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

Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:41 pm

Quote from abishur on October 4, 2011, 14:01
Quote from Scribe on October 3, 2011, 21:05
Also Notepad++ is a little bit of an IDE in reality =P

Is it now? Well I stand corrected then, I have found an IDE I like. Course it was a program that just barely counts :P

I've been getting friendly again with code-blocks. Like with Eclipse it's multi-platform and CMake can build projects for it, but no daft bugs and it's coded in c++ so fast and small. Works fine with cross-compiling.

stuporhero
Posts: 125
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:16 am

I love Qt Develop... It is an IDE, but feels lightweight.

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

Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:39 am

Quote from stuporhero on October 9, 2011, 11:16
I love Qt Develop... It is an IDE, but feels lightweight.

I'll give it a look, I've used a lot of programs built in the IDE and using the Qt SDK but never tried myself.

So far I use Wt for any web work and I know I can get it up and running on the RaspberryPi fairly quickly, I wonder how easy Qt's HTTP server is to use.

ryao
Posts: 24
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:42 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.

You need compcache:

http://code.google.com/p/compcache/

tufty
Posts: 1456
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:49 pm

There's been a lot of moaning on this thread that 256MB somehow "isn't enough". Get sane, folks. We're talking about a device that's aimed at a specific price point, and with a specific purpose in mind. Never mind that the RasPi people have pointed out that adding more memory would blow the price point out of the water, let's look at the specs.

You have (or rather, will have), at pocket money price, a general purpose computer with a 700MHz processor and 256MB of memory. To put it into perspective, that's 15-20 times the processor speed and 8 times the memory of what would have been specced into a top of the range developer machine relatively recently.

Being restricted to 256MB (or even 128MB) should absolutely not be an issue, even for general purpose software development, let alone for teaching programming. Being restricted (even if you consider it that*) is a good thing in many respects; the bloated nature of even the simplest app these days is, at least in part, due to the attitude of waiting for Moore's Law to catch up.

If the software you're wanting to use is too fat, then you're using the wrong software, or trying to squeeze the right software onto the wrong hardware. It's pretty much as simple as that. Yes, there's another rant applicable here based on the choice of Linux as a base, but I'll save that for another day.

Simon

* Let's go back in time a little to some of the more "modern" machines I've used as a developer (we'll leave the 8-bits out of this). Atari ST with 512KB, 8MHz 68000, full windowing system and one of the best gaming micros ever, perfectly useable for development. NeXT Cube - 16MB, 35MHz 68040, full multitasking business and developer system. PC with 32MB and 66MHz 486 - full blown OS/2 developer box. Sun SparcStation 20 with 64MB and 200MHz HyperSparc - the machine that ran the trading floor at LIFFE (I know, because the hot backup was sat under my desk). In spec terms, RasPi kicks all of these into touch with ease.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:13 pm

It's all about expectations. You and I may have good memories about "simple" hardware in the early '80s - except they weren't simple but cutting edge. But this is 2011. The intended users for raspi was born ten year after the internet became popular. They think it's as old as the universe. I saw a TV program recently where children around 6-8 years old were shown a 3½" floppy and asked what it was. They didn't have a clue whatsoever. Within a couple of years the same will happen for the CD.

This is the audience. Not nostalgia driven people as the two of us.

If you want to attract youth with something appealing it need to live up to expectations and more. Just as the BBC was the wildest thing hardwarewise you could get your hands on in its days. So today that's an all-GUI solution and internet access. Simultaneous. And then some.

It's doable within 256 MB, but it's a tight fit.

david13lt
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:18 pm

@tufty, for developer machine you would probably go with 4-8GB of RAM, 8GB currently becomes the norm (it's quite cheap, ~$50 for 8GB DDR3). Even more RAM might be a good idea, but that depends on what you are developing.

256MB is fully enough for Linux usage. I am currently running Linux with GUI and that consumes 32MB of RAM. I also compile a custom Angstrom build (CLI), which takes 12MB of RAM. All the other memory goes to caches. Now if you want to run Ubuntu full stack you might get in trouble. Ubuntu requires something like 1GB of RAM. I had problems trying to install it on 512MB RAM machine. And you should remember that memory usage between different architectures are different.

