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  1. #1
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2011
    Posts
    7
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused
    Hi!

    Firstly, I would like to praise the community of this forum for all the advice and information I have received whilst researching solutions for my many issues over the years. I have always been able to resolve the problems through such research, yet in this case, I find myself in a stalemate.

    Anyway, my problem is as follows:
    I own a MacBook Pro 13" mid 2010 (2.4Ghz, 4Gb Ram), and whenever I use apps that are CPU and RAM-heavy, the system feels really sluggish and turns the mouse pointer into the beach ball more often than I care to endure. I started to investigate inside Activity Monitor and found the Page Ins/Page outs ratio to be alarming, up to 50% at times. Reading up on this issue over the internet I found people advocating Memory upgrade, if one ever experiences the ratio exceeding 10%.
    Though, what I find most peculiar is the fact that during my extensive use of the CPU or Memory, the amount of Free Ram almost never drops below 2Gb, the all-time low being 1,65Gb. My first question is: why doesn't the OS use up all of the available memory when in need?
    Since I'm seriously considering upgrading memory, I find myself on the fence about such action, because I don't know if it will serve the desired effect I'm looking for (reduce the ratio and improve multitasking)?
    Would replacing the current HDD with a faster one also improve performance?

  2. #2
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused
    XJ-linux's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 02, 2007
    Location
    Going Galt...
    Posts
    3,418
    Specs:
    MacBookAir5,2:10.9.5-MacMini3,1:10.9.5-iPhone6,1:8.3
    What version of OS X are you currently running, how long have you run it, and did this occur in previous versions of OS X on the same hardware?
    Never judge a man, untill you have walked a mile in his shoes...
    That way you'll be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes.

  3. #3
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2011
    Posts
    7
    I'm running Lion (clean install) for a day now. I was experiencing about the same symptoms for the whole week before that, when I installed Lion over Snow Leopard as an upgrade. Fearing that might have been the cause, I decided to format my drive and do a clean install yesterday.

    To be honest, I haven't payed attention to Activity Monitor stats in Snow Leopard, but can tell you that the performance was the same as now in Lion.

  4. #4
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    31,502
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by David3nk0 View Post

    Anyway, my problem is as follows:
    I own a MacBook Pro 13" mid 2010 (2.4Ghz, 4Gb Ram), and whenever I use apps that are CPU and RAM-heavy, the system feels really sluggish and turns the mouse pointer into the beach ball more often than I care to endure. I started to investigate inside Activity Monitor and found the Page Ins/Page outs ratio to be alarming, up to 50% at times. Reading up on this issue over the internet I found people advocating Memory upgrade, if one ever experiences the ratio exceeding 10%.
    Though, what I find most peculiar is the fact that during my extensive use of the CPU or Memory, the amount of Free Ram almost never drops below 2Gb, the all-time low being 1,65Gb. My first question is: why doesn't the OS use up all of the available memory when in need?
    Since I'm seriously considering upgrading memory, I find myself on the fence about such action, because I don't know if it will serve the desired effect I'm looking for (reduce the ratio and improve multitasking)?
    One quick/easy solution for this is reboot your computer more often. If you go a long time between reboots...this sort of problem (sluggishness/beach balling) can occur.

    Another possible solution is not to open too many apps. at the same time.

    Finally...you can go into "Activity Monitor"...take a look at the various "process's" that are going on...and manually quit those that may be ongoing for apps or webpages that you are no longer using or visiting.

    I get the problem you describe quite often after I've been doing some internet gaming. I either have to reboot, quit Safari altogether (then relaunch)...or close the specific webpage window that may be open that's causing the problems.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2011
    Posts
    7
    Rebooting can't be the solution, can it? And I still can't find an answer why Lion won't use the available Free Ram...

  6. #6
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2011
    Posts
    7
    I upgraded my system with a Kingston 4gb DDR3 module, replacing one of the stock 2gb, thus totaling my memory to 6gb. The upgrade worked wonders! During even the most extensive use I never experienced Page Outs or Swap reaching above 10mb, whereas before it would be in the region of 300mb.
    Anyways, anyone experiencing a high ratio between Page Outs and Page Ins should invest in Ram upgrade.

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    45,292
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    For whatever reason, Lion just seems to work better with more memory especially on the faster machines. A system with 4 GB of memory is probably the minimum at which Lion needs although there are some folks using less.

  8. #8
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    31,502
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Here are a few articles that discuss "page ins" and "page outs" (in addition to other stuff):

    Does your Mac need more memory? How to know if you need a RAM upgrade

    MPG - Mac Performance 101: Cores, Processes, Memory - Monitoring How Much Memory Is Used

    Troubleshooting with Activity Monitor

    Basically "page ins and page outs" are when the OS is reading & writing information to/from the hard drive...because there isn't enough ram to hold all the info. Obviously reading & writing info to/from the HD is MUCH slower than this same info being transferred from ram. So if page outs (writing to the HD) are high...then more ram can help.

    FYI...I just upgraded my Mac Pro to 12 gig of ram...and looking at Activity Monitor (with only Safari & Mail open)...I have ZERO page outs!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9
    Page in/Page out ratio high, while lots of free Ram unused
    PatM's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 27, 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    258
    Specs:
    Late 2013 MBP 15" I7 2.3 Ghz 16 GB Ram 500 GB SSD Retina
    Sure sounds like a runaway process or something stranger going on. I have Safari, Mail, Quicken, Excel, Finder all open, and activity monitor.

    I have 8 GB of ram and activity monitor says,
    VM Size 187.03 GB
    Page ins 291.4 MB
    Page outs 0 bytes
    Swap used 0 bytes

    Free 5.49 GB
    Wired 1.33 GB (What does this mean?)
    Active 1.02 GB
    Inactive 150.2 mb
    Used 2.25 GB

    I guess all is well. I rarely get the beach ball. Once in awhile if Time Machine is backing up and/or I'm opening a large excel file or doing some photo work.

    Another comparison to maybe help figure this out. My philosophy is that Ram is so cheap you might as well put in as much as you can.

    Can anyone tell me what the maximum Usable Ram is for an Early 2011 MBP? Is 8 the max this notebook will take.
    15 " 2013 MBP OS X Ver. 10.9.1 16 GB Memory, 500 GB SSD, Retina, 2.3 Ghz I7, 30GB IPhone 5, 2012 Mini Cooper JCW Coupe, 2014 Toyota Corolla, 2007 Trailblazer, 2 RC Planes, 1 fantastic wife who puts up with my toys. Still Married After 30 Years.

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