3 gbs of ram

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by copeland, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. copeland

    copeland smarter than you

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    so I'm running 2x1024 sticks of crucial ram (2 gb) I have 2 512 sticks of infineon ram sitting here doing nothing. worth it to throw in my PC also? I've heard over 2 gbs is useless right now as computer hardware/software can't utilize more then 2 gb (!?!)

    worth it to throw in or not?

    the system
    amd 64 x2 4200 w/ Zalman 2lb copper cooler
    2gb crucial ram
    Asus A8N deluxe
    Asus 7800 gtx
    2x320 WD hdd
    2x120 WD hdd
    550 watt PS
     
  2. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Man, I suck up 2GB every day.
     
  3. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    In spite of what you may have heard, you take a performance hit when you go from 2gb to 3gb on benchmarks.

    Sometimes you even take a small hit when you go from 1gb to 2gb,
    although some games apparently make use of it.
     
  4. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    firefox can use that ram. heh

    just stick it in, run whatever you run, benchmark it, do whatever. see if there is a difference. then compare the same tests to the 2GB setup.

    you've got nothing to lose but time.

    I'm in a similar predicament going the other way. I have a few eval E4900's with 96 GB of ram each. We only need 16 GB. We can't hardware partition the RAM down to 8 GB per partition, but only software cap to 8GB it a the global zone. This wreaks havoc when shared memory is used and all db's use it. Fun fun fun.
     
  5. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    The reason for that is how Windows manages the page file. Windows will create a page file about 1.5x physical RAM if you let it do it by itself. When you get a lot of RAM (1GB or more) windows starts to swap when it doesn't need to and this can slow down the system.

    If you have that much ram you need to set the page file manually. On my laptop and my home machine (both have 2gb) I set it to 750 mb. You could get rid of it all together with that much RAM but windows gets weird if you do.
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    It's important to consider that you're using digital equipment. You can't make digital equipment work better than it's supposed to, like you can with analog equipment. Either the RAM you have is enough or it isn't enough; it's not going to run better with 3GB instead of 2GB if you're only using 1GB. I'd be tempted to build a second computer instead, and stick it in a closet where it could serve files and torrents, or somesuch.
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I use the approach of creating a swap file that is a fixed 1024MB in size, unless I have more than 1GB of RAM, in which case I make the RAM + the swap file = 2GB. I've not seen any applications (that a normal Joe User would use) that would ever need more than 2GB of total memory space.

    In the case of my personal computer, I have 2GB of RAM so I have no swap file at all. I've not noticed any problems with Windows "getting all weird" as a result, and I've been using it this way for over a year now.
     
  8. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    It takes 2-3 applications at once to get anything done. I run 4 virtual desktops and always have at least 4 applications open. My 2 gigs of ram is always used.

    So I really don't understand how you guys have trouble using a couple gigs of ram.
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I don't run 4 virtual desktops, for starters. I use my personal computer for banking, web surfing, video games, and programming.

    There's also the issue that pre-Intel Macs used RISC processors, which require more commands to do the same operations that PCs' CISC processors could do with fewer commands. As a result, all of your Macintosh executables are larger in size and take up more memory, in exchange for having more precise control over the CPU's activities.
     
  10. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    I don't think many people realize exactly how much memory a lot of programs use. If you open task manager and add the VM Size column it will show how much virtual memory in addition to physical RAM each task is using. Most of the time VM usage is about equal to physical RAM usage.
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I'm going to venture a guess that, since I have no swapfile and since my memory usage hasn't exceeded 1GB in recent memory, 2GB is plenty enough for even a hard-working desktop computer.
     
  12. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    I'm on an Intel Mac, but this is not an OS X thing. I could use 2GB of RAM on an Amiga. Its just not hard at all.
     
  13. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    2GB is enough for most users, but it is exceeding easy to use up 2 gig. Like I said, most people don't realize exactly how much RAM their programs suck up because they usually don't see the chunks that get swapped. For you it's more obvious since you are not using a page file. Hell my video encoding software uses about 300 megs when encoding a DVD. Most AV programs use over 100 megs. IE can easily use 60, FireFox even more. Then there are the JAVA apps! Throw in office and a bunch of the BS programs that a lot of end users run on their machines and it's not hard to start pushing against 2 gigs. People don't realize they are running out of RAM, just that their box gets slower as they load more programs due to paging.

    Most people won't see much performance gain over 2 gigs (part of this is due to the win32 architecture).

    When 64 bit OS's become the norm this is going to be more of an issue.

    Personally I'm adding another 2 gigs to bump my home box up to 4. I do run through 2 Gigs pretty fast. Of course my home box is a quad core system that I usually run several VM's on in addition to every day apps so it's not exactly the norm anyway.
     
  14. jeyur

    jeyur cum fairy OT Supporter

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    i only have 1 gb :wtc:
     
  15. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    You're doomed :noes:
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Buy the extra 1GB from the thread starter. Quickly, before he plugs it into his own machine!
     
