Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 16:29 UTC
Mac OS X Adam Fields and Perry Metzger have been investigating the serious performance issues people are experiencing with Lion. "Frequent beachballs, general overall slowness and poor UI responsivness, specific and drastic slowdowns on every Time Machine run, high memory utilization in Safari Web Content, mds, and kernel_task processes, large numbers of page outs even with a good deal of available RAM, and high amounts of RAM marked as inactive which is not readily freed back to other applications, with page outs favored." Apparently the issue is that the "virtual memory manager is bad at managing which pages should be freed from the inactive state and which ones should be paged out to disk". I won't make myself popular with a certain part of our readership, but really, is this considered a new problem? Mac OS X has always had terrible memory management, and where Windows has continuously become better at it, Mac OS X seems to have been stagnant and even getting worse. This is what happens when the company earns 2/3s of its revenue somewhere else.
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My experience
by henderson101 on Tue 24th Apr 2012 09:42 UTC
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Background: I have a late 2007 Santa Rosa Macbook (the last black plastic one) that dual boots Snow Leopard, Leopard and Windows 7 Pro. I also have one of the base model Mac Mini's with a core i5 that dual boots Lion and Snow Leopard.

Experience: Lion, 99% of the time is fine for me. It does have weird slow downs occasionally, but I've never seem really big issues. I hacked a retail install on Snow Leopard to boot on the Mac Mini, and it runs pretty much the same. It boots from USB (so,yeah, the disk performance is poorer), but the general OS is fine. I'd advocate any one who has a similar Mac to give Snow Leopard a go.

My Macbook has always been less responsive with Snow Leo, not crazily, but enough to warrant keeping Leopard around. Windows 7 on the same hardware is pretty uninspiring.

But do you want to know what really makes a difference? Memory. I have 4GB in both Macs, and it really does make a difference. I'm going to upgrade the Mini to 8GB as soon as I get some spare cash.

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