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Thread: Has swap usage become feasible on SSDs for low RAM laptops?

  1. #11
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    Re: Has swap usage become feasible on SSDs for low RAM laptops?

    Quote Originally Posted by chronos00 View Post
    Ultrabooks achieve their lightness and thinness with some sacrifices. One of those traits is that it is absolutely NOT customizable. It has fixed amount of onboard RAM, fixed perihperials, no DVD reader, and in this case, it even does not have an ethernet port (it comes with a USB adapter for ethernet connection, which I think is smart, given the little usage I actually give it).

    Other manufacturers build several models; some with 4GB of RAM, some with 8GB. In this case, Acer only built these models with 4GB. I haven't seen any other manufacturer which has produced an ultrabook with so many amazing features squished into such a small form factor. That's why I am bearing the "low" amount of RAM.

    BTW, not only this ultrabook has a SSD, but in fact it has 2 of them, packed in a single drive, arranged in RAID0. I have benchmarked it with ubuntu (disk utility), and got an incredible throughput of 1100 MB/s for reading, and 950 MB/s for writing. I still cant believe I am talking about an ultrabook...

    I sound like an Acer representative hehe. I took my chances and bought the Aspire S7 391 already. Let me try it for a few days so that I see what is not working properly under Ubuntu. So far the brightness controls are not working and the RAID0 arrangment gave many problems for installation.
    Thank you for your info, I hadn't really paid attention to ultrabooks. A few years ago I experimented with virtual machines. I installed Ubuntu 11.10 (I think) as a host and Win 7 as a guest O.S. Running Win 7 & an office suite used <900 MB. RAM. You may find 4 GB. fine with a little care. I installed HTOP to be able to see which programs were using what resources without the program using much in the way of resources itself.

  2. #12
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    Re: Has swap usage become feasible on SSDs for low RAM laptops?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMark View Post
    If you're reluctant to create a swap partition on your SSD and if like me your laptop has an SD card slot which you rarely need to use you can always create a swap partition on your SD card and leave it permanently plugged in. You'd need to switch off the swap if you need to use the sd slot but I don't ever use mine really so it's never given me any trouble.
    This would be quite useful for hibernation, but for regular system paging, I think it will be MUCH slower than a SSD. Even with a Class10 SDs, the throuput is 10MB/s for writing, compared to 1000MB/s achieved by SSDs in RAID0.

    This is interesting for hibernation, though, in situations when I have already used all my RAM, part of the swap, and I still want to hibernate.

  3. #13
    Rebelli0us is offline Extra Foam Sugar Free Ubuntu
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    Re: Has swap usage become feasible on SSDs for low RAM laptops?

    I only use swap on my laptop because it's the only way to enable hibernation. Otherwise swap is not necessary.

    4 GB memory is plentiful, I even run Windows VMs on 4GB.

    If you add more memory on portable devices, you shorten battery life and increase hibernation/wakeup time.

    SSD helps speed up boot up & hibernation, otherwise no great advantage on notebooks.

    If you have SSD, enable Trim in fstab -- noatime,discard,errors=remount-ro 0 1

    also change scheduler, although some distros do it by themselves --
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash elevator=noop".
    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash elevator=deadline"

  4. #14
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    Re: Has swap usage become feasible on SSDs for low RAM laptops?

    Putting swap on SD card does help, but the truth is, it depends on the car reader speed itself. Sandisk Class 10 achieve 30MB/s speed and higher, but if you put it in slow car reader (I know its internal car reader), it will still be slow. Worse case, the card reader is actually just an external card reader wired into a USB 2.0 port on the motherboard. You can still try to solder a really fast car reader to replace it, but its not worth it probably. So a cheap ultrabook probably skimp on this and gives you a slow card reader, so its not really helping you. Your best bet is just to call up Acer and ask whether that RAM can be upgraded or not. Or if you can order one with 8GB RAM instead.

  5. #15
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    Re: Has swap usage become feasible on SSDs for low RAM laptops?

    The swap usage I am interested is for paging RAM. I will use ot for hibernation too, but I don't worry too much about hibernation's speed.

    An SD card is hundreds of times slower than a SSD, which in turn is hundreds (if not thousands) of times slower than RAM. So I don't think an SD is usable for swapping (paging).

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