Analyzing 4GB RAM

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. CrystalGamma

    CrystalGamma Member

    Jan 7, 2015
    Good idea, I'd put myself at 4.
  2. Silent-Hunter

    Silent-Hunter Hardcore Member

    May 29, 2010
    I'm a 10.
  3. lud731

    lud731 Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    I'm in for a 2 gb switch... 4x what the Pandora has..
    Silent-Hunter, bubblebee and Grench like this.
  4. CFWhitman

    CFWhitman Member

    Mar 2, 2011
    I realize this is your subjective feeling about this. I just wanted to give my own subjective experience with some older hardware. I have a Hewlett Packard Compaq 8710p laptop with a Core 2 Duo (I'm not sure of the specific one since I don't have it with me at the moment, somewhere between a T7100 and a T7500, because that's the range that was offered with them), 4GB of RAM, and a 256MB nVidia Quadro NVS 320M graphics chipset. I tend to use the original wi-fi card in A mode (it's an A+G card; A is 5GHz; G is 2.4GHz; they both max at 54Mbps). I browse with this quite a lot, and it handles 1080p YouTube videos without issue (albeit scaled to 1680x1050, the screen resolution). I don't really notice any problems when I'm browsing with this machine, and I probably have about eight to fifteen tabs open at any given time. This is with Ubuntu Studio 16.04 (this is an Xfce desktop) with software compositing turned off and Compton used for hardware accelerated compositing. I have also used the same model with 2GB of RAM, and there is not much of a difference with the number of tabs I generally might have open. Of course, if I try to run certain games that are newer than the hardware, I'm out of luck, but browsing doesn't seem to tax it much at all. I have also edited 720p video on this machine without noticeable issues with 4GB of RAM (source videos were about an hour or a bit less, and target videos were about four or five minutes each; editor was Kdenlive).

    In my experience machines with 2GB of RAM don't seem to do very well with Windows 10. I'm not sure if that's actually because of the 2GB of RAM limitation or just because machines with that little RAM tend to be underpowered by today's standards. I would expect this machine to run significantly better with a lighter weight Linux on it, barring any compatibility issues. Usually, though, the difference between 2GB of RAM or 4GB while Web browsing is mostly just the number of tabs you can have open, especially if you use Chrome or Chromium (which are memory demanding).

    Edit: One thing that I wanted to add is that experiences on x86 hardware do not necessarily seem to translate directly to ARM. It seems like everything is smaller on ARM.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  5. kabaiakh

    kabaiakh Very Active Member

    Aug 7, 2015

    rSl, FBnil, AnimatedFreak and 5 others like this.
  6. xnopasaranx

    xnopasaranx Superbad!

    Jan 31, 2006
    well it's up to the ED and the dev team anyway, I just wish everyone wouldn't press for a decision so much. maybe I'll be fine with a 2gb unit, but I still have my doubts. @Swordfish II that is good to know but not my usecase. I'd need someone actually running a GAE server, load up some database and webapp, then debugging that as a live-system.
    tarator likes this.
  7. Tanasinn

    Tanasinn AESTHETICS

    Oct 28, 2015
    I would be fine with switching over to a 2GB unit. It will ensure that the project still chugs on and the potential of grabbing the eyes of would-be purchasers is a massive plus. My use cases for the pyra aren't as heavy as a few select others might be. I plan on using mine for music, minor social sites and light retro gaming [mainly arcade nights since the card lines for IIDX can get a bit long, plus I simply enjoy listening to my own music with STGs and fighting games] so the 2GB is a ok with me and I have absolutely no problems paying for the upgrade if that is possible. I feel that at the extreme would be to use it as a recorder for interviews at tournaments which in general, wouldn't be using much ram just space if I am not careful lol.

    I do have an idea of where my preorder number is at on the production scale [somewhere between the first 250 regular preorder] but my focus really is the people that lie outside the first 500. If this switch helps them to get their pyras then I am all for it. This is a community driven device and really without any of you here that are reading this, neither the pandora nor the pyra would have ever been made. This is the device worth fighting for. I hope that once I obtain mine that I can start porting over games I've made for it.
    gpsqueeek and Grench like this.
  8. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

    Oct 6, 2008
    Somewhere off the coast of the EU
    Weird, I inherited an old dual-core Pentium E2200 (conroe - basically a core microarchitecture chip from the time after Pentium 4 but before the Core i5 etc. branding), and that has a max RAM on the motherboard of 4GB but currently has the 2GB it originally came with. Its main purpose is to be a build machine, and I've built FLIF on it already, but I have browsed the web on it particularly when I was setting it all up, and never ran low on RAM. Right now I'm not doing much on it - just playing a few AV files to generate entropy for key generation, and it's using 173MiB RAM + 88MiB shared and the vast majority of the rest of it is being used for buffering.

