How much memory is optimal? - Mandriva

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Thread: How much memory is optimal?

  1. How much memory is optimal?

    I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are
    full (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase
    if I purchased and replaced one with 1 GB stick?

    Thanks.

  2. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    On Mon, 03 Sep 2007 02:12:13 +0000, Pete wrote:

    > I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are
    > full (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase
    > if I purchased and replaced one with 1 GB stick?


    No.


    --
    "Bother!" said Pooh, as Christopher Robin pleaded to be spanked again.


  3. Re: How much memory is optimal?


    "Pete" wrote in message
    news:14KCi.23749$eY.23634@newssvr13.news.prodigy.n et...
    >I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full (256x2).
    >Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased and replaced
    >one with 1 GB stick?
    >
    > Thanks.

    Yes. Move to 1GB which is the new base standard for running modern "heavy"
    distros. Also with 1GB, you can pass the toram option on a lot of livecds
    and load it's contents to RAM while booting up.
    Also, you can run the occasional distro in VMware and allocate 512MB to it.

    One thing you have to check is whether your motherboard is dual channel
    which means you can get better performance by using matched sticks of RAM.


  4. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    On Mon, 03 Sep 2007 02:12:13 GMT, Pete wrote:
    > I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are
    > full (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase
    > if I purchased and replaced one with 1 GB stick?


    If you are running out of memory and using swap, yes.
    If not, no.

    As a power user, I know to always get more than 512 MB.

  5. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    Pete wrote:
    > I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full
    > (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased
    > and replaced one with 1 GB stick?


    Depends on your needs. If you don't run out of RAM now and have no plans
    for using mem-heavy apps, more memory won't increase the performance.

    --
    Dawid Michalczyk
    http://www.scifi-art.info _Sci-Fi art directory_

  6. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    Pete wrote:
    > I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full
    > (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased
    > and replaced one with 1 GB stick?


    Run top now and then from a command line. If you are using less than
    25 percent of swap when the machine is under heavy load, you do not
    need more memory (unless your hard disks are extremely slow). If top
    shows more than 75 percent of swap in use under heavy load, you need
    more memory. In between, your option. You probably will not notice
    the difference.

    Cheers!

    jim b.


    --
    UNIX is not user-unfriendly; it merely
    expects users to be computer-friendly.

  7. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    On Mon, 03 Sep 2007 02:12:13 +0000, Pete wrote:

    > I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are
    > full (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase
    > if I purchased and replaced one with 1 GB stick?
    >
    > Thanks.


    How much swapping does your OS do?


  8. Re: How much memory is optimal?


    "Dawid Michalczyk" wrote in message
    news:46dbee51$0$2084$edfadb0f@dtext02.news.tele.dk ...
    > Pete wrote:
    >> I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full
    >> (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased and
    >> replaced one with 1 GB stick?

    >
    > Depends on your needs. If you don't run out of RAM now and have no plans
    > for using mem-heavy apps, more memory won't increase the performance.
    >
    > --
    > Dawid Michalczyk
    > http://www.scifi-art.info _Sci-Fi art directory_


    What's considered heavy duty in Linux Mandriva (already a BIG system)?
    I run firefox, thunderbird, openoffice, at the same time usually. This is in
    addition to the small apps like weather, time, notes, etc.
    Thanks.



  9. Re: How much memory is optimal?


    "Jim Beard" wrote in message
    news:rcUCi.1029$h06.889@trnddc03...
    > Pete wrote:
    >> I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full
    >> (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased and
    >> replaced one with 1 GB stick?

    >
    > Run top now and then from a command line. If you are using less than
    > 25 percent of swap when the machine is under heavy load, you do not
    > need more memory (unless your hard disks are extremely slow). If top
    > shows more than 75 percent of swap in use under heavy load, you need
    > more memory. In between, your option. You probably will not notice
    > the difference.
    >
    > Cheers!
    >
    > jim b.
    >
    >
    > --
    > UNIX is not user-unfriendly; it merely
    > expects users to be computer-friendly.


    OK, I'll run "top" from the command line console I assume you mean.



  10. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    Jim Beard wrote:
    > Pete wrote:
    >> I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full
    >> (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased
    >> and replaced one with 1 GB stick?

