I've detailed the issue (massive CPU memory usage when attempting to use sparse textures) on Stack Overflow here but I'd like to ask specifically in the OpenGL forum. What do I need to do to establish my credentials and get access to communicate there?
I've created a minimal example using GLI, GLM, GLEW and GLFW here: GitHub - jherico/gl_scratch
I've tested on Windows 10 using CMake to create a project using the following generator:
-G "Visual Studio 12 2013 Win64"
mirh, if you're creating lots of individual 2D textures and marking them sparse, yes, that could be related. Try running you application and watching CPU memory usage over time.