slows to a crawl...Ram issues?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Brows, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Brows macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #1
    Im running an early 2011 17" 2.3 i7 4 gb ram, 500 gb hd 7200 rpm MBP

    I'm constantly running out of ram according to the app FreeMemory which I downloaded to figure out why the laptop would come to a stand still quite often. This would result in a hard reset because nothing was responsive and I'd get a beach ball and nothing would work. I haven't upgraded the ram because im not doing anything intensive. as I type im sitting at 300MB free ram with only google chrome open with 5-7 tabs. With only chrome open I can run out of ram according to FreeMemory which results in the MBP not responding and very sluggish. clicking on free memory in the app brings it back up to 1.6 gb free

    I don't think this is normal. I shouldn't be able to bring a 2.3 i7 to its knees with only chrome open. any ideas? I could add ram but i think it should be able to run normally with what I have installed.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated

    Adam
     
  2. blazeken996 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    #2
    What about the hard drive?
     
  3. Brows thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #3
    what about the HD? I don't understand. Like i said its a 500GB HD with lots of room on it. several hundred GB, I've not used nearly half of it
     
  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #4
    Forget the free memory app.
    What does it say for
    page ins
    page outs
    swap used
    ?

    That is the important metric. Free memory is meaningless by itself as inactive memory is technically free too. If you close an app and start another one ... do this for a while ... your inactive memory fills up .. free memory should never be much higher than 100 MB unless the system has been recently restarted.

    uptime is also interesting
    start terminal and type 'uptime'
    it will tell you how long since the last restart.
     
  5. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #5
    Yes it could be Chrome, or what's happening inside Chrome. Chrome can be a platform for Java and Flash, or who knows what else. What extensions are you using? What what are you leaving open in your tabs? Flash has known problems with OSX and Chrome. Certain Flash sites will bring my 2011 MBP to its knees and I have 16GB RAM.

    Furthermore I would say, upgrade to 8GB RAM anyway. It'll cost you like $29, there's no reason not to anymore.
     
  6. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
  7. Brows thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #7
    ok I ran memtest and its come up clean, and ill switch back to safari for a while and monitor it to see what happens. It still seems odd that in an hour of use I've had to free up memory 2 to 3 times because the computer becomes really slow and beach balling. If i leave it it can slow to the point that it won't respond to anything i try and do. still have control of the mouse movement but clicking won't respond, and i have to hard reset to get control back. Each time this has happened the readout that shows free memory is sitting around 40mb of free memory.

    I don't want to sound like the typical "my pc never did this", never slowed down to a crawl to this extent ... because I don't regret moving to a Mac in the slightest. but the only time I've had a a computer acting this way was an older pc laptop 2-3 years old which had a nearly full HD and an aging processor. I'm just concerned because I went for a higher end mac and figured that it would be running better than it is.

    as for page outs and swap used as im typing this I've got 2 GB free memory, page ins at 12.18 GB, page outs 1.21 GB, swap used 2.12 GB. The fact that it shows 2 GB free and I only have chrome with this one tab open, lends itself to what you say about chrome possibly hogging the memory.
     
  8. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #8
    Why dont you do a clean install of OS X? Or buy an SSD? I recommend SSD.
     
  9. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    MacWorld
    #9
    SSD is good but why are you even suggesting it before knowing the problem? It's like asking OP to get a new computer.
     
  10. Brows thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #10
    ive done a clean install twice allready... still same issue
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    You are not running out of RAM and you don't need that app. You just misunderstand how memory works. There's more to the picture than just free memory. The only thing you need to watch for is page outs. To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor

    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
     
  12. Brows thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #12
    right now my page outs are over 4 gb ... i just find it odd that I am exceeding the capacity of my ram in just mundane ordinary things. no photo editing or movies just web browsing, mail, itunes etc.... ill start looking into getting 16 GB ram any recomendations on brand and source? Im in canada but i can easily get things delivered to a place in the US just accross the border from me
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Did you restart your Mac and track page outs under normal workload?
     
  14. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #14
    Page outs are cummulative the longer you didn't restart the higher it gets. There is a reason I wrote that you need to provide all three or four measures.

    I have 20GB page outs but by itself that means nothing.
    I have also 4GB unused RAM which is half of installed.

    page ins
    page outs
    swap used
    uptime


    i.e. even a high swap use has no impact on performance if page outs is close to equal, because that means only unimportant stuff that is never accessed is swapped.
    For snapshots you need to count inactive memory as free because that is what it is.
     
  15. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #15
    I've been experiencing a similar issue (I hope I'm not hijacking here, I didn't want to start a thread for the same question)

    On my '12 MBP 15" I bought the 2.7 i7 model which came with 8GB of Ram, the 1GB nVidia 650m and a 1TB 5400rpm HDD. In overall use the computer was pathetically slow. It was no faster to run or open any application than my 6 year old 2.66 Mac Pro I just replaced with this MBP. I was also experiencing repeated Kernel Panics which was later diagnosed as Chrome causing the problem so I removed it. No more KPs thankfully.

    I would describe myself as a heavy user as I use a lot of media editing software (Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, etc. etc...) for both work and school. I was seeing enormous page outs which would accumulate quite rapidly under my workload even with 8GB of Ram and only running one of these media apps at a time. I would have to restart my computer ever few hours just so I could use it.

    I have since replaced the boot drive with a Crucial m4 256GB SSD which has helped significantly with launching and running my software and there is noticeable improvement overall. That being said I am still experiencing a lot of page outs though it doesn't cripple my computer quite as bad as it used to. Until I use more than one "heavy" application at a time then it's toast.

    For example, after a reboot yesterday, I presently have more page outs than page ins on Activity Monitor, is this normal? I did order 16GB of Ram from Crucial as their sale price brought it down to a mere $77 and I figured I couldn't say no. Hopefully that will help resolve the issue, but I really want to get to the bottom of this.

    I just took the attached screen shot a few minutes ago while my MBP is running only Safari and Mail.

    Thanks for any help or advice you can offer.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #16
    Follow every step of the following instructions precisely. Do not skip any steps.
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the "% CPU" column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
      (If that column isn't visible, right-click on the column headings and check it, NOT "CPU Time")
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
     
  17. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #17
    Ok here is my Activity Monitor screenshots.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    There's nothing in those shots that indicate high memory or CPU usage, and you have plenty of memory available. Try taking screen shots again under your normal workload, while running one or more of those media apps you mentioned.
     

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