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aysiu
January 14th, 2007, 01:46 AM
All right. I know Vista is going to demand a lot, but I'm just thinking aloud here, and most of us use Ubuntu anyway, not Windows... most of the time.

Back in the day, before MP3s became popular, I thought a 20 GB hard drive was all a person could possibly need. My parents got my brother an external hard drive of 500 GB for Christmas. That makes sense in this age of 5 megapixel digital cameras and iTunes-downloadable movies and music.

Space is one thing.

But memory? Right now, on my Ubuntu box, I've got Rhythmbox on pause. I'm listening to some MP3s in VLC (don't ask me why I'm using both--takes too long to explain). I also have Thunar open, Thunderbird open, Firefox open, and Goobox open (currently ripping a CD I just bought). No noticeable slowdown at all.

If you don't do heavy graphics or video editing or play PC games, will you ever need more than 512 MB of RAM? Just asking.

wert613
January 14th, 2007, 01:54 AM
i only have 320mb of ram
this is all i need
i am an amatuer photographer so i do do photo editing
(and sometimes video editing)
but i find that 320mb is enough
my only problem is that my graphics card doesnt suppot open gl :(
my other computer
the one i keep lying on the floor of my room
does support it but the kubuntu on it is all messed up
the reason i dont reinstall is because i have some important photos on it :(

about space
event though i keep loads of photos on my compy i only use a 40gb hd
i also keep quite a few 200 mb avi movies....

wert:D

doobit
January 14th, 2007, 01:54 AM
I do audio and video editing as a professional producer using Windows XP ans I have needed 2 GB or more for a couple of years already. In Linux I have never needed more than 512 MB, although I think Blender could really use more RAM for rendering. I have over 500 GB of disk space for video editing and RAID 0 on my media drives.

BarfBag
January 14th, 2007, 01:58 AM
512 is fine. That's what I had for two years straight. Now I have a GB.

23meg
January 14th, 2007, 02:02 AM
I've never had more than 512 MB and I do heavy graphics and sound work. I could use more, but don't absolutely need more. For the kind of use you describe, I can't think of a situation where it wouldn't be enough.

Voxxi
January 14th, 2007, 02:02 AM
My main desktop runs with 512Mb RAM, 256Mb Graphics Card and a 2Ghz processor. I only get slowdowns when I do compiling, and then try to watch a DVD ;) . I also have a server running Xubuntu, with 320Mb RAM, and a 500Mhz processor, and it runs pretty smooth.

512 is fine for an average desktop user, I don't know WHY Vista needs so much RAM.

PatrickMay16
January 14th, 2007, 02:08 AM
I used to have 512MB of RAM and it worked great for me, though things could get slow when I did heavy image viewing. Eventually it was upgraded to 1.5GB and since then I have never had any low memory problems. I probably won't ever... at least for a few years.

Also, on my laptop I have 256MB RAM, and it's fine for web browsing and some sound editing work. Though it was a little slow with ubuntu, things were greatly improved when I turned off a bunch of useless services. Then things were much better, with only 66MB RAM used after booting and logging into GNOME.

G Morgan
January 14th, 2007, 02:09 AM
Vista needs so much RAM so it can hunt for voltage variations 30 times a second to ensure you haven't hacked any DRM enabled devices to redirect the channel to a recording device, mainly it's an attempt to close the analogue gap that will fail miserably but will cost Vista users countless clock cycles.

Vista works for the media industries not for the license holder. I'd rather use MS-DOS quite frankly.

wert613
January 14th, 2007, 02:12 AM
Then things were much better, with only 66MB RAM used after booting and logging into GNOME.

how did you check the amount of ram being used?

kevinf311
January 14th, 2007, 02:15 AM
I used to have 1 GB of RAM when I ran just XP. Now I have 768MB (don't ask what happened to the other 256MB, It just kinda disappeared :confused: ). I was thinking about getting an additional gigabyte of RAM after Christmas/My Birthday, but my system runs so smoothly now I don't think I need it.

I'll wait until I decide to build that sweet multicore system and have to switch to DDR2 :D

dbbolton
January 14th, 2007, 02:17 AM
i think that even with xp, 512mb is pushing it. i'd feel comfortable with 768 or a gig.

PatrickMay16
January 14th, 2007, 02:20 AM
how did you check the amount of ram being used?

Using the 'free' command.

For example


free -m


Shows you the memory usage information in MB.

teet
January 14th, 2007, 02:21 AM
I have 512 mb in all 3 of my machines and have never had a problem.

On my main rig right now I have mythbackend running (it's recording a show), rhythmbox, firefox with a couple of tabs open, and of course gnome. I'm only using 55% of my RAM...

With that said, when I go to build my next computer I'll slap at least 1 gb (probably 2+ gb) in there just to be sure. Maybe it's just my American mentality...some is good but more is better! It's the same reason my car has a V8 engine in it when a 4 cylinder would get me where I need to go just as fast.

-teet

wert613
January 14th, 2007, 02:23 AM
Using the 'free' command.

For example


free -m


Shows you the memory usage information in MB.

thank you and can you mention some of the things you stopped because i am using 317 of 320mb of ram...
:mrgreen:

PatrickMay16
January 14th, 2007, 02:29 AM
thank you and can you mention some of the things you stopped because i am using 317 of 320mb of ram...
:mrgreen:

Yeah absolutely.

Some of the things I stopped on my laptop:

lvm, evms: because I don't use either of them
powernowd: because the laptop doesn't support CPU frequency scaling
bluetooth: because there is no bluetooth hardware on the laptop
And a couple of other small things. Though you might need these services.

I found this thread helpful with this:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=89491&highlight=speed+up+ubuntu

slimdog360
January 14th, 2007, 02:42 AM
Back in the day, before MP3s became popular, I thought a 20 GB hard drive was all a person could possibly need.
You dont have much of a porn collection do you?

SoloSalsa
January 14th, 2007, 02:44 AM
Vista itself doesn't need a gig; any Vista > light-no-feature-home edition needs a gig. But the low-end users that are probably better staying with the XP their used to only need 512.
I think the resources all go to the super-search or whatever that feature.
I know that the resources are necessary due to horrible coding. Microsoft is never going to clean their code, so they expect the wallets of end users to get the machines capable of running alpha-level resource wasting and spy-reporting software. They're going to watch every move and installed program, and make every open-source application 'unexpectedly close' when the user gets more done with it than MSware. And it's so office can handle faux-xml-office documents with malicious macros, etc.

haxer
January 14th, 2007, 02:46 AM
since i bought new computer i have 1024mb ram ddr2 pc4200 533mhz and i use 41% says gdesktlets also known as 416mb ram thats not much i think ;)

haxer@slackware:~$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1010 994 15 0 14 561
-/+ buffers/cache: 418 592
Swap: 3031 18 3013
haxer@slackware:~$

Quillz
January 14th, 2007, 02:59 AM
All right. I know Vista is going to demand a lot, but I'm just thinking aloud here, and most of us use Ubuntu anyway, not Windows... most of the time.

