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Old 06-02-2003, 03:10 PM   #1
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Cool Linux performance vs RAM amount

Okay, I feel rather dumb asking this but I really don't think I know the answer, despite my history in computers. I have 192MB of ram in my main system. It is an AMD K6-2 550 so not much to boast. I have been thinking about adding some ram but was wondering if there would be any performance benefit? Back on Win98 I knew the answer, but I am not sure how linux uses ram though.

As it is, I usually touch about 15-60MB of my swap, well after I have been up for a month or two and have been using the browsers. I do some cad work with Qcad and much playing with The Gimp.

The simple question would be, would I see an improvement with more ram? I don't need it there just to say I have it, but if 256 or 512 would boost performance, it is cheap enough now to grab some.

Also, I have 64MB in a firewall/router box. Would more ram in this speed up the iptables performance any? You hear of servers with 1+ GIG of ram in them for home use, do they really use it?

Okay, just some questions. Let me know what you think. I know some of you have more knowledge than I do.


Old 06-02-2003, 03:14 PM   #2
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15-60megs swap usage is a lot I think. My machine only uses 0-10megs on average with 256DDR ram.
Is the firewall swapping a lot too?
Usually a server has that much ram to cache all data it's chucking about, like a huge database. A firewall wouldnt need that at all.
Old 06-02-2003, 04:11 PM   #3
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Depends on the complexity of the firewall/the
number of rules and number of machines you're
servicing ... iptables holds its rule-set in
memory to traverse through it easily/quickly,
with a lot of targets and ulogging you might
experience a performance boost on the machine
with more ram ;)

As for the memory usage in general, Linux
utilizes ununsed RAM for cacheing/buffering,
thus any extra RAM might come in handy if
you have lots of file accesses. A swapper of
60 Megs is not too bad, however, if you have
no problem with adding another 64 MB, do it :)

You can always get bonnie and run a benchmark
on the box, with and without more RAM ;)

Old 06-02-2003, 04:27 PM   #4
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# Memory and swap information
An article: Tips for Optimizing Linux Memory


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