"The RAM wall", and obsolescence

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by VirtualLarry, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. coffeejunkee

    coffeejunkee Golden Member

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    How do you find your way between all those tabs? Why would you want to preserve 2 weeks of browsing activity? Do you often have to bookmark 100 sites at a time?
     
  2. 2is

    2is Diamond Member

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    That's a fringe case and not something nearly everyone else on the planet will need or even want to contend with.
     
  3. Turbonium

    Turbonium Golden Member

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    I see.

    I have a Core 2 Duo T5470 with 2GB of RAM running Vista 32-bit (the system I mentioned before). I really don't think it flies, but maybe we have different definitions of that. It's kinda subjective I guess. It's fast, yes, but it doesn't fly. Especially with a few heavy apps open.

    In my case though, I was concerned about longevity without needing to upgrade at all in the next 5+ years (not my system). I figured now was a good time to build, because even if I maxed out the P4 system, it would barely get by even now, let alone a few years from now. But yea, the CPU looks like it was the bottleneck more than the RAM was, but imo only just (2GB being the max).

    Btw, if it matters, the HDD was an 80GB WDC SE (8MB cache), so it was a bit more recent than the system itself. Also, it had a 9600 Pro, though I'm not sure how much this matters, if at all (I figure things like Flash are all handled by the CPU - are they?).

    I can't imagine having that many tabs open on a regular basis. It's just messy, not to mention I don't find Firefox stable enough to handle it. All it takes is one tab to screw up, and the whole program can come crashing down afaik. Chrome may be better; I don't know, I've never used it.
     
    #78 Turbonium, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  4. Revolution 11

    Revolution 11 Senior member

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    I don't usually find my way but the tabs are grouped in how I went from one link to another (topics). One example is massive wiki walks, and I just bookmark all the tabs either for later consideration/sorting/culling or for storage.

    Never said it wasn't a fringe case. But I am sure that there are others who do this, it certainly isn't "silly". :hmm:

    Firefox is not that stable, I will admit and it is getting worse over time. Some crashes will even wipe out the stored tabs, a big pain. It might be the 20K bookmarks I have stored as well. To make it worse, I use version 3.19 :awe:
     
    #79 Revolution 11, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  5. 2is

    2is Diamond Member

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    Well the silly part (for me) is basing an entire premise of RAM being the limiting factor on older platforms on fringe cases such as this.
     
  6. Homeles

    Homeles Platinum Member

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    Someone said that they didn't see web browsing taking up a lot of memory. I was arguing that it definitely can. That's the context for this.

    Yes, it's a fringe case, but web browsing can be rather memory intensive. 40 tabs uses anywhere from 1 to 2 GB of RAM, and I'd argue that 30-40 tabs is not all too uncommon.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/macbook-air-chrome-16-firefox-9-benchmark,3108-13.html
     
    #81 Homeles, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  7. fuzzymath10

    fuzzymath10 Senior member

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    I think it's reasonable to expect maybe 10-20 tabs for the typical user at the most, but as enthusiasts/power users we are a little different :)

    It also doesn't change the fact that older CPUs will have a tough time handling even 10 tabs not because of a lack of memory, but because the various scripts and plugins today's pages use will bog everything down. Loading 20 tabs of geocities pages would be no problem ;)
     
  8. tynopik

    tynopik Diamond Member

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    what really hit the ram limit for me was virtualization

    if running VMs of some sort becomes more mainstream somehow . . .

    (but also file/directory caching, i tend to work with tons files/directories all day long, and the ability to keep more in memory longer has been a great help)
     
    #83 tynopik, Jan 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  9. Homeles

    Homeles Platinum Member

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    There are quite a few college students that run VMs. That's what they get for buying a Mac.
     
  10. coffeejunkee

    coffeejunkee Golden Member

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    Ok, I take that back, please use your pc as you wish.

    But as a little test I opened about 130 tabs, some youtube and many sites with flash adverts as well. Memory used: 4,9 out of 7,7 total. So you will probably need 16GB for 271 tabs but it's still far from the 32GB system limit.

    Which brings me back to OP's topic, lets take a look at memory limits and the actual amount of ram installed by most people over the years:

    Pentium 4: 2-4 GB, most people had 512MB, some 1GB
    Core 2: 4-8 GB, most people had 2, some 4 GB
    Bloomfield: 24GB, most people had 6, some 12GB
    Lynnfield: 16GB, most people had 4, some 8GB
    Sandy Bridge: 32GB, most people have 8, some 16GB
    SB-E: 64GB, most people have 16, some 32GB

    Now there will always be a small percentage of users that will never have enough ram but the vast majority of people never came close to maxing out their memory system. And it's also becoming less relevant in many areas. I do a lot of photoshopping and other multimedia work. I remember years ago I had to go to our server which had a whopping 256MB of memory just to open a file because my workstation couldn't handle it. And yes, we maxed out the ram on our systems and got more memory every time we upgraded. But at the same time there was also a need for more cpu power. Now I have 8GB and for my usage it's plenty.
     
  11. sm625

    sm625 Diamond Member

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    I would rather have 2 GB of RAM and an SSD than 8GB of RAM and a 5400rpm HDD. So what if I have to close programs more often? They will open up so much faster. Not to mention hibernate works so much faster as well.
     
  12. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I certainly wouldn't. An SSD is fast, but RAM is still WAY faster.
     