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The bit about your "home computer" being a 4-core machine running several VMs in addition to whatever other fun stuff you've got going on pretty well demonstrates my point about normal users vs. power users. A normal user, even a gamer, is going to be hard-pressed to fill 2GB without first bogging down their (single-core) CPU and system bus to the point that the mouse barely moves, just because normal users usually have a much more CPU-usage-oriented (as opposed to RAM-usage-oriented) workload; the amount of CPU power that would be necessary to match 2GB-worth of "normal user" data would be in the tens of GHz, I suspect.

    At the same time, the numbers you list -- 60MB for Internet Explorer, 100MB for Windows Movie Maker, etc. -- are not to scale with the quantity of memory a well-equipped computer has. Remember, 1GB = 1024MB; compared to the 2048MB of RAM my computer has, even ten separate IE6 instances open at the same time, while also playing a DVD and encoding a movie, is not a daunting amount memory usage.

    It also brings up a good point about background services. The worst thing you can do for memory usage is to keep shit like the Office Toolbar or Google Desktop Search running at all times, just on the off chance that you're going to need to open a Word document in less than three seconds. Waiting a few seconds for occasional-use programs to load > using extra RAM all the time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2006
  18. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Two Adobe applications open at once = >2GB. Nevermind firefox, notepad/stickies, IM client, bit torrent, desktop pager, etc. running. Its not hard. I go into swap all the time. Happens on PCs, Macs, anything. Anyone doing any work with media has this happen at 2 gigs almost 100% of the time.

    Once you use up all your ram performance goes to shit. 4GB is vastly superior to two for anyone working with media.
     
  19. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    Actually that is not true. It's actually the opposite of true. With the exception of games (which you can't really multi-task with anyway) most consumer apps consume much more in the way of memory resources than CPU resources. Average CPU utilization for a PC over the course of a day is about 17% or less. Most desktop apps spend most of their time idol. On the other hand they all consume memory while they are running. You are also never going to over-load your system bus on a PC. Nothing on a PC comes close to being able to move enough data to do this. That only happens on systems with extremely fast disk arrays and controllers or applications that are pushing huge amounts of data in and out of memory.

    The thing that slows most PC's down is disk I/O. Multiple disk operations will kill a single spindle disk. On PC's this is most often caused by memory swapping. Even with 2 GB of RAM the system will swap to disk. By the time you consume that first gig there is probably at least a gig in the swap file (which goes back to the topic of this thread in the first place). Unless you restrict the page file (most people won't) it's going to grow. The problem comes in when you get to about 15% free memory. The page file starts to thrash the disk and the disk can't keep up, so the PC has to stop and wait for it. Keep in mind to that if you have 2 gigs of RAM you do NOT have 2 gigs of memory available to programs. Windows also sets aside a portion (based on how much memory your system has) for caching.


    10 instances of IE would be 600 megs, add the 300 from the encoder, another 180 that windows set aside the kernel, memory set aside by windows for the file cache and 2 gigs can vanish pretty fast. What stops people from doing this is that as they approach the bottom of their available physical RAM the system slows down due to increased paging. If you machine stops running like a dog then you stop opening shit.

    In reality people will use up their system resources until they reach this point. It doesn't matter how much RAM they have, if the system is running fast most people will just run more stuff until it slows down.

    Also, as I typed this, I have 4 pages open in IE and it's sitting at a cozy 220 megs of memory (113 physical + 107 virtual) utilized. Of course there is a java applet running in one so I can't blame IE for all the bloat.
    If you reduce the number of running processes period, it will reduce the memory load.
     
  20. Cthalupa

    Cthalupa New Member

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    Large work in photoshop can use up the ram, if you let the history get large enough. I've had a complex project take up about 1gb of ram, plus another 700 or so in use through various other apps. I could max out my 2GB very easily if I tried.
     
  21. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    This argument brings up something interesting that I'm just starting to get the hang of around here.

    I tend to make my comments/advice for the typical Joe like myself.

    Even though I have a dual opteron setup with 2gb, I don't multi-task very often, and I rarely have more than five or six links open at a time.

    For a computer user like myself, 3gb isn't going to be used.
    Even when I work with Adobe Audition, since I'm not multi-tasking, the 2gb does just fine.
     
  22. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    I'm always multitasking. I think most people are nowadays. And there's something to be said to never really having to close any programs. 4GB FTW.
     
  23. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Heh. I can't stand leaving programs open when I'm not using them. Maybe it's an old habit, but since programs are growing in size at the same pace that RAM is growing in size, it's an old habit that's still useful.
     
  24. Hartman

    Hartman New Member

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    you're one of those people I see at work with 230493838 windows open for no reason. they they wonder why their machine is slow.
     
  25. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    That's like my boss. He'll leave every email he reads open all day, (unless he deletes it) and by 3pm he can't do shit. He's got a triple-thick taskbar to handle all that garbage. And yet, he sanitizes his desk twice a week. It's silly how people don't keep their computers clean, as if nothing on the machine is real.
     

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