RAM: Does linux require as much ram as Windows XP?
Linux - NewbieThis Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question?
If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.org, a friendly and active Linux Community.
You are currently viewing LQ as a guest. By joining our community you will have the ability to post topics, receive our newsletter, use the advanced search, subscribe to threads and access many other special features. Registration is quick, simple and absolutely free. Join our community today!
Note that registered members see fewer ads, and ContentLink is completely disabled once you log in.
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you need to reset your password, click here.
Having a problem logging in? Please visit this page to clear all LQ-related cookies.
Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
View Poll Results: tech to price ratio: which RAM choice is the best
256 is optimal for most users, 512 for powerusers.
Actually, I'd reverse that. Power users need less RAM than regular users.
Anything higher than 384 actually is stupid unless you are a gamer. For me, the only time I've ever seen noticeable speed increases from upgrading memory was when I went from 128 to 256. 256 to 512 provides little added speed, especially if you are not a gamer. Anything higher than that is a massive waste of money. You never need that much ram in a Desktop/Office/Multimedia machine.
I don't know about you, but I'm always very pleased when my
OpenOffice or my 2nd instance of Mozilla starts up in 2 seconds
as opposed to 12 or 10 the first time around; I somehow don't
think it would if I halved my RAM. I find that more RAM (I have
512MB in my 3 year old PIV notebook) makes a huge difference,
even when I DON'T edit chunky graphics.
you CAN have too much RAM.
For instance running lynx in text mode with 2Gb is too much. It's expensive and you don't use half of it. Don't put too much money on your laptop as it WILL die. My experience with modern laptops is that they don't live long, even the IBM ones, they live longer but that's not much (5 years for a modern laptop is very old). If you want something that lasts, buy a desktop one.
IMO, it depends on the desktop environment/windows manager more than the applications you described. Opera will never use more RAM than KDE (or very rarely).
I have a Athlon 600 with 64 mb of RAM. It runs ok with DSL/dillo
Obviously this thread is less of a real world factual based argument and more of a pissing contest.
For many years I have argued that people needlessly upgrade from one system to another - so yeah i know the downside. But we have left the plane of logic and reality here.
E.g. If you are running a laptop in text only mode, you have no need for anything faster than a 286 and about 4Meg of memory (8M if you want to push it).
Really, think about what you guys are arguing about - subjective values (too much memory) and then you blow it all out of proportion with - no one ever needs more than 512M and probably really only 384M - whatever, get your head out of the sand. You guys are making arcane arguments for no reason.
The fact is that very good benefit can come from up to as much as 4G of memory on a CONTEMPORARY machine used in a common CONTEMPORARY capacity (e.g. streaming video while chatting online and editing a document all at the same time).
All in all though, it really comes down to what makes the individual happy and what the individual uses the machine for. The rest is just noise.
Lke everybody else has said it dpemnds on what you are going to use your machien for. I only have 256 in my desktop, I use kde 3.5, openoffice amarok, play a few games, compile the odd program and its perfectly fine for that usage. So like people have said unless your going to be using say blender or some oter video/graphic editing applications then 256 should suffice.
If you were ging to say use gentoo then the amoutn of ram you have would have slighly more importance as the compiling time may be affected, but wven then no more the 768mb would be more then enough.
Um no - I routinely open about 100-200, 7 meg files. Working with these media, you can IMMEDIATELY see an UNDENIABLE difference for every 512M. Ergo anyone with a decent digital camera can save HOURS per year by having an extra gig of memory. Tell me that is not a power user.
Why would you even need to open up 100 files at the same time anyway? For me, I plug my digital camera in, run gthumb, download the pictures that I wish to keep, and then edit them as needed.
It doesn't take me any more than 40MB of ram. It would be pointless to open up 100 instances of whatever image viewer you use. Unless you use a resolution of 10240x7680, you probably wouldn't even be able to manage that many windows at a time.
If you're not opening 100 instances of your picture editor, then you need a better digital camera transfer program, because mine certainly doesn't take up 700MB of ram, even if i am transferring 2GB of pictures.
RAM is a good thing to have, so you should definately have some. I voted for 2x256Mb DIMMs because it should be good to run KDE (Mabe not with all of the eycandy, but certainly some of it, as well as serve well for your computing needs. As an added bonus, it's cheaper than one 512 DIMM. 1x256 DIMM would probably serve just as well with less eye candy. As many others have said, it all depends on what you're going to be running in the background.
