Massive FaceTime memory leak?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Malus120, Mar 1, 2017.


Anyone else experiencing memory leaks with FaceTime Audio?

  1. Yes, FaceTime (audio or video) leaks ram like crazy!

    0 vote(s)
  2. Yes, FaceTime Audio (but not video) leaks ram like crazy!

    0 vote(s)
  3. Yes, but I resolved the issue

    0 vote(s)
  4. Nope, no problems here

  1. Malus120 macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2002
    Has anyone else noticed FaceTime (audio) leaking massive amounts of memory on macOS Sierra?

    This is what happens when I start FaceTime call from my Mac (13 rMBP):

    1. Facetime call starts with the avconferenced process using around 80MB of ram (around the same amount it uses while idle).

    2. The avconferenced process slowly eats more ram at a rate of about 5-10MB every few minutes.

    3. By the end of a long call I've seen ram usage for avconferenced as high as 3GB of physical memory plus an additional 2-3GB of compressed memory.

    4. Obviously the longer a call goes on the worse performance (of both the call and my system) becomes (particularly on my 13 rMBP) as my memory pressure is slowly pushed into the yellow and eventually the red.

    5. Ending and restarting the call "resets" the ram usage, but doesn't fix the underlying issue.

    I know at least one other friend who experiences this on his iMac (2011) and 15 rMBP (2016), both running macOS Sierra. I should note that I never experienced this on my previous Retina iMac (2014), but given that I had 24GB of ram I may have just never noticed... I haven't tried this on my current desktop (i5 Hackintosh with 16GB of ram), but I imagine that results would be similar to my friends rMBP.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Is this a known issue (I've searched for it both here and on google and came up empty handed)? Does anyone have any tips for fixing this? Should I go ahead and file a bug report with Apple?
  2. Spytap macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2010
    Did you ever figure this out? I do a lot of conference calls for work on a 2014 MBA, and the avconferenced process ends up using anywhere between 150% and 375% of CPU (which obviously turns the call into a stuttering mess.) It doesn't seem to grow throughout the call, starting at 150% and spiking up and down seemingly at random. Would love a fix, since it's pretty intolerable at times.
  3. Malus120 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2002
    A reply! I'm not alone in my battle with avconferenced :p
    (For those of you who take the time to view the thread please at least VOTE, even if its just to say you have no problems)

    Unfortunately I'm still trying to determine the root cause. Your issue sounds like it may be (inter)related, but also a bit different. How much ram do you have? Also, when it's using massive amounts of CPU, what does your ram usage look like? Another thing to consider would be the amount of free space you have on your boot drive. If you have very little space, your CPU may be busy trying to make the most of what little swap it has given Facetime's obscene memory issues.

    Working with a friend who also has the same issue (as me), I've made the following (extremely) tentative observations:

    1. The issue seems to be particularly pronounced on (or perhaps is related and isolated to) machines with 8GB of ram or less, and the less ram you have the worse the issue is.

    2. With 12GB+ of ram the issue seems to all but disappear as evidenced by my friends 2016 15" MBP (16GB) not having this issue at all, while his 2011 iMac (4GB!) suffers horribly. My Hackintosh with 16GB, and my previous Retina iMac with 24GB are/were also unaffected, while my 2016 13" MBP (8GB) is.

    3. On Macs with at least 8GB of ram, avconferenced will sometimes at least be "smart" enough to begin compressing the massive amount of memory it is using, which mitigates memory pressure and helps to avoid stuttering. Unfortunately it doesn't do this all the time and I can't figure out why. My best guess is that it is related to how many other apps you have open using large amounts of ram, but I haven't tested extensively enough to say for sure.

    4. As i noted in the original post the memory issue at least, tends to be a gradual escalation, not becoming an issue until at least 1-2 hours into the call (dependent on available ram and whether or not it decides to use compression).

    5. CPU usage spikes do occur but (in the cases I have seen so far at least) don't appear to be the root cause of the issue (I've never seen it use more than like 80%, and it's normally around 20-30%)

    5. iOS seems to be unaffected (at least in terms of progressive loss of call quality), but again, i haven't tested this extensively.

    If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to hear more about your issue. As Facetime is a platform I rely on daily, I'd really like to get enough information to actually be able to submit a report to Apple (and hopefully) get them to fix these issues.

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