I remember the time around 5 years back when I had a system which had only 32 MB RAM. I still have this machine which has since been upgraded to sport 96 MB RAM. But even when this machine had only 32 MB RAM, I was able to install and play games on it, work on a word processor and also browse the internet. In fact, I remember that I was successful in loading X windows with just 32 MB memory. Of course, GNOME took a lo..oong time but a bare bones window manager like twm was quite fast to load.
From that time of 32 MB memory, the PCs as well as technology has come a long way. Now PC's come preloaded with atleast 256 MB RAM. Even this is not enough for playing graphics intensive games that are available in the market. Some of the games like Half life (which also runs on Linux) need atleast 512 MB memory to really enjoy playing the game. So the question that is foremost in everybody's mind is how much memory is enough memory ?
Toms Hardware has the right article which reviews this very question to give the readers a satisfying answer. The guys at Tom's, review how various memory limits affect the performance of different softwares and graphics intensive games like Quake and Doom, the performance of the two graphics technologies OpenGL and DirectX with different amounts of RAM and so on. The benchmarking was done with 512 MB, 1 GB and 2 GB memory.
And this is their verdict...
- 512 MB RAM is enough if you run low resolution games or run only one application at a time.
Umm... my more recent machine has just 256 MB and I am managing quite well.
- 1 GB RAM is desirable if you are running more than one application at a time and wish to play high resolution graphics intensive games.
- 2 GB RAM if you are a hot shot graphics professional or game developer.
All in all a worthwhile article which gives a fair idea of how much memory to buy while shopping for a PC.