derekcentrico
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Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:03 am

So I guess I was an unlucky person who purchased a Model B 256MB. In fact, it looks like i got ahold of mine about 2 weeks before the bump to 512MB occurred.

Anyway, I didn't realize this was the case and thought i had the 512MB for whatever reason. I've tried XBMC variants without much success. They are just extremely laggy in the context menus and handling the video content. I tried some overclocking options, but that created a very unstable experience even at the lowest of changes.

Would there be much of a difference between the two memory options? Is it worth buying yet another Pi to get a better experience for our TV XBMC experience? Any config tweaks worth trying?

All opinions welcome.

Oakham
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:31 am

I personally found OpenElec better, but do agree that 256MB Memory is severely limiting, hence why I sold mine at the beginning of year

Overclocking to 900Mhz and altering the memory split to 64/192 did help though:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 29&t=39764

http://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/qu ... gpu-memory
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:43 am

I use openelec on 256 and it works fine. I wonder if the issue is elsewhere.
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:48 am

Don't expect miracles when you've got a 512. The Pi is slow anyway.

If you've got a Rev 2 (with the holes) 256MB Pi 'B' I'd hang onto it, they are comparitively rare.
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JoeDaStudd
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:56 am

Personally the only issues I ever had with Raspbmc or OpenELEC was down the wireless network I was using or overheating. The signal was pants and wasn't strong enough for the streaming. As for the overheating that was me creating a case out of an old backup tape case which had zero airflow and an overclocked RasPi.
I do have a 512mb along with my two 256mb versions however I've not bothered running Raspbmc or OpenELEC on it as the 256mb versions run it more then well enough for me.

simplesi
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:41 pm

What apps has anyone come across that run significanlty better with the 512 - I'd thought as long as only running one major prog at a time, then memory wouldn't be much of an issue.

Start to have 10 pen apps at a time like a desktop machine and then I could see the need to save swapping

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LemmeFatale
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:35 pm

simplesi wrote:What apps has anyone come across that run significanlty better with the 512
I've got a 512MB and a 256MB Model B, and at one point I had them both set up the same, and running Xfce instead of LXDE. The only program I encountered that seemed different on the 256MB one is Iceweasel (i.e., Firefox), which is very slow to start on the 256MB machine, but which I find to be ok on the 512MB one. That's all.

I don't do media-centre type stuff with mine, though, so others' mileage may vary. :P
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shuckle
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:28 pm

I had the same experiency with iceweasel. It run much faster in the bigger memory rpi.

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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:43 pm

derekcentrico wrote:So I guess I was an unlucky person who purchased a Model B 256MB. In fact, it looks like i got ahold of mine about 2 weeks before the bump to 512MB occurred.
Want to trade? That's the one model I never got one of...

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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:01 pm

shuckle wrote:I had the same experiency with iceweasel. It run much faster in the bigger memory rpi.
Web browsers are the biggest memory hogs around. It really is amazing they need so much memory just to render a webpage. I do wonder how much optimisation is possible, or whether it really IS necessary (I doubt it)
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:59 pm

jamesh wrote:
shuckle wrote:I had the same experiency with iceweasel. It run much faster in the bigger memory rpi.
Web browsers are the biggest memory hogs around. It really is amazing they need so much memory just to render a webpage. I do wonder how much optimisation is possible, or whether it really IS necessary (I doubt it)
No it is not necessary for them to use nearly so much RAM, just look at the source for almost any of them and you will see waste like you would never believe, and some of it effectively slows them down. Unfortunately they have gotten so big that it would take a huge team of programmers to correct the issues in a reasonable period of time.
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:56 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
derekcentrico wrote:So I guess I was an unlucky person who purchased a Model B 256MB. In fact, it looks like i got ahold of mine about 2 weeks before the bump to 512MB occurred.
Want to trade? That's the one model I never got one of...
I also have a 256 version if you want to trade I'm Game!!