    >
    > Run top now and then from a command line. If you are using less than
    > 25 percent of swap when the machine is under heavy load, you do not
    > need more memory (unless your hard disks are extremely slow). If top
    > shows more than 75 percent of swap in use under heavy load, you need
    > more memory. In between, your option. You probably will not notice
    > the difference.
    >
    > Cheers!
    >
    > jim b.
    >
    >

    OK, I ran "top" and there was almost NO usage of the swap
    file. It seems that a memory upgrade is pointless. Only way
    to improve performance is a new machine I guess. Bummer.


  11. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    On Mon, 03 Sep 2007 13:38:40 -0400, Pete wrote:

    > OK, I ran "top" and there was almost NO usage of the swap
    > file. It seems that a memory upgrade is pointless. Only way
    > to improve performance is a new machine I guess. Bummer.


    Not really. Depends on what part of performance is slow. You can have the
    fastest cpu in the world and it'll still load slow from an old or
    misconfigured drive, or games/video will still run slow on an old or
    misconfigured video card. Of course you can go buy a new $1000 machine and
    probably get whatever is slowing you down fixed, maybe.:-)

    --
    Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
    HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm


  12. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    > Jim Beard wrote:
    >> Run top now and then from a command line. If you are using less than
    >> 25 percent of swap when the machine is under heavy load, you do not
    >> need more memory (unless your hard disks are extremely slow). If top
    >> shows more than 75 percent of swap in use under heavy load, you need
    >> more memory. In between, your option. You probably will not notice
    >> the difference.


    Pete wrote:
    > OK, I ran "top" and there was almost NO usage of the swap file. It seems
    > that a memory upgrade is pointless. Only way to improve performance is a
    > new machine I guess. Bummer.



    Not necessarily. Mandriva ships with DMA memory transfer disabled.
    Changing that can help enormously. Go go /etc/sysconfig and look at the
    contents of harddisks.

    As you are told at the end of the file, do a man hdparm and read it
    carefully. Not everything is absolutely clear if you are not familiar
    with hard disk parameters/performance, but if you search this newsgroup
    for hdparm there are some extensive sets of instructions that can
    help out.

    Cheers!

    jim b.

    --
    UNIX is not user-unfriendly; it merely
    expects users to be computer-friendly.

  13. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    Pete wrote:
    > Jim Beard wrote:
    >> Pete wrote:
    >>> I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full
    >>> (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased
    >>> and replaced one with 1 GB stick?

    >>
    >> Run top now and then from a command line. If you are using less than
    >> 25 percent of swap when the machine is under heavy load, you do not
    >> need more memory (unless your hard disks are extremely slow). If top
    >> shows more than 75 percent of swap in use under heavy load, you need
    >> more memory. In between, your option. You probably will not notice
    >> the difference.


    Thanks, Pete, for asking a question that I was going to ask eventually,
    but hadn't gotten around to yet. I figure that for every question
    that's posted here, there are several additional people who have the
    same question. (Good reason to check the archives first!) And thanks,
    Jim, for your very specific answer, so I can determine what's
    appropriate for my system and the way I use it. I have 128M+512M now,
    but if I run another OS under VMWare, then of course the RAM would be
    split between the two systems.

    Adam
    --
    Email: adam seven zero seven at verizon dot net

  14. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    Pete writes:

    >Jim Beard wrote:
    >> Pete wrote:
    >>> I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full
    >>> (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased
    >>> and replaced one with 1 GB stick?

    >>
    >> Run top now and then from a command line. If you are using less than
    >> 25 percent of swap when the machine is under heavy load, you do not


    There should be NO use of swap. Swap is extremely slow and if you use swap
    you may as well trade in your computer for an original 1980 IBMPC.

    If you use swap, get more memory.

    >> need more memory (unless your hard disks are extremely slow). If top
    >> shows more than 75 percent of swap in use under heavy load, you need
    >> more memory. In between, your option. You probably will not notice
    >> the difference.
    >>
    >> Cheers!
    >>
    >> jim b.
    >>
    >>

    >OK, I ran "top" and there was almost NO usage of the swap
    >file. It seems that a memory upgrade is pointless. Only way
    >to improve performance is a new machine I guess. Bummer.



  15. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    On 2007-09-04, Unruh wrote:
    > Pete writes:
    >
    >>Jim Beard wrote:
    >>> Pete wrote:
    >>>> I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full
    >>>> (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased
    >>>> and replaced one with 1 GB stick?
    >>>
    >>> Run top now and then from a command line. If you are using less than
    >>> 25 percent of swap when the machine is under heavy load, you do not

    >
    > There should be NO use of swap. Swap is extremely slow and if you use swap
    > you may as well trade in your computer for an original 1980 IBMPC.


