chip273
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:24 pm

Hi RaspPi Team,

I would like to Request that you look into the possibilities to add some more RAM to the Boards.

I know that you are using a PAP structure for the memory, so that limits the possibilites for the memory module you can use. But this fact also means that you will NOT need any rerouting of the PCB if you change the RAM Module, since it directly sits on top of the processor.

Right now Ram prices are extreamly cheap (at least for full PC Ram Modules). Prices are somewhere around 4 Euros per Gigabyte. I think that also single RAM ICs must be very cheap right now.

Although a PC Ram module and embedded Ram is not the same, please still look into possibilities of using some bigger RAM modules.

greets,
chip273

Sorry if this had already been asked, I had searched prior to posting in the forum, but as it seems the search can't even find this posting, so I might have missed something.

Scribe
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:43 pm

I would also like to see more RAM, as option B already has more ram and is geared more towards the general public, at a such a low cost difference I think it would be welcomed for projects involving image processing etc that require lots of memory. The GPU has an awesome 24GFLOPs of general purpose power, let's back this up with the kind of memory it'll need to make use of it.

kme
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:03 pm

I can only join the choir. I recently got an "old" Pentium-III 1 GHz laptop for free with just 256 MB and it's been quite a challenge run a near-normal Linux GUI desktop (LXDE) and I'm no Linux newbie and know a few tricks. 256 MB is a tight fit for a GUI desktop and requires heavy swapping. Doable but not trivial to get a usable system. Simple to get to boot, but not to do usable work. You can forget Firefox/Chrome right away.

reggie
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:03 pm

It's not going to happen. I asked these questions a while back. If you want to use the search facility properly, use this link http://www.raspberrypi.org/?pa.....ion=search instead of the box at the top of the forum pages.

It's incredibly unlikely that at this late stage in the game that the PI team will be making any major changes to the board, nor anything that will add any cost to the units. The pi isn't about satisfying everyone's wants and desires, it's about providing a cheap programming platform for the kids.

kme
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:20 pm

@reggie
"It's incredibly unlikely that at this late stage in the game that the PI team will be making any major changes to the board, nor anything that will add any cost to the units."

No, the A and B versions are settled, but there will be future version and there we need to show where our interests go. My interests are more RAM, four USB ports (switch the lan1102 chip with lan1104) and a single edge connector row. And others have different wishes...

A forum is about exchanging ideas. Some are crazy, some will come through after some iterations.

chip273
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:20 pm

@reggie: Not even your link is working. (When I search for "ram" nothing returns, should I look for smthg else ? )
As I said the ram is ontop of the processor, in a PoP configuration. So NO work on the board at all is needed for this change..

Tide
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:39 pm

Quote from kme on October 2, 2011, 15:03
I can only join the choir. I recently got an "old" Pentium-III 1 GHz laptop for free with just 256 MB and it's been quite a challenge run a near-normal Linux GUI desktop (LXDE) and I'm no Linux newbie and know a few tricks. 256 MB is a tight fit for a GUI desktop and requires heavy swapping. Doable but not trivial to get a usable system. Simple to get to boot, but not to do usable work. You can forget Firefox/Chrome right away.

I'm sure you know this and you may have reasons of your own for not using them but there are enough lightweight distros out there. I run Puppy on a P II equipped with 256MB RAM myself and I'm using Opera without any "heavy swapping". Slitaz, DSL: all run happily with less than 200MB RAM. If you need more, perhaps you'd better get a new machine.

Then there's among others Lubuntu or Ångström for ARM, up to you really. If that won't fit your bill get a IGEPv2/BB/PB and run whatever you need on that. Sure, there's no replacement for displacement but hey: it's supposed to be cheap and cheerful!

hippy
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:44 pm

Quote from kme on October 2, 2011, 15:03
I can only join the choir. I recently got an "old" Pentium-III 1 GHz laptop for free with just 256 MB and it's been quite a challenge run a near-normal Linux GUI desktop (LXDE) and I'm no Linux newbie and know a few tricks. 256 MB is a tight fit for a GUI desktop and requires heavy swapping.

And here's me running perfectly usable Windows 98 systems with just 16MB of RAM and a 120MB HDD and Windows 95 systems on even less, and we all know how bloated Windows is :-)

I've cursed Microsoft as new versions of Windows have required me to upgrade and that seems to be the way Linux is going as well.

I can understand how and why developers of desktop OS's and applications have taken advantage of what's available - bigger, better, faster - to do more clever and more things in general but maybe it's time to rethink that strategy and look back to when people could do pretty much the same on much more constrained devices.

If R-Pi brings about a shift towards leaner thinking then that will be a significant achievement IMO.

Scribe
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:54 pm

I think this is missing the point a little.

For example this cpu supports up to 20MP cameras and even the guys at Raspberry Pi are looking at a hi-res optional add-on. It has a GPU ideal for number crunching beyond the typical weight limit you'd expect of an ARM11 based system.

I'm only looking for something like 5MP but just a single uncompressed RGBA frame would be 19MB, and in an ideal world I'd buffer a few of these, have to sample and process them etc all of which takes memory. For speed I'd even like to keep some results in memory.

