Confusion over 256 or 512mb ram


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by Gavin King » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:05 am
Hi guys,

I bought a Raspberry PI model B starter kit from Maplins and I've been trying to get the extra 256mb of RAM enabled. I'm very new to this but I've updated the firmware using the raspi-update tool but don't seem to be having any luck seeing the extra memory.

I read this blog post:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2191

The blog post telling me to look for either a 2G or 4G on the chip of my pi and mine has 2G. Do I have a 512 or 256meg versions? I have the 2 usb ports so I believe its a model B and the Maplins box said it was 512mb but now I'm really confused.

After running the rpi-update tool I am getting the following:

Code: Select all
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ uname -a
Linux raspberrypi 3.2.27+ #257 PREEMPT Mon Nov 5 00:01:55 GMT 2012 armv6l GNU/Linux
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo vcgencmd version
Oct 31 2012 17:57:31
Copyright (c) 2012 Broadcom
version 347415 (release)
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           184        172         12          0          2         58
-/+ buffers/cache:        111         73
Swap:           99 


I'm getting really confused .... could anyone please point me in the right direction?

Regards,

Gav
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by stinos » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:18 am
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by pluggy » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:41 am
If your RAM chip says 2G for the 4th and 5 Digits of the part number beginning K4P, you've got a 256MB. There haven't been anything other than model Bs so far. The model A is 'coming soon'.
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by stinos » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:17 pm
ah that explains it then. Well, thank you RS for not giving me what was advertised.
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by redhawk » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:05 pm
If RS are shipping 256MB PIs while advertised as 512MB then I believe they're breaking consumer law selling goods under false pretences.

When did you place your order with RS?? if this was after the change over then you should contact them and get it exchanged.

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by jamesh » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:14 pm
It depends on what the order says - if it says 512 and you got 256, then RS are minus any legs to stand on. If It says 256, and you got 256, that's what you ordered. So check the order.
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by Gavin King » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:17 pm
But the FAQ on this site states:

What’s the difference between Model A and Model B?

Model A has 256Mb RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet (network connection). Model B has 512Mb RAM, 2 USB port and an Ethernet port.


I've got an ethernet port and two USB ports.... am I missing something here? Is there a Model B with only 256mb onboard?????
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by redhawk » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:37 pm
The Model B was originally shipped with 256MB but recently doubled to 512MB.

When did you place your order with RS??

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by Gavin King » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:53 pm
No I bought it from maplins.co.uk. I pretty sure the box had "512mb RAM" on it. It's in the trash I'll dig it out. The code on the chip definitely indicates its the 256 version.
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by itimpi » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:59 pm
Gavin King wrote:No I bought it from maplins.co.uk. I pretty sure the box had "512mb RAM" on it. It's in the trash I'll dig it out. The code on the chip definitely indicates its the 256 version.

What version of firmware are you running? Unless it is up-to-date it will indicate 256MB regardless of the RAM present. If you do
Code: Select all
uname -a

then it will tell you what version of kernel/firmware is in use.
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by Joe Schmoe » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:40 pm
itimpi wrote:
Gavin King wrote:No I bought it from maplins.co.uk. I pretty sure the box had "512mb RAM" on it. It's in the trash I'll dig it out. The code on the chip definitely indicates its the 256 version.

What version of firmware are you running? Unless it is up-to-date it will indicate 256MB regardless of the RAM present. If you do
Code: Select all
uname -a

then it will tell you what version of kernel/firmware is in use.


But that can't really be the issue here, because the OP has confirmed that the part number on the chip indicates it is a 256M unit.
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by redhawk » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:25 am
I've just checked out the Maplin PI starter kit - http://www.maplin.co.uk/raspberry-piand ... kit-652805 notice the omission of RAM and CPU specification.
So in a nutshell they can sell you a PI with 256MB RAM and you'll have to lump it even if RS / Farnell are selling 512MB boards now.
I suspect that Maplin may still have surplus stock of 256MB boards left or perhaps RS are using them as an outlet for reworked PIs who knows. :lol:

Also 75 quid for a bundle?? is it me or does this look a little pricey.

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by milhouse » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:47 am
redhawk wrote:Also 75 quid for a bundle?? is it me or does this look a little pricey.


I've assigned a very approximate cost to each item as follows:

£25 Raspberry Pi
£5 4GB SD Card
£5 AC powered 4-port USB hub
£5 USB keyboard
£5 USB optical mouse
£5 2.1A twin USB mains power supply
£2 1.5m gold-plated USB A to micro B cable to power the Raspberry Pi
£2 1.5m gold-plated HDMI cable
£10 N150 Nano Wi-Fi dongle for wireless connectivity

Which totals £64, so there's possibly up to £10-15 in it for Maplin, maybe a little more. Seems fair enough, given that it will only appeal to someone who has absolutely none of this stuff already at home, and thus a computing newbie and who might appreciate buying a known-to-work bundle (and is able to take it back to the shop if it doesn't work).
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by stinos » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:59 am
jamesh wrote:It depends on what the order says - if it says 512 and you got 256, then RS are minus any legs to stand on. If It says 256, and you got 256, that's what you ordered. So check the order.


I'll check and let you know. At least, if I can find it.. I'm quite aggressive in cleaning up my mail so the order info is gone. Still should have the paperwork though.

