Lots of pageouts with 24 GB RAM

Discussion in 'macOS' started by stooovie, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. stooovie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    #1
    I think OSX memory management is flaky. I have 24 GB RAM, yet I have lots of pageouts frequently, even if system reports more than half of the RAM to be free.

    This happened in 10.7.4 Lion and happens now in 10.8 too. I just feel the system should be a lot more snappy.

    [​IMG]

    This is roughly 4 hours after reboot. What to do?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    You may benefit from looking into this current discussion: Interpreting RAM usage stats from Activity Monitor
     
  3. stooovie thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 21, 2010
    #3
    Thanks, but this is not really helpful - RAM is already maxed out. 24 GB SHOULD be enough.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #4
    It would be helpful if you took the time to read it. From that thread:
    You could have a memory-intensive app or process that causes page outs at some point, then goes away. The page out reading will remain, as it's cumulative.
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the whole Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
     
  5. stooovie thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 21, 2010
    #5
    I did read it. I have read several threads on this topic and all of them basically amount just to "upgrade your ram" - but RAM is hardly the issue here. Used memory very rarely crosses 12 GB out of 24. I'm more interested as to why this happens. Windows 7 in Bootcamp on the same iMac is way, way more snappy.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help anyway.

    Edit: I did have After Effects rendering a comp, but there was always more than 10 gigs of free RAM. And it's not like there were many huge video files accessed in short period of time.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #6
    As I can't read Polish, did you follow step #2 of the instructions? It shows that you have 17GB of free/inactive memory, so you're obviously not paging at this time. The paging activity occurred at some point, but there's no way to know from your readings when it happened, what process used the memory or how much free/inactive memory was showing at the time of the page outs.
     
  7. stooovie thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 21, 2010
    #7
    It's Czech :) Yes, these are all running processes.
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #8
    My apologies. I was using Google translate, which isn't always accurate. The only thing I can suggest is restart your computer to reset your page outs to zero. Then track the usage under normal use and see if you get page outs. If you see page outs occurring, try to take a screen shot at that time, so you can document what free/inactive memory is available at the time of the paging activity.
     
  9. stooovie thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 21, 2010
    #9
    Polish is close enough :) The thing is, my Macs always seem to be slower disk speed-wise than any of my friends, even if benchmark scores are equal or better. I have almost 200 gigs free on my HDD (stock 7200 RPM) and I'm not aware of any app or process that would slow things down.

    Yep, will do that.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #10
    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
     
  11. Lindono macrumors member

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    May 1, 2012
    #11
    I really don't think you should worry about anything in Activity monitor unless you're actually experiencing significant performance problems, which is unlikely due to how Mac OS manages memory. If you're worried about HDD speed, then that has almost nothing to do with RAM or page-outs. HDD speed can vary depending on many factors. Perhaps theirs is just better in some way.
     
  12. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    For what it's worth, I had high pageouts and swap files until I went to 32GB of RAM, and the main thing I use my system for is After Effects and Premiere. Today, after using only Premiere and Audition all day long, I currently have 0 bytes of both page outs and swap used, 24.9GB of RAM used, and 7.09GB free.

    What I'm saying is that Adobe Pr and AE use a *lot* of RAM.
     
  13. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #13
    I want to mention that After Effects will use as much ram as it has assigned within preferences. You can tune it from there. It will not automatically use all that is available. Being an Adobe application, it can also go to scratch disks beyond that point. HDD read/write speeds do decline somewhat as the disks fill, so 200GB free on a 1 or 2TB drive would not allow maximum speed as the fastest areas are most likely populated, but it's unlikely to hold you back. Are you actually experiencing lag during these pageouts? This just looks like an issue of preference settings, although the system should still cache to available ram first.
     
  14. stooovie thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 21, 2010
    #14
    thekey, yes, I know that. I have been experimenting with settings in Adobe apps in the past. I don't experience any brutal lags in those apps, but I do feel my everyday tasks like launching browsers, Mail and whatnot should just be more swift.When I work with my friends' Macs, they usually react quicker. I just cannot put my finger on it.

    I will swap the internal HDD for a SSD the minute my warranty runs out.
     
  15. mabaker macrumors 65816

    mabaker

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    Jan 19, 2008
    #15
    Thank you for bringing this issue up. It is real.

