Sophos anti-virus memory usage at 600 MB right now.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by EugW, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I have Sophos 9.6.1 active on my iMac 5K 2017.

    I'm looking at Activity Monitor right now and see that SophosScanD is using about 480 MB, while SophosWebIntelligence and SophosSXLD are both using about 40 MB each, plus there are a bunch of smaller Sophos services that are using around 40-50 MB total. So altogether about 0.6 GB.

    Luckily I have 24 GB RAM in this machine, but is this normal? 600 MB seems like way too much RAM for an anti-virus. And no, my Mac has never been infected, not even when I didn't use anti-virus, but I keep anti-virus running also to prevent infection of Windows files too.

    Any other free and good anti-virus programs that use less memory and CPU cycles?

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  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Do you have Windows installed on your Mac? Do you regularly send files or share links with others who use Windows? I have never used an AV app since jumping to OS X Leopard. I just don't need it. Do you? Best solution to the problems you are reporting is to uninstall Sophos.
  3. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Yes, I'm on Windows quite often, and exchange files with Windows users frequently. I have found a very occasional Windows virus in an email or file.

    So yes, I think I need an anti-virus on my main Mac.
  4. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    I won't get into the uselessness of using a Virus Scanning app on the Mac, but you need not fear about the RAM usage of Sophos (or most other apps).

    The way macOS works is the OS will take and use the most amount of RAM that it can for any given task as it is being used (by used, I mean used by the system). Generally this means that the OS allocates all the RAM it can while you're using the app or the app is doing its job in the background. THEN, when you're not using the app, or it is no longer working in the background, the OS releases the RAM for use by the system in other operations and apps.

    If Sophos is using 400MB of RAM, it's because the OS has decided that no other app or operation needs that 400MB of RAM, and Sophos has asked for more RAM to do it's job.
  5. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Yes but previous versions of Sophos used way, way less RAM. This seems to be new to version 9. I was wondering if other good (and preferably free) anti-virus programs use less.

    I actually had to shut off Sophos for my 4 GB machine and I’m not keen on having it on for my 8 GB machine either.

    For my 16 and 24 GB machines it’s probably OK though.
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    It is not free any longer, but I have seen users on here happy with ClamXAV, so you might give that a try.
  7. ZapNZs, Sep 17, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    I've used BitDefender, Avast, and ESET's Mac products with good results, primarily for the purpose of non-active, on-demand-only scanning of Windows files. All used a good bit of RAM, and that figure went up quite a bit if going long intervals between restarts like Macs are capable of, but it wasn't quite that high. (I'm not sure if the significance of RAM consumption by AV programs is the same on a Mac as it is Windows, but the way Windows AV programs report (and cache files to the hard drive) can differ.) ESET seems to be extremely resource efficient in real-world scenarios, and Mac Users even with 4GB laptops are very happy with how it does not exact a huge toll on system performance. It also doesn't cause weird issues like some Mac AV Apps have developed a reputation for doing.

    Lately I've just been running ESET NOD32 in a Windows VM, gave the VM permission to see my local Doc/Download folders + iCloud Drive, and I now use the AV in that VM for scanning. I like this more given how the Mac itself doesn't really need the AV, and so I'm not running it 24-7.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 17, 2017 ---
    In regards to macOS itself, I agree. But there is significant usefulness to having AV software if often working with Windows files, even though this malware poses almost zero threat to macOS. If someone sends me a series of files, those files contain some type of malware, I work on those files then passing them off to another Windows User, and their AV software flags a virus in the files I sent to them (or worse, it infects their system,) that's bad news for my professional reputation, making me appear negligent-at-best.

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6 September 16, 2017