brainsys
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Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:44 am

I wanted to order another RPi last week but just missed the last one out of Newit. Today I ordered. 512mb from Farnell, delivery tomorrow. I'm obviously very happy for myself as I expect it to run more stuff more smoothly.

BUT, BUT, I'm not the target market for RPi. And I remember running the first Win95 machines on 4mb (just). Indeed when I started playing around with micros 4kb was BIG! What that taught us was how to code tightly and creatively. Will 512mb make things too easy for the new beginners and lead to the bloat we see in most mainstream products? Or am I being too much of a asthetic is finding just throwing more ram or ghz at a problem a long term issue despite the short term benefit?i

On the other hand Liz points out in her post that RPF is surprised and pleased that RPi is being adopted as a basic general purpose computer in the developing world where more than $35 puts stuff out of reach of most of the population. Freeing them of the MS/Apple duolopoly is an extra bonus. And 512mb makes that more possible.

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RaTTuS
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:53 am

512Mb was always coming .. though TBH I expected it about the end of feb next year.....
after they had got model a's out...
however the model a's having 256MB still makes then a good choice ..... for some things
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:01 am

Yes 512MB is very good news, but still feel that without Graphics Drivers, it will always have some limitations as a Desktop GUI PC..
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:04 am

RaTTuS wrote:after they had got model a's out...
however the model a's having 256MB still makes then a good choice ..... for some things
It also creates more of a two tier model lineup:

Model A - 256MB + 1 USB
Model B - 512MB + ethernet + 2x USB
Cloudcentric wrote:Yes 512MB is very good news, but still feel that without Graphics Drivers, it will always have some limitations as a Desktop GUI PC..
Graphics drivers ? If you mean GPU accelerated X window, then there's work in progress on that
Last edited by mikerr on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
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liz
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:04 am

Accelerated X will be a solved problem soon; we've put engineering resource on it, and it's actively being worked on.
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redhawk
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:10 am

The more RAM the better especially considering memory is split between the Operating System and Graphics.
Having more RAM means more applications can run and in some case perform faster (cache more data, less use of swap).
It would also benefit Android ICS which as I understand would crawl like a baby on all 4s with only 256MB of RAM.

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Jade
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:22 am

512mb of ram is going to smooth out things like xbmc and desktop applications a lot, since now we'll be able to use a proper ram/gpu split that won't leave us with nearly no ram to use. I don't think it's a bad thing in any way, current and future apps will stay compatible with 256 model(s). Anything running on the pi's with 512mb will run on the 256mb+swap, perhaps slightly slower, but the difference should not be that noticeable unless you're running a desktop or using a lot of ram-heavy apps like java. It makes the device less uniform, but I don't think it should kill off the 256mb model. And for $35, if you really need 512mb you might as well buy a second one.

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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:00 am

liz wrote:Accelerated X will be a solved problem soon; we've put engineering resource on it, and it's actively being worked on.
For me this is more exciting that the 256->512Mb news. I have an application which uses lots of animated windows, and I'm hitting update rate limits due to slow widget drawing speeds.
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:24 am

PeterO wrote:
liz wrote:Accelerated X will be a solved problem soon; we've put engineering resource on it, and it's actively being worked on.
For me this is more exciting that the 256->512Mb news. I have an application which uses lots of animated windows, and I'm hitting update rate limits due to slow widget drawing speeds.
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:27 am

Peter

What are you using to draw the widgets. I have just been attempting full screen image fades and moves with Python, Tkinter and PIL. It needs a second for each step of the fade :cry:

Will an accelerated X speed this up significantly or do I need to start learning OpenVG.
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:28 am

Isn't there a danger that the stocks of 256 mb models won't sell due to the new 512 upgraded version, this could annoy end retailers who have bought stocks of the 256 model.

for simple programming 256 should be more than enough,

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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:29 am

KenT wrote:Peter

What are you using to draw the widgets. I have just been attempting full screen image fades and moves with Python, Tkinter and PIL. It needs a second for each step of the fade :cry:

Will an accelerated X speed this up significantly or do I need to start learning OpenVG.
I'm not familiar with the libraries you are using, but Python would be pretty slow at that sort of thing. Really need C code for any decent speed if you are working at the pixel level.
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:30 am

psutton wrote:Isn't there a danger that the stocks of 256 mb models won't sell due to the new 512 upgraded version, this could annoy end retailers who have bought stocks of the 256 model.

for simple programming 256 should be more than enough,
Both Farnell and RS have exhausted their stocks of 256 boards. Any other retailers probably won't have that much stock anyway.
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:45 am

As long as the GUI being used stays with lxde or xfce it will be fine and allow more ram for actual programming, if you start using kde or gnome then that could negate the advantage of having 512.

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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:16 pm

512 is better than 256. :)
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:38 pm

512 is better than 256.
512 is better for everyone, apart from those of us who already have a 256 unit and don't want to buy another one.

JoeDaStudd
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:35 pm

Its all good, however it does start add more confusion.
We currently have three different versions/revisions without including the Model B 512mb version or Model A.

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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:59 pm

liz wrote:Accelerated X will be a solved problem soon; we've put engineering resource on it, and it's actively being worked on.

Very excited for this! Thanks for all your hard work :D

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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:08 pm

JoeDaStudd wrote:Its all good, however it does start add more confusion.
We currently have three different versions/revisions without including the Model B 512mb version or Model A.
Fortunately, there shouldn't be any confusion as you cannot purchase any of the older revisions. There are still one two options the Model B and the up and coming model A.
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:14 pm

Would that mean Ubuntu?

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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:18 pm

snuggles0010 wrote:Would that mean Ubuntu?

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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:30 pm

1) Newark has them (512M Model B - I assume this means rev 2 as well) available right now for immediate shipment. I just ordered one - their site is very slow right now and the process has not yet completed - is stuck on the checkout screen. Looking forward tor receiving it.

2) (Out of curiosity) Has anyone actually run it yet? Are we still waiting for the updated firmware to take advantage of the extra RAM? Maybe the first person able to do so should post the output of "cat /proc/meminfo"...
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:33 pm

I ordered a Pi in October from Element14 and their shipment is not due to arrive until early November.

I am hoping that I receive a 512MB version. I emailed them this morning to inquire which I would receive because I want the 512MB one.

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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:36 pm

Joe Schmoe wrote:1) Newark has them (512M Model B - I assume this means rev 2 as well) available right now for immediate shipment. I just ordered one - their site is very slow right now and the process has not yet completed - is stuck on the checkout screen. Looking forward tor receiving it.

2) (Out of curiosity) Has anyone actually run it yet? Are we still waiting for the updated firmware to take advantage of the extra RAM? Maybe the first person able to do so should post the output of "cat /proc/meminfo"...
1 yes they are getting slammed with orders I guess
2 Yes without the split can't use it one person posted on the the other thread Liz said an official update would be released this week :)
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Re: Is 512mb a good thing?

Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:38 pm

snuggles0010 wrote:Would that mean Ubuntu?
Ubuntu is still a no go. The issue there is not a matter of memory, but a lack of support for the ARM version the R-pi employees. So unless Ubuntu or some very dedicated fans want to put in a ton of work to port it over to the Pi, it's just not feasible :(

On the bright side Ubuntu is Debian with some bells and whistles, so if you're familiar with Ubuntu, you'll be able to run Debian just fine ;-)
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