For example I am running fluxbox at a 1600x1200 resolution, Eterm (watching the stats change in 'top', firefox, thunderbird, Kwrite, xmms, and running some random script-fu scripts on a 1024x768 image in the Gimp and I don't get memory useage above 100Mb.
I don't know if that means anything, but hey, numbers seem to impress people.
Money is meant to be spent, that doesn't mean you shouldn't spend it wisely.
Well in the year that has passed since this thread started, probably some things have changed. Still, the original poster cited quite a range of applications. Although Linux does require less RAM in my opinion, some of the applications are very RAM hungry. Games that run natively in Linux and Windows (like Doom 3) would require essentially the same memory in either OS. The same is true of video editing, which has large memory (and hard drive) requirements. IMO, anyone should use the same specs for both OSs. These days, it makes sense to have at least 1GB in a laptop and 2GB in a desktop. Incidentally, I agree that it is cheaper to buy RAM aftermarket. Get one stick that is half of what you want and then get the other stick from someone like Crucial.
PS: For the purposes of the poll, I voted "512MB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 1 Dimm" with the stipulation that another 512MB DIMM would be added later.
You would never need that much RAM unless you were a heavy gamer or a video editor. And if you were a heavy gamer or a low-mid range video editor, you really should not be using linux, but Windows or Mac OSX, because it does not matter if you have the hardware to play games, the software really is not there but maybe 30% of the time.
For a desktop that is for multimedia/office/web browsing/programming/compiling software/etc all you NEED is 256MB ram, and 512 should be considered a MAX, because beyond that you're spending way too much money for very little benefit. A gamer should definately be using
Right now, I am running Gnome 2.14, and i have epiphany, liferea, mplayer, and rhythmbox open, and I am only using 152MB of ram, the rest is cache. I could easily get away with only 256MB of ram and notice no speed decrease, or if I upgraded to 4GB, I would notice no speed increase at all.
Even extremely resource intense(bloated) distros like Suse or Lindows don't need more than 512 to function. Beyond 512MB of ram, the RAM is no longer the bottleneck, but the Hard drive, or the processor, or the video card is.
Actually if your new laptop will support "Dual Channel" then distributing the amount of RAM you'll get over 2 chips instead of 1 will definitly give a performance bonus. At the same time, it will hit a blow to the flexibility of upgrading the amount of RAM in the future (as has been mentioned in earlier posts).
My personal recommendation is 2x256 (this will be very good for your everyday needs -even in gnome- or 2x512 (if you're a hardcore gamer or serious about going into video editing, and will be handling large files MOST of the time).
Again, the more RAM the better, it's the budget that makes the call.
Notwerk has made a very valid point. Using a single DIMM will not enable the motherboard to harness the Dual Channel Architecture if the motherboard supports it. The motherboard will say as much during boot time, that it it is now running in "Single Channel". So use 2 or 4 dimms. Slot 1&3 or Slot 2&4 or all 4.
That said, had a fully loaded Fedora Installation, running with all the eye-candy very comfortably in 512 MB.
Though I now have 1.5 GB (512 MB X 3) on my desktop and 1.2 GB on my Thinkpad. I am not complaining. Its always good to have more RAM.
Last edited by hell_rider; 07-22-2006 at 04:46 AM.
Linux runs on less memory but consider these facts too
Your laptop will run linux on far less memory than Vista but the things to consider is this. Your laptop like a desktop has a limited number of slots. If you install 2 512mb tabs of memory for a total of 1 gb, your linux machine will run fine. The thing to consider is you may want to install another gb sometime in the future for whatever reason like a new OS or whatever. Now you will have a problem as you will have to sell the 2 tabs and re purchase 2 - 1gb tabs which means you will lose some money doing it. Always opt for the most memory you can afford to buy on 1 tab that your pc can support. If you can afford to install 1 - 2gb tab and your pc will support 4 gb, then I would advise you to do it. If your pc can only support a max of 2 gb then opt for 1 gb tabs and try to buy a matched set or pair of 1gb memory sticks. Kingston has some listings as do others. Speed and other considerations are up to you and what your motherboard will support.
I have 1Gb of very fast ram (two matched sticks) I run kde with two screens, have firefox, thunderbird, kate, a load of pdfs, some music or video player open, kile and probably a few services I don't need and all of my ram seems to be committed all of the time, at least 750Mb is always in use. I am quite surprised by this, but kde seems to be a real memory hog.