256MB will be allright for most of the people.

mat80c
Posts: 15
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:50 pm

I don’t know if it’s been said before but 640k should be enough for anyone. I think that only five of these machines will ever really be needed anyway, mostly for military applications.

On a more serious note, I’m sure in a few months there will be a model c that’s four times as fast making all our model b's obsolete. I hear some people are even trying to build a computer that has some form of x86 instruction set, for less than a thousand pounds. Apparently such a machine will be able to address up to 4gb of ram.

GoingPostal13
Posts: 17
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:51 pm

Quote from tufty on October 13, 2011, 15:49
In spec terms, RasPi kicks all of these into touch with ease.
It's a fab bit of kit for the price - I remember buying 4MB RAM to upgrade a 486 SX 33 Mhz in 1995 as a student for the sum of around £100. We've never had computing so cheap.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:38 pm

It's all relative. As kme suggests, kids expect a very different experience. I'm 25 and I can only just remember using command-line and windows 3.1 on my grandfather's old 286 18mhz, 1MB ram and a 20MB hard disk. The smallest ammount of memory I've ever had on a PC I owned myself was in fact 256MB and that was 15 years ago. We know from the PS3 that it's possible to do big things with little memory, it has 256MB of ram and 256MB of VRAM. The problem is as in the case of the ps3, you find yourself spending a lot of your time coming up with memory saving techniques and code, streaming, compression etc instead of working on the real problem of creating your program.

It's good to follow efficient practise but at the end of the day programing is but a tool to accomplish a goal. What matters is that it remains objective enough to accomplish your task, once you begin having to focus heavily on memory usage, the tool and your system isn't doing a very good job of helping you reach your goal.

I think the notion that if a program uses too much memory you have the wrong program is rediculous. There are many scenarios where high memory usage is appropriate. Modern programing is about accomplishing larger tasks that would not be possible without the help of tools and APIs made by others and often the choise of what you can use isn't something you have any power over.

Some examples: Web content is unpredictable and high memory is needed for some webpages, Java and memory heavy libraries are used on android to encourage API creation and improve scalability. A single uncompressed (ready for processing) 20mp image is 76MB.

There's no right or wrong answer regarding memory, only that it's a large factor in limiting the pi's scalability and should be considered heavily for future revisions.

Speaking of unefficient this forum kills my eee pad transformer!

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:28 pm

I think there's several issues:
1- memory management is not the funnest thing to focus on when learning programming. Granted, good habits are better taken early, but I think it would be better to hook 70% of kids and let them be sloppy, than 50% and force them to count bytes. By that yardstick anyway, we would be forcing assembly on everyone ?
2- even later, in their professional life, a developer's time has to be portioned out between, say, making the deadline, saving RAM or cycles, writing maintainable code, networking (in the social sense), debugging, documentation, even ergonomics... RAM and CPU power are, mainly, cheap (though Mobile and embedded are, indeed, on the rise). When I was recruiting devs by, among other things, have them write small programs, memory use was *not* a criteria. Maintanability, clarity, comments, reliability, feature-completeness (our spec sheet had voluntary holes in it), were. I'm sure there are a few uber-whizzes (especially in this forum) that write code so tight it seems magical. Most IT jobs don't require that, especially at the expense of other aspects. I'd leave tha specialization for later, though it is a very valid one.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:05 pm

Quote from david13lt on October 13, 2011, 16:18
@tufty, for developer machine you would probably go with 4-8GB of RAM, 8GB currently becomes the norm (it's quite cheap, ~$50 for 8GB DDR3). Even more RAM might be a good idea, but that depends on what you are developing.


Blimey. I have a quad core 4GB machine at work for developing on the GPU, and it rarely if ever use the swap. That's running JOBS=10, so up to 10 compiles running simultaneously.

