[SOLVED] Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

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catalin-ch
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[SOLVED] Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by catalin-ch »

Hi complete Linux newbie here. My laptop is a Dell Latitude E4300 almost 3 years old, Intel Core Duo CPU @2.4 Ghz. It has 4GB of RAM from factory, 2 x 2 DIMM DDR3 1066 Mhz. Maximum supported is 8GB in 4 x 2 configuration. Just installed Mint 12 Lisa 64-bit a couple of days ago and loving it, it's faster than my work laptop running Windows 7 (Lenovo i5 @ 2.5 Ghz, 8 GB RAM).

The question is, using it for the usual - Firefox around 6 tabs open at all times, Skype, IM, office applications, music/videos - will I see any improvment from upgrading to 8 GB of RAM? I'm interested in boot, shut down and application start times. Boot time is pretty good already I think at around 40s. I know that more RAM can't hurt but since I would need to buy it and change both DIMMS is it worth the trouble for the above considerations?
Last edited by catalin-ch on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon | Dell Latitude E4300 13.3" | Intel Core Duo @ 2.4Ghz | 4GB DDR3 RAM @ 1066Mhz
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kindofabuzz
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by kindofabuzz »

Question is, with all that open, are you using all 4G of the RAM? If not, then putting 4G more in won't really matter.
catalin-ch
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by catalin-ch »

And what is the answer?
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kindofabuzz
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by kindofabuzz »

catalin-ch wrote:And what is the answer?
Huh? see above.
ElMugroso
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by ElMugroso »

In my situation and earlier experience, I rather b will likely buy a new laptop than put more memory in the old one.

I found the older the memory type, the more expenssive they are. And newer laptops, often in discounts, with more memory and larger disks.

Even so, I feel Linux Mint Lisa 64 with what I have in a 4 year old laptop runs great. I doubt if I added more memory, it improve much.

Where I would benefit with more memory and a newere laptop, is in some Windows programs I use that do music by sampling real instruments. If I were doing this in Linux, yes, then more ram would help, I believe. But would have to know when trying.

But each case, of course is its own.
catalin-ch
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by catalin-ch »

Any useful answers?
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Erikwas
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Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by Erikwas »

kindofabuzz wrote:Question is, with all that open, are you using all 4G of the RAM? If not, then putting 4G more in won't really matter.
The above is a useful answer. If you max out the ram and are using your swap space extra ram will help. If not then the extra money you spent to upgrade is not well spent.
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Danko8321
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by Danko8321 »

OK, since you have been asking around a lot of times, the answer is a big no no with a bit of explanation ;) . RAM helps multitasking, it doesn't help boot or apps opening time all that much. I usually run Opera with arround 12/15 tabs, Firefox with 8/10 Chromium with 5/8, 2 LibreOffice instances, Banshee, Pidgin, Meld, Gedit, Geany, Transmission, Thunderbird, XChat and 7 workspaces. With all that I have almost never seen my memory rise above the 2.4 GIB bar, at least not when I'm not using a VM. So, no, more RAM wouldn't help unless you are doing ***severe*** multitasking or playing with VMs. It will not help boot speed, or the speed in which apps open; it may speed up general system speed, but only when under heavy loads. It is not worth the price; you already have 4GBs of RAM and that is more than enough for the tasks you describe, it is a very decent quantity of RAM, don't worry about putting more :D
Cheer up! Things are getting worse at a slower rate.
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by melbo »

But extra available ram also gets used as a cache for recently opened information / files. So (theoretically) if you open a bunch of items and close them, they will open quicker the next time - saving disk reads / writes. I have 8 GB of RAM in a system that, at idle, displays RAM usage via System Monitor at 300-500 MB. When I run Top, it will often show the 'used' amount to be significantly higher than the SM display. it also shows the amount cached and after a few days to week of uptime, it's utilizing all of this extra as cache. Of course, this cached mem is released as soon as the system needs it.

The beauty of the Linux system is that it gracefully puts to use as much RAM as you feed it. My web server certainly doesn't need 32 GB of RAM but it sure does love being able to cache all of that frequently accessed data without having to read a disk.

I'd say more is always better and 4GB sticks are pretty darn cheap these days.

Just my .02 and I'm probably wrong but it works for me.
CptMidnight
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by CptMidnight »

DDR2 is unfortunately not as cheap as DDR3, but 4GB is plenty for the use case described here.

I too am amazed at how much faster Linux boots to a usable desktop than Windows (where you can actually open programs and get to work instead of listening to the hard drive grind its way through the startup procedure).
catalin-ch
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by catalin-ch »

Danko8321 wrote:OK, since you have been asking around a lot of times, the answer is a big no no with a bit of explanation ;) . RAM helps multitasking, it doesn't help boot or apps opening time all that much. I usually run Opera with arround 12/15 tabs, Firefox with 8/10 Chromium with 5/8, 2 LibreOffice instances, Banshee, Pidgin, Meld, Gedit, Geany, Transmission, Thunderbird, XChat and 7 workspaces. With all that I have almost never seen my memory rise above the 2.4 GIB bar, at least not when I'm not using a VM. So, no, more RAM wouldn't help unless you are doing ***severe*** multitasking or playing with VMs. It will not help boot speed, or the speed in which apps open; it may speed up general system speed, but only when under heavy loads. It is not worth the price; you already have 4GBs of RAM and that is more than enough for the tasks you describe, it is a very decent quantity of RAM, don't worry about putting more :D
THAT is an useful answer. Thank you.
Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon | Dell Latitude E4300 13.3" | Intel Core Duo @ 2.4Ghz | 4GB DDR3 RAM @ 1066Mhz
catalin-ch
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Re: Mint 12 should I upgrade my laptop's RAM?

Post by catalin-ch »

melbo wrote:But extra available ram also gets used as a cache for recently opened information / files. So (theoretically) if you open a bunch of items and close them, they will open quicker the next time - saving disk reads / writes. I have 8 GB of RAM in a system that, at idle, displays RAM usage via System Monitor at 300-500 MB. When I run Top, it will often show the 'used' amount to be significantly higher than the SM display. it also shows the amount cached and after a few days to week of uptime, it's utilizing all of this extra as cache. Of course, this cached mem is released as soon as the system needs it.

The beauty of the Linux system is that it gracefully puts to use as much RAM as you feed it. My web server certainly doesn't need 32 GB of RAM but it sure does love being able to cache all of that frequently accessed data without having to read a disk.

I'd say more is always better and 4GB sticks are pretty darn cheap these days.

Just my .02 and I'm probably wrong but it works for me.
Thanks I will probably do it down the line but at least I know there's no massive improvment to be expected.
Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon | Dell Latitude E4300 13.3" | Intel Core Duo @ 2.4Ghz | 4GB DDR3 RAM @ 1066Mhz
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