Mid-2012 mbp RAM issue

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by spikie, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. spikie macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #1
    I have a mid-2012 MBP, 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD. I've upgraded to Yosemite when it first came out and since then this machine has been struggling. I didn't get around to post about my issue earlier, but I don't remember noticing this on Mavericks. Currently I'm on 10.10.2

    After browsing for a while on Safari, few different sites, around 4-5 tabs open, Safari uses almost all the available RAM in the system. I start noticing the sluggishness after a couple of hours, as the RAM usage accumulates.
    The RAM usage causes the whole system to become really slow, I get the spinning color wheel whenever I open a new tab, change song on iTunes, etc. Sometimes when I'm typing something even the keyboard becomes unresponsive for a few seconds, the color wheel comes up and the keyboard won't accept any inputs, then suddenly enter all the characters I typed about 10 seconds late.

    The RAM indicator stays green the whole time, and I know everyone says if it's green it's fine, Yosemite will handle RAM management, but seriously, something is not right. It is not normal that a machine can come to a halt by only using Safari. Restarting Safari empties the RAM it was using and the system speeds up again, but until I restart I can still feel a small lag. Then after restart it happens again and again whatever I do on Safari. I made a screenshot of the Activity Monitor.

    I use this laptop for Safari, iTunes, word processing and in really rare cases I might edit 1 or 2 photos in iPhotos. I think it's supposed to be able to handle this even with this amount of RAM and an HDD.

    It seems to me that Safari is not doing what it should with the cached stuff.
     

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  2. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #2
    I have the impression that yosumcrappy's memory management works better on computers where it can swap to SSD, or not at all (lots of RAM).

    i'd say your MBP could be a lot better with 8gb and an SSD... that's what I run in my 13-inch and the thing can run two VMs totalling 5GB of RAM plus a ton of apps (including ms outlook) at the same time like a champ.

    cheers
     
  3. spikie, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015

    spikie thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    Thanks for your reply, I am planning to upgrade to an SSD and the RAM as well sometime in the future.
    But I think this is simply unacceptable. I don't run anything other than 3-4 tabs in Safari and iTunes, this machine is not old enough to not be able to handle it.

    It just seems that Safari keeps everything in the RAM without recycling it, eventually filling it up and using the swap. Then everything becomes painfully slow. I don't find this an acceptable behaviour for a machine that they are actually still selling, and I'm clearly not trying to run 100 different apps at the same time.
     
  4. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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  5. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #5
    Clearly Apple should have withheld Yosemite upgrades from people with barely competent hardware :)

    As unacceptable as it maybe that your machine is sluggish with a 5400 RPM HDD in it, it's up to you whether you upgrade the RAM and install an SSD, or sell the MBP to some poor unsuspecting slob and get yourself a Windows laptop.

    You bought an underspec'd piece of hardware because it was all you could spend at the time.. upgrading to Yosemite was probably a bad move until you were ready to upgrade it.
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #6
    Your RAM pressure is actually pretty low, henceforth RAM usage is low.

    Free RAM values are not relevant anymore since Mavericks introduced RAM compression and caching. Free RAM is wasted RAM.

    Like what Meister said, get an SSD.
     
  7. spikie thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #7
    I keep reading the same sentence over and over, "free RAM is wasted RAM". It is true, but care to explain why is there more than 700MB of swap being used?

    I thought swap should only be used when all the RAM is used by apps, and it needs more. How can this be a case with only Safari being open with 3-4 tabs?

    I appreciate all the response and I understand that an SSD would help, I will upgrade as soon as I can. I am just looking for people with a similar issue, and I still do not think that this machine is so obsolete that it can't handle a simple browser. Yosemite's "smart memory management" does not seem to be that smart after all.

    EDIT: and the SWAP can climb way higher than 700MB, I've seen it over 1.5GB with only Safari open. All it needs is a few more hours to run as it accumulates.
     
  8. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #8
    I really feel that Apple developed Yosemite without considering the performance degradation on Macs with only HDDs...

    The common factor with everyone reporting that Yosemite is sluggish on their Mac is they all have HDDs. Yosemite just flies on a Mac with an SSD, and I would never buy a Mac without an SSD anymore.

    People are upgrading 6 year old Macs with SSDs and getting a whole new life out of them...
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #9
    Swap is used because you're out of real RAM, however, when swap occurs, the RAM pressure is usually orange or red, and not green.

    Yosemite is largely optimized for SSDs in mind.

    Such machines, even if new, are already obsolete from the start because of the lack of an SSD.
     
  10. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #10
    My rmbp has 8gb of RAM and also swaps up to 2gb just with safari and some other trivial stuff. Ram pressure however is very low (even much lower than yours). From my understanding the swap number is meaningless. SSD is key with Yosemite. Get one and don't think further.
     
