Does increasing RAM 512 MB -> 1 GB lead to better performance?

Sam Tygier samtygier at
Tue Nov 1 22:14:54 UTC 2005

Tshepang Lekhonkhobe wrote:
>>How often do you deal with large data sets?
> What is a 'large data set'? I often see this term but not very sure
> what it means...
> Thanks

basically do you deal with big files

not having enough ram will slow you down because some data need to be "swapped" out to the swap disk. swapping is slow. if you only ever use 512mb of ram then having 1gb of ram will make little difference. however if you are using more than you have, upgrading your ram will reduce swapping and speed you up.

if you are working with +100mb graphic/video/audio files then you will probably notice a perfomance gain.

another factor is disk caching. when you read a file in linux it is kept in ram untill that ram is needed for something else. if you have plenty of ram then as you use the computer the files you use will be cached. next time you want to read the files you dont need to wait for the hard disk.

for example. restart the computer. time how long it takes to open firefox. now close firefox and time it opening again. assuming that you have enough ram the second time should have been quite a bit faster. if you had opened lots of files in between you may have pushed firefox out of the cache. now it would take just as long to open as the first time.


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