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M1/M2 Mac Observations. (1 Viewer)

ManW_TheUncool

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I haven't had many, if any, HDD failures w/in 1st 5-or-so years of purchase either (whether for home or work over ~3 decades).

The few failures I've had either far exceeded 5 years of regular usage or was maybe left unused too long -- seems leaving an HDD unused too long can be an issue as well. Running into very sporadic bad sectors or the like does happen of course, but very rarely catastrophic failures otherwise, except as indicated.

But I haven't used any HDDs for Time Machine (and whatever Apple backups) since I'm not a Mac guy...

In recent years, I've completely migrated away from HDD usage outside of my modest, Synology RAID NAS. Guess might be about time to get new HDDs to replace the 6-plus-yo drives in that NAS... although maybe I should (again consider) just upgrade the entire unit to something bigger and better...

_Man_
 

DaveF

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You must really be slamming those drives. I've never had that failure rate, except for the one I store music on at work, which plays constantly whenever someone is there. I switched that to SSD years ago (which is ideal for this type of WORM use) which completely solved it.
Just normal Time Machine use on a spinning drive.
 

DaveF

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My WD Red internal dives in my HTPC have (thankfully) been solid. But external drives have not been great recently.

Backblaze’s latest report on drive durability also indicates quality and durability is down.

Anecdotes don’t make great data. But I’m not having great luck with external drives most recently.
 

JohnRice

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BTW guys, I've found that occasionally (every few years) there is a real benefit to running a base level format (overwrite the entire drive) on platter drives. It finds bad sectors and marks them off. If it finds an excessive number of failures, it warns you. These days, aside from my single video media drive, I only use platter drives for backup, which are left turned off when not backing up. Then every few years I do a base format and renew the backup. Doing this, I have only had one drive failure in probably 20 years out of (seriously) dozens of drives. Also, when I bought a new platter drive, I would do a base level format before using it.

The base level format takes a long time, but I just start it at night and let it run. No matter how large the drive is, it's usually done by the time I get home from work the following day.
 

DaveF

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If a backup isn’t automated, it’s not happening, in my experience. Only turning on drives to manually run backups is a plan for data loss for me. :)
 

JohnRice

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The CalDigit TB4 Hub arrived, and since there are several pieces of feedback on it claiming it doesn't work on M1&2 Macs, I hooked it up to my Mac Studio, and it works just fine. I did quick, but rather extensive speed tests using a variety of components, and everything performed exactly as it should. My best guesss is that some people used a non-TB4 cable to connect it to the computer, since the one it comes with is only 2.6' long and those cables are kind of spendy. 2M ones start at about $65.

I disconnected it because I'm going to do a much needed, total tear down of my computer and peripherals before I hook it up for real.
 

Ronald Epstein

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The CalDigit TB4 Hub arrived, and since there are several pieces of feedback on it claiming it doesn't work on M1&2 Macs, I hooked it up to my Mac Studio, and it works just fine. I did quick, but rather extensive speed tests using a variety of components, and everything performed exactly as it should. My best guesss is that some people used a non-TB4 cable to connect it to the computer, since the one it comes with is only 2.6' long and those cables are kind of spendy. 2M ones start at about $65.

I disconnected it because I'm going to do a much needed, total tear down of my computer and peripherals before I hook it up for real.

I don't know why anyone would suggest that these hubs don't work with M1/M2.

I did forget to mention the added expense of having to get a TB4 cable. In my case, prior to buying the Studio, I needed a 6' cable which was very, very expensive. There was no room on my desk for the Macbook Pro and it had to be placed some distance away from the hub.

Once I bought the studio, due to its compact size, I was able to put it directly under my monitor so the 2.6' cable it came with worked perfectly.
 

Ronald Epstein

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I thought I would ask the experts as this stuff still baffles me from time to time


2023-07-18_12-34-09.png


This is showing almost 33GB of Free Memory

Why is there swap memory going on and is it considered sufficient?