C rather than Java or similar though - perhaps that's where the difference lies. These modern languages are real memory hogs.....
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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Svartalf
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:15 pm

There's a reality check here guys... Not knowing what the MCP pinouts are, I can only suppose pricing on the parts in question:

512MB RAM (16x32), Qty1, DigiKey : $18.42
1024MB RAM (32x32), Qty1, DigiKey: $20.48

Before you remark, they have to pay retail quantities at whatever OEM price break they are- which isn't as nifty over what DigiKey's charging at quantity 1000 or more. They're just a wholesaler that sells to the general public.

The reality is...if they can't lay hands on the package-on-package memory to allow 512/1024MB of RAM on the device through their supply source (that's giving them access to the HUGE volume discounts without purchasing the same...) then they can't do it. If they can, the price would be $50-ish before it was all said and done.

As for the observations of what's a "developer machine", you're seeing people stating the ideal configuration on a PC. Remind yourselves of this. I think you're going to find that the machine's only problems for development work is that it's "slow" compared to what we're used to. There's people developing on target directly with BeagleBoard RevC's. Take a guess what RAM those have on them...

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:17 pm

Quote from david13lt on October 13, 2011, 16:18
@tufty, for developer machine you would probably go with 4-8GB of RAM, 8GB currently becomes the norm (it's quite cheap, ~$50 for 8GB DDR3). Even more RAM might be a good idea, but that depends on what you are developing
You might. My current developer machine (24" iMac) has 2GB of memory, but even if I thrash it to the max, I have a hard time getting it to swap. I did manage to do so earlier today, but then I was running Win2K under VirtualBox with 10 or so IE6 windows open (pointing at a locally running rails app), had about 30 tabs open under Chrome (likewise), a good number of terminals open, was thrashing the local Postgres and Apache instances with ab (hitting the rails app as well), Textmate had 3 separate rails app directories open (that eats memory quite a bit) *and* I had automator reducing 20 GB of images for web usage. Oh, and I had iTunes running. It's probably iTunes that was the last straw :)

When I bought the box, I'd planned to up the memory, but I haven't found it to be a significant speedbump. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

We have become used to the memory requirements of applications expanding at least as fast as the growth in available memory, but without a significant change in the ability of the software. Processor performance has introduced new ways of doing things, but the abundance of memory hasn't. Bloat is not just a hit on memory usage, it's a hit on performance as well. It's a bloody boat anchor. It's one of the things that really gets me down about IT in general - rather than actually making life better for people, it's become a snake eating its own tail, a market that generates itself, that exists to serve only its own interests. There's little in terms of document production that you can do with Microsoft Word (to take one example of many) today, that you couldn't do with the previous release. Or the release before. Or, to be frank, with Word for Windows 6. Let's be honest, it *still* can't typeset properly today, after 30 years of existence.

So when I see a technology that breaks out of the norm, that exists to actually do good in the world rather than simply generate profit by some form of alchemy that turns shitty, bug-ridden code into gold (and infinite gold-generating upgrades further down the line), it rather warms the cockles of my heart. To then see people moaning about an issue that is largely irrelevant to its intended purpose, but which has a "fix" that would stop it performing that purpose, just hammers home how many people simply "don't get it".

I may be wrong, of course. But I don't honestly think I am.

Simon

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:53 pm

Quote from Svartalf on October 13, 2011, 20:15
As for the observations of what's a "developer machine", you're seeing people stating the ideal configuration on a PC. Remind yourselves of this. I think you're going to find that the machine's only problems for development work is that it's "slow" compared to what we're used to. There's people developing on target directly with BeagleBoard RevC's. Take a guess what RAM those have on them...

I own a PandaBoard, though it has 1GB of RAM and 1ghz Dual-core Cortex-A9, linux kernel 2.6.35 > has murdered SD seek times and a GUI isn't viable for development. As a linux n00b I opted out of moving my file system to USB (I don't own any fast USB devices anyway!) and moved to command line, so have opted to cross-compile.