Back in the day, before MP3s became popular, I thought a 20 GB hard drive was all a person could possibly need. My parents got my brother an external hard drive of 500 GB for Christmas. That makes sense in this age of 5 megapixel digital cameras and iTunes-downloadable movies and music.

Space is one thing.

But memory? Right now, on my Ubuntu box, I've got Rhythmbox on pause. I'm listening to some MP3s in VLC (don't ask me why I'm using both--takes too long to explain). I also have Thunar open, Thunderbird open, Firefox open, and Goobox open (currently ripping a CD I just bought). No noticeable slowdown at all.

If you don't do heavy graphics or video editing or play PC games, will you ever need more than 512 MB of RAM? Just asking.
I'm a home user, and both my desktop and laptop have 1 GB of RAM. Between Opera, Azureus, GIMP and a number of other programs, I make good use of it, to the point where I'm thinking of upgrading both to 2 GB of RAM.

As far as I'm concerned, 512 MB is the bare minimum, not the standard. I'm under the impression that you can never have too much hard drive space or memory.

ixus_123
January 14th, 2007, 03:12 AM
All I have is 512mb & that's fine for me. I rarely go much over 300mb usage.

The only time I wish I had more was when I tried to use VMware / server to run windows. Both Windows & Ubuntu ran fine but things got a little clunky.

Hard drive space on the other hand is like a void. I have 320gb in this machine with 9gb free.
Still those 500gb SATA drives seem pretty cheap now & by the time I have that full affordable storage will probably be double that

Onyros
January 14th, 2007, 03:30 AM
I totally agree that MOST users don't really need more than 512MB, and I'd even say that many of those would even do well with just 256MB.

I work mainly at home on my laptop, but I also work closely with a company I used to work to from 9 to 5 (even though it was more 6.30). I go there enough times to have my own computer there, an old Pentium III 800MHz with 256MB of RAM, and even though I mostly use Bluefish, Evolution (or Claws), Opera (or Epiphany, I've grown to like it) and AbiWord, Gnumeric, Scribus, not all open at the same time, though, with GNOME and it's more than adequate for whatever I have to do there.

On my laptop I have 1GB of RAM, and I monitor my RAM usage closely because I have torsmo forked to the desktop... I've never seen my RAM usage above 512MB, and only saw above 400MB used ONCE. Most of my averages are below 256MB! And that's on GNOME, because you can imagine my memory usage with Fluxbox is way lower.

As for HDD space, I have 100GB on the laptop, and only 30% is used. I don't keep too much stuff here. Apart from music, there's not much I do store, other than on CD's or DVD's. The kind of work I produce isn't too heavy, so I can store it appropriately and still have a whole lot of free space.

ButteBlues
January 14th, 2007, 03:43 AM
I constantly use about 99% of my 512 MB ram.

If this weren't a laptop, I'd upgrade it to 1 GB and call it good.

matt_risi
January 14th, 2007, 03:48 AM
Wish my desktop would support more than 256mb. Runs pretty good with the current setup, but hangs on intensive stuff. Still, it rips in comparison to my windows partition. :P

matt_risi
January 14th, 2007, 03:57 AM
You dont have much of a porn collection do you?

HAH!

darkhatter
January 14th, 2007, 04:00 AM
512 isn't enough for all the spyware I have in windows, but its ok in Linux. I don't need more but everything will be smoother with the extra ram

slimdog360
January 14th, 2007, 04:02 AM
I ran breezy and dapper on 512MB for a good while and WinXP for a number of years. All of them ran fine with the exception of Windows doing that freezing thing every now and again. But it still does that even with 1GB of RAM so I dont think its the amount of RAM which is the problem.

Edgy runs more then great with Amarok playing, Konqueror for surfing the web, Grip always encoding something and GIMP open working on some photos. Thats with 1GB of RAM though, oh and I also run KDE but without beryl. And I never get slow downs or freezes like some people talk about, the only thing with crashes is konqueror and thats very very rare for that to happen.

darkhatter
January 14th, 2007, 04:04 AM
"640k ought to be enough for anybody"

(I know everyone was waiting for that)

djheadley
January 14th, 2007, 04:16 AM
I'm rinning a 1ghz machine with 256m ram and the only time I have any slowdown is when I'm on the net (dialup) and have several things going then I go to another desktop and play games until the dialup catches up with the computer. OO runs slow only when I'm running 2 or more things at the same time, and a game. :-P

AndyCooll
January 14th, 2007, 04:36 AM
As you hint at, it depends on what you are using your computer for.

My server has 512mb and that runs fine. My two laptops each only have 192mb in them and they run fine too. They are used for surfing the web, playing music, typing documents etc.
This box however currently has 1gb, and since I sometimes use VMware on it this extra memory is required.

:cool:

jblebrun
January 14th, 2007, 05:08 AM
"640k ought to be enough for anybody"

(I know everyone was waiting for that)

Damn it! You beat me!

macogw
January 14th, 2007, 05:17 AM
Well I can run XP on 128mb...

Anyway, I have 1GB on my laptop and I want to go up to 2GB. With Beryl running, my computer takes like 2 minutes to boot all the way up, and it's annoying. The fact that I don't have any dedicated video memory is probably contributing to this though. I always have Beryl, Firefox (with like 10 tabs, so that's a LOT of memory, Gaim, and XChat going, sometimes a DVD or music as well. However, I apparently formatted to swap to *nothing* so the 2GB swap partition I have isn't being seen as swap. If I was using swap, it'd certainly run faster than it does without any swap.

Yes, we will eventually all need more than 512mb. Remember, like 32mb used to be a whole crapload. Heck, they used to measure RAM in kilobytes! By 2010 we'll all have at least a gig and 2GB will be the minimum you see in a comp you buy off the shelf.

Polygon
January 14th, 2007, 06:18 AM
i have a gig and i have no memory problems whatsoever, and im an avid gamer as well.

Get a gig of ram and you should be fine no matter what OS you run

512 is a little shaky, espeically if you are forced to run windows (arg) as it takes up like 300 mb of ram with the operating system and all the system files by itself, and 200 for everything else is not that much

pmj
January 14th, 2007, 06:38 AM
I'm a home user and I need my 2GB. Just try running Azureus, one or two other file sharing programs, irc client, music manager, leaking Firefox with lots of tabs etc 24/7 on 512MB and you'll notice that you run out of memory really quickly. Hell, Azureus can eat 512MB all on its own with a couple of hundred torrents loaded.

randomnumber
January 14th, 2007, 06:48 AM
No matter what you have you always need more.

prizrak
January 14th, 2007, 07:07 AM
I personally think that it's OS dependant. Using XP Tablet on 512 was kind of a pain with 1.25GB it's better noticeably even if you don't count memory intensive stuff like gaming. In Ubuntu 512 is generally fine especially if you have a good enough video card to run the desktop in hardware acceleration (since the desktop will be using GFX RAM instead of system)

riven0
January 14th, 2007, 07:27 AM
Well, I've got 512 on my AMD comp, and everything runs smoothly and without a hitch... until I turn on VMWare Server. Then I notice a little lag. Still not as much lag as I dealt with in XP while just running Firefox, so I have no reason to upgrade at the moment.

