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Author Topic: Is More Memory Better? - a bit-tech.net article  (Read 6255 times)
lanux128
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« on: July 08, 2008, 11:48:55 PM »

a very interesting article on bit-tech.net about using more memory on one's system.


http://www.bit-tech.net/h...8/is-more-memory-better/1
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app103
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2008, 12:09:48 AM »

I'd kill to be able to double my RAM to 128MB right this minute, so in some cases, more is definitely better.  cheesy
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f0dder
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2008, 07:55:13 AM »

I'm reading the article now, and I think you have to take it with a grain of salt... speaking about boot times and Vista preloading, there's the following:
Quote
Faster memory will cut a few seconds off this time, so we'd recommend rather than simply more or faster, try and aim for both.
Ummm, no... faster harddrives or less preloading will cut off time, memory speed is entirely irrelevant there smiley

And a quote like this:
Quote
although surprisingly the 8GB of memory takes 10 seconds longer on average than 4GB. This is due to the fact we previously showed the performance of four DIMMs to be slower than just two, even though there's more memory available.
Sounds pretty unreasonable too - the bandwidth and latency of their 8gig system was slightly worse than the 4gig and 2gig systems, but we're still talking the ability to pump several gigabytes of data through per second... no way slightly worse latency/bandwidth by itself can explain 10 seconds slower loading time.

Dunno if the article was very interesting. But at least it makes a point: you currently need to have pretty special needs before considering going above 4gigs of ram. That can hardly come as a surprise to anybody, though? smiley (oh, and as for Adobe not seeing the point of a 64ibt photoshop... the biggest reason for such a statement is probably a large, unwieldy and not very 64-bit-clean codebase, rather than actual "need" or "advantage" concerns).
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- carpe noctem
40hz
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 09:34:41 AM »

From page 6:

Quote
While these few tests don't cover the incredible breadth of possible PC usage scenarios, there is significant evidence to suggest that 4GB should be the target that people should aim for when buying a new PC or upgrading...at least if you're using Vista.

Interesting as far as it goes, but a little too Microsoft-centric. There are other OSs.

I'm also always amazed at the amount of discussion given over to boot times. Why something like a 10, 20, or even 120 second boot delay should be all that important puzzles me to no end. Might be important if you're launching a strategic retaliatory strike, but otherwise?

I just hit the on switch and then go and grab a cuppa'. By the time I get back, my desktop is up and waiting - and I've got my coffee! And how often do most of us actually need to reboot in the course of a session? Dunno, I must be missing something. smiley
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 09:46:37 AM by 40hz » Logged

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f0dder
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 09:57:09 AM »

I don't really get the idea about super-fast boot times, either... for my workstation, anyway. I generally boot twice a day: once in the morning, and once after getting home from work (more if I install certain software or do windows update). When leaving the machine for more than 10-15 minutes (and less than several++ hours), I use standby, from which it resumes very fast.

On my dev-testbox, however, I certainly wouldn't mind faster booting... I'm currently working on a project where a hard-reset is necessary between every compile-test cycle.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 11:02:50 AM »

I just hit the on switch and then go and grab a cuppa'. By the time I get back, my desktop is up and waiting - and I've got my coffee! And how often do most of us actually need to reboot in the course of a session? Dunno, I must be missing something. smiley
(emphasis mine)
That's the problem, desktop users don't care much, but it's relevant for laptop users. I sure wouldn't mind if my laptop booted a tidy bit faster in those moments where i need it to show something important to someone Wink
(one could argue that the testings made only test desktop RAM, though.. Which would render my argument useless cheesy)
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40hz
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2008, 11:28:24 AM »

I just hit the on switch and then go and grab a cuppa'. By the time I get back, my desktop is up and waiting - and I've got my coffee! And how often do most of us actually need to reboot in the course of a session? Dunno, I must be missing something. smiley
(emphasis mine)
That's the problem, desktop users don't care much, but it's relevant for laptop users. I sure wouldn't mind if my laptop booted a tidy bit faster in those moments where i need it to show something important to someone Wink
(one could argue that the testings made only test desktop RAM, though.. Which would render my argument useless cheesy)

