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View Poll Results: tech to price ratio: which RAM choice is the best
256MB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 1 Dimm 2 3.28%
512MB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 2 Dimms [add $50] 15 24.59%
512MB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 1 Dimm [add $100] 22 36.07%
1GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 2 Dimms [add $250] 17 27.87%
1GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 1 Dimm [add $500] 1 1.64%
2GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 2 Dimms [add $1,000] 4 6.56%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-23-2005, 07:36 PM   #1
hanzj
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RAM: Does linux require as much ram as Windows XP?


Hello,
I am planning on purchasing a brand-new dell inspiron 6000 laptop. The base ram offered is 215, but you can get it with 500, 1g, or 2Gig. I would like to know whether the RAM needs of a Linux computer is the same as that of a Windows computer? Or is the RAM needs less on a linux computer?

My usage purposes are basic: email, internet, maybe a bit of photo-editng (removing red eye from a family portrait), word-processing, listening to music, doing Voice Calls over the internet. Occasionally/rarely, maybe playing some games, and maybe, just maybe, in the future doing some videoediting.

Oh, I should say that when I surf the web, (I use Opera), I usually have many windows open. And then I switch from one to another. With my basic needs in mind, what is the best option to choose? Please keep in mind that I would like the laptop to serve me for a long time. Also, I should say that I'm looking for a good price to tech ratio.


256MB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 1 Dimm
512MB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 2 Dimms [add $50]
512MB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 1 Dimm [add $100]
1GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 2 Dimms [add $250]
1GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 1 Dimm [add $500]
2GB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 2 Dimms [add $1,000]


P.S. What exactly is the relation between processor speed and RAM?


I appreciate your advice/answers to any or all of my questions.
 
Old 03-23-2005, 07:49 PM   #2
calcon
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I honestly don't know, but I can get along well with an old computer with 128megs of ram, so pick whatever you can afford. More is usually better. If I could afford it, I would get the best one :P
 
Old 03-23-2005, 08:29 PM   #3
teckk
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Unlike windoze that will swap to the hard drive no matter how much RAM you have installed, Linux wont.
If you can get 512 MB of RAM in that Linux box it will probably never use swap file at all unless you have tons of graphic manipulation software running.
Of course not swapping to the hard drive means a faster machine. Linux will run with 128MB of RAM but you'll get better performance with more.
 
Old 03-23-2005, 09:04 PM   #4
Stealth870
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I'd say 512 will be good for everything you need. 256 is too low for my liking but it would probably suffice for your needs.
 
Old 03-23-2005, 10:28 PM   #5
PrOeliuM
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I'd say take the 2 DRAMs for 512 MB. For my usage (which is very similar to yours) 512 is plenty. You could get by with 256 (or lower) but $50 isn't that much relatively speaking and you won't have to upgrade if you decide to do something a bit more memory intensive (like video editing, etc.).
 
Old 03-23-2005, 10:47 PM   #6
J.W.
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Buy as much as you can comfortably afford. 256Mg is decent, 512 (obviously) is better. (Realistically, in my view having a 1G or 2G laptop is overkill, and for typical uses you describe, you just wouldn't need that much.) The difference between buying 1 DIMM that's twice as large vs. 2 DIMM's that are half the size has to do with your possible future expansion plans. Let's assume that you go with 512Mg and that the laptop can accept a max of two RAM chips; if so, if you originally go went with 2x256, and wanted to upgrade to 1G, you'd have to toss out your 2x256 and replace them with 2x512 or 1x1G. In contrast, had you originally gone with 1x512, then to go with 1G you'd just need to buy 1x512. Generally, whatever amount of memory you are using, I'd say that you want to minimize the chip count, since that gives you greater flexibility if you decide at some future date to upgrade. Good luck with it -- J.W.
 
Old 03-24-2005, 02:20 AM   #7
enemorales
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Mm...

If you want the laptop to serve you for a long time, I would recommend you:

1.- 512x1
2.- Dont buy a Dell. Or at least not an Inspiron.

Hope this helps...
 
Old 03-24-2005, 04:17 AM   #8
harken
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I'd say no matter what size your RAM is, go with only one stick. One of the reasons would be the one J.W. pointed. The other, although contradicts somewhat to the first one, is IMO that if you use 2 sticks and even if the sticks have the same manufacturer, you can have the unpleasant surprise of bad synchronisation (timing or whatever it's called) between the two this leading to an unstable system. I had this problem but long time ago, with 2x32MB sticks. Again, only my opinion.
Anyway, for the today's regular user (not a hardcore gamer or video editing guy) I'd say 512 MB should suffice.
 
Old 03-24-2005, 04:54 AM   #9
vectordrake
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A little trick I read on the Langa list a while back was to buy the ram upgrade after the initial purchase, as the ram is cheaper that way. Kinda like buying a car stereo from the stereo shop instead of with the car.

512, btw, if you can afford it. If you need more than that, you know that you do! (graphic artist, etc). If you put that much in, you should never need to add more (my Gentoo box has 384 and never swaps - I use it for everything but heavy gaming, since I'm not a gamer).
 
Old 03-24-2005, 07:10 AM   #10
riluve
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Quote:
Originally posted by harken
I'd say no matter what size your RAM is, go with only one stick. One of the reasons would be the one J.W. pointed. The other, although contradicts somewhat to the first one, is IMO that if you use 2 sticks and even if the sticks have the same manufacturer, you can have the unpleasant surprise of bad synchronisation (timing or whatever it's called) between the two this leading to an unstable system. I had this problem but long time ago, with 2x32MB sticks. Again, only my opinion.
Anyway, for the today's regular user (not a hardcore gamer or video editing guy) I'd say 512 MB should suffice.

This is like a 1 in a million problem - its not a realistic consideration. If you really do have this problem, its a manufacturing defect that can be cured with a simple RMA.

In fact some MoBo's REQUIRE two sticks of memeory, they will not even boot with only a single stick.
 
Old 03-24-2005, 07:20 AM   #11
Hangdog42
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Quote:
2.- Dont buy a Dell. Or at least not an Inspiron.
You must have gotten a lemon. My Inspiron has been chugging along with Slackware for a couple of years now without a hitch.
 
Old 03-24-2005, 10:29 AM   #12
mjjzf
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I am so fortunate that I happen to love Fluxbox, and that sucks up quite a bit less than if I was a Gnome addict. I say 256 MB is sufficient for your described needs, but then - I have no problems with running VectorLinux on a 600 MHz box with 32 MB.
Still, I voted 512 in 2, since I agree with PrOeliuM: If you should feel like trying more demanding tasks, you would still be fit for it.
On that note: I heard that a PC uses quite a bit more power if it has a larger RAM capacity - is this true? In that case, 256 MB might be better if you wanted the laptop to go a long way on the battery alone.
 
Old 03-24-2005, 10:45 AM   #13
Cron
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Quote:
This is like a 1 in a million problem - its not a realistic consideration. If you really do have this problem, its a manufacturing defect that can be cured with a simple RMA.

In fact some MoBo's REQUIRE two sticks of memeory, they will not even boot with only a single stick.
Totaly agree. In some cases it can be even better, because you can use 2 separate buses (almost 2x speed). Altough it depends on a mobo (mine has it, but I do not use this feature, I use one stick of 256mb and there is no swapping with flux or fvwm ), and I do not use laptops so probably I don't know all about it .
 
Old 03-24-2005, 10:48 AM   #14
wrat
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you can never have too much memory
 
Old 03-24-2005, 10:57 AM   #15
oneandoneis2
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I've got 512, but I rarely see it go above 100. In fact, it generally lives at <20...
 
  


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