Yeah, it feels good to save a little $$, instead of worrying about constant upgrades. :)

wesley_of_course
January 14th, 2007, 08:18 AM
wesley@Ratdog:~$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 757 343 414 0 9 191
-/+ buffers/cache: 141 615
Swap: 2212 0 2212


Leaking somewhere , eh ?!

K.Mandla
January 14th, 2007, 08:35 AM
The most I've ever seen my machine use is ~150Mb (according to conky), and that was after an hour or two of surfing, plus a bunch of other word processing, coding and stuff.

Right now I'm using a 750Mhz P3 that gets to the desktop on 22Mb in 34 seconds, and I'm thinking the 512Mb of PC133 I put in a year ago was a waste. I could get by on half of that easily.

Linux saves me a lot of money on hardware. :mrgreen:

mcduck
January 14th, 2007, 12:31 PM
I think 512 is fine, but considering the small price difference to 1GB I would put at least 1GB of RAM to any new machine. Anyway, it will make the computer faster, at least as disk cache if no program uses it..

23meg
January 14th, 2007, 02:35 PM
No matter what you have you always need more.
Reminds me of Murphy's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphys_law) of disk space: the bigger your hard disk is, the faster it will fill up.

Engnome
January 14th, 2007, 03:17 PM
"640k ought to be enough for anybody"

(I know everyone was waiting for that)

Not true. (http://www.faktoider.nu/640kb_eng.html)

I had 512 but running Opera + Firefox + Netbeans + bittornado + gaim + Skype made it impossible.

So I got another RAM module and installed it (contrary to many peoples beliefs it's easy to install RAM in laptops) My system runs alot more smoothly now. :D Even when not using a ton of stuff at the same time I notice a slight speed increase due to my system not swapping anything.

23meg
January 14th, 2007, 03:19 PM
640 MB ought to be enough for everybody..

Bezmotivnik
January 14th, 2007, 05:38 PM
On a related subject, can anyone tell me why RAM is so INCREDIBLY high currently? It's at least three times higher at long discount than it was about eighteen months ago.

Of course, the obvious and unmentionable answer is the industry's habitual and illegal price-fixing, but were the RAM manufacturers anticipating a windfall from an earlier release of Vista, or what?

I want to upgrade my dedicated (Windows) recording computer with entirely new guts, but 3/4+ of the total expense is the cost of the absolute minimum 2G of RAM needed.

It's ridiculous!

Johnsie
January 14th, 2007, 05:48 PM
I think most people have more ram than they really need.... Unless you're doing highly demainding multimedia editing or playing games most software works with a relatively small amout of ram. A lot of the time it's to do with how well the software/os can manage things and how good the cpu is. Yeah ram makes a difference but todays computers are far too powerful for most of the tasks they are used for. MP3 playing and web browsing can be done with a very basic machine, video needs a little more. You could do word processing on 286 lol. It's better to have too much power than too little power though.

saulgoode
January 14th, 2007, 05:54 PM
Bezmotivik, my guess is that RAM prices being so high has quite a bit to do with the new Vista. That is not to say that it is a conspiracy or even price-fixing.

The OEM companies that make computers are currently buying up the supply of RAM to populate their machines at the level that Vista will require. Thus competition between them has driven up the price for everyone; including those who wish to buy just RAM by itself.

M_the_C
January 14th, 2007, 06:09 PM
Now: Yes.
Tomorrow: Who knows.

Setting aside PC Games (an important part of life, but not this discussion) 512MB will run about as good as you need.

But computers used to run at good speeds on 64MB of RAM now we are talking about 512MB, I think it is inevitable that computers will require more RAM.

GarethMB
January 14th, 2007, 06:13 PM
When I bought my laptop it had 256MB RAM and windows XP. It's got integrated graphics, so that 64MB less. 192MB then. That wasn't enough. Not by a long shot, boot up was slow and with Norton anti virus and other background necessities running constantly it was easy to get slowed to a crawl. So I decided to upgrade to my laptop's maximum capacity: 2x512MB. The impact was huge and everything ran much much smoother. Then I (somewhat accidentally) switched to Ubuntu. I've never found myself, after the initial start up of my DE, feeling a lack of memory.


total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 979 447 531 0 23 220
-/+ buffers/cache: 203 775
Swap: 0 0 0

Thats my current RAM status. I've got 3GB of my disk assigned to swap but for some reason Kubuntu never recognises this, not that it bothers me, I don't think I've ever swapped.

zerhacke
January 14th, 2007, 06:22 PM
jason@diabolical:~$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 248 244 4 0 6 102
-/+ buffers/cache: 135 112
Swap: 721 42 679

I have no complaints even though I run so little memory. I don't mind waiting a quarter second longer to open Firefox or what have you.

ReiKn
January 14th, 2007, 06:50 PM
I just realized that I might need some more ram when I accidentally turned off the swap partition and everything started to run slowly. I've got 512 ram and I've got to admit that the XP I rarely use for audio stuff is much snappier than ubuntu on this machine.

This is my free -m when doing almost nothing.(using xgl + beryl, and firefox open with 4 ubuntu forums tabs)


total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 502 494 7 0 10 150
-/+ buffers/cache: 333 168
Swap: 1027 248 778

wert613
January 14th, 2007, 06:52 PM
heres my
free -m

Lster
January 14th, 2007, 07:17 PM
On Windows I think 1GB is about right for most people; Ubuntu only really needs 512MB (maybe less) to act speedy. Windows really eats memory with an anti-virus and a couple more programs.

One thing I think you do need A LOT of memory for is Java applications... NetBeans and OpenOffice (is in that Java?) are 100MB (on Windows)!

urukrama
January 14th, 2007, 07:23 PM
I only have 256 MB of RAM (all my laptop can take), but it works fine for everything I need to do. I mainly use my laptop for text processing (OpenOffice.org), music, some fairly light image editing, the occasional video/dvd, browsing the internet and email. Xubuntu runs faster, but even with Gnome I very rarely get into trouble.

ButteBlues
January 14th, 2007, 07:24 PM
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 503 487 16 0 11 144
-/+ buffers/cache: 331 172
Swap: 1537 64 1473

urukrama
January 14th, 2007, 07:27 PM
OpenOffice (is in that Java?) are 100MB (on Windows)!

OpenOffice does use Java, but you can turn it off easily. I never use it, and it makes OO a bit lighter.

jotagab
January 14th, 2007, 08:09 PM
512MB is enough for a home user. I usually have Firefox, xmms, nautilus, teminal and some PDF viewer opened permanently, and the active memory stays around 300MB. Even when using gimp, Eclipse or OpenOffice it doesn't reach 512MB.
Some notes for notebook users (like myself): having the video memory shared with the main memory will reduce the available memory for the OS (duh...), and a slow hard disk (like the 4200rpm that I have :P) will show its ugly performance if you go above 512MB and your machine starts to swap.