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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:31 am

I always reckoned the late model Rev 2 'B' 256, would acquire a rarity value, the number offering to trade on here would tend to confirm that.
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:36 am

I have a 256/B that I don't have any desire to update at the moment. But when I do, it's nice to know that there may be collectors for it down the line.
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turbocrow
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:55 am

Was going to stick my original 256mb one on Ebay after getting the PI 2.
Honestly I never used the original because the ram was so limiting, PI 2 is fantastic now.
Ill hang on to it then and use it has a samba server or something. (Never realized it was getting ever so slightly rare)

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RaTTuS
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:10 am

:roll:
my original 256Mb are fine running -

Code: Select all

 uprecords  ; df -h
     #               Uptime | System                                     Boot up
----------------------------+---------------------------------------------------
     1   130 days, 15:49:43 | Linux 3.6.11+             Wed Dec 18 19:52:36 2013
     2   112 days, 08:14:35 | Linux 3.6.11+             Wed Aug 28 12:33:35 2013
     3    91 days, 05:20:26 | Linux 3.12.24+            Mon Jul 21 10:54:30 2014
     4    77 days, 00:36:37 | Linux 3.12.24+            Mon Oct 20 16:15:16 2014
     5    71 days, 22:59:51 | Linux 3.6.11+             Tue Mar 12 08:37:44 2013
     6    43 days, 23:35:53 | Linux 3.10.25+            Mon Apr 28 12:44:21 2014
     7    39 days, 21:42:05 | Linux 3.12.20+            Wed Jun 11 12:20:40 2014
     8    33 days, 23:26:17 | Linux 3.6.11+             Wed Jul 24 12:35:39 2013
     9    32 days, 17:49:08 | Linux 3.6.11+             Thu Jun 20 17:30:57 2013
    10    30 days, 05:03:22 | Linux 3.2.27+             Wed Dec 12 12:26:21 2012
----------------------------+---------------------------------------------------
->  11    29 days, 18:17:04 | Linux 3.12.35+            Mon Jan  5 15:52:24 2015
----------------------------+---------------------------------------------------
1up in     0 days, 10:46:19 | at                        Wed Feb  4 20:55:46 2015
t10 in     0 days, 10:46:19 | at                        Wed Feb  4 20:55:46 2015
no1 in   100 days, 21:32:40 | at                        Sat May 16 08:42:07 2015
    up   912 days, 04:46:12 | since                     Tue Jul 17 12:46:07 2012
  down    19 days, 17:37:09 | since                     Tue Jul 17 12:46:07 2012
   %up               97.882 | since                     Tue Jul 17 12:46:07 2012
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs           15G  5.9G  8.0G  43% /
/dev/root        15G  5.9G  8.0G  43% /
devtmpfs        104M     0  104M   0% /dev
tmpfs            22M  568K   21M   3% /run
tmpfs           5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
tmpfs            44M     0   44M   0% /run/shm
/dev/mmcblk0p1   56M   15M   42M  27% /boot
 cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
model name      : ARMv6-compatible processor rev 7 (v6l)
Features        : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp java tls
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant     : 0x0
CPU part        : 0xb76
CPU revision    : 7

Hardware        : BCM2708
Revision        : 0002
Serial          : 00000000134e058d

my 512Mb B's run xbmc OK
my mode A is happy
and my model B+ is fine and dandy
my slice will arrive sometime in the next couple of months
and my P2 should be here today
Last edited by RaTTuS on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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simplesi
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:18 am

Always a good idea for programs to work OK on last years model as that is actually the majority of your user base normally (MS would concur on that statistic)

Now - we do have a problem in that we have the current A+ with 256MB and the 2B with 1G

Common sense says target the B+ for OK operation and hope it runs on the A+ at all

I'm actually targetting the A+ with ScratchGPIO as its the lowest cost board so very cost-effective for cheap educational use - particularly in new gen of robots such as the Agobo

I might have to start producing separate versions intead of 1 giant jack of All Trades but I'll do what ever is needed in next year to maintain working code for 256MB models

Some others will just think - thank god I've got enough to do what I wanted now and will ditch support/not really try hard to get it goign well on anything other than 2B

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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:24 am

Heh, 256MB Rev 2 Model B? I've got an early model 256MB Rev 1 Model B, complete with all the polyfuse & power woes that plagued the early release :). I've never had a convincing enough use case to upgrade to a newer version. The B+ had me tempted, but I couldn't order the Pi 2 quick enough (and while I was at it I couldn't resist throwing in an A+ :) ).