If as suggested more memory is a few pounds, then those few pounds make programming life much easier and more projects possible.

PCs designed to run windows 98, early pentiums etc were never designed for modern tasks like processing and interpreting live video in the megapixel range so it's not so much a case of doing more with less memory. It's not like it's feasible to rewrite complex libraries needed for modern projects just to make them more memory friendly either.

Tide
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:01 pm

@hippy

Looking for a challenge? Run a full fledged x86 GUI OS in as little as 8MB of RAM: KolibriOS. Written in Assembler and boots from floppy. Yes, that's a 1.44MB floppy distro!

Eclipse
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:15 pm

The trouble is that anything costing "a few Pounds" is, relative to the cost of the other components, not an insignificant amount. Additionally I quite like the idea of an amount of memory that is large enough to be useful but small enough to be slightly restrictive. Providing a platform for budding programmers is one of the Raspberry Pi's goals. Anyone coding for modern systems hardly has to think about memory use any more, but being forced to work with more restrictive limitations forces programmers to think smarter. Working around these restrictions can be a lot of fun too.

In my day we had 16KB to play with, and we liked it. :)

kme
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:43 pm

@Tide

I'm no newcomer to light Linux systems. I'm a co-author to a Linux thin client and can make a 10 MB image with X, LAN, mice, menues etc (x86 only).

The problem is the intended audience, their skills and their expectations.

We don't stand a snowsman's chance in hell against modern youngsters if they don't have a full sexy GUI and a browser (=Firefox/Chrome) to google for programming help or searching for error messages. GCC and company isn't really lightweight themselves either and a GUI IDE will be mandatory to stir up any interest.

I personally am old enough to live with a framebuffer, no mouse and Dillo, but good luck to convince a 7th grader whos mobiles will beat the hell out of a raspi.

Tide
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:35 pm

Point taken but do you really think the Raspberry should try to compete with them? Back then even with 1GB RAM the mighty Iyonix seemed a dog to those expecting Pentium performance from every desktop computer. They're not going to market it as general purpose powerhouse, capable of all the latest multi media tricks. More RAM here, a second NIC, VGA, RS232, USB 3.0 it's always just a few pennies etc. Suddenly it'll be 50 quid, competing with off the shelf ATOM boards and where would the Pi's USP be then? I believe they know rather well what they're doing, that they did their homework. It's not like the members of the Raspberry Pi foundation are some amateur enthusiasts.

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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:53 pm

The problem is not so much the average RAM price as it is the PoP package that is used by RasPi. The 512Mb package is not easily available for this particular package. There is not just one format, size or number of pins package for PoP memory! There are a dozen of sizes, pins(actually solder pad and pad layout formats) and speeds, also several other choices such as type DDR, DDR2 etc.. All of the factors have to be right for it to work. And then there is price! There are 1GB packages out there, they just will not fit on the BCM2835!

It would be nice if in the future they produce an upgraded unit. I actually do not understand why for the first release they did not just go with just "B" models only. I guess they wanted the "A's" to see Production also. I have not heard of a breakdown as to how many of each model will be produced in the first batch, but I am guessing it will be more B models than the A.
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:30 pm

Lob is right - there isn't a PoP package available over 256MB (at an acceptable price).

More memory would be nice. It's just not possible at the moment.

And if we don't capture the mobile 7th graders, well, if they already have mobiles of that sort of spec, then they really don't need a $25 computer - they already have something much beefier at home.
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Scribe
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:16 pm

I think if a bigger PoP is possible for a reasonable price, it makes sense, though I can understand if there's not.

This isn't comparable to an extra peripheral here and there, you can use the exposed headers etc to add more outputs yourself, but the memory is 100% not customisable, in fact because it's on the CPU you'd realistically have to swap both to upgrade. If there's not going to be any kind of slot or spare room for an optional memory upgrade then I think this does become an important bottleneck in the possibilities and uses of the board.

Bacan
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:52 pm

There is always a USB to SATA HDD interface. Bought one the other day, w/power brick for $15.00 USD.

reggie
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:07 am

Quote from chip273 on October 2, 2011, 15:20
@reggie: Not even your link is working. (When I search for "ram" nothing returns, should I look for smthg else ? )
As I said the ram is ontop of the processor, in a PoP configuration. So NO work on the board at all is needed for this change.. No idea why that forum search isn't working :/ the main box has never worked for me but the advanced search page has :(

Wherever the ram chip is, they're not going to add any extra :)

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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:13 am

Quote from Scribe on October 2, 2011, 19:16
I think if a bigger PoP is possible for a reasonable price, it makes sense, though I can understand if there's not.

This isn't comparable to an extra peripheral here and there, you can use the exposed headers etc to add more outputs yourself, but the memory is 100% not customisable, in fact because it's on the CPU you'd realistically have to swap both to upgrade. If there's not going to be any kind of slot or spare room for an optional memory upgrade then I think this does become an important bottleneck in the possibilities and uses of the board.

There is no PoP package available in an acceptable price.

As for a socketed RAM, the board isn't large enough for a standard RAM socket, either desk or laptop. In addition more chips for memory control would be needed - it's more expensive than just adding a socket.