Lord Illidan
January 14th, 2007, 08:18 PM
I have 512 mb of RAM and it serves me quite well. I use Beryl, and play the odd game of Quake 4 on it...probably I might upgrade to 1 gig ddr2 to play q4 in ultrahigh...

still frustrating that the app which hoggs the most ram is firefox, though.

darkhatter
January 14th, 2007, 08:59 PM
still frustrating that the app which hoggs the most ram is firefox, though.

lol I know

manicka
January 14th, 2007, 09:02 PM
Like a lot of others, 512mb is all I have and it suits my needs well :)

Klaidas
January 14th, 2007, 09:28 PM
640K should be... nevermind :)
Ok, as I have 512RAM myself, I think it's not enough for an average user. In Ubuntu, if you're just playing music and browsing firefox with <5 tabs open, you're OK. But in general, if you will try using such things as Adobe Soundbooth under Windows, or the common Photoshop, you're out of luck :) And I'm not even talking about Vista yet! :)

As of know, I'd recommend no less than 1GB.

SoloSalsa
January 15th, 2007, 01:18 AM
On a related subject, can anyone tell me why RAM is so INCREDIBLY high currently? It's at least three times higher at long discount than it was about eighteen months ago.
The obvious answer I think of is the preparation for Vista. That, and for about three quarters, the industry has been migrating twards DDR2 (with graphics at GDDR3!). For whatever reason, both types (DDR1 and DDR2) cost more now. Some RAM that was forty dollars on Newegg half a year ago is now at fifty.

macogw
January 15th, 2007, 08:58 AM
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1002 982 20 0 135 344
-/+ buffers/cache: 502 500
Swap: 0 0 0

I need to figure out how to re-enable my swap partition. Oh, I just realised why this computer with a gig of ram loads up with Beryl and everything more slowly than my mom's desktop which I just upgraded from 512 to 784. Her CPU, while a Celeron, is 3 GHz. My CPU is 1.6 GHz. Then again, it is dual-core...hmm

shining
January 15th, 2007, 09:06 AM
I now have 1 GB on both my laptop and my desktop, but I'm nearly sure I don't need them for the majority of my usage, and that 512 MB would be fine.
Though, I confirm that 256MB is not enough, at least for running Ubuntu with Gnome, and launching memory hungry apps like Firefox, Thunderbird or OpenOffice, it was awfully slow. I then upgraded to 512MB, and it was perfect.

OrangeCrate
January 15th, 2007, 03:53 PM
...will you ever need more than 512 MB of RAM?...

Like most here agree, probably not, unless you're loaded up with peripheral programs. But, with the cost of RAM these days, why not have a Gig or better. Couldn't hurt.

Aetherius
January 15th, 2007, 04:10 PM
Nostalgia......

I remember getting my Amiga upgraded to 1MB for my birthday......


:D

xpod
January 15th, 2007, 04:24 PM
I used to just have 224mb of memory on this thing....even when it had XP on it but now thanks to a great guy on here i got 470mb or thereabouts which is more than i`ll ever need .....I think:-k

The other xubuntu pc there has only 192 but even it runs fine for what it`s used for.

Sure beats the commodore 64 i once had as a kid:D

mcduck
January 15th, 2007, 04:45 PM
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1002 982 20 0 135 344
-/+ buffers/cache: 502 500
Swap: 0 0 0

I need to figure out how to re-enable my swap partition. Oh, I just realised why this computer with a gig of ram loads up with Beryl and everything more slowly than my mom's desktop which I just upgraded from 512 to 784. Her CPU, while a Celeron, is 3 GHz. My CPU is 1.6 GHz. Then again, it is dual-core...hmm
Try 'sudo swapon -a'

Or if that doesn't work 'sudo mkswap /dev/sda6' (replace sda6 with your swap partition) and then again 'sudo swapon -a'

(and of course make sure you have correct entry for swap in /etc/fstab)

MrHorus
January 15th, 2007, 05:16 PM
I wouldn't be happy gaming on anything that had less than 1GB of ram.

Bezmotivnik
January 16th, 2007, 01:34 AM
anonymous@X:~$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 503 466 37 0 46 252
-/+ buffers/cache: 167 336
Swap: 1474 0 1474
=========================================

Where in the round world is it all going? :confused:

Patrick-Ruff
January 16th, 2007, 02:00 AM
All right. I know Vista is going to demand a lot, but I'm just thinking aloud here, and most of us use Ubuntu anyway, not Windows... most of the time.

Back in the day, before MP3s became popular, I thought a 20 GB hard drive was all a person could possibly need. My parents got my brother an external hard drive of 500 GB for Christmas. That makes sense in this age of 5 megapixel digital cameras and iTunes-downloadable movies and music.

Space is one thing.

But memory? Right now, on my Ubuntu box, I've got Rhythmbox on pause. I'm listening to some MP3s in VLC (don't ask me why I'm using both--takes too long to explain). I also have Thunar open, Thunderbird open, Firefox open, and Goobox open (currently ripping a CD I just bought). No noticeable slowdown at all.

If you don't do heavy graphics or video editing or play PC games, will you ever need more than 512 MB of RAM? Just asking.

windows vista sucks up all your ram because ram is literally 100 times faster then your hard drive. 512MB is enough for vista, easily. vista frees up ram as it becomes needed for applications, and when applications no longer needs it, it goes back up again.

faster then the hard drive ;).

kuja
January 16th, 2007, 03:59 AM
I'd be dead in the water without a couple gig of RAM, then again, I guess I'm not the hypothetical average user.

andrew.46
January 17th, 2007, 10:27 PM
Hi,


All right. I know Vista is going to demand a lot, but I'm just thinking aloud here, and most of us use Ubuntu anyway, not Windows... most of the time.


If you don't do heavy graphics or video editing or play PC games, will you ever need more than 512 MB of RAM? Just asking.

Well I am using Xubuntu 6.06 with 128 MB of RAM. I use the computer for web site writing (BlueFish + Gimp + gFTP) and for completing my BA (Open Office). I will admit that Open Office is not a speed demon on this machine :-)

Andrew

weresheep
January 18th, 2007, 12:23 AM
anonymous@X:~$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 503 466 37 0 46 252
-/+ buffers/cache: 167 336
Swap: 1474 0 1474
=========================================

Where in the round world is it all going? :confused:

LOL. You have 336MB of RAM available, I wouldn't exactly say you're straining your system :D

I have a machine (PIII 733MHz) with 512MB and it does me fine (it evens uses 8MB for shared graphics RAM). Heres my 'free' output with typical usage...



total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 502 455 46 0 51 204
-/+ buffers/cache: 199 302
Swap: 1474 0 1474


Assuming I am anywhere near a typical desktop user (Web, EMail etc) then I would say 512MB is fine for now.

