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64 Bit processors means huge memory cap

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March 8, 2006 12:48:58 PM

So now that the 64 bit processors are out, can we expect to see systems built with hundreds, nay thousands, of gigabytes of memory?

Will we see the end of the dreaded page file?

Will applications finally be able to reside entirely in memory?

When, if ever, would you expect to see this happen?
March 8, 2006 12:57:00 PM

A complete uber-1337 system usually costs less than a 4GB stick of memory... so Id say no hundreds of GBs of memory.
March 8, 2006 1:33:10 PM

You probably mean GigaByte´s iRAM or iFlash or iDrive, heck I cant remember how its called.
If so, does it really cost 2000$? Now THAT is one hell of a price *lolz*
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March 8, 2006 1:39:57 PM

I think eventually we might see that, but not until non-volitile memory (like carbon nanotube) becomes commonplace. Even then, memory density would need to go up signifigantly for it to be very practical. Noone wants 20 memory sticks in their mobo.

I think as a shorter term solution we'll see heavily underclocked
non-volitile memory (possibly junk memory that would otherwise be destroyed by the manufacturer) that will be made into solid state hard drives. Such hard drives should still be very fast, easily maxing out a SATA 2 connection... Perfect for us gamers!

I'm making a grand (and almost totally baseless) prediction that we have hard driveless computers by with 80G+ of nonvolitle memory by 2015. :roll:

The real question is whether or not we will eventuall see that kind of storage in an L3 or even L2 cache!
March 8, 2006 2:31:28 PM

You're joking....right? :roll:
March 8, 2006 2:36:08 PM

Quote:
Such hard drives should still be very fast, easily maxing out a SATA 2 connection... Perfect for us gamers!

But is the SATA 2 connection a lofty goal, or a terrible bottleneck?

Just think of having full HyperTransport speeds to all sound files, image files, etc...

I'm thinking of a system where there is an additional board, about the same size as the MoBo, but loaded with nothing but memory. OK, I realize this is WAY to expensive for the average home user, but some people are willing to shell out the casheesh for Quad-SLI boards, right?

And forget about gaming for a second (I know, on this board that's a tall order)... I'm sure there are quite a few professional opperations that could benefit from this. It may offer a cost effective solution for large engineering/industiral applications which need to run large amounts of complex calculations. And there's always the real time voice recognition, face recogntion, and all that other stuff that needs to analyze large quantities of data in real time. What about real time routing apps...

Maybe I'm being a bit naive, but I think there are a lot of applications that would benefit from HUGE amounts of memory... espcially if it removes us from the relatively slow I/O of storage devices.
March 8, 2006 2:36:22 PM

You bring up an interesting point, SicPunk.

Why is it that one of the new vista features is to utilize whatever memory you have plugged into your system to chache common-use files (USB memory sticks, MP3 players, or whatnot) in order to speed up your system...

Yet at the same time, Windows architecture is requiring us to keep a page file (AKA Virtual Memory) on the Hard Drive.... the slowest component in the computer.

Then there are these battery backed up RAM drives.. and what is one of the most common uses? Put your page file on them so that Windows is faster!

Let's see.. why do we have virtual memory in the first place? Because M$ in their finite wisdom decided that "If programs need more RAM than the computer posesses, we'll copy the contents of current memory to the hard drive, and when that address space gets called up, we'll save out the new stuff and re-load the old from the hard drive - and.. we'll call it virtual memory, a page file, a swap file..."

That was in the begining of the 32 bit era as we know it. When 386DX was king and Windows v3.1 promised us the ability to run any current program without needing tons of RAM - just turn on 386 enhanced mode and create a swap file!

Now where are we? Even though we can put 2GB Ram into a system and not even blink... We still have Virtual Memory. We hate how slow each successive version of windows is, so we copy our page files to RAM drives.

In other words, we keep a file on a RAM disk to simulate more RAM.

Ironic.

Ok, I'm done rambling and ranting.

IDEV
March 8, 2006 3:08:28 PM

Quote:
Let's see.. why do we have virtual memory in the first place?


In a word, compatibility. Sure you can easily add gobs of memory to your system and not need a swap file but joe blow out there with the three year old P3 machine still needs that swap file.

It would be nice if they gave the power users an option though. :roll:
March 8, 2006 3:54:27 PM

Quote:
You're joking....right? :roll:


About the L3 or L2 cache, ya probably... (but who knows... in 100 years maybe)

As far as giving up the hard drive, I think it's an eventuality. Storage density seems to be going up faster than the average user can find something to fill it with. If I had to chose between 80G of super high speed non-volitile memory or 3 terrabytes of hard drive, I'd take the 80G.

At least until the RIAA gives up on enforcing copyright law... :lol: 
March 8, 2006 5:03:59 PM

Quote:

Now where are we? Even though we can put 2GB Ram into a system and not even blink... We still have Virtual Memory. We hate how slow each successive version of windows is, so we copy our page files to RAM drives.

In other words, we keep a file on a RAM disk to simulate more RAM.


Ok good ranting. But what can be done about it? As users of XP & vista, as M$.
For example, if I had 2+ gigs of RAM, can the swap file be completely disabled?
March 8, 2006 6:07:50 PM

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/evaluate/...

Windows Vista Capable PC Requirements
Windows Vista Capable PCs need to pass the current certification requirements for Designed for Windows XP logo. In addition, these PCs would need the following combination of essential PC hardware for good overall Windows Vista performance:

• CPU — PC systems should have a modern CPU.

• RAM — PC systems should have 512MB of memory or more.

• GPU — PC systems should have a graphics processor that will support Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM).
March 8, 2006 8:23:36 PM

Quote:

Ok good ranting. But what can be done about it? As users of XP & vista, as M$.
For example, if I had 2+ gigs of RAM, can the swap file be completely disabled?


Actually, yes, the swap file can be disabled, but some programs will run poorly, and others will not run at all if they don't detect a swap file, regardless how much RAM you have installed. It was a good idea at the time when memory was amazingly expensive, but now the OS and many programs have become completely dependent on it - it would take an act of congress or a significant rewrite of the windows kernel to remove our dependency on them.
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