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Thread: How much RAM is too much?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL 60657
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    48
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: How much RAM is too much?

    The company I worked for ran into an issue with machines being underpowered and if, as you mention, this is a work machine, then put a billable rate behind every interaction where your machine grinds to a halt. Frankly, a 4-12 second delay can translate into 20 poorly focused minutes of work, or a five minute break where you walk away or get absorbed in something else. It has been my experience that becoming distracted or waylaid by a machine squanders something far more precious than the cost of RAM; it squanders your focus.
    ---
    Sys76 Gazelle Pro: i7-4700MQ // 16 gig RAM // 240 gig mSATA + 1T // SS 13.10
    Home Built Desktop: i7 920 // 16 gig RAM // DX58SO // Thermaltake850 // ATI4870 // SS13.10&Vista64

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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    1,421

    Re: How much RAM is too much?

    Honestly, don't buy the machine maxed out. Upgrade the RAM yourself to save some money.
    Steam: ubuntugamer( Add me ) | Gaming: Left 4 Dead 2, Metro Last Light, Assassin's Creed 4, Forced

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Beans
    35

    Re: How much RAM is too much?

    I bought my Gazelle Pro 7 July 2012 and put in 16GB. To be sure, I don't use more than 4, most of the time. But I had I filled both slots with 4 each, I feared that I would have paid more once the speed I was using was no longer commodity. The jump from 8 to 16 is a bit pricy. But I think it is worth it. When built my built my tower in January 2008, I put in 8GB on the board, as 2GB was the max for each slot for my board. But I am still using that machine over 6 years later.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    135
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: How much RAM is too much?

    I know I can theoretically buy and add more RAM later
    You will notice though that if you buy with 8GB then that is 2x4GB, so in order to upgrade to 16GB later you can end up needing to throw away your 8GB and buy 16GB, depending on how many slots for memory the computer has and depending on what constraints exist regarding mixing and matching. If you are seriously contemplating adding more RAM later then you would need to research that.

    I tend to follow your strategy too i.e. buy a reasonably high-spec computer and keep it for 7-10 years rather than replacing every 3-4 years.

    If it were me, I would choose 16GB. The price difference between 8GB and 16GB for a computer than you are going to use for 10 years is just $11 per year. That will avoid the hassle of trying to upgrade the memory later (which is more of a hassle on a laptop than on a desktop).

    I bought my S76 laptop a couple of years ago with 16GB.

    As other posts note, if you leave it too long before adding memory then getting the old memory can be difficult.

    I think the only time that it makes sense to buy more memory later is if the memory that you are choosing is bleeding edge or exotic i.e. you would be paying a premium for it now. "Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 8 GB" is not.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
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    22
    Distro
    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: How much RAM is too much?

    Hi all,

    Thanks very much for all of your comments. They were all helpful with my final decision to go with 8 GB of RAM along with the decision that I will likely upgrade closer to the five-year mark than then ten. Have had the Gazelle Professional for about a month now (actually, I think it's a month and a day) and am not even close to taxing the 8GB, but then I didn't expect to at this point. We'll see what the future brings, but I'll make plans to be prepared to upgrade my hardware more often than I have in the past.

    I thought I saw a thread on here for reviews, and will post something positive about System76. I haven't asked them for post-sale support, but everything pre-sale was excellent, and I'm happy with the hardware.

    Now, there is one thing I have been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out, but I'll post a new thread about that. Thanks again!


    Craig

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    1,187
    Distro
    Ubuntu 6.06

    Re: How much RAM is too much?

    I would recommend occasionally looking at ram upgrade pricing. It will go down for quite a while, then it will start to go up as a new format takes over. Buy then, as it will never be cheaper.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Beans
    135
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: How much RAM is too much?

    One other comment: If you are going to be doing any virtualisation (i.e. running multiple virtual machines on the one box) then you can go through memory very quickly and you should definitely err on the side of "more than you think you need".

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Beans
    4

    Re: How much RAM is too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain20122 View Post
    Instead of buying an expensive machine and expecting it to last for 10 years, I would suggest picking up a cheap one (maybe a reburbished one) with shorter life expectancy based on more immediate considerations and upgrade/replace when needed. Your requirement seems to be quite modest (4G of ram is plenty I would say) you can definitely fetch a cheap machine that can meet your needs for a year or two.

    No one knows what tomorrow's requirements will be. IMO using a number of cheap, not state of the art but reasonably up to date machines stretching out a long peroid is a much better strategy than investing in one expensive, state of the art machine and expecting it to last for the same peroid. What is state of the art today will soon become obsolete if you are looking at a 5-10 year span. I am certain that I will be able to buy your current state of the art machine or even a better one as a reburb in a few years with a fraction of the price. On the other hand since you have invested heavily in your (by then pretty old) machine you will be obliged to stick with it and beyond. At some point you will be posting here asking for help regarding old hardware.

    You've already lost just by locking yourself in a situation that requires a future proof strategy, because there is no such thing. I recommend flexibility.
    The trouble with that strategy, at least with laptops, is you risk crappy build quality, so over the long run you on average out having had to tolerate relatively cheaply-made hardware.

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