Some additional uncategorized thoughts on disabling the dynamic pager:
- This is not a magic bullet. Anything that actually needs to use the disk is still going to take place at disk speeds. But it should take a whole lot of load off of the disk.
- It’s evident that not everyone is seeing the problems I’ve been seeing, but there are enough people who have to make me think there’s a real issue here. I can’t depend on my own findings being representative, because I push my machines hard - I want to have everything open at once, converting, transcoding, browsing, whatever. I’ve been known to keep over 200 browser tabs open at a time. In five different browsers. I have over 20TB of data on my main machine including backups, so…. thanks for all of the suggestions to switch to SSD (I have one, but only for applications and commonly used documents and cache - my homedir won’t even fit on it). This is why it’s good to know if other people are seeing the same problems, and if the same fixes alleviate them.
- Some people have noted that the problem can be improved by adding more RAM. I found that it got worse when I bumped my Mac Pro from 24GB to 32GB, but that may just be coincidence. I also feel like it’s gotten worse in successive point releases of Lion (my first impressions of Lion for the first few weeks were that it had a performance gain over SL).
- I love my Macs. I point this stuff out so that they’ll improve, not so you can try to convince me that your Toshiba laptop is better (won’t work; I’ve used them). My understanding is that their development teams are tiny, and they have to be understandably aggressive about prioritizing what features they work on. As a developer, and even moreso as a project manager, I have a lot of tolerance for that.
More testing is certainly needed. But given the overwhelming number of responses that are of the form “yes! this really helped and made my machine much faster and more responsive!”, I believe that the responsibility for doing that testing does lie with Apple.
One particularly weird thing - I seem to still be getting page outs over time (or something else is reporting as a page out, though I have no idea what that would be). Here’s what my Activity Monitor looks like:
As you can see, there’s a lot of wired memory (though it does get freed; I don’t have the problem that some have reported where wired memory just builds up. I suspect that means they don’t actually have enough RAM for what they’re trying to do). But there’s also a great deal more free and less inactive than before. But I’m still baffled by the page outs.