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Old 05-04-2012, 12:59 PM   #1
Skeleton77
 
 
 
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Exclamation Steam using more RAM than games?

I recently kept Activity Monitor open during a game of Civ V and noticed that Steam itself is using up more RAM than Civ is. Surely this can't be intentional, what is Steam doing with >1gb of ram? Is there a fix for this, or a fix in the works?

Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/FVMpn.png
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
Mr SmokesAlot
 
 
 
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Other DRM use 8MB max, Steam however have no problem using over 200mb. It just shows how lazy the steam developers really are.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #3
SyntaxError
 
 
 
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steam is a resource hog of all kinds
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:23 PM   #4
Montyleeny15
 
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Civilization V is consuming over 50% of your CPU, whereas Steam is only consuming 5%~ that amount. I don't see any problem here?
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montyleeny15 View Post
Civilization V is consuming over 50% of your CPU, whereas Steam is only consuming 5%~ that amount. I don't see any problem here?
The memory usage..

That is some insane memory usage for Steam. Never seen it go that high before.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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5% is huge for idle apps.

200mb is huge for an app like steam.

Valve ignored Steam for Mac. How surprising.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:24 PM   #7
SyntaxError
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarinta View Post
5% is huge for idle apps.

200mb is huge for an app like steam.

Valve ignored Steam for Mac. How surprising.
this. people shouldn't be saying %% CPU usage is fine. its not. an having such an active application in the background degrades gaming performance! And that RAM usage is just insane.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:21 AM   #8
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Steam is never idle, it always does something.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:59 AM   #9
weedo
 
 
 
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I don't use Steam on Mac but I can tell you that on Windows it never reaches 1GB of ram usage. You should contact support if that keeps happening.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:53 AM   #10
seseorang
 
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Do you know what is even in the memory? The application for one, yes. Then there are other files, some browsing history, images, with images, they are not stored the same as a JPG, they have to be expanded to BMP, which are larger, the more of these you have, the more memory it will consume.

Some of these files in memory used by Steam leave them in memory so Steam will run faster. This would be a different thread if Valve kept Steam running permanently below 100MB. Many complaints about it being slow, etc.

You can't have both. In PC-Windows, if Steam exceeds 1.4GB RAM, it will crash.

Sometimes when you load up "NEWS" it will keep adding the contents to RAM and quickly fill it up.

If you Run Steam, then only launch your game, Steam should not use as much as this
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:19 AM   #11
SyntaxError
 
 
 
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you are both right and wrong. yes compressed images take much more ram than disk space (and no they dont all need to be inflated to 32/24bpp images, you can use indexed color, RLE, etc) and steam is more active than most realize, but:

1. steam shouldn't automatically be loading every single resource under the sun (250 MB right off the bat for steam itself plus whatever IPC server and the game overlay take).

2. leave steam running for 5 min without doing ANYTHING at all and RAM usage will have ballooned up to 300-350 MB all while using between 5% and 15% CPU. Probably some terrible memory leak, Im half tempted to run steam through valgrind if i wasnt so afraid it would make my eyes bleed. (probably the same reason why the devs don't bother with it either)

3. At any given time Steam has 100+ threads running. Why? I cant possibly think of a good reason, and having this many threads is probably the reason why RAM and CPU usage is so high. At some point the number of threads becomes a hinderance due to overhead.

4. a big culprit that will never go away is VGUI itself. I have no idea how much RAM it takes (tho there are ways of finding out), but the fact is its loading an entire set of resources and code to accomplish a poorly integrated GUI that could have been created with code and resources that are always loaded and optimized for drawing on the OS and hardware its running on.

I wish valve would abstract out the DRM and Steam libraries (if they havent done so already) and release the rest as open source. Then the community could gut steam and create a much better Mac client using their proprietary DRM/steam libraries.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:12 PM   #12
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You can write your own Steam interface to sit on top of their libraries (unofficially; unsupported), but 90% of the resource hogging is inside those libraries.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:40 PM   #13
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Don't mind the necro here but...

I fired up Steam this afternoon and just let it sit in the dock idle to see what would happen over time. I was already aware Steam for Mac is a resource hog but I am surprised it is as bad as it is. I never saw behavior like this in Windows (I am a recent Mac convert!).

So after a few idle hours, not being used for anything at all, not having run a game, no perusing the store pages, nothing, here is what Activity Monitor is telling me:

Steam has 41 threads active.

Steam is bouncing back and forth constantly between 3.3 and about 8.4 % CPU utilization on an i5 quad core 3.1 CPU

Steam is currently using 895 MB of RAM and I have observed it continues to climb over time ever since I first started it up, even though I am not using it for anything and it should be idle.

There is the thing. This application is presently supposed to be idle and should be consuming minimal resources as such. But it isn't. It is using far too much CPU for an app at idle and it is leaking memory like a sieve.

I am really surprised that Valve has not already corrected this issue. Macs ship with 4 gigs or RAM typically unless the buyer specifies or adds more. Losing 1 gig of ram to Steam on a system that is already using about 2 gigs to run its operating system is a problem. And the more Steam leaks memory over time the worse it becomes while trying to actually use it for its intended purpose: to play a game.

I am running 4 gigs myself at the moment on this new iMac but fortunately my order for another 8 gigs arrived today and I will be installing it shortly. I should not need to do this to play games on Steam however. The resource use and memory leaking is ridiculous.

I hope Valve will focus some effort on improving the Mac client in the near future or better still, I hope they are already working on it. The state of Steam for Mac is beneath what users have come to expect from Valve.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:42 PM   #14
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In the time it took to write the above post the memory of usage of Steam just climbed to 935 MB btw. I might be a little slow but still...
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:45 PM   #15
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A few minutes later it is now 950 MB. Wow. It is almost like Steam is picking up speed going downhill or something here with the leaking memory. Anytime now I am wondering if it will hit critical mass and explode my nice new iMac. lol
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