Lion GM Speed, Performance, Battery life

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by baryon, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    Lots of people complained about Lion eating more battery life, using more RAM, running slower and performing worse than Snow Leopard, but those claims were invalidated by the fact that Lion was in Beta.

    Now it's no longer the case, as Lion is in GM. Have these issues been fixed?

    What's Lion like in comparison to Snow Leopard, when considering:
    • Battery life
    • Application performance
    • OS Performance
    • RAM usage?
  2. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    For Me lion GM runs pretty well technically, it feels just as fast as SL with safari being even slightly faster. Lion does use a lot more RAM on my mbp15 2010 though, i don't know why yet but it seems lion is a lot more memory hungry.

    Battery life in my case has been dramatically reduced, mainly because i had to switch from igp only to nvidia only to make the gui run just the slightest bit fluid on my mbp. The igp just doesn't cut it on lion when it comes to animations and such. This is bad for me since nvidia only shaves off about an hour and a half of battery time.

    I have seen no change whatsoever in application performance, all run just as good - or bad - as on SL, so no improvements there. I don't think lion has been optimized for performance much compared to SL since that was its single feature back then. Perhaps they will release a permormance upgrade for lion as well and call it 'mountain lion' or something.

    Not that it is any slower then SL apart from the graphics (drivers) in its current state.
  3. Jamie0003 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2009
    Norfolk, UK
    To me, it is way better than snow leopard. But yes, RAM usage seems more. But, it is still just the first version of Lion, so i'm sure apple will fix it.
  4. arteggio macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2010
    Running an iMac 2.8GHz.

    Application performance is speedy: most apps open immediately, on first Dock bounce (unless I've bogged the system down with something big).

    OS performance: Good. I haven't really noticed anything, positive or negative, so I guess it's 'just working'. (Except the mds process running and taking up 800MB of RAM and 1.5GB of virtual memory. That's happened a few times.)

    RAM: I've read the problems people have been having, and, I've had none of them.

    Is RAM usage less than SL for me? With respect to using the OS for days and having various applications open, yes.

    I upgraded to 8GB from 6GB just before getting rid of SL, and the usage change is dramatic (for the most part, I have the same apps, settings, start-up processes, etc running in Lion as I did in SL).

    At start-up, I have no SWAP in use. In SL, I had, at minimum, a constant 512MB cap with about half in use under 6GB, while it halved when I upgraded to 8GB. After four days in Lion, my SWAP cap went up to 256MB and stayed there with usually way less than half used. I also have 4.55GB of RAM free right now after a fresh restart, more than I think I've ever seen in SL.

    And I'm pretty certain that RAM management in general is far superior in Lion than in SL. If I opened something like iPhoto/Safari-with-a-ton-of-tabs in SL and it ended up bogging down the system, quitting it would only solve the slowdown a bit. I'm not sure what's different, but in Lion it feels like I might well have never opened or had running a resource-hungry app. RAM free-upping feels more fluid.

    Conclusion: I wouldn't run Lion with less than 6GB RAM. 2GB seems really pushing it, and many of the posts from other users makes it sound like 4GB is inadequate.
  5. ssn637 macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2009
    I agree. Based on my experience with two MacBook Pro systems, one with 4 GB and the other with 8 GB RAM installed, Lion loves RAM. The more the better! Especially when splitting available memory for virtual machine use.
  6. markrox7 macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2011
    I think 10.7.1 will be an intervention for Lion's RAM addiction, and by 10.7.2 or 10.7.3 Lion's addiction to RAM will be less radical and more normal. IMO
  7. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    They'll fix performance with 10.8 a 0 feature release called Mountain Lion.
  8. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I'm finding that Lion is using a bit more resources and running a bit warmer than Snow Leopard and maybe because of all the animations/transitions when opening windows and prompts?
  9. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    2GB in use right now and i'm only running chrome, adium, iMail & iTunes but i dont really care as i got 8 GB of ram
  10. tgt macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2011
    Mac OS X has, I believe, always worked by providing applications with more RAM than they initially need. If you have a lot of RAM more RAM will be used than if you have a small amount of RAM. I'm currently running Safari, Mail, iCal, Twitterrific, Reeder, Activity Monitor, Spotify, Quicktime Player X and several menubar applications and only have 1.6GB used out of the 2GB my '07 MacBook Pro has.

    I haven't seen the terrible performance issues people have been saying will occur with only 2GB. Performance is better than it was with Snow Leopard.

