Mid 2007 MBP + Snow Leopard = no RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thebard, May 9, 2011.

  1. thebard, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

    thebard macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2009
    Hi all,

    Before I installed Snow Leopard (SL) I had Leopard installed. It was working ok, just a little slow at times and apps would crash often. I figured a fresh install would be due since it had been close to 4 years since I got it. After installing SL I found out the hard drive was going bad so I installed a new Hitachi 500 GB 7200 drive. I installed this drive just last week (5 days ago) and installed SL fresh on the drive.

    Here are my observations so far:

    -Apps open much quicker and things seem to be "zippier"

    -I seem to run out of RAM much more quickly. With nothing else open but Safari, after having a few tabs open my Free RAM goes to basically nothing. As of right now "Active" and "Wired" RAM take up almost 75% of my 2 gigs with only Safari open. In Leopard I only started running out of RAM if I had lots of apps open. The process "Flash Player (Safari internet plug-in)" is taking up 431 MB right now (seems to be large when visiting sites like ESPN). Is this a lot??
    -My MS Basic optical mouse seems to have a sort of delay when scrolling. Its just noticeable enough to be an annoyance much of the time. It never did this in Leopard

    I haven't done much of anything since installation. Here are the only things I have done since the install
    -All updates are installed
    -MS Office '08 installed
    -No files transfered to the new drive yet
    -No additional dashboard widgets or anything
    -No other programs have been opened beside Office and Safari

    Given I haven't done much of anything so far, I don't know why it would be like this. I'm not sure why my mouse is doing that. Do I need more RAM? (The guy at the apple store said 2 gigs would be fine) Does this just have to do with new versions of software (ex. Safari) that I now have installed that take more resources? I kind of want to just revert back to Leopard, but I"m not sure even then that I'll be able to get back where I used to be. [UPDATE (10 min after post): I'm running live video hi res video feed with other apps open and it seems to be doing ok.] I am familiar with the different types "Free" "Active" "Inactive" "Wired".

    There was one time where it definitely ran slower after running out of Free RAM. I guess it's possible this could be a mental thing, knowing I'm out of Free RAM, ya know.

    Anything I might look to do?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. stevemiller macrumors 68000

    Oct 27, 2008
    i think you've pretty much covered the bases. i definitely saw my ram get used up much faster in snow leopard; and of course the most common response is that snow leopard is doing the right thing by using everything it can - unused ram is useless ram.

    that said, i work with after effects a lot, and i am positive beyond a doubt that in my usage, once all the free ram is gone, the system does in fact grind to an unhelpful hault. you can't run any other program while rendering, and rendering itself becomes painfully slow. in these situations the performance is definitely worse than leopard.

    could partially be adobe's fault, and i've maxed out my ram to 8gb which has lessened the slowdowns, but no matter how much you have, snow leopard always seems to be happy to farm every last bit out, leaving you in a precarious place.

    i think ideal ram management lies somewhere between the 10.5 and 10.6's approaches. sure its good for the system to use as much as possible, but there needs to be some better safeguards to prevent it from running totally dry, so to speak, as it actually will end up being slower in the long run than had the ram been used more conservatively.

    anyway, i'm no authority on any of this, these are just my personal observations and frustrations!

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