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Which applications benefit from 4GB or more?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
    For everything else, 8GB is overkill.
    Bill Gates - "640K ought to be enough for anybody"

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    • #17
      I'm still running with the 1 Gb I got when I bought my laptop. There were only two instances when the thing started to swap (and eventually crashed). One was when, out of curiosity, I decided to render a 3D scene from some molecular simulation program to a file (ps, I think), at ridiculously high quality settings. It choke badly. The other was when working with Inkscape, Gimp, a WindowsXP virtual machine and some other visualization tool performing operations on a fat tiff file (on top of the regular browser, mailer, pdf viewer and what have you).

      Most of the time, however, I don't seem to need any more memory. Having said this, if I had a bit more I'd do more often the trick of loading a movie to ram to watch it without banging the HD.

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      • #18
        Increased ram does help with some things (gimp and 16k x 16k pixel images - I'm another who sometimes uses that), but I'd say faster ram is more important if you're not dealing with large data sets. Well, I should say lower overall latency ram is more important. Of course, more memory and lower latency is better.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by sabriah View Post
          Bill Gates - "640K ought to be enough for anybody"

          So we have to decorate our posts with disclaimers now?

          "This assessment may not hold in the future. It is not valid for workstation- or server-class workloads. Your mileage may vary."

          Btw, I'm pretty sure that wasn't an actual Bill Gates quote, despite its wide circulation. No linky but IIRC Snopes tracked down the original quote.

          Edit: Also, faster RAM doesn't really gain you that much. It only plays a role a) if you have enough of it and b) if you already have the best processor and hard disk you can buy. (Paying 50$ for a faster processor will have a much bigger impact in performance compared to faster memory).
          Last edited by BlackStar; 04-01-2009, 06:55 AM.

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          • #20
            I finally got fedora 10 to use swap with 3.4gb (512mb shared ram to video). Brasero used up all my ram and from terminal
            $free

            ******total*******used*****free*****shared****buff ers*****cached
            mem***3544076***3520496****23580******0*********66 96*****2945732
            -/+ buffers/cache: 568068 2976008
            Swap:*8385920******60*****8385860

            * for spaces.
            Last edited by Hephasteus; 04-01-2009, 03:29 PM.

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            • #21
              gcc - and yes, it can use lots of ram. I have seen 1gb for every make instance used by kdepim with kdeenablefinal flag. 3 make instances, 3 gb of ram used...

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              • #22
                It sure helps on quad cores with "make -j5" on large packages. I guess only Arch and Gentoo users have to worry about that though :P

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                • #23
                  I burned a 3.4GB DVD yesterday. While I didn't benchmark it, I could see how the memory monitor went from 1GB allocated to 3.4GB in straight manner. The entire process took less than 5-10 minutes on a 16x DVD burner.

                  If I recall correctly it took much longer time before.

                  Do you think my observation was correct? Was it an actual improvement in burning speed thanks to the extra RAM?

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                  • #24
                    When burning, there's a write cache that is used as buffer and is quite small (256MB max). Burning happens from that cache only. The rest simply got allocated by the kernel due to extra caching of files, but that doesn't speed up the burn process.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                      It sure helps on quad cores with "make -j5" on large packages. I guess only Arch and Gentoo users have to worry about that though :P
                      Yep, 4Gb and a Quad Core is a real joy on compiling a Gentoo system. You can also use 2 Gb on a TMPFS...

                      What's the point of 2 Gb versus 4 Gb, when the price for 2 Gb is so cheap ??

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Fixxer_Linux View Post
                        Yep, 4Gb and a Quad Core is a real joy on compiling a Gentoo system. You can also use 2 Gb on a TMPFS...
                        Yep, I have 6GB with a 4GB tmpfs Funny thing though, it's still not enough for OpenOffice 3, that sucker needs exactly 5.3GB

                        What's the point of 2 Gb versus 4 Gb, when the price for 2 Gb is so cheap ??
                        My thinking too. After the prices dropped significantly, I simply upgraded from 2GB to 6GB for under 40 bucks

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                        • #27
                          I have 8GB of RAM of which 2GB is devoted to a tempfs like the others here. If anything, the benefit of haveing a large disk cache is always useful.

                          It would be nice though, to have more specific tweaks to the caching/preloading formula. For example, many OSes try to "learn" what applications you always want loaded, but I would much rather specify if needed. Or for example to prioritise keeping the major desktop gui in memory.

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                          • #28
                            Maya and Blender also love ram depending on the model, textures and scene size.

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                            • #29
                              free
                              total used free shared buffers cached
                              Mem: 8173972 3378744 4795228 0 2120 1863168
                              -/+ buffers/cache: 1513456 6660516
                              Swap: 23446836 0 23446836

                              df -h
                              Dateisystem Größe Benut Verf Ben% Eingehängt auf
                              rootfs 71G 21G 51G 30% /
                              /dev/root 71G 21G 51G 30% /
                              rc-svcdir 1,0M 100K 924K 10% /lib64/rc/init.d
                              udev 10M 140K 9,9M 2% /dev
                              shm 3,9G 0 3,9G 0% /dev/shm
                              /dev/md2 36G 16G 21G 44% /var
                              /dev/md3 765G 503G 263G 66% /home
                              /dev/sdc7 222G 62G 160G 28% /mnt/filme
                              tmpfs 4,0G 0 4,0G 0% /var/tmp/portage
                              tmpfs 1,0G 552K 1,0G 1% /tmp

                              model name : AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 955 Processor



                              got it yesterday (had 6gb 2x2 and 2x1gb and a X2 6000). It is such a beast when it comes to compiling.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                                Maya and Blender also love ram depending on the model, textures and scene size.
                                I have seen blender eat up 6GB*of RAM*for breakfast. Granted, it was a large model, but still...

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