RAM Issue: Paging Out (rMBP - 8GB of RAM)

locoboi187

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 3, 2012
645
229
Update on the situation can be found HERE

I thought 8GB of RAM would be way more than sufficient for college, and I'm not even an engineering student who runs CAD or stuff. I simply have 4 windows of Safari, iTunes, Mail, and 1 document running in Microsoft Office 2011. I heard 4gb on even the old Macbooks flew through multitasking. What gives? I know that Mountain Lion is x64, but thats no excuse. I'm paging out and experience lag time to time. I know a restart would clear the RAM and give a smoother experience, but within a few hours in the same boat again. I have the Retina Macbook Pro, base model. Can anyone help me?

What I'm doing is not even considered heavy multi-tasking and I'm not even on a site using Flash.
I usually dont truly exit programs because I don't run many and this isn't a problem on older Macs from what I've seen. This is my first time having a Mac, irrelevant but yeah.

http://i50.tinypic.com/2nkrnv8.png
http://i49.tinypic.com/9i6ww6.png

(I only opened Google Chrome to post this, too lazy to move around Safari :p but this browser was NOT open when I took that screenshot from Activity Monitor)

Sorry the attachments failed loading here and this was the only way to post the images. I removed the [ I M G] tag so images won't look huge on a post.
 
Last edited:

nontroppo

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2009
430
21
That is not a lot of page outs, if you consider the speed of the SSD storage that shouldn't be responsible for much lag, do you see any active page outs when you see lag (check the bytes/second)?

I wouldn't think what you're running should be a problem, though do you think Avast could be doing some scanning when you see lag? Also check mdworker / mds when you see lag to see if they are at fault.

Not sure if you would be better trading up to 16GB, that is only something you and your pocket can decide.
 

Cassadian

macrumors regular
Sep 4, 2012
140
0
I run Skype, Safari (many tabs), iCalendar, CoD4 (a game), and other programs such as Word and have never reached past 4 GB of ram.
 

cosmicjoke

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2011
484
1
Portland, OR
I thought 8GB of RAM would be way more than sufficient for college, and I'm not even an engineering student who runs CAD or stuff. I simply have 4 windows of Safari, iTunes, Mail, and 1 document running in Microsoft Office 2011. I heard 4gb on even the old Macbooks flew through multitasking. What gives? I know that Mountain Lion is x64, but thats no excuse. I'm paging out and experience lag time to time. I know a restart would clear the RAM and give a smoother experience, but within a few hours in the same boat again. I have the Retina Macbook Pro, base model. Can anyone help me?

What I'm doing is not even considered heavy multi-tasking and I'm not even on a site using Flash.
I usually dont truly exit programs because I don't run many and this isn't a problem on older Macs from what I've seen. This is my first time having a Mac, irrelevant but yeah.

http://i50.tinypic.com/2nkrnv8.png
http://i49.tinypic.com/9i6ww6.png

(I only opened Google Chrome to post this, too lazy to move around Safari :p but this browser was NOT open when I took that screenshot from Activity Monitor)

Sorry the attachments failed loading here and this was the only way to post the images. I removed the [ I M G] tag so images won't look huge on a post.
In my experience, particularly ever since Lion, Safari over time will use all available RAM resources and become progressively more sluggish... If you insist on using it, just close it now and again when you're not using it and reopen it.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,860
645
Hawaii, USA
Safari is being a RAM hog, but that doesn't explain what's going on with your memory. It also doesn't experience your periodic lag. Paging out will cause a bit of lag, but since your computer is using a SSD instead of a traditional HDD, this process should be much quicker.

Someone mentioned that you're running Avast. Try disabling it entirely, restart, work for a few days as you normally would, and see if things improve.
 

locoboi187

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 3, 2012
645
229
That is not a lot of page outs, if you consider the speed of the SSD storage that shouldn't be responsible for much lag, do you see any active page outs when you see lag (check the bytes/second)?

I wouldn't think what you're running should be a problem, though do you think Avast could be doing some scanning when you see lag? Also check mdworker / mds when you see lag to see if they are at fault.

Not sure if you would be better trading up to 16GB, that is only something you and your pocket can decide.
It's not a lot of page outs correct, but what happens when I do want to run a movie or flash video or iMovie? I want to trade for a 16GB and do have the money for it but Apple does not keep those machines in stock at the store as they have to be custom ordered. Additionally, I would run the risk of getting a non-Samsung display (LG), which are known to have image retention.

