RAM allocation in Yosemite messed up

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by steve333, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. steve333 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2008
    I installed memory clean from the APP store and it's showing me that Yosemite doesn't allocate RAM properly, which may be why increasing my Mini from 4Gb to 8Gb didn't yield any performance increase at all.
    Opening Safari with one webpage open reduced my total free RAM to 4.6Gb.
    After I closed Safari, memory clean still showed 4.6Gb RAM free.

    I also noticed Chrome and Firefox use more RAM than Safari.
    Anyone else noticing strange RAM issues with Yosemite?
    I am running the latest version with the latest upgrade.
  2. bwat47 macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2013
    You don't need any 3rd party memory apps.

    by default osx will try to use as much free ram as possible for caching, not seeing a lot of 'free' memory is totally normal.

    chrome is known to be a big resource hog, especially on osx. firefox isn't as bad in my experience, but safari will generally be the most resource efficient osx browser.
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Adding more RAM will never give you a speed increase unless you actually need it. And what you see there is expected behavior.
  4. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Just as an example, that is quite correct, what will have happened is Yosemite doesn't free up the Safari memory because it doesn't need to right now (ie you haven't requested anything else to load). It keeps it in RAM in case you reopen Safari, in which case you avoid all the app load delay.

    If you need to load another app, or an existing app requires more, then Yosemite simply marks the Safari memory as available and overwrites it with the newly loading app.

    "Free" memory isn't useful if you have a good algorithm to hold its contents and overwrite if needed. It avoids having the app load delay every time you load a commonly used (by you), app.

    Memory Clean is interrupting that process and almost certainly causing delay in your loading apps. At best it isn't helping, it is 100,000's of times faster to use existing code in memory than to load it again from disk.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Few things in addition to simonsi's excellent post

    1. Stop using RAM cleaner apps, they completely mess up the hard work the OS is trying to do. Its like pumping your body full of antibiotic and stimulants instead of relaying on your natural biology to do the everyday job

    2. The Safari RAM is not reclaimed immediately because a) there is no need to do that and b) because Safari data is kept in RAM in case you will want to relaunch it again soon. This is how the OS optimises the system and attempts to avoid unnecessary work (it probably knows from your usage patterns that Safari is an app you often start).

    3. If you want to understand better how OS X memory management is working, read this https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/arch-handbook/vm.html

    Its a bit out of date, but still quite informative.
  6. Paradoxally macrumors 68000

    Feb 4, 2011
    If RAM allocation was the only thing Yosemite messed up.....

    how about:

    - WiFi issues
    - Mail issues
    - Graphical lag with retina Macs
    - Partition corruption
    - Handoff working sporadically
    - the list goes on....
  7. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You've posted this like 500 times on this forum...let's get creative, shall we?

  8. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    You add more RAM because you want more free RAM? Or working RAM?
  9. andyramone macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2014
    The only stat that really matters is memory pressure. Keep an eye on that. If you're in the green, you're all good.
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You don't need apps like Memory Clean. It is quite normal for all of your memory to be in use by OS X. It does not mean that you are running out of memory or that it is maxed out. OS X will manage all available memory, making it available to apps on an as-needed basis. Refer to the following Apple support article for more information on how to understand your Activity Monitor readings.
  11. steve333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2008
    Wow, a lot of good information here-thanks, guys.
    I had always heard that more RAM the better. The system was using up over 3.2Gb RAM on it's own so wouldn't upping it from 4 to 8GB RAM make any difference at all?
    With my mother's Mini at 4Gb RAM memory clean was actually showing red (no free RAM) just with one window open in Safari.

    Has anyone here had better luck using Chrome over Safari? Safari has been awful since Yosemite came out and I installed the latest update.


    So perhaps since my Mini has more RAM than my mother's OSX didn't free up the RAM because the system didn't need it?

    Ignore this, I just re-read the above posts and it explains it.
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Not true. If your normal workload never maxes out your existing RAM (causes the memory pressure graph to turn yellow or red) and never has page outs, adding more RAM is a waste of money, as it will do nothing to improve performance.

    This should help: How much RAM do I need in my Mac?
    Look at the processes running in Activity Monitor to see if it's really just Safari, or if another process is also consuming memory. There are always quite a few processes running on your Mac, even though you don't launch them.
    Actually, I've heard more the opposite. Many have uninstalled Chrome due to performance issues.
  13. steve333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2008
    Oh well, at least the RAM cost only $85.
    I'll uninstall memory clean and check the activity monitor while safari is open.
    If Chrome is worse than Safari I guess I'm stuck until Apple gets its act together and fixes it
  14. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    This is true, up to a point. If you have say, the bare minimum amount of RAM to run Yosemite (2GB), then clearly things are going to be tight. 4GB will work currently for most people. 8GB is better; some can take advntage of that today, but most people will probably have a need for that amount later.

