***MAJOR MEMORY LEAK*** (Snow Leopard related?)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Some Guy 555, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Some Guy 555 macrumors regular

    May 26, 2009
    Approximately 1 hour ago I encountered a serious problem. It was not life threatening to my system, however I believe that it probably did some serious wear to my SSD.

    The problem occurred while I was browsing through system preferences to customize expose and spaces (although that is not where this major leak started). After that I went to desktop/screen saver to check out each screen saver in Snow Leopard, watching each for a considerable amount of time (2-5 minutes each). During this time I decided to open up activity monitor because the screen saver graphics (particularly in flurry and arabesque) they started to lag.

    Activity monitor reported almost 3.98GB of ram being used with less than 12MB free. As well the page-outs were almost 5GB and swap being used (HD space to take the place as backup-ram) was over 8GB which would ware my SSD.

    I looked at system preferences in activity monitor and it showed that it was using 880+MB of ram, despite the whole system was using well over 10GB (including the swap of course). After quiting system preferences the issue was still 50% there so I restarted and it fixed the problem. However the fact remains that there is a memory leak somewhere in system preferences to do with viewing screen savers (possibly).

    Anyone else experience this? Better question I would like to know is, where can I report this bug to apple, as I would like to let them know (if they don't already) so that they can patch it.
  2. broken-chaos macrumors regular


    Sep 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I can't seem to duplicate this. I didn't watch for an extremely long time, but I did swap through them and notice the memory climbing up (sometimes up over 200MiB), but it would always drop, usually when swapping to view a different screensaver preview. The highest I got it was about 240MiB on the iTunes artwork one, before it dropped to ~130MiB on it's own.

    If it was only using 880MiB of 12GiB total (4GiB RAM + 8GiB swap), what was the other ~11GiB being used for?
  3. Some Guy 555 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2009
    Thats what I am trying to figure out, what- wait no... where was all that memory going??!?!?

    The only applications I had open at the time was 2 finder windows, 1 safari window, activity monitor and system preferences. So technically the problem could lie in:

    1. Finder (highly unlikely that there is a problem here).
    2. Safari (possible that its here, long ago firefox had major memory leaks that would cost GB's of memory.
    3. Activity monitor (could be displaying system pref's usage of 800+mb incorrectly when it was 8gb+?
    4. System preferences (I really think its in here, as the problem seemed to occur around the time that I was messing with desktop/screen saver.


    I was in power saving mode, plugged into the wall. (9400M was in use, could explain why at least a few hundred MB's of ram were being used to power the screen savers? (still doesn't explain why it cost 10+GB (even crysis on max setting doesn't use up that much, and these screen savers ain't crysis!).

    The screen savers that I was looking at was: Arbesque, Flurry and Nature (nature I looked at for awhile (5+min).
  4. Some Guy 555 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2009
    Another problem somewhat related to memory leaks (but more towards HD space, than ram) is that my HD "space used" keeps increasing and thus the GB's that I have free keeps going down for no reason.

    Was: 50.42GB.
    Now: 50.38GB.

    I did not download anything, or make any changes what-so-ever.


    It also fluctuates randomly too.

    50.37GB and randomly goes back and forth to 50.38GB before dropping below 50.36GB.

    Does SL have a registry? I really hope it doesn't turn out like windows in that it degrades over time.
  5. broken-chaos macrumors regular


    Sep 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    The fluctuation in disk space is likely related to on-disk caches (such as from Safari and other applications), logs (generated by the system for troubleshooting or record), or metadata information (from Spotlight).

    I'm afraid I don't have any fresh ideas on the possible memory leak, though. :(
  6. Some Guy 555 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2009
    Ah no problem :) I will be attempting to repeat it again (with caution of course) and If I can I will report this to apple (on developer.apple.com?)

    PS: I think the fluctuating could be my SSD moving save changes to existing files to a new file? Not sure where I'm going here but somewhere I remember reading that when you delete something or write to it, it never writes over the same block unless it has to, it writes to a empty one (could explain the capacity going down, yet I made no changes (system may have)).
  7. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
  8. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    He likely meant "wear." Did you really have to ask?
  9. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    Apparently. I honestly had no idea what he was talking about.
  10. gethyphyyo macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2008
  11. simonshek macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    I don't feel SL has any major memory on my MBP 1,1 with 2GB ram. Snow Leopard is snappier than Leopard.
    Or, this leak could be due to 64 bit mode of System Preferences...humm..
  12. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    Not quite.

    Any housecleaning or optimizing the SSD does is transparent to the OS so there would be no changes reported by the OS.

  13. jasonbee macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2002

    I have had several occurences already and was wondering how to back out. I had to do a hard reboot yesterday while running a number of apps. So far I've noticed these:

    Dashboard client (3.98 GB of real mem at time of force quit)
    mdworker (5.96 GB of real mem at time of force quit)

    And that's not all...but I have yet to successfully launch activity viewer to check when the system is truly locked up. I will keep a record of future leaks and post here.

    I am running an Intel Mac Pro with 6 GB of RAM on four total CPU cores. I upgraded 10.5.8 to 10.6. My system is running in 64 bit mode.
  14. baddj macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2009
  15. Some Guy 555 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2009
    Have reported it, I was able to duplicate it again, only I stopped just before it was going to use swap since I didn't want unnecessary wearing of my SSD.
  16. idjm macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    I am also experiencing massive memory consumption (mbp late 2008, 4GB ram).

    I use Eclipse to develop Java web applications, and since the SL upgrade I have been experiencing massive memory problems.

    It seems that Java and/or Eclipse might be the culprits.

    The major symptom is the swap file growing massively (2-3 GB) with the system slowing to a crawl...

    This occurs an hour or so after a reboot and "usual" Eclipse/Java development (ant build, deploy to JBoss app server etc).

    Closing all apps leaves a sizeable chunk of memory used.

    Processes: 92 total, 2 running, 90 sleeping, 606 threads 10:47:39
    Load Avg: 0.53, 0.73, 0.89 CPU usage: 5.39% user, 4.73% sys, 89.86% idle SharedLibs: 6556K resident, 3844K data, 0B linkedit. MemRegions: 15605 total, 1967M resident, 14M private, 331M shared.
    PhysMem: 754M wired, 1669M active, 754M inactive, 3177M used, 919M free. VM: 180G vsize, 1041M framework vsize, 173090(3) pageins, 106108(0) pageouts. Networks: packets: 230296/41M in, 182859/33M out.
    Disks: 203509/3117M read, 118088/2459M written.

    vm size: 179 GB
    page ins: 679 MB
    page outs: 414 MB
    swap used: 2.31 GB

    free 909 MB
    wired 751 MB
    Active 1.6 GB
    inactive 790 MB
    Used 3.12 GB

    I don't understand how there can be nearly 1GB "free" and still have a 2 GB swap file...

    Attached Files:

  17. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    Crikey, I'm getting the same behavior.

    Right now I'm at 99% memory used. After a reboot it will come down to 13%. Then, over time - say, a few hours - it will be back up to 96-97-98-99%.

    I thought it might be Safari or Parallels, so I didn't use either after the last reboot and the only app I ran was DVD player. Watched a couple of episodes on that over a couple of hours and quit, bam, I was at 99&.

    System does get mildly unresponsive. Nothing in Activity Monitor looks terribly suspicious. Definitely a change from Leopard as even with heavy usage I would tend to see much much more free memory.

    This is on my late 2008 unibody 4GB MacBook. My mini fileserver isn't having this issue.
  18. 00christian00 macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2009

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