By the way, I have no idea what "mdworker / mds" is

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In my experience, particularly ever since Lion, Safari over time will use all available RAM resources and become progressively more sluggish... If you insist on using it, just close it now and again when you're not using it and reopen it.
I feel Safari is a bit smoother in scrolling than Chrome so I use Safari for now. But I do love Chrome much more. I'll definitely start using Chrome again once things are patched up.
 

24Frames

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2012
181
0
In the first screenshot you have 3.19 GB of inactive memory.
OS X memory management is usually pretty good, but it isn't perfect.
Open /applicaitons/terminal
Type the following:
purge
Press Return key, it may take a minute or two to take effect.
 

locoboi187

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 3, 2012
645
229
Safari is being a RAM hog, but that doesn't explain what's going on with your memory. It also doesn't experience your periodic lag. Paging out will cause a bit of lag, but since your computer is using a SSD instead of a traditional HDD, this process should be much quicker.

Someone mentioned that you're running Avast. Try disabling it entirely, restart, work for a few days as you normally would, and see if things improve.
Avast is not doing much scanning or whatever but I will try disabling it. How necessary are anti-virus programs on a Mac anyway? Always been a Windows guy and it was instinct to install an AV program after a fresh install haha

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In the first screenshot you have 3.19 GB of inactive memory.
OS X memory management is usually pretty good, but it isn't perfect.
Open /applicaitons/terminal
Type the following:
purge
Press Return key, it may take a minute or two to take effect.
Isn't that a huge inconvenience to do that all the time? I usually extremely busy and would overlook things like this.

Edit: Maybe there's a script to perform this action every-time I open my lid from sleep mode and every few hours?
 

stevelam

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2010
1,215
3
4gb to 300mb ratio? thats hardly any page outs at all.

if your system actually feels like its slowing down though, you must have some stray program taking up resources.

Attached are my current stats on my rmbp with 16gb. Besides screen/scroll lag due to the retina screen I don't experience actual performance slowdown at all.
 

Attachments

locoboi187

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 3, 2012
645
229
Take it back...easy
What good would that do?

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4gb to 300mb ratio? thats hardly any page outs at all.

if your system actually feels like its slowing down though, you must have some stray program taking up resources.

Attached are my current stats on my rmbp with 16gb. Besides screen/scroll lag due to the retina screen I don't experience actual performance slowdown at all.
You're correct, the screen/scroll lag is more of a thing of the retina and even occurs when I do have lots of RAM free. The remedy for this is putting the graphics card in Discrete mode to use the nvidia GPU but that's a battery killer. However, page outs are still page outs and I don't know if I should really be worried in the long run. My biggest hope is that Apple improves memory management in the future rather than making everything use a lot of RAM ineffectively.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,772
2,052
What good would that do?
If you're not satisfied with the item, you return it. It seems logical. These aren't at a level where you should be concerned. They're minor and ssds compensate quite well for minor pageouts. Lion and Mountain Lion seem to do this way more than Snow Leopard, but I haven't actually tested that. I could be wrong.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,860
645
Hawaii, USA
Avast is not doing much scanning or whatever but I will try disabling it. How necessary are anti-virus programs on a Mac anyway? Always been a Windows guy and it was instinct to install an AV program after a fresh install haha
I'm on my fifth or sixth year as a Mac user, was a Windows guy from back when Windows 95 had just replaced Windows 3.1 - so it was super unnerving not to have a virus scanner or firewall alerting me to something every few minutes. I'm still paranoid, so in addition to having the operating system firewall running, I have a network monitor (Little Snitch - not free, but a very nice program). Still no virus scanner though, aside from ClamAV (which is run-on-demand), and even though I rarely use it.

Virus scanners aren't really necessary, but that's not to say that Macs are "immune" or anything like that. Practice safe computing habits and keep your software up to date, and it won't be much of an issue.

That's not to say that Avast is the source of your problems, but I'm a bit suspicious... and I think that the user base for anti virus programs on Macs is low enough that potentially big glitches won't be caught or reported as quickly as they might on Windows.
 

nontroppo

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2009
430
21
By the way, I have no idea what "mdworker / mds" is
It is the service used to index all content on your drives for spotlight, which sometimes causes slow performance if it is indexing, or if some 3rd party app clashes with it (I've seen problems with VMWare virtual machines for example)...
 

