I have a summer-2006 iMac with 2Gb memory. I use it mainly for "mainstream usage" :

  • browse the web (including web-based applications such as Gmail)
  • access a remote server (through screen sharing / ssh)
  • Skype

I do not wish to upgrade the hardware soon as it works fine; upgrading the memory is difficult where I live as I could not find the appropriate memory. Since I upgraded to Lion (though this was happening in 10.6 too), I sometimes have problems when I do 2 things simultaneously (web + Skype for instance) and fall into the karma wheel + swapping slowliness.

My question is the following: how could I just reduce memory usage simply as I do not need any eye candy transitions or such new features that may be consuming the memory I have. what are the obvious things to do to be on a memory diet?

  • Have you checked Activity Monitor to be sure that it's a memory issue? Sometimes, "beach balling" or the karma wheel as you call it can be caused by slow drive read/write speeds, even when RAM usages is not an issue. Jul 21, 2012 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


I doubt you have summer 2006 iMac. Those models are all Core Duo and don't support Lion. And by the way they don't support more than 2GB of RAM anyway.

Only thing you can do about memory usage is to turn any service in System Preferences that you don't need especially under Sharing tab and watch for autologin items in Accounts tab.

Also you may uninstall Adobe Flash to make browsing more responsive. Or go back to Snow Leopard or even Tiger(though it's poorly supported now).

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