memory usage quicky shown as over 90%

sproggy4830

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2016
8
1
Hi
My late 2008 24 inch iMac, with 6gb of memory quickly goes to 95% memory usage even though I only have Firefox open with a couple of tabs open and browsing
This mystifies me , the machine slows down to a crawl at the same time ,I don't know if its linked but it takes ages to boot up and takes around 10 minutes before I can click on any icon to start programmes
I did put a 4gb memory card in myself a couple of years back to replace a kaput 2gb card although officially not supported , but it did work fine until recently
thanks
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Well take a look at the activity monitor app built into OSX it will tell you if RAM is the issue.

If it still has the original hard drive I would guess your hard drive is dying back up now so you don't lose any data if it dies and think about replacing it.
 
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sproggy4830

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2016
8
1
thank you for the reply
Sorry , i didn't mention that i changed the original hard drive a couple of years back for a ssd and it has worked flawless .
i have run Activity monitor and attached is a clip from the usage box at the bottom
the memory usage man use is kernal-task 648.9mb , firefox 448 mb, there is then a list of approx 150 items running ranging from 132kb all the way up to the 648mb used by kernal task , i would suggest that on average the other items are using around 5mb each - but thats just a rough summary
hope this info helps a little further
Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 22.13.46.png
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,768
5,579
Hong Kong
The memory usage is normal. For modern system design, any idle RAM is a waste of resources. The OS will try their best to use all the RAM to speed up the system. That's why you see 2.8G used as cache.

And I believe your slow system is because of your HDD, not the memory size. Since 10.9, IMO, the OS is designed for SSD, not HDD. You may not believe that, but it you can upgrade your HDD to a SSD, you machine will like a new Mac. 99% you will very happy with the result and believe that you can use it for another few more years (at least).
 

off_piste

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2015
763
470
The memory usage is normal. For modern system design, any idle RAM is a waste of resources. The OS will try their best to use all the RAM to speed up the system. That's why you see 2.8G used as cache.

And I believe your slow system is because of your HDD, not the memory size. Since 10.9, IMO, the OS is designed for SSD, not HDD. You may not believe that, but it you can upgrade your HDD to a SSD, you machine will like a new Mac. 99% you will very happy with the result and believe that you can use it for another few more years (at least).
He said he already upgraded to a SSD.
 

sproggy4830

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2016
8
1
The memory usage is normal. For modern system design, any idle RAM is a waste of resources. The OS will try their best to use all the RAM to speed up the system. That's why you see 2.8G used as cache.

And I believe your slow system is because of your HDD, not the memory size. Since 10.9, IMO, the OS is designed for SSD, not HDD. You may not believe that, but it you can upgrade your HDD to a SSD, you machine will like a new Mac. 99% you will very happy with the result and believe that you can use it for another few more years (at least).
Thank you for the respince H9826792
I have a ssd drive fitted as mentioned above but it is hidden a little within a paragraph.
What you state makes sense to me now you explained it so well.
It just feels so slow to boot up.
Is there any advise in relation to all those approx 150 things taking up memory or does you explication above negate that concern as it's just the system doing its job.
Other research I have done also tends to point to a issue of"indexing"during boot up , this may be the reason for such a long boot up time and delays before I can use the system Foy maybe as long as 10 minted . I don't see any advise how I can deal with that issue
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,768
5,579
Hong Kong
Thank you for the respince H9826792
I have a ssd drive fitted as mentioned above but it is hidden a little within a paragraph.
What you state makes sense to me now you explained it so well.
It just feels so slow to boot up.
Is there any advise in relation to all those approx 150 things taking up memory or does you explication above negate that concern as it's just the system doing its job.
Other research I have done also tends to point to a issue of"indexing"during boot up , this may be the reason for such a long boot up time and delays before I can use the system Foy maybe as long as 10 minted . I don't see any advise how I can deal with that issue
If that happen suddenly. There are few things you can try.

1) the standard PRAM / SMC reset (little chance can help, but worth to try).
2) Create a new user profile. If that profile works fine, than the hardware and OS is fine, just something corrupted in your profile (hopefully you have proper backup).
3) Reinstall OS, this may fix the issue with some system files is corrupted.
4) When the system works, try to copy a large file and a large amount of small files to check if the SSD is normal.