Ummm...by "desktop" I meant desktop manager (which is Xfce) - not the "box" itself (which happens to be both a laptop and a workstation that I use in tandem).
Wink


Hey f0dder!
You hear that? Looks like your "thing" about using the correct terminology just got proven once again! Boy do I ever have to start being more careful with my choice of terms around here!!!  embarassed

P.S. (to jgpaiva) My sister, who is a graphic designer, is reading this over my shoulder. She wanted to tell you that she couldn't agree more with you about when you need to show something to someone. (And also that her brother is a clueless techno-dweeb.)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 11:44:27 AM by 40hz » Logged

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jgpaiva
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2008, 12:39:02 PM »

LoL 40hz, looks like i misread what you typed smiley
I'm glad at least your sister recognizes I'm right tongue
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Lashiec
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2008, 08:33:43 PM »

I'm also always amazed at the amount of discussion given over to boot times. Why something like a 10, 20, or even 120 second boot delay should be all that important puzzles me to no end. Might be important if you're launching a strategic retaliatory strike, but otherwise?

It's always nice to have a fast-booting PC, and there is this point from which a longer boot starts to feel exasperating, for example when you have to wait in front of the PC for it to stop starting. Not my case, but certain Firefox ex-developer takes like 5 minutes to boot up his machine Grin

In any case, just as I thought 4 GB seems to be the sweet spot for Vista. Until resource hungry games come about and demand your RAM, of course smiley
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Tiesenhausen
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2008, 02:19:19 PM »

4 GB seems to be the sweet spot for Vista: well, yeah, maybe for technies who always have the latest computer, but what about us old timers who buy a computer and use it until it wears out? My 256MB model was very potent when I bought it, but now...

My point being, since the aforesaid model is wearing out, should I not buy as much memory as possible, anticipating Firefox and Photoshop of 2015?

Thanks for your thoughts on this,

Tiesenhausen
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f0dder
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2008, 04:06:02 PM »

Depends on how long you want the new computer to last, I guess, and what you're going to use it for.

I wouldn't go below 2gig for a new machine today, and 4 gigs is probably a good idea if you're planning to run Vista... but of course you can add RAM later, so you could always start with two gigs. The big question is probably whether to buy DDR2 or DDR3 RAM, and which speed...
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2008, 04:07:08 AM »

Depends on how long you want the new computer to last, I guess, and what you're going to use it for.

I wouldn't go below 2gig for a new machine today, and 4 gigs is probably a good idea if you're planning to run Vista... but of course you can add RAM later, so you could always start with two gigs. The big question is probably whether to buy DDR2 or DDR3 RAM, and which speed...

could there be a problem though if mixing different types of memory? or do you mean decide now & when you upgrade ram get the same type?
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Tom
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2008, 08:56:05 AM »

Good points, tomos!

In ye olden days, you'd have nothing but trouble if you tried to mix and match memory modules, especially when dual-channel first arrived. Heck, even something as relatively recent as the nForce4 chipset tended to have problems if you loaded all four memory sockets with identical memory modules, and would go from DDR-333 to DDR-266 by default (and that's even though the AMD64 memory controllers are on the CPU, not the chipset...)

The situation is supposed to have improved a lot by now, but I'd definitely not use different-speed memory modules (because you're limited to the slowest speed used), I'd prefer modules with the same latency timings, and I'd do my best to find identical modules. And you can't necessarily expect to be able to find identical modules if you wait a long time before upgrading - especially if you buy "old" memory modules (ie, DDR in the time of DDR2, DDR2 now that DDR3 has hit the market (with insane prices)).

I went all-out and got 8 gigs for this machine. It's long and far between I use more than ~4 gigs, even though the extra filesystem cache is nice enough. But I reckoned that DDR2-800 memory was cheap enough to go for it, and I wouldn't have trouble finding matching modules later on smiley
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