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I like to use Discord as a screen-sharing app with my friends, but when I'm watching a Discord stream it brings my Mac to its knees, causing other applications to become very unresponsive. This came to a head today when it started eating up all my RAM and, then, all my disk space as well.

This is a 13-inch MacBook Air from 2019 (Processor: 1.6 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617 1536 MB, Memory: 8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3, MacOS 14.2.1 (23C71)).

I would like to know what it is about Discord streaming in general that causes my Mac to sputter and stall, and what this specific problem illustrated below was caused by, as the only option I found to remedy the absurd memory usage was to quit Discord. While this was going on, my Mac was, as expected, very unresponsive. Things like opening Spotlight with cmd+space or opening Activity Monitor took on the order of 10 seconds. Eventually the swap usage got high enough that I got a notification in the upper-right that disk space was getting full and to clean up my hard disk.

High Memory/Swap Usage

I do have a handful of dormant Chrome Youtube tabs open which I think may be related to the issue at hand, but the memory usage is low enough that it might be a red herring.

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  • I should note that normally the main symptoms of Discord-streaming-slowness on my mac are high CPU and integrated GPU usage, both of which can hit 100% (generally a bit less than 100 for GPU and sometimes a bit more for CPU). But here the memory and disk pressure was the more interesting issue. Commented Jul 8 at 21:14

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