OS X 10.6.8 and HUGE swapping?

So, to quote my question on it.toolbox.com Apple mailing list:



I’m sorry if this is the wrong mailing list, but AFAIR mac-os-x-l got dumped…

I have OS X 10.6.8 at the moment on a early 2011 MacBook Pro 13,3" with 4GB of RAM.
Could someone tell me what the heck is going on inside the swapper in OS X? I have uptime of ten days and my encrypted swapfiles are ATM at 4,6GB (slowing down to close unresponsive state coming soon and reboot needed). I have plenty of memory using apps running, but still I have quite exactly 1GB of free/inactive memory left, so why are the swap files growing all the time?
I mean, at the days when I used FreeBSD and Linux before that as my workstation OS’s the swap partition seemed never to be needed if I had 1GB of RAM and the RAM got used until the last drop before swapping started (of course I have more memory hungry applications running now, but I also have more RAM…).
I understand someone might say it’s better to have some RAM ready for new applications, but at the moment I don’t think my RAM is used as efficiently as possible. Is there a clear reason for OS X swapper throwing my apps to swap after a good night of inactivity? Swapping out running apps doesn’t happen every night, but it happens much more often than on FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD or Linux (in fact it *never* happened on them as far as the system had some RAM left to play with)…
Now I have eleven apps in my dock active and running: Finder, iCal, Address Book, Mail, Firefox, Adium, Skype, iChat, iTunes, iTerm and BOINCManager. AFAIR I had the same problem with OS X 10.4.x with 2GB of RAM and it had almost always 512MB of free/inactive memory. OS X is swapping pages out more than I see necessary, but I’m not sure if this is intentional or bad design.
One possibility for slowdowns could of course be hitting the maximum process limit for a user (I have now 64 and the kern.maxprocperuid MIB is 266, so it’s not that). Other reason might be application caches blowing up, but this never happened on Linux or FreeBSD, so please help me find out the reason for this swapping madness, as no matter what is the reason for slowdowns after a period of 10 to 15 days I don’t see why this swapping out happens.

Thanks for response to everyone if you may. πŸ™‚


Now at my personal blog I can say this more loudly; WTF?!?!

I mean really, what is the purpose of RAM being unused all the time and waiting for something to happen application wise and then again have a GB of free for another one, swapping out something in use for what the hell?

Maybe I’m dumb (but I think I’m just unhappy πŸ˜‰ )

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