-weresheep

aristotlewilde
January 19th, 2007, 03:34 AM
I started off on this machine (AthlonXP2000+) w/ 512mb and thought it was ok. I picked up another 512 stick and saw pretty much NO CHANGE in performance.

So... I returned that overpriced stick to Best Buy... because the 512mb sticks went on sale for a little over half the price (different brand). I picked up 2 512 sticks and tossed them in today.

Although I am experiencing an as yet undetermined startup issue (on 2 of 5 boots so far), teh system is indeed running very well with 1.5gb.

I am also a firm believer in never having TOO MUCH memory or disk space.

macogw
January 19th, 2007, 05:39 AM
LOL. You have 336MB of RAM available, I wouldn't exactly say you're straining your system :D

-weresheep

336 is in buffers/cache. For memory it says 37mb free.

mine is usually 1002 mb total (which is WRONG! i have 1024) and says i'm using 950-something.

STREETURCHINE
January 19th, 2007, 06:44 AM
lol,bit streched for space i feel..

rex@rex-desktop:~$ free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 2075736 411764 1663972 0 13308 209460
-/+ buffers/cache: 188996 1886740
Swap: 0 0 0
rex@rex-desktop:~$

i put 2 gig in this machine when it had windows on it,used a lot when i was playing with photo's and listening to my music,but with linux dont think i need it all.
just not going to take it out.

weresheep
January 19th, 2007, 09:29 AM
336 is in buffers/cache. For memory it says 37mb free.

mine is usually 1002 mb total (which is WRONG! i have 1024) and says i'm using 950-something.

I'm not an expert on Linux memory management, but it is my understanding that Linux allocates buffers and maintains cache in otherwise unused memory. However, should the system need memory for applications then buffers and cache can be sacrificed to free up RAM. The 336 in the buffers/cache line of the 'free' output indicates how much RAM is available for use by applications, even though most of it is used as buffers/cache at the moment.

This page (http://gentoo-wiki.com/FAQ_Linux_Memory_Management) offers a good overview of memory under Linux.

As for your total RAM being less than your physical amount. I believe that is becuase the Linux kernel keeps some RAM for itself that is never given out to the rest of the system. As this RAM is reserved for the kernel it never appears in user tools which report available memory.

-weresheep

Kateikyoushi
January 19th, 2007, 10:04 AM
LOL. You have 336MB of RAM available, I wouldn't exactly say you're straining your system :D

I have a machine (PIII 733MHz) with 512MB and it does me fine (it evens uses 8MB for shared graphics RAM). Heres my 'free' output with typical usage...



total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 502 455 46 0 51 204
-/+ buffers/cache: 199 302
Swap: 1474 0 1474


Assuming I am anywhere near a typical desktop user (Web, EMail etc) then I would say 512MB is fine for now.

-weresheep

The cache is used to make the system run snappier than win it can be freed anytime.
We also have 3 machines 2 with 512 one with 256 for the moment 512 is more than enough, I will upgrade the other one soon.
Bit offtopic but you could you tell me how does that machine handle videos ? Can a P3 play them ? We have been thinking about replacing my girlfriend's fathers 8 years old rig with nothing fancy and wonder if a P3 is enough.
Thanks in advance sorry for the offtopic.

zgornel
January 19th, 2007, 10:57 AM
I'd definetly recommend 1GB of ram. I use Matlab and Gimp a lot and after several hours of heavy simulations/image editing/music and other little stuff going on my swap usage grew to 700mb on a 512MB system. If I don't use matlab, swap usage goes to about 300-400MB within a few hours.
P.S. I don't play games.

weresheep
January 19th, 2007, 10:58 AM
Hi Kateikyoushi,

I've found my P3 to be able to handle most things I've thrown at it. I've not played DVDs on it but my mother has an identical machine running Windows 98SE which plays DVDs fine so I see no reason why my one would have any problems.

I've played a fair amount of videos (DivX etc) and most have played without any problems. One or two movies have taken all the CPU the machine has but they've been playable. One thing to note is that my box uses the onboard Intel i810 graphics subsystem that uses shared graphics RAM. The i810 is pretty old and slow by today's standards so if you were to get a decent Pentium III with a reasonably modern graphics card I would think media performance would more than acceptable.

Hope that helps.

-weresheep

Duppy
January 19th, 2007, 01:29 PM
I used to have 1 GB of RAM when I ran just XP. Now I have 768MB (don't ask what happened to the other 256MB, It just kinda disappeared :confused: ). I was thinking about getting an additional gigabyte of RAM after Christmas/My Birthday, but my system runs so smoothly now I don't think I need it.

I'll wait until I decide to build that sweet multicore system and have to switch to DDR2 :D

You probably have a shared memory graphics card.

The grapichs card, instead of having its own memory, uses the RAM.

So yours probably has 256MB shared memory.

1024MB RAM - 256MB = 786 MB RAM left :)

Its not a problem, or anything gone wrong, just your graphics card has shared memory.

My laptop for example, has 512MB RAM, 64 mb shared graphics, therefore I only have 448mb Ram. :)

Lster
January 19th, 2007, 01:59 PM
DDR2 is far faster than DDR; from my experience about 1.5x faster... Look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_access_memory.

esaym
January 19th, 2007, 02:24 PM
I constantly use about 99% of my 512 MB ram.

If this weren't a laptop, I'd upgrade it to 1 GB and call it good.

No matter how much ram you have in linux, you will always use 99% of it. Only a small % of it will be your actual applications using it though.

odysseus.lost
January 20th, 2007, 12:43 AM
A few days ago I managed to crash my ubuntu... I think it was that I must have done some kind of memory problem... having open as far as i remember 7 tabs in kile, about 12 evinces, about 4 firefoxes with an average 6 tabs each, playing music with amarok in the background, and having one instance of bittornado.... and i have 512 mb....:lolflag: still though with the applications i am running i can notice some kind of slowdown when i switch desktop but i wouldnt imagine that they are enough to crash my system.

dbbolton
April 6th, 2007, 02:30 AM
let's have a look at a conversation with a couple of mac fanboys.

fanboy who doesn't even have a mac yet: i'm getting a macbook with 2 gigs of ram.

me: how are you going to use that much memory ?

fanboy's bodyguard: "I cant even begin to explain how retarded that statement was. Having a massive amount of Ram is always a good idea. Paralells, Photoshop, Flash and Illustrator side by side, Textmate, a gazillion widgets...
it's all about productivity and multi tasking/threading."

ok.

right now, i have opened firefox, opera, gimp, bluefish, audacity, gnome-terminal, system monitor, rhythmbox, inkscape, gaim, hydrogen, openoffice writer, evolution, character map, nautilus, adobe pdf reader, gnomebaker, and various panel applets such as deskbar and trash.

i'm currently using about 270mb of memory, and 180mb of swap.

how much more productive can a person possibly be ? that's already more applications than i could keep track of.