Anyway the order was placed already months ago, back then you could order only one per person because the stock was so low.
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by RaTTuS » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:13 am
milhouse wrote:
redhawk wrote:Also 75 quid for a bundle?? is it me or does this look a little pricey.


I've assigned a very approximate cost to each item as follows:

£25 Raspberry Pi
£5 4GB SD Card
£5 AC powered 4-port USB hub
£5 USB keyboard
£5 USB optical mouse
£5 2.1A twin USB mains power supply
£2 1.5m gold-plated USB A to micro B cable to power the Raspberry Pi
£2 1.5m gold-plated HDMI cable
£10 N150 Nano Wi-Fi dongle for wireless connectivity

Which totals £64, so there's possibly up to £10-15 in it for Maplin, maybe a little more. Seems fair enough, given that it will only appeal to someone who has absolutely none of this stuff already at home, and thus a computing newbie and who might appreciate buying a known-to-work bundle (and is able to take it back to the shop if it doesn't work).

+20% VAT

also maplin is not RS - or farnell
and the bundles does not say anything about memory size so that is where the 256Mb ones go .

there is nothing wrong with the 256Mb - version
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by Gavin King » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:32 am
Hi guys,

I've just found the original box the kit came I was mistaken that it said 512mb on the box. So to be fair to Maplin they have only ever advertised it as a model B.... it was my mind that presumed it was the 512mb. Ah well, you lives and learns.

Thanks for your help guys!

Regards,

Gav
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by pluggy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:06 am
If its any consolation the 256MB isn't too much of a step down, all the current images were built with 256MB in mind, unless you have some particular use that needs the extra ram, it won't be an issue. I wouldn't worry too much about Maplins deal either, you can swear at them if the PSU or the SD card doesn't work properly with the Pi. You don't have much of a say if a phone charger or an SD card generally sold for cameras doesn't want to play.
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by penguintutor » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:38 pm
the order was placed already months ago


In that case you ordered a 256MB model. The new 512MB has only been advertised since 15 October when it was also posted on the Raspberry Pi website. Since then RS and Farnell advertise 512mb boards (and some people will have got 512 when ordering 256), but other retailers may still be selling the 256MB board if they have existing stock.

According to the Farnell returns policy you can still return it for a refund if you received it less than 30 days ago, although that probably excludes everyone with 256MB boards anyway (check your T&Cs as it does vary between countries), but if you do you'll need to re-order and will be back to the bottom of the list - current delivery is approx 3 weeks according to my current order.
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by pluggy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:50 pm
But he bought it at Maplin......
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by redhawk » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:07 pm
I was under the impression the PI was made and sold exclusively via RS or Farnell (and their alias trading names).

Does this mean Maplin PIs are shipped directly from China too or bought from RS or Farnell??

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by pluggy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:17 pm
It made by RS or Farnell under licence from the foundation, but theres nothing to stop Maplin or anyone else reselling them. The OP bought his from from Maplin, so if he had a beef with anyone, it would be with Maplin.

I'll bet if I rang up Farnell with an order for a few thousand I could get a discount. :)
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by penguintutor » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:14 pm
pluggy wrote:
But he bought it at Maplin....



Gavin did, but I quoted stinos

stinos wrote:
Anyway the order was placed already months ago, back then you could order only one per person because the stock was so low.


If it was months ago then it was before Maplin sold them - and Maplin have never had the maximum one per person.


AFAIA it is not possible to get Raspberry Pis at a discount even if bulk purchasing. That is why the other suppliers only sell it as a bundle or combined purchase (Maplin = starter kit, ModMyPC = with case). They need to make a profit somewhere, but it's not on the Pi itself.
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by Gavin King » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:47 pm
I originally ordered mine through RS as a project for my son (an aspiring techie) back at the beginning of July and was told eventually that it would arrive mid November (possibly). A friend said that Maplin had stock so I put the order in via them. Ordered on the Friday and it arrived on the Tuesday.

Maplin only sell as part of a kit and it as mentioned above it was only about £10 extra to get the bundle and he'd waited for so long that in seemed worth the extra cash.
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by Batdragon » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:00 pm
I have the Maplin kit and all in all I am impressed with it as a one off bundle. Yes, you could put it together cheaper but if you are being lazy like I was then it is great. Some of the things that I like about it is the powered hub (1A) and the PSU for the RPI which is a dual output rated as:

Output : 2 x 5v 1.05A for 2 USB
Output : 5v 2.1A for 1 USB

Its really annoying that I have not even managed to turn my RPI on yet as I've just beenfar too busy when the TV is available. So I do not know what memory my RPI has. I know it is a Model B and the box in the bundel as it has the 2 USB ports and has the Ethernet connection. I also know it is from element14 which is a Farnell company.

So the question still remains without plugging it in how do I tell what memory version it is? Without my toolkit (magnifying glass) all I can make out is that the IC2 is made by Samsung.
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by milhouse » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:05 pm
Batdragon wrote:So the question still remains without plugging it in how do I tell what memory version it is? Without my toolkit (magnifying glass) all I can make out is that the IC2 is made by Samsung.


The first post of this thread has a link to a blog, read the last 3 paragraphs of the blog.
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