MacOS memory free timings

By: David Kanter (, February 14, 2021 11:42 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
A while back Daring Fireball, which is typically a source of technical MISinformation wrote up about how freeing NSObjects on the M1 is faster than an Intel system:

This was based on comments by an engineer with benchmark numbers.

My recollection was that this was extremely unlikely to be due to ISA differences and was more likely because:

1. ISTR MacOS has poor memory management, e.g., compared to Linux and probably Windows, and leaves a lot of room for improvement.

2. MacOS for ARM could be better optimized than the x86 version

3. NSObject is an objectiveC function and the ObjC framework might be different on x86 and ARM

Did we already have a discussion thread on this?

Does anyone understand what is going on here? How fast are comparable operations on other platforms?

I imagine ObjectiveC on other operating systems is pretty slow, but C# and other languages with managed memory should have comparable numbers on Linux and Windows that are sensible.

Someone was trying to convince me that the new M1 needs less DRAM because it does memory management faster. This seems...dubious at best to me, and mostly seems like fiction intended to distract folks from the reality that the M1 has limited memory capacity and the upgrade is stupidly expensive.

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TopicPosted ByDate
MacOS memory free timingsDavid Kanter2021/02/14 11:42 AM
  MacOS memory free timingsanon2021/02/14 12:32 PM
    Apple ARMs optimize uncontended reference count operationsMark Roulo2021/02/14 12:50 PM
  MacOS memory free timingsMark Roulo2021/02/14 12:37 PM
    MacOS memory free timingsanon2021/02/14 01:17 PM
      MacOS memory free timingsUngo2021/02/15 03:26 AM
        MacOS memory free timingsanon2021/02/15 04:31 AM
          MacOS memory free timingsUngo2021/02/15 12:44 PM
    MacOS memory free timingsJörn Engel2021/02/14 02:43 PM
  MacOS memory free timingsGabriele Svelto2021/02/14 02:50 PM
  MacOS memory free timingsMaynard Handley2021/02/14 05:08 PM
    MacOS memory free timingsNomNomDom2021/02/27 01:49 PM
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