I thought swap memory only happens when you run out of Ram memory.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Ron, I have almost no knowledge specific to MacOS since I'm not actually a Mac dev (nor user) -- and am not sure what some of those Apple/MacOS-centric named items mean offhand, eg. "Wired"(?) -- but as someone who has some OS and computer architecture background (at least back in the day, haha), I'd say it's generally smarter/best for the OS's memory management to not wait til you actually run out of (main/fast) memory before arranging to send largely unused content/processes to (still fairly fast SSD) swap memory so that there's plenty of free memory available for anything new that suddenly needs it (and possibly lots of it) fast.

Doing so (smartly) in advance will (most likely) allow such to be better organized/maintained and not cause/worsen any bottleneck that could likely happen when (substantially) more memory's actually needed... while probably technically costing a tad more (overall) resource usage, but only when the system is essentially idle anyway and largely/generally unnoticeable to the user, eg. that's also why they bother doing stuff like memory compression (as that also technically uses additional resource to do, but it's insignificant/unnoticeable to the user, if handled smartly).

I'm guessing the size of swap memory is also smartly managed by the OS, so best to just let it do its thing unless there's noticeable problem occurring -- not sure if Apple would even allow non-dev-type users to interfere anyway... while Microsoft does though w/ somewhat vague warning (as did the various flavors of Unix on which MacOS was based). IF the OS, as part of its MM protocol/process, notices an impending need to swap more, it will probably increase that swap memory (and start sending more, largely unused content/processes/etc there from main memory).

Yeah, having/keeping 32GB free while swapping some might seem a little excessive, hehheh, but it's only swapped out <1GB of content/processes, which probably isn't much. You may simply have stuff opened/"running" in the background that aren't really being used, eg. perhaps some Safari tabs since you mentioned keeping tons open, maybe whatever music or video app (or its content) that's left open/"running", but not actually currently used, maybe part of WindowServer, if that's been idle for a long while, etc.

It's certainly not unheard of (and probably fairly common practice) for the OS to try to keep ~1/2 of your main memory free as long as it doesn't otherwise noticeably impact performance.

_Man_
 

JohnRice

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I don't think I've ever seen it swapping memory on my 16GB M2 Pro Mini, and certainly not on my 64GB Studio.
 

JohnRice

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BTW, back at the beginning of this thread I said the computer was kind of partially locking up for about 30 seconds when coming back from screen saver. That is still happening at work, but not on my home computer. The thing is, it's also happening on the Intel Macs, and I realized it started when I upgraded to OS Ventura. So, clearly it's not a Silicon problem. I suspect the culprit is the messaging app we to use to communicate between computers. It's kind of a screwy app, and no doubt it's not entirely Ventura compliant.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I don't think I've ever seen it swapping memory on my 16GB M2 Pro Mini, and certainly not on my 64GB Studio.

You wouldn't/shouldn't likely notice such levels of swapping unless you proactively look for it, if the OS does it well, especially given how fast swap space on NVMe SSDs are these days on top such powerful CPUs.

It's likely just part of good/smart memory management.

Think of it this way. That same SSD most likely already stores tons of largely (currently) unused content just in "rawer" form vs being "loaded" by whatever app. IF you happen to leave whatever loaded content/data unused/idle for a long time, the OS sending it to swap space while the system is largely idle, is almost like helping you auto-save-and-close that loaded content back to regular storage on that same SSD, except it's doing it w/out bothering you and should more quickly recall it for access than if you save, close and then later reopen such. Same for whatever processes that are "running", but essentially just idling indefinitely.

Of course, what, if anything, gets swapped that way will vary from situation to situation. Maybe Ron just happened to leave a good deal more unused stuff open (when he happened to check) than you usually do.

Think of it another non-computer-centric way. You run a business. And I'm sure you know it's best practice not to wait til you have some otherwise known, commonly recurring, major bottleneck/problem before acting to resolve it. There usually needs to be a good balance between prevention and detection-and-troubleshoot.