    Whilst I've had no issues with performance since installing the GM there are some annoying bugs which'll hopefully be fixed in 10.7.1 and 10.7.2 as is usually the case with new OS X releases.
  11. Atarikid macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    Was think the same but with the name Snow Lion. :)
  12. Aquaporin macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2005
    I am getting 4.5 hours unplugged on my new MBP 13. something isn't right...
  13. iindigo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    On my 2009 2.66 i5 27" iMac, Lion is running quite well. No real problems and the system feels zippy overall. This isn't the "new install" effect either - I upgraded my Snow Leopard install so it still has whatever cruft leftover from that. It's genuinely faster than Snow Leopard.
  14. sikkinixx macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2005
    Rocketing through the sky!
    great, so my 1.4ghz Air should run smooth as silk.... ;_;
  15. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Battery life seems better on my MBP 15" w/Lion. Unplugged since 4pm and it's 8:21pm and battery is at 70%...:eek:
  16. Heston macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2007
    I always thought it'd be hilarious if they came out with a Cougar.
  17. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    +1 ^^^ Too funny! I married a COUGAR...:p
  18. maclaptop macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2011
    Western Hemisphere
    I just heard some dialog these lines as well. Apparently there is a dynamic control which reduces the demand for memory, battery draw, and disk space. It's being said that Lion runs just as fast on 2GB as it does on 8GB, battery run times are doubled and disk space required is 40% less. Very impressive indeed. The Magic of Apple prevails.
  19. Aquaporin macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2005
    Is anyone else getting only 3.5 hours of battery life from fully charged on Lion with the new MBP 13?
  20. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2009
    lucky. i was getting a BIG battery drain with lion. :(
  21. rapita macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2011
    I've a MBP Mid 2009 with 4 Gb RAM, and Lion is so hungry with RAM, but the system is smooth.

    The battery decreased from SL, before, with SL my battery life was 5 hours, and now, with Lion, my battery life is 3 hours.

    Hopefully that Apple fix this bug on the next releases.

  22. JudasBlitzkrieg macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2010
    I'm curious as to how well this will work on my MacBook. I've got a 2009 13 inch white model, 2ghz Intel, 3gb of RAM. It runs Snow Leopard fine but I am worried that if I upgrade it's going to slow my Mac down badly. The battery life doesn't really bother me as I'm never normally far away from a plug, I just don't want to impede my lovely machine.

    Can you roll back to SL? I was thinking of downloading the GM to see how well it works, then if I can, go back to SL and then pay for the upgrade when it comes out
  23. baryon thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    I have a 15-inch 2008 MBP with 4GB of RAM, but apparently Apple issued an update to allow me to have a maximum of 8GB, so I might upgrade when I'll have money. My discreet GPU (nVidia 9600M) is dead, so I'm forced to use the nVidia 9400M integrated, which is really crap. Hopefully it won't be an issue though with Lion.
  24. torbjoern, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

    torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    I have been playing around with the GM for a while now on my MacBook Air. This far, I can say that the Flash player hogs memory and makes the fans go wild under Safari 5.1. This means that I will be using Firefox until ClickToFlash comes up with a compatible release.

    Initially, a daemon named helpd ate a lot of the memory first couple of times I used OS X Lion. It paged in nearly an entire gigabyte of virtual memory in a few minutes and the fans went up to full speed. But I forced the process to quit, and helpd has been calm at all subsequent reboots.

    With Pages, Firefox and iTunes, 25 % of the battery capacity lasts for 80 minutes, so it seems like I get 5:00 to 5:20 hours on a full battery charge with this usage. This is what I used get to under Snow Leopard as well. In other words, I can see no significant change in battery life under the circumstances.
  25. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I'm running ClickToFlash on 5.1 with no problems. I found it in Safari > Safari Extensions. It's like #10 on the most popular list.

    Both my current gen Air and mini seem to run faster on Lion, after the initial housework that happens with any Apple OS install (Spotlight rebuilding, super big Time Machine backup, etc). I always have Activity Monitor running (with the dock icon showing the CPU history) and both of my Macs seem to be using less CPU doing the same stuff in Lion that I did in Snow Leopard.

    The only problem I've had has been on the Air, where mds/mdworker (Spotlight?) seems to kick off every 2-3 hours, bumping up the CPU usage for a minute or two, which causes the fan to come on for a bit.

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