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View Full Version : 8GB Ram - Huge Benefit or Not



kdchapman1776
23rd December 2008, 04:12 PM
Let me start by saying I have searched the forums for some kind of answer to this without any luck. I am relatively new to Linux/Fedora and I am running F9 X86_64. I am currently running 4GB of Ram on the box and having NO problems whatsoever.

I am wondering if I would see a benefit to adding 8GB ram to the machine.

If anyone can direct me to some resources to read on this subject or can offer some insight I would be much appreciative. Thank you.

JN4OldSchool
23rd December 2008, 04:21 PM
Depends on what you do I suppose. You are currently running 4GB RAM, do you see any advantage over say, 2GB? I would venture to say you do not. My experience has been that 2GB is all I really need so far. I have 4GB in my big computer and 3GB in this laptop. I do not see any advantage on either computer to my other computers which run between 1 and 2GB. However, as cheap as RAM currently is ($30 for 2 2GB sticks of Kingston DDR2) I would not dream of building anything with less than 4GB as of today.

Another thing make darn sure your mobo can utilize 8GB. Most do, but some have a 4GB limit.

I think that even though it is probably a foolish expense I would get the 8GB just for my peace of mind. It might just be psychological, but it feels good saying, "Ram? Oh, I have 8GB!"

pete_1967
23rd December 2008, 04:24 PM
Does your system regularly trash the HD when accessing swap? If not, then no, you don't benefit of more RAM at all (except bragging rights).

In normal day-to-day use (browsing, email, bit of word processign etc), you'll barely use 1Gb.

kdchapman1776
23rd December 2008, 04:30 PM
:D Ok, you pretty much said what I was thinking. My mobo does support 8GB or at least they say they do. I have delusions that I will run some huge virtualization platform and I know this would benefit from extra ram. Do I need it? Probably not. This machine is my main box and with RAM prices so low it is easy to fill the banks up.

Thanks for the speedy response. If anyone else has anything else to add I would still like to hear from you.

ppesci
23rd December 2008, 04:47 PM
You can need that memory if you use the machine as database server. Tables and indexes, when cached in memory, improve the performance a lot.

Jake
23rd December 2008, 05:00 PM
Well, it really does depend on what your doing, virtualization, That can sometimes end up using a lot more than 8GB ram. which is fine if you have it, but then also think to your self "Great I have ram, I can handle virtualization running a lot of ram" "But can my cpu handle so much ram?" also just because the mobo box says "I support 8GB ram" doesn't mean the CPU does.

However my system on average sits around 1.7GB ram, when using it. However kicks up to more than 2GB when doing certain other things. All depends what you do.

Also, some power supply's of low voltage could cripple with to much ram installed.

drunkahol
23rd December 2008, 05:35 PM
First thing to do is monitor RAM usage. There's several tools out there. What you really need is something with a small footprint that does good historical data recording. I helped write one several years back as I didn't see anything I liked.

It's not all about disk thrashing though. The more RAM you have, the more files can be cached (pretty much always a good thing). Virtualisation will certainly take up the spare as well. Only historical data records will show you what your RAM usage has been like. Taking a snapshot figure every now and then from 'top' or 'free' isn't really enough to base a decision on.

Cheers

Duncan

kdchapman1776
23rd December 2008, 05:46 PM
Jake, thanks for the reply. I am sure that none of my uses for this box will require 8GB of ram. As a previous poster mentioned I would see benefit if I was using this as a database server. I will even pretend to be that much of a power user. Maybe in the future. Who knows. I did not post the hardware I was running for this because I meant the question just to see what others are experiencing and what if any benefit there is to running 8GB in a machine. With that said I am confident my hardware will support 8GB. I am relatively new to Linux but not PCs in general. I am running an Intel E4600 Processor on a Gigabyte P35 series motherboard, the exact part number escapes me at this time. My power supply is a Thermaltake 650W.

kdchapman1776
23rd December 2008, 05:49 PM
First thing to do is monitor RAM usage. There's several tools out there. What you really need is something with a small footprint that does good historical data recording. I helped write one several years back as I didn't see anything I liked.

It's not all about disk thrashing though. The more RAM you have, the more files can be cached (pretty much always a good thing). Virtualisation will certainly take up the spare as well. Only historical data records will show you what your RAM usage has been like. Taking a snapshot figure every now and then from 'top' or 'free' isn't really enough to base a decision on.

Cheers

Duncan

Duncan, can you recommend any particular tool? I am not near my box to search for anything right now. I am curious now to see what my usage is on the machine.

notageek
23rd December 2008, 05:57 PM
I have a box with 3GB RAM, and I wanted to run multiple virtual machines simultaneously and originally thought of getting AMD Phenom, but with this configuration I've run at-least 3 virtual machines (hoping to push it to limits) without disk thrashing.

So with 8GB you could probably run a lot more virtual machines simultaneously.

You can check the load average of your box with "uptime", other tools like "top" and "free" show your process listing in real time and current memory utilization respectively.

drunkahol
24th December 2008, 10:16 AM
There are loads of tools built with RRDTool at their core. Cacti (http://www.cacti.net/) is a very flexible, but rather heavy system. The one I helped write is called RRDMonitor (http://sourceforge.net/projects/rrdmonitor/). There are RPM's there that work to a certain degree on Fedora - it's very much a work in progress though.

Hope it helps

Duncan

tunerX
27th December 2008, 11:06 PM
I run dynamips/dynagen and Virtual machines with multiple callmanager and windows xp test boxes. When everything is running, I use about 7GB of memory.

tehchad
7th January 2009, 07:20 PM
I run dynamips/dynagen and Virtual machines with multiple callmanager and windows xp test boxes. When everything is running, I use about 7GB of memory.

with microshaft being like 6.8 of that right? (that was mainly a joke, but in all seriousness, what is the % of that being the XP vm's?)

tunerX
9th January 2009, 03:27 AM
with microshaft being like 6.8 of that right? (that was mainly a joke, but in all seriousness, what is the % of that being the XP vm's?)

I dedicate 1024 to the callmanagers which are memory hogs when all the processes are running. I limit the xp boxes to 512 and don't run any extras. I only use them for traffic generation and testing tools on. So 3GB is dedicated to the vms. I use about 3.7 for Dynagen/Dynamips. and the rest is used by Fedora.