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m128/envyouraudience/th_memory.png (http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m128/envyouraudience/memory.png)

andrew.46
April 6th, 2007, 02:57 AM
Hi,

Thanks for your post which I believe had a lot of common sense:




[...] right now, i have opened firefox, opera, gimp, bluefish, audacity, gnome-terminal, system monitor, rhythmbox, inkscape, gaim, hydrogen, openoffice writer, evolution, character map, nautilus, adobe pdf reader, gnomebaker, and various panel applets such as deskbar and trash. i'm currently using about 270mb of memory, and 180mb of swap.
how much more productive can a person possibly be ? that's already more applications than i could keep track of.



I currently have only 256mb running with Xubuntu 6.10 and I performed a similar exercise: opening and running all my commonly used apps at the same time. The memory usage was instructive (free -m -t -o):


total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 241 237 3 0 1 43
Swap: 705 39 666
Total: 947 277 670


I have shared graphics which takes 8 megs. This certainly suggests to me that in fact 512 would be more than adequate for the my purposes. Could more people run the same test just for interest?

Andrew

Compucore
April 6th, 2007, 03:12 AM
On average a typical user 256 megs of ram should be more than enough to work with for things in general like word processing, spreadsheets, Internet, MP3's, video's, maybe use the database program that is available under openoffice. The only time that I would suggest to go higher in memorty where 512, 1 gig, 1.5 gigs, or 2 or more gigs are concerned. If you are dealing with applications that require that much memory for use. Typical example that I can think of is easy as pie. Oracle 8i/9i/10G. Which all three are really memory monsters when it comes to memory. The more there is the better they run at times. Oracle 10G express tops out at 1 gig of ram, single CPU, and 4.3 gigs of data. And that is the free one that can be downloaded from oracle developers site site.and used for free as well.

The others that they have that you can actually try Oracle with for testing and developing are not free to distribute. requires a lot more ram than that and will use more than one processor and close to 2-4 gigs of ram. Depending on the amount of ram you have in your computer. Extreme cases like that I would definately augment memory for just such a purpose. Bit even at 512 megs of ram for a home machine is more than enough.

Compucore

Polygon
April 6th, 2007, 03:17 AM
No matter how much ram you have in linux, you will always use 99% of it. Only a small % of it will be your actual applications using it though.

um... no? i almost never ever ever come close to using 100% of my ram unless im doing something like creating a huge archive file or something. i generally use anywhere from 300-500 mb, and a lot of that is because i run the boinc client (distributed computing) which takes up a lot of ram.

i do notice that my ram cache is usually full though, maybe that is what you are talking about?

kevinf311
April 6th, 2007, 05:18 AM
Here's the output of my free -m -t -o



total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1004 987 17 0 28 599
Swap: 1498 0 1497
Total: 2503 987 1515


The majority of my memory is cached, as I understand it should be.
This command was run with my normal daily workload:

Gnome with Beryl Window Manager
Firefox with multiple tabs
Thunderbird Mail Client
Gaim IM Client running multiple protocols
Skype VoIP Client
JuK Music Player on random

Motoxrdude
April 6th, 2007, 05:21 AM
With linux i think it is plenty (for now) but for windows vista, when hell freezes over vista will run on 512mb decently.

andrew.46
April 6th, 2007, 05:51 AM
Hi,

Fascinating:


Here's the output of my free -m -t -o


total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1004 987 17 0 28 599
Swap: 1498 0 1497
Total: 2503 987 1515



As this test was undertaken with a full load of running software it would seem to imply that the advantage of an extra 512 is simply to produce a larger cache that the processor can access? Therefore a small performance boost but not an absolute requirement as swap file (HDD) can substitute for this. Please correct me if I am wrong :-)

Andrew

karellen
April 6th, 2007, 06:58 AM
I have 512 mb of ram and it's enough for me, though my hdd is pretty slow (5 years old ide hdd...). the p4 does it's job very well, I see no reason to change it.

siimo
April 6th, 2007, 07:14 AM
I've got 1.5GB and I run a pimped out Xfce 4.4 desktop that barely uses 50MB on bootup :lolflag:

But when i fire up azureus to download linux isos or when i fire up qemu to run windows xp then it starts to eat the memory fast but still its plenty enough for my needs.

sloggerkhan
April 6th, 2007, 07:19 AM
I tend to monitor my memory use excesively and I'd say that I feel comfortable with my 1 gig of RAM.
I am sure that 256 megs would be too little. I'd guess 512 is an OK amount.
Because I like my 1024megs, I'd say get 768-1536 (3/4 to 1+1/2 gigs).

If you're not multitasking much, I think Ubuntu could probably be fine with 256, to tell the truth, but My system definately can use 75%+ of my 1 gig if I'm touching up a few photos, listening to music, and have other applications sitting open on another desktop. If I have Beagle installed, add about a 20% chunk of my 1024 is there's stuff to index, especially if it's on more than 1 drive.

eentonig
April 6th, 2007, 07:31 AM
*****@%%%%%%:~$ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1003 943 60 0 209 330
-/+ buffers/cache: 403 600
Swap: 2941 0 2941
*****@%%%%%%:~$

1G present and currently using it. But I agree that 512Mb would be more than sufficient for home use. Allthough I'll always recommend people to use at least the double they originally planned for.

Windows eats memory for breakfast. Linux is more economical, but it will still impact performance if you run out. So you're better of having some reserve on that department. Actually, I always tell them to take a processor one step slower in the family and use the saved cash to install the extra RAM. (Allthough with current RAM prices...)

Obor
April 6th, 2007, 08:20 AM
I have 512Mb and its fine on my ubuntu even if I have KDE applications running but once I log into KDE (KDE-core) my RAM is 97% full - thats why I don't use KDE more often.

Can someone tell me, without flaming KDE :) if this is normal. I preffer KDE in some ways but it eats my RAM more than anything else :(

Edit: i guess this (http://gentoo-wiki.com/FAQ_Linux_Memory_Management) kind of answers my question

argie
April 6th, 2007, 08:33 AM
I guess I'd qualify as a home user. I don't edit large graphics files or do 3d modelling and the like. I have 256 MB RAM (32 MB Shared graphics) and it never struck me until I noticed all the posts on forums that this could be considered inadequate. Ubuntu with E17 is a bit slow on the older computer (1 Ghz, 128MB RAM) with the bling module or xcompmgr running, but it's still very usable. With Puppy Linux, that 128MB RAM machine just flies, no kidding, but it's not very pretty, so I live with E17 and Ubuntu :)

512 MB RAM is nice, but I don't think you'll be needing all of it.

GeneralZod
April 6th, 2007, 08:42 AM
I have 512Mb and its fine on my ubuntu even if I have KDE applications running but once I log into KDE (KDE-core) my RAM is 97% full - thats why I don't use KDE more often.

