What Does 1TB of RAM Look Like? - rldwj

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

What Does 1TB of RAM Look Like?



What You Could Do With 1TB of RAM ?

The good news (for us) is that RAM has diminishing returns: at a certain point, adding more RAM to a system doesn’t provide much extra value. Most computer apps don’t use much RAM at all, so as long as you have enough for day-to-day activities, you should be fine. But if you had way more RAM than necessary, here are some things you could do.

1. Open a Thousand Tabs

With 1 TB of RAM, you may finally be able to open more than 10 Chrome tabs! Jokes aside, there are reasons why Chrome and other browsers hog so much memory.

They need to be able to handle all kinds of media on top of hypertext: videos, audio, documents, all of which come in dozens of formats. They also have built-in interpreter engines for handling web languages, like JavaScript and others. And, at least with Chrome, each tab is its own separate sandbox, and setting up each sandbox requires a lot of memory overhead.

When we compared Firefox and Chrome, we found that 15 tabs (all pointing to MakeUseOf’s homepage) required ~520MB of RAM in Firefox and ~750MB of RAM in Chrome. And our site is far from the most memory-intensive site on the web. If your tabs are pointed to games, interactive media, social media, etc. then you can expect each tab to hog much more.

But with 1TB of RAM, who cares? You can open thousands of tabs without batting an eye. How awesome would that be? With smart tab management tactics, it wouldn’t even bog you down.

2. Buffer Hundreds of Videos

When you stream videos on the web, the browser has to download the first few seconds before it can start playing. Then, during playback, it keeps downloading more and more of the video as a “buffer” in case your internet momentarily chokes up. Buffering helps prevent stuttering.


But all that video data needs to be readily accessible, so buffered videos are stored in RAM. If you run out of RAM, it gets stored in virtual RAM: a section of your hard drive that’s set aside as an overflow area when physical RAM space runs out.

With 1TB of RAM, you could buffer dozens or even hundreds of videos (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, etc.) ahead of time to play at your leisure. Normally this is a bad idea because loading data from virtual RAM to physical RAM is slow, but if you have 1TB of RAM, this won’t ever be a problem for you.

3. Keep Every Single Game Loaded

Modern PC games load all kinds of data into RAM when starting up: textures, models, music, sounds, etc. Startup can be a slow process, though, because all that data needs to be loaded from your hard drive. That’s why it can take a minute (or even longer!) to launch games.

With 1TB of RAM, you could launch every single game on your system and never close them. The data would stay loaded in RAM and you could switch between games whenever you want. Even if you took a break and weren’t playing anything, you could keep them open. They’d be instantly available when you got back in the mood.

This also applies to other memory-intensive apps: digital audio workstations, video editing suites, high-resolution photo editing software, etc. Leave them all open all the time!

4. Run Many Operating Systems at Once

Did you know you can run operating systems within operating systems? I literally mean, for example, running macOS in a window on a Windows PC.

Or you can run Windows within Windows, or Windows within Linux. These so-called virtual machines are possible through the magic of emulation and virtualization.

There are many reasons to use virtual machines, such as testing out a new operating system inside a secure sandbox. You mainly do this using either VirtualBox or VMware Player (see our comparison of the two).

But the problem with virtual machines? Each instance uses up a portion of your system’s resources, and RAM is one of the most limiting factors when running several virtual machines. With 1TB of RAM, it’s no longer a concern. That much RAM lets you spin up dozens of instances without impacting overall system performance.

5. Turn It Into a RAM Disk

A RAM disk, or RAM drive, is exactly what it sounds like: a virtual drive on your system that uses a portion of your RAM for storing data. Setting up a RAM disk is as easy as installing SoftPerfect RAMDisk on Windows (or equivalent software for Mac or Linux).

RAM disks are great because RAM modules are blazingly fast. Whereas a modern HDD can transfer data up to 120MB/s and an SSD can transfer data up to 550MB/s, RAM modules can go up to 6.4GB/s — more than 11x faster than SSDs!

The RAM you set aside for the disk becomes unavailable for normal RAM use, but if you had 1TB of it, that wouldn’t be an issue at all. However, RAM disks do have a couple of other downsides, which you can learn more about in our overview of RAM disks.

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