    I did price up what it would cost to buy two 2GB DIMMs for it, but my experience thus far is that it's not necessary for that machine. Now games with lots of assets can benefit from more RAM, but in terms of ARM Linux gaming, only a couple of the games ptitseb's ported need more than the 512MiB of RAM my Pandora has and require a swap file.
  9. Tengu1010

    Tengu1010 Still Fresh

    May 14, 2016
    Thanks for the update!
    Why don`t you try 8GB? That might be easier. :)
    OK, not funny. I am totally fine with 2GB. Maybe you find an option for 4GBs in the future, would be great. So far, my impression of this community is like they all would like to do do their best to help you with this issues. I think there are many qualified people outside waiting to do the best to find a way.
    AnimatedFreak and Grench like this.
  10. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

    May 24, 2008
    Changed my mind. My project manager quit recently so I got his hardware. I'm now running 8 cores with 16GB of RAM and I need it. All of it. The Pyra is junk if it cannot compete. /s
  11. mecksg1

    mecksg1 Very Active Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    Pm'd you ED. also willing to take a 2gb pyra
    Grench likes this.
  12. Zwerg01

    Zwerg01 Member

    Feb 15, 2017
    Stunning, how some people here try to convince other about how many GB RAM they need.
    --- Double Post Merged, Oct 3, 2017, Original Post Date: Oct 3, 2017 ---
    Yes, please all of you 1095 preorderers, write a PM to ED about how many RAM you want.
    Pyramancer, sebt3 and Djoga'Ro like this.
  13. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    First: It doesn't make sense posting here or via email, PM, etc. to switch to a 2GB RAM version yet.
    We're still evaluating, and based on the tests from yesterday (where I was running a 4GB RAM Pyra for more than 24 hours until I shut it down), it could be the change to the PCB is minimal and then there's no need to produce 2GB RAM versions.
    IF we really want to do a 2GB RAM production run first, you'll receive an email from us :)

    As promised, here are some more updates.

    Regarding the Wifi antenna:
    The current antenna is single-diversity (as the orginal chip didn't support true diversity).
    The new one adds diversity, which improves the reception for portable devices A LOT!

    This is one of the improvements.
    The second one is to match the impedance of the PCB to that one of the antenna. The antenna needs a connection of 50 Ohm, whereas measurements of our current design shows it's 60 Ohm - so there's not much difference.
    The change that needs to be done to the Mainboard is minimal. Nikolaus is already working on that, will produce a new dummy board and then this is also set.

    And about the cases:
    This is still the most annoying thing.
    FormAction is still "waiting" on the new material (the one they received had some issue) and claim to have implemented all fixed to the case yet (but we've heard that).

    As mentioned, we have a backup company (with which I've been working a couple of times already to produce SNES, N64, NES and MegaDrive cartridge shells) and they have a plastic/carbon-mix material that is VERY robust (supports up to 1.5t weight).

    While they don't have our moulds yet, they will send samples of the material to me on Friday (as they have a different product that's currently being produced with that material).

    We'll evaluate the material and we're ready to move the moulds and do the production there (in case FormAction doesn't suddenly wake up).

    I wonder why it's always the case...? It also was a major headache for the Pandora.
    Seems like it's the most complex thing in the world.
    szr, ObiKKa, 2coop4 and 21 others like this.
  14. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    There's always a case with the case.

    I have a feeling that the moment you'll get serious about switching to another company, FormAction will magically produce the cases.
    jorlinn, Yori and Djoga'Ro like this.
  15. Djoga'Ro

    Djoga'Ro moonstruck

    Apr 3, 2016
    I appreciate you're being informative a lot - I really do, but this is barely useful information. Candyfloss can support a load of 1.5 t - you just spread out the candyfloss and the load :)
  16. Dark Pulse

    Dark Pulse Retreaux

    Jun 12, 2013
    Jeez, talk about being picky with your words. Does he need to specify the area of the weight as well as the amount of surface in contact in both inches and millimeters too?

    Let's put it this way: There's probably nothing you could do, short of running it over, that'd break a case made out of that material. As long as the overall amount of pressure put on it doesn't exceed 1.5 tons, it will withstand it, and it's essentially overkill for day-to-day use.

    Got it? Good. That's all that matters.
    tarator likes this.
  17. netcat

    netcat Member

    May 3, 2016
    to all those winging about ram
    all I have to say is: swapon!

    srsly: has anyone benchmarked a loaded browser running off an sd used as vram?
  18. comradekingu

    comradekingu Glowing ember

    Apr 15, 2011
    My swappiness is 0, get rammed.
    MrMelty, rygD, ilo_pona and 6 others like this.
  19. Djoga'Ro

    Djoga'Ro moonstruck

    Apr 3, 2016
    If it was regarding a certain formula of concrete, I'd know the standard procedure to measure its weight carrying capacity woould be to make a cube 1 dm³, put pressure on it and see when it breaks.
    Since here it's about plastics, I have no idea, if the same standards apply - or if it was a standard procedure measurement at all. So maybe they made some testing with hollow structures, which I'd find way more impressive. But maybe you're right and it makes no difference. Like all that matters is, that your bank account says something positive.
  20. FBnil

    FBnil Ready to Champion the Pyra to the World...

    Dec 14, 2012
    To the people with swappiness >5: Remember that it will also be a phone in the future, and you might want to run Android side-by-side(ARChon/AndroVM)... which will need 1GB to work ok-ish, but moar is better... (I am sure there will be a native Linux data over GPS solution too) - disclaimer: Data is Based on fiction.

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