Can someone tell me, without flaming KDE :) if this is normal. I preffer KDE in some ways but it eats my RAM more than anything else :(

Linux will always use as much RAM as it possibly can for performance reasons. If you want to know how much RAM KDE and its apps are using, type



free -m


at a terminal.



total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 503 498 5 0 75 243
-/+ buffers/cache: 180 323
Swap: 486 212 273


The bolded figure, possibly with the swap added (I'm not sure how the amount of swap used should be factored into the equation, to be honest) is the one you should be interested in.

The "KDE is bloated" meme is kind of a myth, really - as these benchmarks show, both KDE and GNOME use pretty much the same amount:

http://ktown.kde.org/~seli/memory/desktop_benchmark.html
http://spooky-possum.org/cgi-bin/pyblosxom.cgi/kdevsgnome.html

DougieFresh4U
April 6th, 2007, 08:56 AM
I thought that 512 RAM would be enough for my Xubuntu-Feisty, but after I do a little check, it appears that it's getting eaten up at the moment and all I have going is Exaile! music player and Swiftfox:::
free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 502 491 11 0 21 287
-/+ buffers/cache: 182 320
Swap: 1466 0 1466

kuja
April 6th, 2007, 10:19 AM
1G present and currently using it. But I agree that 512Mb would be more than sufficient for home use. Allthough I'll always recommend people to use at least the double they originally planned for.

Windows eats memory for breakfast. Linux is more economical, but it will still impact performance if you run out. So you're better of having some reserve on that department. Actually, I always tell them to take a processor one step slower in the family and use the saved cash to install the extra RAM. (Allthough with current RAM prices...)
So long as you're not getting the RAM from the OEM you're usually okay.

---

As for me. I just rebooted and I'm already sitting at 400mb used ... I think I was using around 800mb beforehand (application memory this is ... all of my 2gb is always in use in some way or another. If you're running a 64-bit OS with 64-bit apps, it takes a fair bit more memory to run, probably about twice as much.

blueturtl
April 6th, 2007, 11:59 AM
If you don't do heavy graphics or video editing or play PC games, will you ever need more than 512 MB of RAM? Just asking.

You will always need more because as the framework moves upward the memory requirements of even simple tasks multiply. Right now I'm typing this message on an age old laptop that has 32 megabytes of ram. It runs Windows 95 OSR2, Opera 9.10, Miranda IM and mIRC at the same time without problems. It is finetuned, I admit (IE is not installed for example) but the system is nevertheless considered obsolete by practically everyone. This system was the cream of the crop in 97 and now if it were up to Microsoft it wouldn't even run Vista notepad. Same thing has happened and does happen in Linux. Firefox for example is unacceptably slow on a machine this old. The point I am trying to make is that it was once considered ludicrous for simple home tasks to require more than 640 kb, 16 megabytes etc. or memory. 512 megabytes will seem as little as 32 megabytes seems to you today, just you wait.

Adamant1988
April 6th, 2007, 08:09 PM
All right. I know Vista is going to demand a lot, but I'm just thinking aloud here, and most of us use Ubuntu anyway, not Windows... most of the time.

Back in the day, before MP3s became popular, I thought a 20 GB hard drive was all a person could possibly need. My parents got my brother an external hard drive of 500 GB for Christmas. That makes sense in this age of 5 megapixel digital cameras and iTunes-downloadable movies and music.

Space is one thing.

But memory? Right now, on my Ubuntu box, I've got Rhythmbox on pause. I'm listening to some MP3s in VLC (don't ask me why I'm using both--takes too long to explain). I also have Thunar open, Thunderbird open, Firefox open, and Goobox open (currently ripping a CD I just bought). No noticeable slowdown at all.

If you don't do heavy graphics or video editing or play PC games, will you ever need more than 512 MB of RAM? Just asking.

I'm sure the situation will be the same as in the past. Applications will grow increasingly resource hungry and over time you *will* need to get more ram in your system in order to maintain performance at an acceptable level. I can vividly recall when 256 megs of ram was high-end and you never needed more than that; now 512 megs of ram is the standard.

Lord Illidan
April 6th, 2007, 08:28 PM
I'm sure the situation will be the same as in the past. Applications will grow increasingly resource hungry and over time you *will* need to get more ram in your system in order to maintain performance at an acceptable level. I can vividly recall when 256 megs of ram was high-end and you never needed more than that; now 512 megs of ram is the standard.

Remember when 640k was more than enough for anybody?
It all depends on what you do. I use 512 MB of RAM DDR1 myself, and I do notice a slowdown sometimes, like when multiple users are using the system, or else Beryl is running with firefox + 20 tabs or so. Still, it works fine, I still play some games, though I notice that I am pushing the envelope...will upgrade to 1 gig soon.

Happy_Man
April 6th, 2007, 09:10 PM
I feel the need to tell a story here. Once, way back in the day when Photoshop CS3 beta was released for free (remember that?) I grabbed it off the net and downloaded it. Mind you, this was on Windows with 256 mb of RAM. It took about 13 minutes to load, I'm not kidding, and then another 5 to close it. I think that was made me ultimately switch over to Ubuntu more than anything else. On a somewhat related note, is there ANY WAY AT ALL to decrease Firefox's memory output? At all? Please?

Skia_42
April 6th, 2007, 09:14 PM
I am running Beryl, Conky, Swiftfox, Amarok, Democracy TV, Kopete, Google Earth, Thunderbird and Frostwire all at the same time on Ubuntu 6.10 and am using 500.4MB of RAM. On a normal day with typical use I use 300mb RAM. So yes, 512mb is plenty unless you are gaming.

laredo7mm
April 7th, 2007, 04:59 AM
My three SMP boxes all have 1 gig of DDR2800 ram and they all use about 780M of it. If I added more, I think they would use more.

All three boxes fold 24/7.

andrew.46
April 7th, 2007, 05:14 AM
Hi,

Read your post with interest:


My three SMP boxes all have 1 gig of DDR2800 ram and they all use about 780M of it. If I added more, I think they would use more.

All three boxes fold 24/7.

But is the weak point of this argument that Linux will tend to use all available RAM? If it is not directly used by applications it will be cached; after this the HDD swap file will be used? And so as you suggested "If I added more they would use more"

Andrew

konungursvia
April 7th, 2007, 05:23 AM
I have about 760 MB, though I was running with less, and I am quite sure you're fine with 512, unless you do video editing and want to get videos edited quickly.

Rutabega
April 7th, 2007, 09:55 AM
I have 512mb. Which is sufficient at the moment for what I use my computer for- Writing, music e-mail, chat and web browsing.

gunthermeyer
April 8th, 2007, 05:24 PM
Hi, I'm new to Ubuntu. Last night I just got started with Ubuntu and my machine has only 256megs and it runs pretty well with. I am going to get more ram though before the summer is over with. I too believe that more is always better. I would love to see how fast Ubuntu will go with a gig.

Gargamella
April 8th, 2007, 08:21 PM
I was discussing it today with my dad, who is leads a software factory, and he agrees fully, because he says that only nerds playing unusefull games need more.