  13. PrincessFrosty

    PrincessFrosty Platinum Member

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    Disagree with this completely, every motherboard I've ever had has always had a high enough RAM limit to not need to worry about it, the CPU always becomes too slow for gaming and other high end tasks before you hit the RAM limit.

    But then I've always bought good motherboards and lots of RAM, right now I'm running 16Gb and never exceed about 6Gb usage, RAM sizes have balooned recently, I see RAM as somewhat a solved problem, we have way more than we need for almost all tasks, certainly in the user space.
     
  14. exar333

    exar333 Diamond Member

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    The bigger reason I have seen to upgrade to a new system is cost, instead of capacity. Look at those who had C2D (DDR2) systems when SB was released. They could get 16GB of DDR3 RAM for the same price as decent ~4GB DDR2 RAM.

    After the industry moves on to a new RAM standard, the old gets expensive and more difficuly to find. Plus, the capacity limits per DIMM are never increased. If companies had released 4GB DIMMs for DDR2 at a decent price, you can bet a lot of people would have upgraded their old systems to 2x4GB and kept it chugging for a while. MB makers though, have little incentive to make those backward changes. They want new sales. :)
     
  15. nenforcer

    nenforcer Golden Member

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    I buy almost exclusively Crucial Ballistix and it appears they have begun phasing out "enthusiast" or high performance 2GB DIMMS since this past holiday shopping season. They had discounted the 2GB Ballistix Elite DIMM's to $7.99 a piece to clear out inventory and now the only way to get this capacity is to buy in double, triple or quadruple kits.

    It appears 4GB and 8GB DIMM's are the preferred quantities going forward.
     
  16. grkM3

    grkM3 Golden Member

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    The p3 is holding back not being able to support more ram,it is a 32bit cpu and you are limited to a 32bit os that will only support up to 4gb of ram.

    You could not run over 4gb on a p3 even if the board supported it,Id like to see you run 64bit code on that cpu lol
     
  17. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    Umm, the Pentium III supports PAE, just because Windows 32-bit has that limitation, does not mean that the CPU has that limitation. 32-bit Linux kernels can use a lot more than 4GB of RAM, given a hardware platform that physically supports more.
     
  18. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    There were 4GB DDR2 unbuffered DIMMs for a brief while at nearly price parity per GB with 2GB DIMMs. But only the P45 mobos could handle 4GB DIMMs. P35 and X48 could not, AFAIK.
     
  19. grkM3

    grkM3 Golden Member

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    Right because people used over 4gb running Linux back when p3 were out and the fact that you even use Linux as a way to justify that the board makers were holding back when 99.999% of pcs sold were windows based and were running 32bit.

    everything we did back in the p3 days did not need more then 4gb ram and still today pcs run fine with just 4gb

    the cpus of today have gotten so fast that real world performance makes it impossible to tell a system running 1600DDR 3 or 2600 DDR3 and using quad channel doesn't matter either.

    I can put a 2500k,2600k and 3770k in front of you with the same exact boards and the only difference being the ram and you could not tell a difference with a machine running 8gb,12gb or 16gb in 90 % of what people use pcs for and forget about being able to see a real difference between 1600,2133 and 2800mhz ram also.

    IM running 8gb ram now and don't NEED anymore and have been running 8gb for the last 5-6 years and its not holding me back.
     
    #94 grkM3, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  20. exar333

    exar333 Diamond Member

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    Agreed, but now your talking $150-200 for 8GB of DDR2 800 RAM. You could get a G-Series Celeron + MB + 8GB for that...crazy.
     
  21. Sheep221

    Sheep221 Golden Member

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    I get your point, obviously it's not really how it works, the CPU also plays major role in system's overall speed and responsiveness, same as HDDs. It is not really felt in CPUs 1-2 generations older, but P3 would lag Win7 pretty badly, even if it would had 4-8 Gigs of RAM and therefore being 64bit.
    RAM was really an issue in the past, more than processor speed but it really has changed, the RAM no longer has performance wall, same as motherboards don't.
     
  22. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I wasn't talking about a RAM performance wall, per se, but a capacity wall, that limits overall system performance with newer, more memory-hungry software, because it limits the working-set of the computer.

    Forget the P3 example, what about Core2Duo/Quad? Those certainly have enough CPU power for "serious" web browsing, but the vast majority of mobos limit you to 4x2GB of DDR2.

    If one needed, as some have claimed in the thread, some 200+ tabs open at once, then those Core2 rigs may be crippled by lack of memory.
     
  23. moonbogg

    moonbogg Diamond Member

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    See end thread posting below:

    More ram won't make crappy CPUs work for new stuff.

    /thread
     
  24. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I disagree. How often have you found yourself CPU-limited, in the last five years, for non-gaming tasks?

    How many people are familiar with putting an older, once top-of-the-line rig,'out to pasture" as a hand-me-down rig for web browsing to someone that wasn't going to play games. Including upgrading the OS to something more modern. What is necessary to do that, most times? Usually, it requires more RAM than the computer originally came with.
     
    #99 VirtualLarry, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  25. moonbogg

    moonbogg Diamond Member

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    Single core systems are too slow for today's web browsing and typical daily tasks. Dual core systems are capable of supporting enough ram for web browsing and typical, daily tasks as well as gaming. Any dual core system of any age can handle modern daily tasks.