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Author Topic: How much ram do you really need?  (Read 4102 times)

mouser

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How much ram do you really need?
« on: December 13, 2005, 10:40:17 PM »

f0dder

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2005, 11:01:13 PM »
Seems like mainly the ID software engine games have very poor caching - no news to people who have played them. Even after spending "years" on loading a level, there tends to be loading glitches while you run through a level - even with a fairly beefy machine with 1gig of ram.

The "return to desktop" lag and harddisk access can be reduced a *lot* if you set the registry entry DisablePagingExecutive=1 - I do this on all boxes with 512meg or more of memory. It basically tells windows to never discard/swap out the kernel and device drivers. Means a little less memory is available for applications, but it's well worth the reduced loadtime.
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Carol Haynes

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2005, 02:35:59 AM »
For normal desktop uses I think 512Mb is more than enough for most applications. It has been said that larger amounts of memory are not really used by many applictaions unless you have loads of apps loaded simulataneously. Disc speed, user interface and other system restrictions (like network access speeds) are usually the biggest impact on speed in most systems and large amounts of RAM or fast disks won't make much difference.

For things like gaming, video and photo editing (with premium programs like PhotoShop) 1Gb or more is useful as they will cache as much as possible in memory and so make processing faster.

AbteriX

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2005, 11:38:58 AM »
For Win 2000 and XP the absolutly minimum is 256megs.
With 512 its comfortable if you use to have a lot of Applications open.
I work with PIII/700MHz but 768MB RAM (100MHz FSB , do you remember ;D ) 'cus of some graphic works.
More RAM i think is only needed if your PC act as an Sever.

Don't forget to adjuste your "virtual memory" to corresponce with the physical RAM.

Carol Haynes

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2005, 11:53:43 AM »
Yes you should adjust the pagefile, but there are no hard and fast recommendations for more than about 256Mb of RAM. Certainly you don't need the suggested 1.5Mb of page file for 1Mb of RAM, I find 768Mb is sufficient.

nudone

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2005, 12:08:21 PM »
Quote
I do this on all boxes with 512meg or more of memory

f0dder, have you not experienced any problems from these machines? i've just read elsewhere that some programs start complaining if there isn't a pagefile at all - i can't honestly remember the details but it might have even been photoshop that didsn't like it.

i've never tried disabling the pagefile so i can't talk from experience - i like the sound of it but most recommendations i've seen have always been to leave it on auto.

maybe i'll try doing away with the pagefile when i get the new system together - or maybe the pagefile access will be more efficient on a raid 0 stripe setup.

i'm totally ignorant of what this may be like so replies would be appreciated.

AbteriX

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2005, 12:11:00 PM »
Its depend how many RAM you have:
for up to 512MB RAM you could set your pagefile on 1,5 times of RAM amount.
From 512MB till 1GB RAM i would set it to 1 to 1 (but depends on what apps you use).
Over 1GB RAM i would set the pagefile size to 1GB fix.

f0dder

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2005, 12:16:51 PM »
Quote
f0dder, have you not experienced any problems from these machines? i've just read elsewhere that some programs start complaining if there isn't a pagefile at all - i can't honestly remember the details but it might have even been photoshop that didsn't like it.
Nono, I do not turn off the pagefile - it still have a merry 1gig pagefile.sys. The registry setting only makes windows keep the kernel and drivers "locked" so they aren't discarded/swapped out.

Disabling the pagefile is something else... I've done it on occasion, and it does result in a bit less disk activity. Unfortunately, even with a gig of ram, games like PainKiller will occasionally crash. And just about no Adobe products will work, because Adobe products suck (up your ram :)). Heck, even with 2 gigs of ram, I would expect Photoshop to have problems without a paging file.

Again: DisablePagingExecutive does not turn off the paging file, it just stops windows from swapping the kernel/drivers, resulting in a smoother experience when you stop a very memory-hungry app (like most games).
- carpe noctem

nudone

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2005, 12:23:54 PM »
ah, right, thanks for the clarification.

i'll be using 2 gig of ram but your tip for 'locking' the drivers and kernal sounds like a handy one to use - i'll give it a go when the new build ready and working.

f0dder

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2005, 12:30:47 PM »
Also, there's a LargeSystemCache=1 setting which lets windows use a lot of ram for filesystem cache - this gave me some okay speed boosts back when I used it. However, DO NOT USE IT WITH ATi VIDEO CARDS, the drivers are bugged and it will result in data loss that may even look like a physical harddrive error (clicking drive-head sounds, spinup problems, etc.)

On Win2k, you had to do this setting manually. On XP, you can find it in System Properties -> Advanced -> Performance Settings -> Advanced -> "Memory Usage = System Cache". The bug only happens on "some" systems if you're to believe ATi, but I'd stay away from it.
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2005, 04:33:14 PM »
Also, there's a LargeSystemCache=1 setting which lets windows use a lot of ram for filesystem cache - this gave me some okay speed boosts back when I used it. However, DO NOT USE IT WITH ATi VIDEO CARDS, the drivers are bugged and it will result in data loss that may even look like a physical harddrive error (clicking drive-head sounds, spinup problems, etc.)

On Win2k, you had to do this setting manually. On XP, you can find it in System Properties -> Advanced -> Performance Settings -> Advanced -> "Memory Usage = System Cache". The bug only happens on "some" systems if you're to believe ATi, but I'd stay away from it.

Does that apply to the MS version of the ATI WDM drivers included with WindowsXP (which I am using for the first time and actually seem better than any of the Catalyst releases I have tried)?

f0dder

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2005, 04:41:20 PM »
I don't know, Carol - I would assume MS WDM drivers to be based off ATi. Note that the drivers are generally pretty well-working, and I have only had one or two driver crashes while using a ATi r9600xt (and those were heat-based back then I think).

But if you have an ATi system, I would recommend NOT using LargeSystemCache=1 (and if on XP, go the control panel way and check that your system is optimized for "Programs" and not "System Cache"). Not all systems will show up this bug, and probably only systems with 1+ GB of ram. But if it does show up, you'll need to dig out your NTFS recovery tools...


See this thread: http://win.asmcommun...ex.php?topic=17926.0
- carpe noctem

Edvard

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Re: How much ram do you really need?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2005, 07:35:33 PM »
On a side note, I used to have Slackware Linux installed on a 450MHz AMD K6/2 and it sped up like nobody's business when I upgraded my hard drive from 850M/5400 rpm to 2.1G/7200rpm. Same size paging file and RAM, EVERYTHING went faster, not just save/load times.