Right, i have to say

mech7
April 8th, 2007, 08:44 PM
Umm some don't need more then 512mb.. i now have 4gb ram.. and next pc will probably have 8 gb :popcorn:

karachuonyo
April 8th, 2007, 10:25 PM
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1011 988 66 0 24 444
-/+ buffers/cache: 475 535
Swap: 1906 0 1906

well that is my free ram from 1 gig. I have 3 desktops open with at least firefox and 1 or 2 tabs on each open. google earth, gimp. k3b, kpdf, system monitor, amarok playing music, mplayer with shrek on,open office, konquerer and my phone is plugged in while i copy music to it maybe 1 or 2 other applets are open/running as well.. To be honest no noticeable pc slowdown with firefox or even while flying on google earth. Linux is just amazing and if in doubt try this in windows xp or vista.

andrew.46
April 10th, 2007, 04:21 AM
Hi,

I have just moved from 256 ram to 1024 as I gear up a newly purchased computer and the change is quite stunning interms of general responsiveness. The following figures are running Xubuntu 6.10 with a huge number of windows running actively:


andrew@ilium:~$ free -m -t -o
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1002 624 378 0 12 284
Swap: 705 0 705
Total: 1708 624 1084


I will repeat this when I install Feisty Fawn Ubuntu (not Xubuntu) and see the difference the Gnome makes. But certainly 1024 is over-kill for Xubuntu. (Some of the 'missing' memory is for onboard graphics).

Andrew

herbster
April 10th, 2007, 06:36 PM
I used to have 256mb for the longest time, and Windows always struggled with it. I added 1gb and now with 1.2gb, it's a massive difference in Windows (Vista was smooth as a baby's bottom) and Ubuntu runs perfectly with Beryl and like 20 programs going.

Unless I'm mistaken, if you are playing many of the newer games, you probably will have a good graphics card with enough ram on it that it will start to take the load away from system ram. I have a 7600 with 512mb and there is zero processing lag happening with even newer games (on XP), whereas with my Radeon and everything else the same, it was a vastly different story lol.

NJC
April 11th, 2007, 05:23 PM
I'm using 512mb and it's a noticeable difference from 256mb. I may upgrade (= scrounge for more free obsolete PC100 DIMM's) to 640mb as my old Quantum 5.1gb Fireball is slooooowwww.

mstlyevil
April 11th, 2007, 05:36 PM
I would say for optimal performance you should go with a gig of RAM on most distros. With advances in technology happening so fast and more drivers being installed by default you are going to experience more ram moving to swap at 512 megs.

I have noticed most KDE based distros are RAM hogs. The only KDE distro I have used that seems to be an exception to that rule is Mepis. I have a gig and Kubuntu, PCLOS and SuSe all tend to want almost 900 megs. Mepis rarely uses more than 200 megs even with beryl installed and running. ( I am talking about with no windows open or applications in use. Also this is after the system has been up and running for several hours or more.)

ahaslam
April 11th, 2007, 05:38 PM
In all honesty, I believe that one gigabyte is all that's required for the vast majority of tasks under Linux. I haven't even got close to fully utilising it even with several open apps while playing Oblivion under Wine.

It probably differs for different spec'd hardware. My old laptop had 512MB & I managed to max it out with only the Gimp, but it won't push my current hardware past 25% utilisation. So perhaps the speed, latency & configuration is just as important as the quantity.

;)

daynah
April 11th, 2007, 07:45 PM
On linux, yes.

On Windows, you have to account for all the viruses running in the background, so bump that up to 1 gig.

jk ;) Windows, you're more likely to be playing games that require it, so 1 gig for windows, linux 512. My boyfriend is on windows trying to play WoW on 512 and wondering why it's so laggy. "But I have my torrents off!"

No, babe. It's you. It's allll you.

andrew.46
April 25th, 2007, 05:37 AM
Hi,

Well here I am again with the same test on Feisty Fawn Ubuntu:


Hi,

I have just moved from 256 ram to 1024 as I gear up a newly purchased computer and the change is quite stunning interms of general responsiveness. The following figures are running Xubuntu 6.10 with a huge number of windows running actively:


andrew@ilium:~$ free -m -t -o
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1002 624 378 0 12 284
Swap: 705 0 705
Total: 1708 624 1084


I will repeat this when I install Feisty Fawn Ubuntu (not Xubuntu) and see the difference the Gnome makes. But certainly 1024 is over-kill for Xubuntu. (Some of the 'missing' memory is for onboard graphics).

Andrew

I opened a similar number of windows, ran some music etc and ran the same test:


andrew@ilium:~$ free -m -t -o
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1003 988 14 0 41 620
Swap: 1655 0 1655
Total: 2658 988 1669


A fascinating demonstration of Linux and memory usage as well as an interesting comparison between different versions of Ubuntu!! Now what does it all mean .......

Andrew

Jhongy
April 25th, 2007, 06:13 AM
I've been using a gig of RAM for years. I've always held that upgrading RAM yields the biggest performance gain for most systems. But that was in my Windows days. I found that with only 256MB of RAM Windows was inolerably slow. I could see a clear difference upgrading from 512MB to a gig (no double-blind tests, mind you ;-))

Now I'm using Ubuntu, I'd like to upgrade to 2 gigs :)

As time goes on, I'd like more and more to use it as a home server -- for file sharing, SSH for when I am out, and running something like myth-backend for recording TV. I have a VMWare windows image for the wife to use, and I allocate around 700MB of memory to it, which really slows things down. Even sound is choppy, although I think a multicore CPU might yield more benefits at this stage.

As time goes on, I'd quite like to host several VMWare images on the server -- includng a web server and a couple of different Linux distros for different purposes, and connect to them over the network on lower-powered machines such as laptops as needed. I think it offers more flexibility. And it makes sense if you're the one maintaining eveyone's computer in the family to have it all centralised... as long as backups are safe ;-)

Then simple upgrades to the server, or to network infrastructure, are relatively cheap ways to benefit everyone; and their relatively cheap PCs should be fine to run anything for years. Especially since gaming seems to be moving more and more to the console...

I only wish wireless network speeds could improve yet further.

zgornel
April 25th, 2007, 12:51 PM
I just upgraded to 1Gig and there are no big differences between 512MB and 1GB duing normal computer usage (music, bowsing etc etc). The difference appears when using vmware, lots of opened documents and intensive calculations. Depends on rather what you do with the computer. Even so, with the RAM prices falling, the more memory one has, the better. Plus, you never know when you decide to switch to Vista :D :D :D

Compucore
April 25th, 2007, 12:56 PM
Well there is that. And if your using something like Oracle databases which also take a lot of memory when your working with a database. Or as you had mentioned intensive calculations or your compiling something really huge scale that eats away at the memory during compilation. There are exceptions at times when having more than enough memory is the rule of thumb and other times where you do not need as much ram to do other things. I know at least on the server side your usually good to have at least a couple of gigs of ram with a dual processor or dual core cpu to do things that are intensive with memory.

Compucore