    It depends. A few years ago, my work made use of a formal
    verification program that used (memory hogging) binary
    decision diagrams. The rule of thumb with that program was
    it would make good progress and likely complete its job in a
    timely manner if it had up to 50% of its virtual memory
    space paged out (to swap). There appeared to be a knee in
    the curve that if more than about 50% of the process was
    paged out it would slow to less than a crawl.

    The key measurement is not so much process _size_ paged out
    but the time _rate_ of pages in/out. If very-seldomly-used
    pages are stuck on disk, it's not going to slow the program
    significantly.

    --
    Robert Riches
    spamtrap42@verizon.net
    (Yes, that is one of my email addresses.)

  16. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    Bit Twister wrote:
    > On Mon, 03 Sep 2007 02:12:13 GMT, Pete wrote:
    >> I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are
    >> full (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase
    >> if I purchased and replaced one with 1 GB stick?

    >
    > If you are running out of memory and using swap, yes.
    > If not, no.
    >
    > As a power user, I know to always get more than 512 MB.


    I have a further data-point, although not a "desktop-user"
    one:

    I'm an environmental modeler. Heavy-duty computing... A while back,
    we benchmarked several models including the MM5 met model on proposed
    systems.

    Now, our MM5 configuration had a working set of around 1.5 GB,
    and is very computationally intensive and somewhat I/O intensive;
    a benchmark run generates about 20 GB of output over the course
    of about 12 CPU-hours.

    On otherwise-identical 4-socket Opteron-880 (8 processor cores)
    otherwise-idle systems (we _are_ benchmarking, after all), the
    32GB-RAM system outperformed the 8GB-RAM system by about 20%.

    !!?! I hadn't thought I/O buffering made *that* much difference!

    --

    Carlie J. Coats, Jr., Ph.D.
    Environmental Modeling Center
    Baron Advanced Meteorological Systems, LLC.

  17. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    "Robert M. Riches Jr." writes:

    >On 2007-09-04, Unruh wrote:
    >> Pete writes:
    >>
    >>>Jim Beard wrote:
    >>>> Pete wrote:
    >>>>> I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are full
    >>>>> (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase if I purchased
    >>>>> and replaced one with 1 GB stick?
    >>>>
    >>>> Run top now and then from a command line. If you are using less than
    >>>> 25 percent of swap when the machine is under heavy load, you do not

    >>
    >> There should be NO use of swap. Swap is extremely slow and if you use swap
    >> you may as well trade in your computer for an original 1980 IBMPC.


    >It depends. A few years ago, my work made use of a formal
    >verification program that used (memory hogging) binary
    >decision diagrams. The rule of thumb with that program was
    >it would make good progress and likely complete its job in a
    >timely manner if it had up to 50% of its virtual memory
    >space paged out (to swap). There appeared to be a knee in
    >the curve that if more than about 50% of the process was
    >paged out it would slow to less than a crawl.


    >The key measurement is not so much process _size_ paged out
    >but the time _rate_ of pages in/out. If very-seldomly-used
    >pages are stuck on disk, it's not going to slow the program
    >significantly.


    Agreed, but that is almost never the case. Your sitution was I would guess
    a very unusual one, and I would certainly not advise anyone to rely on it.
    A much better rule of thumb is to say that if you have at any time more
    than a few MB of swap used, you need more memory.



    >--
    >Robert Riches
    >spamtrap42@verizon.net
    >(Yes, that is one of my email addresses.)


  18. Re: How much memory is optimal?

    On 2007-09-03, Pete wrote:
    > I currently run Mandriva on 512 MB of memory. Both slots are
    > full (256x2). Would there be much of a performance increase
    > if I purchased and replaced one with 1 GB stick?
    >

    What type of memory and what is the rest of your setup? Also what do you use
    the machine for?

    My machine has 2GB of memory, right now it is using devede while I reply to
    this posting. A snapshot of top is below. Note that the swap partition is
    used in part, and yet some of the RAM is free.


    *****

    Tasks: 145 total, 2 running, 143 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
    Cpu(s): 49.7%us, 0.5%sy, 0.0%ni, 49.8%id, 0.0%wa, 0.0%hi, 0.0%si,
    0.0%st
    Mem: 2076320k total, 1229548k used, 846772k free, 9884k buffers
    Swap: 1020116k total, 180k used, 1019936k free, 1052408k cached

    ******

    In short RAM always helps, Linux will use it to speed things up, buy as much
    as your budget, or MB, will allow

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