I certainly agree it's possible to develop on embedded devices with less RAM, but you will be limited in available desktop environments / distros and thus perhaps packages. You'll also have to discount memory heavy IDEs that can have handy features and a good few programs take ~10mins or more to compile on my 6-core overclocked 1090T x86_64 based CPU, not only will that time increase massively on embedded devices but with singles cores they'll become much less responsive during this process if it's to be done with any speed.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:00 pm

Quote from tufty on October 13, 2011, 20:17
Quote from david13lt on October 13, 2011, 16:18
@tufty, for developer machine you would probably go with 4-8GB of RAM, 8GB currently becomes the norm (it's quite cheap, ~$50 for 8GB DDR3). Even more RAM might be a good idea, but that depends on what you are developing
You might. My current developer machine (24" iMac) has 2GB of memory, but even if I thrash it to the max, I have a hard time getting it to swap. I did manage to do so earlier today, but then I was running Win2K under VirtualBox with 10 or so IE6 windows open (pointing at a locally running rails app), had about 30 tabs open under Chrome (likewise), a good number of terminals open, was thrashing the local Postgres and Apache instances with ab (hitting the rails app as well), Textmate had 3 separate rails app directories open (that eats memory quite a bit) *and* I had automator reducing 20 GB of images for web usage. Oh, and I had iTunes running. It's probably iTunes that was the last straw :)


Naturally depends on what you're developing.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:14 pm

Quote from Scribe on October 13, 2011, 21:00
Naturally depends on what you're developing.

Heh... I can manage to port Indie 3D titles (IGF Finalists and Winners...) in 2Gb of RAM and technically it's overkill. Now...my main dev machine...it's of a different story. That's because I do quite a few things simultaneously and it runs cleaner with 8Gb than with 4 or 2, though at the day job, I've got a 4 and people manage around here with 2.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:17 pm

Quote from Svartalf on October 13, 2011, 21:14
Quote from Scribe on October 13, 2011, 21:00
Naturally depends on what you're developing.

Heh... I can manage to port Indie 3D titles (IGF Finalists and Winners...) in 2Gb of RAM and technically it's overkill. Now...my main dev machine...it's of a different story. That's because I do quite a few things simultaneously and it runs cleaner with 8Gb than with 4 or 2, though at the day job, I've got a 4 and people manage around here with 2.

=P Exactly, it depends. For example I've worked with students making large unreal levels (as an extreme case) and they lag unless you have 8GB minimum, sometimes 16GB is needed for a smooth experience. That's extreme but I'm sure you catch my drift.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:22 pm

Quote from Scribe on October 13, 2011, 21:00
Naturally depends on what you're developing.
Absolutely. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the sort of development you do that absolutely requires 4GB of memory as a bare minimum, because I haven't had the good luck to stumble across it in the years I've been cutting code.

Simon.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:23 pm

Quote from Scribe on October 13, 2011, 21:17
=P Exactly, it depends. For example I've worked with students making large unreal levels (as an extreme case) and they lag unless you have 8GB minimum, sometimes 16GB is needed for a smooth experience. That's extreme but I'm sure you catch my drift.

Here's a bit of a hint... Unreal is not going to be running on this system- and it's Unreal's toolchain that's needing the memory in question, not the regular development tools.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:30 pm

Quote from Svartalf on October 13, 2011, 21:23
Quote from Scribe on October 13, 2011, 21:17
=P Exactly, it depends. For example I've worked with students making large unreal levels (as an extreme case) and they lag unless you have 8GB minimum, sometimes 16GB is needed for a smooth experience. That's extreme but I'm sure you catch my drift.

Here's a bit of a hint... Unreal is not going to be running on this system- and it's Unreal's toolchain that's needing the memory in question, not the regular development tools.

Using an editor to create a streaming level could result in high memory usage for the editor on an engine viable for the Pi, as I said, it's an example.

Also you're interchanging the meaning of development/compiling/porting. I'm talking about development in general. If I'm talking about games and just the end runtime for work on the Pi, it's likely I'd want to debug on the system itself, where, if I'm optimising memory and testing a real scenario I'd need more than the memory than I'm targeting, so an optional board with more memory for development would be ideal as the 256MB board is the one expected to make it into the hands of most non-educational users. Again, more scenarios where debugging can consume a lot of memory.

WizardOfOZ
Posts: 76
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Re: [Request] Please add some more Ram, they are really cheap right now.

Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:36 pm

Quote from Scribe on October 13, 2011, 20:53
... and a good few programs take ~10mins or more to compile on my 6-core overclocked 1090T x86_64 based CPU, not only will that time increase massively on embedded devices but with singles cores they'll become much less responsive during this process if it's to be done with any speed.
Learn to set the priorities of processes on Linux systems. I assume this functionality hasn't been removed from Linux since we compiled the Linux kernel in roughly 8 minutes in 1996 on a very much single core 133 MHz Pentium...

Looks like the Raspi will be quite the learning opportunity, in more ways than one.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:40 pm

Quote from Scribe on October 13, 2011, 21:30
Also you're interchanging the meaning of development/compiling/porting. I'm talking about development in general. If I'm talking about games and just the end runtime for work on the Pi, it's likely I'd want to debug on the system itself, where, if I'm optimising memory and testing a real scenario I'd need more than the memory than I'm targeting, so an optional board with more memory for development would be ideal as the 256MB board is the one expected to make it into the hands of most non-educational users. Again, more scenarios where debugging can consume a lot of memory.

They're all interchangeable. More to the point, if you're doing what you're describing, you're going to likely be developing in the manner I'm doing game ports, etc. Cross-compilation. Debug can be done by remote GDB, etc. Seriously. If you're doing something on this device that actually NEEDS 512Mb or more of RAM, you might want to re-think what you're doing.

Besides, your desired config is a moot point- they've already SAID that they can't manage it right at the moment, even if they were willing to raise prices. The larger capacity parts are not available to them with this SoC at this time.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:01 pm

Quote from Svartalf on October 13, 2011, 23:40
Quote from Scribe on October 13, 2011, 21:30
Also you're interchanging the meaning of development/compiling/porting. I'm talking about development in general. If I'm talking about games and just the end runtime for work on the Pi, it's likely I'd want to debug on the system itself, where, if I'm optimising memory and testing a real scenario I'd need more than the memory than I'm targeting, so an optional board with more memory for development would be ideal as the 256MB board is the one expected to make it into the hands of most non-educational users. Again, more scenarios where debugging can consume a lot of memory.

They're all interchangeable. More to the point, if you're doing what you're describing, you're going to likely be developing in the manner I'm doing game ports, etc. Cross-compilation. Debug can be done by remote GDB, etc. Seriously. If you're doing something on this device that actually NEEDS 512Mb or more of RAM, you might want to re-think what you're doing.

Besides, your desired config is a moot point- they've already SAID that they can't manage it right at the moment, even if they were willing to raise prices. The larger capacity parts are not available to them with this SoC at this time.

They're subsets of development as opposed to being interchangeable. Everyone here who's talking about more memory is doing so because they don't want to rethink a project, they want to open doors to what is possible with the Pi, no one is saying or has said that "Damn you RaspberryPi Foundation this product sucks because there's not enough memory!" and they're fully aware of the costing implications; it's just a suggestion for when it is more feasible as people clearly seem to feel it's one of the more notable limiting factors for what they have in mind.

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

Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:23 pm

Quote from Scribe on October 14, 2011, 00:01
Everyone here who's talking about more memory is doing so because they don't want to rethink a project, they want to open doors to what is possible with the Pi, no one is saying or has said that "Damn you RaspberryPi Foundation this product sucks because there's not enough memory!" and they're fully aware of the costing implications; it's just a suggestion for when it is more feasible as people clearly seem to feel it's one of the more notable limiting factors for what they have in mind.

Is it? This depends on what you're trying to do. If you're reaching for handheld console level titles, for some cases, you might be right. If you're not, you'd be...heh...wrong in many of them.

And there seems to be as many that feel that it's NOT one of the limiting factors for what they have in mind. DO keep in mind that this has a specific purpose, for which it will do okay for with either memory size. Seriously. If you're aiming for 512Mb or more, you may find that the CPU is constraining for what you're trying to do. Again, seriously. It's an ARM11. It's amazing what it can and will do- but compared to an ARM Cortex A8 it's slow. And an A8's slow compared to an A9 or an A15. An A9 is only 1.5 times faster per clock than Intel's best offerings in Atoms. For 1/5th the power consumption. This is going to be 7-10 times slower under some cases.

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