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Do I need swap...



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try "emerge chromium"  or libreoffice that will give you an idea about how much ram/cpu you might need just for compilation. You are already having trouble with this, and don't seem to get it, make the connection between your previous topic and this one. I bet anyone with some months using gentoo/funtoo knew RAM was the issue when one webkit was in the topic.

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24 Gigabytes of Memory Ought to be Enough for Anybody

Are you familiar with this quote?

    640K [of computer memory] ought to be enough for anybody. ? Bill Gates 

It's amusing, but Bill Gates never actually said that:

    I've said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time ? I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There's never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again. 

One of the few killer features of the otherwise unexciting Intel Core i7 platform upgrade* is the subtle fact that Core i7 chips use triple channel memory. That means three memory slots at a minimum, and in practice most Core i7 motherboards have six memory slots.

The price of DDR3 ram has declined to the point that populating all six slots of memory with 4 GB memory is, well, not cheap -- but quite attainable at $299 and declining.

24 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM

Twenty-four gigabytes of system memory for a mere $299! That's about $12.50 per gigabyte.

(And if you don't have a Core i7 system, they're not expensive to build, either. You can pair an inexpensive motherboard with even the slowest and cheapest triple channel compatible i7-950, which is plenty speedy ? and overclocks well, if you're into that. Throw in the 24 GB of ram, and it all adds up to about $800 total. Don't forget the power supply and CPU cooler, though.)

Remember when one gigabyte of system memory was considered a lot? For context, our first "real" Stack Overflow database server had 24 GB of memory. Now I have that much in my desktop ? just because I can. Well, that's not entirely true, as we do work with some sizable databases while building the Stack Exchange network.


I guess having 24 gigabytes of system memory is a little extravagant, but at these prices -- why not? What's the harm in having obscene amounts of memory, making my system effectively future proof?

    I have to say that in 1981, making those decisions, I felt like I was providing enough freedom for 10 years. That is, a move from 64k to 640k felt like something that would last a great deal of time. Well, it didn't ? it took about only 6 years before people started to see that as a real problem. ? Bill Gates 

To me, it's more about no longer needing to think about memory as a scarce resource, something you allocate carefully and manage with great care. There's just .. lots. As Clay Shirky once related to me, via one of his college computer science professors:

    Algorithms are for people who don't know how to buy RAM. 

I mean, 24 GB of memory should be enough for anybody? right?

* it's only blah on the desktop; on the server the Nehalem architecture is indeed a monster and anyone running a server should upgrade to it, stat


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The rule for swap space used to be that you needed twice your ram, but with 2 gigabytes you can have less. I am currently following that rule although I have 8 gigabytes. It may seem a bit overkill, but considering how large hard drives are nowadays, it's not like I'm going to run out of space anytime soon. Even if you only have a 50 gigabyte hardvdrive, I'd recommend following the twice your ram rule, because that way you know that you will have more than enough swap space, and you would be using less than a tenth of your storage space.

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With 2 gigabytes I would definitely recommend to have a swap partition. You may not need it with 4Gb on a 32-bit system with no PAE support but even then it can be used for hibernation so a 4Gb swap is recommended in that case. There are differnt recomendations for the thing, but my approach is simple. If you need to hibernate or you have less than 4Gb of RAM - twice the amount of memory is recommended for a swap to be on a safe side unless you have a special case like having less than 256 megabytes of RAM when you need more swap or using an SSD-drive when you would want to avoid using a disk swap whenever possible. Otherwise you can generally go on with no swap at all unless you are about to run something really heavy like a big webserver or something.

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