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The first lag spike is only caused by Google Chrome or Firefox, I suppose it's a memory leak. It affects the whole computer too. And it can last as long as half an hour (probably more if I let it). What's funny is that it always gets fixed if I do the following:

  1. Click Cmd+q to quit it, it just takes a couple of minutes and it fixes itself. Just gotta reopen the browser and it goes great for another couple of hours.
  2. Open Activity Monitor, if I manage to do that, it completely fixes itself, then I just gotta restart the browser and it works for another couple of hours flawlessly.

enter image description here

The second lag spike in the image was caused when I opened the Activity Monitor, it lasted around 10 seconds, it was almost unnoticeable, and I think it was caused mainly because I force quit Firefox at this point.

The third and later small lag spikes were caused when I took several screenshots to do this.

So the question is, why are these huge lag spikes generated? Before clossing Firefox I noticed it was using 1GB of RAM, the whole computer was probably using 2GBs RAM max, and yet I have 8GBs of RAM.

Also, I do NOT want to restart my computer, not because I'll lose anything, but rather because it's probably I'll have to reinstall my system if I do (I keep getting this loading screen, then it shuts down).

If you can provide any help as to why this might happen, I would appreciate it, especially the second problem, I've tried everything.

I am using Mac OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.2

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Why would you even spend time debugging (and then presumably optimizing) a system that has become so unstable that you fear a restart will require the OS to be reinstalled? It seems you have your answer - get a stable system and then see if the problem even reproducible. –  bmike Nov 29 '12 at 18:07
    
That's the problem, it stops being stable after a week, no matter what I do. And I don't download just anything, or enter websites that have doubt-able content. :/ –  Greduan Nov 29 '12 at 18:11
    
I wish I had a good suggestion. Those IO spikes on the hard drive could be fine and normal paging or something you might possibly control. I'd use fs_usage to dig geeper, but again, it's not like there it a toggle in the browsers saying stop writing to the storage that you could toggle. –  bmike Nov 29 '12 at 18:25
    
@bmike I see, I'll see what I can find out. You think the problem is caused by the fact that I have 5000RPM hard drive? Instead of 7200RPM or SSD? –  Greduan Nov 29 '12 at 18:50

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