_Man_
 

JohnRice

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You wouldn't/shouldn't likely notice such levels of swapping unless you proactively look for it, if the OS does it well, especially given how fast swap space on NVMe SSDs are these days on top such powerful CPUs.

It's likely just part of good/smart memory management.

Think of it this way. That same SSD most likely already stores tons of largely (currently) unused content just in "rawer" form vs being "loaded" by whatever app. IF you happen to leave whatever loaded content/data unused/idle for a long time, the OS sending it to swap space while the system is largely idle, is almost like helping you auto-save-and-close that loaded content back to regular storage on that same SSD, except it's doing it w/out bothering you and should more quickly recall it for access than if you save, close and then later reopen such. Same for whatever processes that are "running", but essentially just idling indefinitely.

Of course, what, if anything, gets swapped that way will vary from situation to situation. Maybe Ron just happened to leave a good deal more unused stuff open (when he happened to check) than you usually do.

Think of it another non-computer-centric way. You run a business. And I'm sure you know it's best practice not to wait til you have some otherwise known, commonly recurring, major bottleneck/problem before acting to resolve it. There usually needs to be a good balance between prevention and detection-and-troubleshoot.

_Man_
What I mean is, I sometimes check to see what's going on using the Activity Monitor app.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you as always, Man, for the detailed response.

This is happening on my 64GB M1 Macbook Pro but not on my other devices. I think have the most stuff going on this particular laptop and that's why.

I see no performance issues. I just happened to look for no particular reason and saw the swapping going on and was curious why when I had so much free RAM.

BTW, I have two of my three Macs already on Sonoma Beta 3 and they are performing admirably. Have only seen one bug and have an app cleaner that won't work anymore until an update is available this fall. Other than that, I love the on-screen widgets and everything feels a bit "snappier" as if more optimized than before (which certainly it is).

These machines are night and day better than Intel. I feel as if every silicon Mac has been revolutionized. Even my 16GB M2 Air just zips along no matter how much crap I have opened. These machines are powerhouses. I can imagine that Sam Posten is running the town's electrical grid off of his M2 Ultra Studio.

Apple really has nailed the secret sauce when it comes to its silicon and software integration. Best freakin' computers you can buy!
 

ManW_TheUncool

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What I mean is, I sometimes check to see what's going on using the Activity Monitor app.

Then as Ron added, it's probably just the way he happens to use his M1 MBP (as I also alluded being quite possible). 1GB being swapped these days (while still using 32 out of 64GB main memory, some of which in compressed form) is likely no big deal anyway. It may just be he tends to leave lots of stuff open or "running" in background idled for long periods.

IF that swap usage does grow substantially over time while everything else stays the same (and he isn't actually leaving even more stuff open/running), then there may indeed be some kinda (largely hidden) issue going on, eg. maybe some kinda memory bug/leak somewhere, maybe @Sam Posten's siphoning off every HTF member's M series Mac's resources to run his own Dr Evil v3.0 power grid, LOL.

_Man_
 

Robert Saccone

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I thought I would ask the experts as this stuff still baffles me from time to time


View attachment 191232

This is showing almost 33GB of Free Memory

Why is there swap memory going on and is it considered sufficient?

I thought swap memory only happens when you run out of Ram memory.
1689722638568.png

Honestly I find it a little strange that it is swapping. I've done work on the memory management subsystem in other operating systems and typically with that much free memory we wouldn't start swapping / paging out memory until much more was in use (but very much before running out of memory). I took a snapshot of my M1 Pro Max 64gb laptop and at almost the same usage level mine isn't swapping. A bit perplexing. I thought it might have to do with having memory pressure hit 10% (e.g. double digits) but doing that didn't cause swap memory use to occur on my system as well.
 

JohnRice

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Ron, I'm impressed that you achieved Safari using almost 12GB.
 

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