locoboi187

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 3, 2012
645
229
It is the service used to index all content on your drives for spotlight, which sometimes causes slow performance if it is indexing, or if some 3rd party app clashes with it (I've seen problems with VMWare virtual machines for example)...
I see. I don't believe I have any apps that would clash with my indexing service. Windows 7 x64 never breaks 4GB on bootcamp haha but not important right now. I KNOW I don't need 16GB but I think the issue is on the software side. I prefer this OS over Windows, as I only use Windows to play games like Battlefield 3. I plan to keep this machine for 4-5 years. What do you guys think I should do? Will I run into problems in the future? I would gladly switch my laptop for a 16gb but that would take time for it to come, and even worse, imagine if it came with an LG screen haha. I've had a 4GB PC since 2008 and I still haven't maxed it out. For this, I dont feel the need to upgrade to 16GB of RAM. Im seriously lost in this situation of what to do. Pray Apple fixes software issues on their side or live comfortable with 16GB of RAM which I shouldnt be using in the first place. Ugh :/
 

nontroppo

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2009
430
21
I have an LG screen which is perfect, as do most LG owners... But the decision is yours. Personally I think 16GB is worth the upgrade, but I do work which requires that amount of RAM today, let alone two or three updates of OS X later into the future...
 

locoboi187

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 3, 2012
645
229
I have an LG screen which is perfect, as do most LG owners... But the decision is yours. Personally I think 16GB is worth the upgrade, but I do work which requires that amount of RAM today, let alone two or three updates of OS X later into the future...
Then how are the screen retention issues occurring? I thought it was only on LG screens

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I just read the image retention problem here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1422669/

It looks very scary if I get an LG display. Damn. This really sucks if I get a 16gb machine and its an LG. I rarely put my macbook to sleep
 

nanolife

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2011
422
0
Pasadena
Then how are the screen retention issues occurring? I thought it was only on LG screens

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I just read the image retention problem here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1422669/

It looks very scary if I get an LG display. Damn. This really sucks if I get a 16gb machine and its an LG. I rarely put my macbook to sleep
If you get a new machine and you are still not satisfied with it, replace again!

I would try a fresh ML install before returning yours and then try installing only MS Office and run that again with iTunes and Safari together to see what happens.
 

locoboi187

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 3, 2012
645
229
If you get a new machine and you are still not satisfied with it, replace again!

I would try a fresh ML install before returning yours and then try installing only MS Office and run that again with iTunes and Safari together to see what happens.
Already did that. No luck.
 

nanolife

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2011
422
0
Pasadena
Already did that. No luck.
So call Applecare and tell them there's something wrong with it. Don't try to give many technical details, just tell them the machine is not working as any other, it is very slow. They will ask you to bring it to a Genius or even order a new one since you are still under the 14 days returning policy.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
6,215
3,564
Perth, Western Australia
Bear in mind that page outs will accumulate with time as your machine is left on. Some paging is NORMAL and helps your mac make best use of your available RAM, for caching or whatever. Ram consumed by an app that is sitting there doing nothing is WASTED and SHOULD be paged out by an intelligent OS. Even if it is paged out, it may still be lingering in "inactive" memory in the form of disk cache.

Stop looking at the total number and look at the number in brackets when your machine feels like it is chugging.


If your machine doesn't feel slow, and/or the number in brackets (the number currently happening) doesn't read high then stop looking at activity monitor and enjoy your machine.

if it does feel slow, attempt to find out WHICH APP is consuming CPU and / or causing paging.



Also: replacing the hardware will not stop page-outs. Hardware issues will not cause page outs. If you are getting excessive paging, it is SOFTWARE doing it. Faulty hardware will cause kernel panics, not paging.
 

locoboi187

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 3, 2012
645
229
Bear in mind that page outs will accumulate with time as your machine is left on. Some paging is NORMAL and helps your mac make best use of your available RAM, for caching or whatever. Ram consumed by an app that is sitting there doing nothing is WASTED and SHOULD be paged out by an intelligent OS. Even if it is paged out, it may still be lingering in "inactive" memory in the form of disk cache.

Stop looking at the total number and look at the number in brackets when your machine feels like it is chugging.


If your machine doesn't feel slow, and/or the number in brackets (the number currently happening) doesn't read high then stop looking at activity monitor and enjoy your machine.

if it does feel slow, attempt to find out WHICH APP is consuming CPU and / or causing paging.



Also: replacing the hardware will not stop page-outs. Hardware issues will not cause page outs. If you are getting excessive paging, it is SOFTWARE doing it. Faulty hardware will cause kernel panics, not paging.
So nothing is wrong and I should be good for a few years?
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
6,215
3,564
Perth, Western Australia
Nothing is wrong with your hardware.

There may be an app running rogue which could be causing paging/slowdown, but replacing the hardware will not fix that issue.
 
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