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8 gig laptops

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by cosmic ac, Apr 21, 2008.

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  1. cosmic ac

    cosmic ac Notebook Consultant

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    About a year ago I did a forum about 4 gig laptops and you responded "in your dreams". Now 4 gig laptops are available for $700. With an 8 gig laptop it will be possible to load your intire operating system in ram and have it run in ram around 1000 times faster until it is done then write the results to disc. But you are saying who needs that kind of power? Well I'm running a program http://folding.stanford.edu where there is no such thing as too much computing power. Running your operating system in ram will use less power and be easier on your disc drive as well.
     
  2. Gravitator

    Gravitator Notebook Consultant

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    Ok..........
     
  3. crystak

    crystak Notebook Evangelist

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    That's an interesting idea and definitely possible with the x64 OS from what I understand. I haven't seen any examples of this yet.
     
  4. powerpack

    powerpack Notebook Prophet

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    I on behalf of everyone else would just like to say sorry we doubted you. ;)

    In your dreams! Just kidding! :D I don't know but am wondering wouldn't the OS have to be written to do this? Or at least some kind of work around at the very least? And there are already environments with much more than 8GB's RAM anyone know if they load OS into RAM? If not, why not, if so advantages?
     
  5. Budding

    Budding Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    So, you mean install Operating System on laptop RAM modules? Because laptop RAM modules are volatile memory, data on it will be lost the second it loses power. Currently, Operating System files are already loaded from HD into memory, which is why OSes such as Windows Vista and Mac OS X require at least 512MB of RAM to run.

    I suppose you could try running absolutely everything in RAM on a server or something, but such systems already exist for research purposes.

    When calculating large amounts of data, such as Folding, the processes are more CPU intensive as opposed to disk space intensive. Therefore, things such as multicore CPUs and FPGAs and SOCs are a more popular research subject than faster storage.
     
  6. Commander Wolf

    Commander Wolf can i haz broadwell? Super Moderator

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    Well, when you copy the entirety of the OS onto memory, you're effectively making it such that the OS is "written" in the memory. I was thinking he was referring to running without a pagefile. But in either case, unless you copy the entirety of your functional system onto memory, you're still going to be accessing the main HDD and you're still going to see that HDD latency.

    Server environments processing a lot of I/O operations usually run with significantly larger memory banks than the average desktop so as to avoid accessing their already fast drives. I believe that the OS on most servers is still installed on the mechanical drive (although they may have optimizations such that more of the OS is loaded into memory on boot).

    Advantage is as mentioned. It's fast.

    Disadvantage is that standard PC memory is volatile and won't retain your info without a power supply. And if you're trying to load a significant portion of your functional system solely on memory, it's just more to loose if you experience some sort of power failure. And of course, it's expensive.
     
  7. John Kotches

    John Kotches Notebook Evangelist

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    You really only need to have the kernel, drivers and the working set in RAM. You don't need "the entirety of the OS". I know you didn't say it; but I'm clarifying here. This should be significantly less than 8GB.

    Working Set == Apps + Working data.

    See above. What do you define as "significantly larger"? 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB? Yep... Been there, have them :) These are running my big DBs. The app servers stop at 64GB.

    That memory isn't there to cache the OS, it's to keep more of the data required in core -- this is true of Database servers especially. Application servers need more CPU cycles than memory as they will only have 1 copy of the app in memory. Well at least that's true on the various flavors of *Nix. The first one load, everyone else get's a pointer to the same address :)


    They do make UPS' too :) FYI, 1GB of RAM is in the $25 range. The cost / GB goes up with capacity.
     
  8. cosmic ac

    cosmic ac Notebook Consultant

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    I have seen one example it is ruggedized laptop made by the government so it is possible the prices were about $5000
     
  9. powerpack

    powerpack Notebook Prophet

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    I am thinking not Windows. Oh and the Government doesn't usually make anything, they just pay lots for it after putting out specs and taking bids. ;)
     
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