I'm afraid it 128 or 256 for the moment.
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abishur
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:58 pm

Quote from reggie on October 3, 2011, 11:07
Quote from chip273 on October 2, 2011, 15:20
@reggie: Not even your link is working. (When I search for "ram" nothing returns, should I look for smthg else ? )
As I said the ram is ontop of the processor, in a PoP configuration. So NO work on the board at all is needed for this change.. No idea why that forum search isn't working :/ the main box has never worked for me but the advanced search page has :(

Wherever the ram chip is, they're not going to add any extra :)

The search is working... just not for search queries under 4 characters long. I've posted on the mingle forum help section 2 months ago, but they never responded (not even a "Can't be done" or "We don't know" which honestly kinda felt rude)
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ErvKosch
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:32 pm

There is no PoP package available in an acceptable price.

As for a socketed RAM, the board isn't large enough for a standard RAM socket, either desk or laptop. In addition more chips for memory control would be needed - it's more expensive than just adding a socket.

I'm afraid it 128 or 256 for the moment.

Is there a shield/expansion board planned with socket RAM?

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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:21 pm

Quote from ErvKosch on October 3, 2011, 14:32
Quote from jamesh
There is no PoP package available in an acceptable price.

As for a socketed RAM, the board isn't large enough for a standard RAM socket, either desk or laptop. In addition more chips for memory control would be needed - it's more expensive than just adding a socket.

I'm afraid it 128 or 256 for the moment.

Is there a shield/expansion board planned with socket RAM?

Re-read what jamesh just said there- it's not as simple as adding RAM onto the device. A shield/expansion board would require the same amount of effort as adding it ON the board in the first place. And this is for PC's as well as anything else- the RAM requires support circuits to be used. In this case, the R-Pi is using a mobile phone SoC- which does NOT account for things like PCIe, SATA, on-board Ethernet, or...RAM, save through the PoP package path. They'd have to pick a completely different SoC to accomplish what you're asking for, and then there went the $25-35 price point.

Now, on a different subject... Why does everyone keep thinking they need more than the 128-256Mb that the device has?

1) You'd be amazed at what all you can accomplish in that memory profile. We've gotten...heh...sloppy over the years. It should be noted that with the first Live-CD ever, Yggdrasil Linux, you could manage all sorts of amazing things...full workstation power and ability...IN 64MB of RAM. While it's impractical to demand going back down to that size, you should note that most of the awesome mini-servers and the like are managing with 128-256MB of RAM and that this fits the foundation's initial goals well.

2) This isn't so much for people trying to come up with a magic $25 "PC" (Though, I suspect you could accomplish a super Acorn/RiscOS machine with it with a bit of effort and software ingenuity...)- it's about making a workable machine that you can hand out like it was a textbook to kids, to teach Computer Science with. As I said just a moment ago, this accomplishes this goal pretty well.

kme
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:46 pm

Svartalf:
"...you should note that most of the awesome mini-servers and the like are managing with 128-256MB of RAM and that this fits the foundation's initial goals well."

This is where you go completely wrong. It's NOT the RasPI team's goal to make cool servers. Their goal make a platform that makes kids interested in programming. The kids have some minimal expectation for such a computer: A GUI that's not completely ridiculous (forget TWM), a GUI IDE is a must, and contemporary browser is a must too to look up compiler error messages and programming examples. And then you add gcc (or friends) and gdb - and think that can be done in 256 MB RAM. Riiight...

RasPI will become successful, but not for the intended purpose. We grown up males (sorry Liz) with money will love it, the kids will return to their Playstations and get on with their stuff.

Don't get me wrong, I love the RasPI hardware, but frankly I don't understand the original motivation.

stuporhero
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:53 pm

Here, you don't need to ask RasPi to add RAM, you can download some here: http://www.downloadmoreram.com

jamesh
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:04 pm

Quote from kme on October 3, 2011, 15:46
This is where you go completely wrong. It's NOT the RasPI team's goal to make cool servers. Their goal make a platform that makes kids interested in programming. The kids have some minimal expectation for such a computer: A GUI that's not completely ridiculous (forget TWM), a GUI IDE is a must, and contemporary browser is a must too to look up compiler error messages and programming examples. And then you add gcc (or friends) and gdb - and think that can be done in 256 MB RAM. Riiight...


Well, I've been doing semi dev work on it with 256MB ram - as I said elsewhere, you *don't* need an IDE, (I've been using nedit which is OK), you don't run gcc and gdb at the same time, you do need a browser (and a couple have been shown to work quite well). In fact I would argue that using an IDE prevents people from really learning about the development process - it hides too many stages that you should really know about (makefiles, compile, link etc). Just pressing a button marked 'run' and it working, masks a lot of stuff.

Now think about all those schools in the third world, who don't have any computers at all. The prospective student there have no prior expectations whatsoever. In fact, the people with the high expectations you talk about could afford a desktop or laptop PC that would do the job better anyway, so are really not the target demographic. Those that cannot afford the desktop have the choice of a Raspi; cheap, and more limited, but they can still do very good work on it.
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