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  1. #1

    xdunlapx's Avatar
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    Question Usage of RAM seems to have skyrocketed - help?
    Hello. I have a very similar problem as this thread: http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/os-...ns-closed.html

    Here is the screenshot of my Activity Monitor:
    Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 3.03.36 AM.png

    Is this RAM usage normal? I'm running Maxthon which is a Chromium browser, Mail, Adium, and TextEdit.

    Sometimes my RAM gets so low that the Free ram is less than 10MB and then my computer freezes a little bit and eventually returns to normal. Why would this be happening? I usually don't have a ton of apps open. I thought 8GB of ram was sufficient which is why I upgraded the RAM from 4GB. I am seriously thinking of purchasing 16GB RAM to replace these 2 4GB sticks. How in the world do other Mac users only survive on 4GB ram??

  2. #2

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Maxathon is sucking a LOT of RAM! Also your kernel task looks very high but Maxathon might be causing that one. I have never tried that browser.

    Interesting, they call it a Cloud browser which to mean most stuff is processed in the cloud and fed to the browser after wards. That RAM usage seems very high for a browser like that.

  3. #3

    xdunlapx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    Marathon is sucking a LOT of RAM! Also your kernel task looks very high but Marathon might be causing that one. I have never tried that browser.
    I am trying to figure out how to find out how much ram Maxthon is running in total. I have no idea why it has so many processes. It's annoying as heck. If all of the Maxthon processes are labeled as Maxthon then it's using 1029 MB which is actually less than Firefox uses and I have 8 tabs open. Firefox usually runs between 1.2 GB and 1.7 GB. So 1029 MB is 5MB over 1 GB.

    I am also concerned about my kernel_task. It's using 1.23 GB right now. That seems awfully high. Yes rebooting fixes it temporarily but as soon as I actually open my browser and other apps, and actually use the computer it climbs and climbs up to at least what it is now. I last rebooted 5 days, 7 hours and 29 minutes ago. I don't want to reboot my computer daily. I never have. It's not that it takes forever to wait for it (it doesn't) but It's just very inconvenient.

    Do you (or anyone else) have any suggestions on how to proceed?

  4. #4

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    With 8GB ram and the few things you have open that sure seems high usage. Let me think about it for a bit. Does the ram go away like that with Firefox or Safari running instead of Maxathon running?

  5. #5

    xdunlapx's Avatar
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    cMBP 13" mid-2012, 2.9 ghz i7, 8gb ram, 256 gb SSD,
    I only have Safari and Activity Monitor open and my ram is:
    Free: 1.19 GB
    Wired: 1.45 GB
    Active 2.34 GB
    Inactive 3.02 GB
    Used: 6.81 GB

    VM Size: 249.38 GB
    Page ins: 25.60 GB
    Page outs: 655.4 MB
    Swap used: 305.4 MB

    Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 4.43.45 AM.png

  6. #6

    xdunlapx's Avatar
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    cMBP 13" mid-2012, 2.9 ghz i7, 8gb ram, 256 gb SSD,
    Just rebooted and waited for the CPU to calm down to normal (0-1%)

    Here is my screenshot:
    Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 4.49.43 AM.png

  7. #7

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    I wonder if OS X decides what to load into kernel_task based on the amount of memory in the machine.
    Yours is sitting at 2-2.5 times more than mine - I only have 4 GB RAM - have never seen it above maybe 520 MB.

    Looks to me like Maxthon is gobbling RAM worse than Safari or FF.
    I counted up 1325 MB on that top screen just from what's showing - needed to scroll down to find the rest.
    Why does it have so many processes running?
    Does it open a new process for every tab?

    One thing - your page outs are fine - very low.
    I cannot control page outs with 4 GB - have a look at my current:
    Page ins 5.36 GB
    Page outs 2.09 GB
    That would spell very slow work with a hard drive.
    With my SSD, it could be spelling an early death with all the writing/reading it does.

    I have to use a memory manager on my MBA - something I have never done on any Windows machine.
    As long as I'm web browsing, the low amount of free memory (It is very common for me to see well under 100 MB free) usually does not affect it even with inactive memory sitting at/below 500 MB.

    I do see some slow downs if I don't quit the browsers and go into some other app that likes a lot of memory, although, I am sure it is not nearly so bad with an SSD as it would be with a HD.

    It's been a year, so I started experimenting with Chrome again a couple days ago to see if I can handle it.

    If you want to try it, the memory manager I'm using is "Free Memory" - go ahead and get the Pro $1 version on the app store - it's worth it to support them.

    However, after having said all the above, with the low page outs and if you are not experiencing the machine slow down - I'd suggest you not worry about it.
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  8. #8

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xdunlapx View Post
    Just rebooted and waited for the CPU to calm down to normal (0-1%)
    Rebooting your computer can be the solution to a lot of things. When applications are opened & closed...opened & closed...opened & closed (without rebooting the computer occasionally)...remnants of those programs stay in ram.

    Why this is may be to improve performance. For example if the same application is closed then launched again at some later time...those "remnants" in ram help to relaunch the application faster.

    Again...rebooting kind of starts a computer from a "fresh state"...and can clear up many confusing situations.

    - Nick

    p.s. The "blue inactive" wedge of ram in the pie chart...in reality is actually free ram (if it is needed). The blue wedge is the "remnants" I mentioned above. The small parts of applications that are retained in ram...to help relaunch/reactivate a program faster.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
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  9. #9

    vansmith's Avatar
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    kernel_task will use more memory if it's available. Think of it as the "master scheduler" for your machine, managing CPU resources and allocating resources to things when it needs it. In this way, it's akin to your brain. As such, it's given and takes resources whenever it needs it since it would have priority (just as your brain is given biological priority over other parts of your body). Going back to your issue, 1.2 GB really isn't a lot given what it's responsible for. In fact, I'd be surprised if it was using less than a GB after more that two minutes of uptime.

    I believe Maxthon is based on Chromium which explains the many renderer and helper processes. This is one of the consequences of using a Chromium based browser - you get excellent isolation but do so at the cost of excessive memory usage. It's a tradeoff you'll have to take if you want to use it.
    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    Interesting, they call it a Cloud browser which to mean most stuff is processed in the cloud and fed to the browser after wards. That RAM usage seems very high for a browser like that.
    It's called a cloud browser because they integrate a lot of web services like tab and bookmark syncing and not because they offload resource rendering to a cloud based service a la Opera Turbo.
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