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yeah, when you have that kinda RAM, running a distro from a ramdisk will be a lot faster than doing it from the hard disk... the difference is HUGE... things that would have normally taken 10 seconds to open from the hard disk would take like one second from the ram disk (for example), depending on the compression used for the ramdisk and the cpu speed...
I hardly ever use swap on my 512meg system, and I run a LOT of stuff, 12 desktops worthe and I don't swap til I run Doom3... With 2 gig I doubt I would have swap at all... Maybe 200meg just in case (ie then I would see swap being used on the sysmon and know there was a mem problem...
Swap a waste? It depends. You have to know what memory you are likely to need. I often use up to a gig when doing certain jobs in the past (game map compiling) and with only 256-512 ram you need the swap to be able to do it... In fact for a while I would make a tem 500meg file that I would add as swap halfway through the compile process as I was running out of memory.
With the current 512meg I don't use swap most of the time, but I run a lot of apps and so occasionally use a little more... And if I crank up doom3 while running kmail, FF, OOo and all the rest it tends to swap a bit
So you make swap big enough to cover whatever your needs are. Once you use linux and your PC a while you soon learn what you need...
If I had a gig of ram I would rarely use swap, but would keep 500meg just in case as HDD's are really big and that space is nothing these days.
I currently run 512meg ram and about a gig of swap... That's mostly as I have 3 HD's in at the moment and they all used to have various lilnux installs on and so there are swap partitions everywhere...
Swap is all very well and good, but if you've got 2GB of RAM why would you need it? I can't imagine anything I would possibly be doing that would require that much RAM... of course, in a few years that'll probably be standard on new systems.
And now, some words of wisdom about memory
640K ought to be enough for anybody. -- Bill Gates
Swap still has its purposes for many other reasons.
We have production database servers with 32GB of memory and 32GB of swap space.. anyone guess into telling me why it's setup like that?
And at any given time during peak loads, swap is used and sometimes up to 30% to 40%.
Some of our lower class clustered machines have anywhere between 2 and 4GB of RAM with always a swap space of 2GB... Those hit 70% swap usage at times during high load times..
It just all depends on what your running or doing. Yeah, you got a workstation at home with 512mb or more of memory and your doing small tasks like email, internet browsing.. you shouldn't ever use swap, but its still good to have some allocated.
My workstations where I play no games have anywhere from 512mb to 1.5GB of memory.. all have at least a 200mb swap partition or less..