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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:33 pm

My Pi Rev 1s had the polyfuses bypassed with a lump of wire an a bit of soldering in short order....

Never found 256 much of a problem, but I having dismissed the Pi as useless for running a desktop, I didn't try to surf the web with it. I may need to re-evaluate that stance, with the advent of the Pi 2.
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:38 pm

simplesi wrote:A
Now - we do have a problem in that we have the current A+ with 256MB and the 2B with 1G

Common sense says target the B+ for OK operation and hope it runs on the A+ at all
The real world when I started mainframes said, "Build for lowest common denominator and the larger machines get a nice tight well written program that isn't a resource hog". We did an awful lot of computing on some very slow machines back in the early 1980s.

The modern land of the GUI and the bloatware says "You've paid for the resources don't scrimp on them, when it doesn't fit apply Moore's Law and the punter can upgrade". That has the effect of everyone needing a shiny new phone every year and not being happy with a Nokia 3310.

I think my mainframe world with limited resources and a need for compactness was better. The 24x80 display was perfectly serviceable and a step on from a deck of 80 column cards.
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:54 pm

I've always found 256meg model fine for non GUI use

Only using X GUi do you have to be a bit more careful on GPU split
128/128MB is unuseable in LXDE - 240/16 is preferable.

512meg took away those problems

Remember it's not just very old B models that are 256meg, also every model A and current A+
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:59 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
simplesi wrote:A
Now - we do have a problem in that we have the current A+ with 256MB and the 2B with 1G

Common sense says target the B+ for OK operation and hope it runs on the A+ at all
The real world when I started mainframes said, "Build for lowest common denominator and the larger machines get a nice tight well written program that isn't a resource hog". We did an awful lot of computing on some very slow machines back in the early 1980s.

The modern land of the GUI and the bloatware says "You've paid for the resources don't scrimp on them, when it doesn't fit apply Moore's Law and the punter can upgrade". That has the effect of everyone needing a shiny new phone every year and not being happy with a Nokia 3310.

I think my mainframe world with limited resources and a need for compactness was better. The 24x80 display was perfectly serviceable and a step on from a deck of 80 column cards.
Even CLI-only stuff is getting more and more complex though. I can remember my early days of desktop Linux when the latest gzip'ed kernel source was only around 15-20MB (back in the days before distros and repos did it for you, and if you wanted a new kernel then you configured and compiled it yourself) - linux-3.18.5.tar.gz currently sits at 118MB. Even back then - and we're only talking mid to late nineties here - there were plenty of people complaining that the kernel got far too bloated when it hit 5MB.

People want the easy to use stuff and that comes at the cost of supporting libraries, APIs, interfaces, etc. The benefit however is that it puts computing into the hands of ordinary people, and prevents the wizened greybeards and BOFHs from being the sole gatekeepers of what you can and can't do (and it's not my intention to insult anyone). I'd like to be able to write nice, tight and efficient code in C/C++, but the reality is that I use languages that are easier to use like C# and Python - they need libraries, interpreters, etc, which all need their own disk space and CPU cycles.

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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:23 pm

blc wrote: Even CLI-only stuff is getting more and more complex though. I can remember my early days of desktop Linux when the latest gzip'ed kernel source was only around 15-20MB (back in the days before distros and repos did it for you, and if you wanted a new kernel then you configured and compiled it yourself) - linux-3.18.5.tar.gz currently sits at 118MB. Even back then - and we're only talking mid to late nineties here - there were plenty of people complaining that the kernel got far too bloated when it hit 5MB.
Most of the kernel bloat is for the wide range of supported filesystems, wide range of hard-wired device drivers and all those USB devices. If you edit the config down to only include the hardware you own and would ever want to run it comes back to a much smaller kernel and /lib/modules collection. It also compiles a lot quicker. I remember building kernels that would fit on a 1.44MB floppy.

I've built small kernels for my A+ when I was testing my SPI connected ethernet.

Smallest bootable thing I've built recently was the Bootchess
http://olivier.poudade.free.fr/src/BootChess.asm

I'm almost tempted to learn X86 assembler so I can re-write that as a Raspberry bare-metal program.
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Re: Model B 256 vs 512

Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:31 pm

Great link - that asm takes me back. First language I ever taught myself. Looking through the code it gets the old wheels turning again :)

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