open! And the fan is on very slightly.

    Mds is not far behind.

    Running 10.6.8
    Would love a rundown from someone smarter than I...
  3. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    It won't hurt your Mac.
    It will make you unhappy if you let it.
    So don't.
  4. tenmiler macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2007
    Summit county, Co
    Hey you're like a mac shrink! :)

    Actually it doesn't bug me with the exception of the fact nothing is running and the fan is on. And after having it for 90 days to be to this point, it's bothersome and I'd love to find the app or background deal that might be the culprit...

    But otherwise, yes, you're right!

Share This Page