  11. Sabretooth78, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

    Sabretooth78 macrumors member

    Sabretooth78

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    #11
    I added a SSD alongside the stock HDD in my 2012 MBP (w/ 8 GB RAM) and while I didn't have the same degree of issue as the OP, the performance still was not as good as under 10.8 and 10.9. A few weeks ago I moved back to 10.9.5 and the issues I was experiencing (far more than just somewhat less efficient RAM usage) have seemingly magically disappeared.

    How much bloat was added to this OS to now "require" a SSD to do the same tasks that older (perhaps even by today's standards outdated/obsolete) hardware can still capably manage with an older OS? More RAM isn't the issue either - Yosemite will just eat it up like a Microsoft OS anyway and you'll be right back to square one. I've considered upping mine to 16 GB but I don't think it's worth the investment in relation to my usage; by the time my usage does require it it'll be time to upgrade the whole machine anyway - probably to a Linux box given Apple's current planned obsolescence kick.

    My advice is to get that SSD no matter what (you won't regret it), and preferably go back to 10.9 and experience a system that flies.
     
  12. spikie thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #12
    Thanks for your reply, it was interesting to read your experiences. I have been thinking about downgrading to 10.9, but I prefer how Yosemite looks and feels.
    However, guess the point that needs to be taken is that 10.10 does not like systems without an SSD.
    I want to get an SSD but now I'm thinking about getting a rMBP instead. It seems Apple did not intend for this machine to run the latest OS, and I'm unsure what other problems might surface in further OS updates with this machine, it might just be easier to get a current rMBP..:(
     
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #13
    Easier of course...

    But with your use case a $200 SSD and a stick or 2 of RAM could give you another 3-4 years of good computing, you do nothing that warrants an upgrade other than an ssd to be honest, RAM is always nice but 6-8GB is all you'd need at the most.

    I personally would do the SSD upgrade and see how you go, it'll be a much better computer and that one is now covered for a year into 2016 on graphics issues from apple...
     
  14. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #14
    The 'bloat' comes from the UI effects and transparency that Yosemite uses. The Intel HD 4000 just can't cut it anymore.

    Free RAM is wasted RAM. Since Mavericks introduced RAM compression and caching, free RAM values have become irrelevant. Only RAM pressure is relevant now.
     
  15. spikie thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #15
    You can't be serious blaming the HD4000 for the slow down. I have clearly said that the only thing running is Safari, the HD4000 is more than powerful enough to handle a browser.

    If RAM pressure carries the only relevance now, how come I experience crazy slow downs and spinning colour wheels while the RAM pressure stays green all the time? You keep chanting this one thing without actually looking at the situation on its own.

    Obviously the HDD is the problem, since Yosemite does not seem to be built with that in mind. I'm getting an SSD and hope that helps the issue.
    But you protecting Yosemite with all your strength is getting ridiculous, it's simply not optimised for the slightly older machines (which they are still selling at this point...).
     
  16. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #16
    Safari chewing 3GB on a 4GB machine with an HDD is your problem (so swapping is slow). Fix Safari and it will be fine...

    I installed the security update last night and Safari is MUCH better behaved since...
     
  17. spikie thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #17
    I tried running Safari on a brand new user account for 2 hours and RAM usage stays low, it doesn't accumulate. Swap stayed 0 the whole time and there was no slow down at all, no colour wheels.
    It seems the problem is only on the main user account.
    Any ideas about troubeshooting, apart from a reinstall? I'd like to avoid that if that's possible. Already installed the security update and it doesn't help.
     
  18. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #18
    So check login items and Safari extensions.
     
  19. spikie thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #19
    Only iTunesHelper is in Login Items and I'm using AdBlock and ClickToFlash for Safari extensions. None of these should cause an issue.
    I've tried disabling the extensions and I still have the problem.

    I've also tried recreating the account (new admin account, copy everything over), but that did not help.
    I trashed the Safari folder from the Library and the com.apple.Safari.plist from the Preferences folder, so I started with a new Safari, but that did not help either.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  20. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #20
    Maybe they shouldn't but something is and you seem to have tied it into your account. The safari code running is the same across all accounts so that leaves some other software that is only launched by your account as the prime suspect...
     
  21. illusionx macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I would upgrade the ram first. In my mind, if it swaps it's not good.
     
  22. spikie thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    But it does not swap on a new account I just created. It is tied to the main admin account.
     
  23. illusionx macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Mid-2012 mbp RAM issue

    If it doesn't swap hen go with an SSD. But my guess is that you will eventually get to the point where it will swap again.

    Anyways it's just me, I rather not have it swap on my SSD.
     
  24. Psyfuzz macrumors 6502

    Psyfuzz

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    #24
    We have pretty much the same Macbook and I upgraded last month to fantastic results.

    I recommend!
     

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