In general, if other hardware fails, e.g. RAM, GPU, CPU, etc. They usually cause freeze / crash, but not slow respond. So, I will target the SSD and OSX / data. Anyway, which SSD you are using, how much empty space remaining? Did you enable TRIM?
 

r6mile

macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2010
437
92
London, UK
One very easy fix for slow bootup with an SSD - go on system preferences, bootup disc, and select Macintosh HD, and restart. It sounds silly, but when you replace the hard drive (to an SSD), Macintosh will unless told otherwise still look for the old drive first, before moving on to the new one and booting. Hence slower boootup.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
What r6mile said is good advice, also run a disk repair in disk utility.

Your RAM is fine you have way more than you need and 2.8gb in cache that will be reassigned as needed, unless the memory pressure graph turns red you are in no danger of needing more RAM.
 
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sproggy4830

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2016
8
1
I tried all afternoon the above with the exception of a new user profile, and copying files ( not real sure how to do that and gauge it's success) all to no gain
So next I RE INSTALLED over the current operating system this took so oooooo long about 5 hours that I didn't have time to test any improvement . I will try but can't till tomorrow . I think if no better I will re format the drive and do a fresh install .
"Did you enable trim " was advised . I couldn't find out how to establish that but I seem to remember during installation of the ssd it was an option and I researched that it was meant to be enabled so it will have been enabled
Thanks .
Will report back
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,768
5,579
Hong Kong
Even though you said that your SSD is fine. I still suspect that the problem is coming from the SSD. You may download some free software which can read the SSD details. If it shows that there are lots of error correction recorded in the SSD, that may be the reason to cause the slowness. Also this can explain why take 5 hours to re-install the OS.
 
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sproggy4830

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2016
8
1
thank you for the replies
this morning i booted up the machine and no real improvement.
i have researched the answered above

i discovered through a downloaded app that TRIM wasn't turned on so i used the app (trim enabler) to turn it on
then i did a bad thing i suppose , i didn't test if that individual thing improved anything , i moved onto other things
i downloaded a app (drivedx)that checked the status of the hard drive and that reported no fault,i then installed ONYX app, messed about with that, finally i tidied up all the rubbish on my desktop , i had a folder with over 1500 mp3 in , a few movie folders ,i moved them onto a external hdd i have attached and then rebooted
i know i should have checked one thing, then the next but i have limited time today
however following a few reboots as advised by onyx , i have a usable Firefox within 65 seconds, but as i type now memory usage is at 99percent with only firefox open but i think i understand why as explained by h9826790 above.

in summary i appear to have a machine that's booting as fast as it ever did , onyx did report that it was repairing permissions on hundreds of lines that appear to be referring to epson printer software , i have enabled trim.
memory usage is still as high as ever

i will report back in a couple of days on how things have gone - good or bad

one thing i may ask - if i do do a complete install of the o/s do i need to back up my thunderbird email settings or will they remain. i have a lot of emails i want to save ?
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,768
5,579
Hong Kong
In general, just a re-installation of the OSX (not clean install) won't delete your software / data. However, regardless if you want to re-install the OS or not, you should have a full backup of any important data.

Anyway, good to hear that your computer is now back to normal.
 

sproggy4830

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2016
8
1
a quick update, the iMac seems to be running very much as I would expect a aging mac to run . its fine now
still using all the memory available , but boot up is good , opening firefox as quick as I would expect it to

following advice from h9826790 I have been looking to replace the ssd drive , more of a project/like to do than a must do .
computer shopper magazine here in England give a Samsung 850 evo ssd the big 5 stars and no faults at all .
wondering if t get one in that range , or it it too modern for my imac and I wont get any benefit from it
I ask not because my machine is slow anymore , as I say more a project , and will it improve speed any more .
thank you all that has assisted
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,768
5,579
Hong Kong
850 Evo is the way to go, don't worry about the max sequential read write speed. That's not what we need in general, even though I have a PCIe SATA 3 card for my Mac Pro, I don't use it now, but simply connect my 840 Evo to the native SATA 2 port. For SSD, usually the newer the better. They has less latency, better life span, better controller, etc. And most important, they are usually cheaper then the old one (for the same size). The real reason that a SSD can speed up the computer is because of high IOPS, therefore, we can almost always benefit from the newer SSD, even though via SATA 2.
 

tyche

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2010
411
61
You could download Blackmagic from iTunes and do a benchmark on your ssd just to make sure its read/write are in the expected range for your imac model.
 

sproggy4830

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2016
8
1
quick update , all seems ok at the moment running well l, I haven't bought a new disk - the money went on a other bill - that's life I suppose
I think onyx is the one that resolved my issues what ever they were since I run it all seems well
thank all for the advise , I will update if there is anything of note to report