    Beyond that, you see diminishing returns. 16GB and 32GB? Probably not useful to most users currently, unless you're running virtual machines that need their own RAM, or are being really intensive with data modeling, or heavy video editing with lots of files open.

    Yosemite is currently set up like most modern UNIX-like operating systems) to make use of as much RAM as is available, all of the time. If you throw 8GB at your system, you're probably going to see most of that used up as well.

    What's happening is, OS X is filling up any RAM not directly used by applications for buffering and caching purposes. Frequently-used apps will have resources cached in RAM ready to go. Open files will be preloaded into RAM because it's faster to read off RAM than a spinning hard disk (and a tiny bit faster than SSD).

    Memory Clean is based on the false premise that you need to be using your RAM as little as possible. That might have been the case before Mavericks, but that's not how OS X works going from Mavericks on forward.

    That said, Memory Clean isn't needed much anymore... most of the housekeeping functions it does are done far better by OS X. But, admitting that means no one will buy their product anymore. So, nice bright red graphics gives ill-informed people the illusion that the app is doing its job and they got their money's worth.

    By and large, most of the "system optimizer" apps are snake oil. At best, they give people a placebo effect by doing what the OS does on its own already. At worst, some of them actually cause more problems than they supposedly solve.

    Chrome is worse. There, you actually WILL get memory leaks and RAM issues. If you're having problems now, I would avoid Chrome.

    I'm wondering if the problem you're really having might be solved by a hard drive upgrade. I would look into an SSD upgrade. The difference between SSD and older hard drives is night and day.
  15. steve333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2008
    Thanks for the info
    I will delete memory clean and skip using Chrome
    Do you happen to know any safari apps that may help or hinder performance?

    I find adblock sometimes seems to bog things down, not sure about clicktoflash. I use clicktoflash all the time to download movie clips so I would hate not to be able to use it.
    I seem to remember ghostery making safari smoother before Yosemite but was reluctant to use it again after Yosemite turned Safari into a dog.
  16. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Safari under Yosemite has been just as stable and works with a few more sites than before and is at least as fast as under Mavericks. I'd suspect an extension or something else...
  17. steve333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2008
    I had the exact same extensions as under Mavericks and safari started sucking the same day I installed Yosemite, I know I'm not the only one
  18. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Exactly! One of them probably needs updating to work properly. Have you tried disabling them to see?

    Just as with Apps, it is the writers of the extensions who may need to update their code to work with a new OS/Safari...
  19. steve333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2008
    Tried disabling them and it didn't do anything.
    I just installed ghostery and so far so good. I'll test it out the next few days
  20. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    I have zero extension, but Safari still buggy in Yosemite. I've reset everything, but nil help.

    It's not about extension, but Safari is not working well on some Mac in Yosemite. On some Mac, Safari is the very best browser you can have, on the others, it's the worst. This is the problem, not consistent any more. I always use Safari up to 10.9.5, but once I upgrade to Yosemite, it's not useable anymore.
  21. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Can't comment, your "symptoms" are too vague.


    What do you mean? - actually if you do want help, best to start a new thread with a proper description of the error, likely it isn't related to RAM allocation and Memory Clean.
  22. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

    Jul 25, 2011
    Not one issue mentioned in the OP then a vague mention of Safari isn't right. Then it's same extensions and then no extensions. I'm sitting here trying to understand the problem.

    Safari for me has no overall performance issues under Yosemite but I have noticed a few things such as random crashes that either reload a page or crash the whole app. I've also caught Safari hogging RAM a couple times...as in system coming to a stall with memory pressure deep into the red (8GB installed). Quitting Safari fixed those instances.

    Chrome is a pig, though. I won't use it unless something just doesn't work in Safari which is rare.
  23. steve333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2008
    So far ghostery has Safari running a little better, hopefully it will stay that way.
    I also switched from adblock to adblock lite
    No memory pressure on my 8Gb Mini
  24. steve333 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2008
    OK, 2 days now and Safari is working much better.
    If anyone is having problems with Safari I suggest going to the app store and getting:
    Adblock Lite

    Curious to see if this works for others
  25. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    i have ghostly and adblock but never had a problem with RAM, it was just nice to have because no adds

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24 February 1, 2015