    Mac OS does not handle RAM pretty well. I'm not saying this is a fact to every person using the system out there but in certain configurations Mac OS X is indeed more than flaky.

    Cardinal problem: Not releasing "Inactive RAM" when needed and instead pushing page-outs heavily. If logic is applied Inactive RAM (blue) should be released as soon as it's needed. That is not often the case at all. It remains inactive for far too long thus increasing the grinding of the SSD/HDD.
     
  16. larkost macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2007
    #16
    mabaker: you simply do not understand how memory is used in MacOS X. There are more than enough discussion of this around for you to educate yourself, so I will not bother to do so here. Inactive memory does get released the moment it is needed (so goes from inactive directly to used with no need move to "free"), and this does not have any effect on drive activity. You are mis-diagnosing that. If you start with the idea that "free" memory is wasted memory, you will be in a much better position to understand what is happening. Note that this is not good advise when working on Windows, where memory management is handled very differnetly.

    stooovie: if you are using very memory hungry apps, like video editing apps, especially ones that do their own internal memory management (like Adobe apps where they try to do the same thing on Windows and MacOS so have to break lots of standard behavior on both), then it is perfectly reasonable to have high pageouts. And more to the point: are you actually seeing a problem? Or are you just reacting to the pageouts number without having a real problem?
     
  17. tkermit macrumors 68030

    tkermit

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    Feb 20, 2004
    #17
    It seems there should be some improvements in ML:
    [​IMG]
     
  18. gumblecosby macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #18
    Ive heard people describe RAM improvements but to me it's still the same as snow leopard in 10.8(mountain lion)sadly:
     

    Attached Files:

  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #19
    That screen shot only indicates that at some point in time since your last restart you had page outs. It does not indicate that you had page outs while free or inactive memory was available. Remember, page outs is a cumulative amount.
     
  20. gumblecosby macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #20
    This is over 2 hours. It is the same frustrating behaviour demonstrated since 10.6. The discrepancy that inactive ram exhibits has been the cause of many Mac OSX ram usage arguments.

    (maybe a ram upgrade is needed, but inactive ram should be released instantly)
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #21
    It doesn't matter. It's still cumulative. Your screen shot indicates that at some time during that 2 hours, you had page outs. It does not show the state of free or inactive memory at the time of the page outs, but only their present state.
    Inactive RAM is labeled such because it has already been released. The app that used it is no longer holding it, so it's available to any app, just like free memory.
     
  22. gumblecosby, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012

    gumblecosby macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #22
    The perpetual argument on the internet I have noticed is that inactive RAM is available for use instantly when a particular program demand's it. The consistent issue of debate is that swapping occurs even when over 1gb of ram is inactive. The back and forth discussion is that inactive ram is being intelligently used no matter what the user thinks otherwise.
    You are disputing my sample screenshot for this argument. Unless you are standing over my shoulder looking at the same activity monitor window that is constantly showing my memory usage we can spend the week arguing the sample process. My initial comment along with the attached picture was to quickly show the issues I have with OS X ram usage.

    Edit:

    That behaviour I posted a screenshot of is not consistent behaviour. Most of the the time inactive RAM is released. It is just the occasional time where it happens. It makes it frustrating because when it works well, the OS is a joy to use
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #23
    I'm saying the screen shot is not conclusive at all. It doesn't demonstrate that page outs occurred at the same time there was inactive memory available. To do that, launch Activity Monitor while running a memory-intensive app and take successive time-stamped screen shots showing page outs beginning and continuing while inactive memory is available. I have never seen any user conclusively prove that page outs occur while inactive memory is available. There are several claims made, but no evidence to support it, beyond anecdotal claims.
     
  24. gumblecosby macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2010
    #24
    I'm not here to create false derogatory statements about OS X ram performance. The motivation for my comments was to state a discountenance about a problem I have noticed since 10.6. A problem that occasionally arises on 10.8. I agree with some other people here that the RAM performance has improved a lot in 10.8( I can now run an extra 512MB vm compared to 10.6).

    You are a credit to this forum with your consistent feedback to forum users's problems and I wish no aggrievance towards you. I just find it frustrating that inactive ram is not released when I need it
     
  25. mabaker macrumors 65816

    mabaker

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    Jan 19, 2008
    #25
    The screenshot above is my point. It begs the question: Why has Mac OS X not released the Inactive RAM yet? Why did it go straight to page outs?
     

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