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RAM in my most-used personal computer:

Displaying poll results.
256MB (or less)
338 votes / 0%
256+ to 512MB
315 votes / 0%
512+ MB to 1GB
  1074 votes / 2%
1GB+ to 2GB
  4590 votes / 9%
2GB+ to 4GB
  15053 votes / 31%
4GB+ to 8GB
  16241 votes / 33%
8GB+ to 16GB
  9471 votes / 19%
More than 16GB
  1219 votes / 2%
48301 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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RAM in my most-used personal computer:

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  • RAM's cheap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RustNeverSleeps (846857) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:03PM (#38064232)
    16 GB only cost $160, so why not max it out?
    • Re:RAM's cheap (Score:5, Informative)

      by antdude (79039) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:06PM (#38064300) Homepage Journal

      Because my old computers can't go that high? Too bad HDD prices aren't cheap anymore. :(

    • by jluxe (200281)

      4gb IS maxed out on my 2009 dell laptop with WinXP.

    • Re:RAM's cheap (Score:5, Informative)

      by Psychofreak (17440) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:07PM (#38064312) Journal

      Old machine, 2GB IS maxed out. My other machine has 3GB because I don't want to pull 1GB to get 4GB...yet. Replacing the machine will probably occur first since 4 GB would be maxed out.


    • Re:RAM's cheap (Score:5, Insightful)

      by neonKow (1239288) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:09PM (#38064370) Journal

      $160 is not cheap...It's pretty affordable if you have plenty of disposable income, but it is by no means cheap. That's over a week's worth of food for me.

      • Re:RAM's cheap (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pontiac (135778) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @06:52PM (#38067080) Homepage

        $160 is not cheap...It's pretty affordable if you have plenty of disposable income, but it is by no means cheap. That's over a week's worth of food for me.

        No it's cheep.. Heck I feed 5 people on $200 a week but that isn't why I think it's cheep.

        Us old timers are a little warped by experience.. I remember paying $160 for 16 megs.. WOW That was all the PC could take back then..

        I worked for Intel labs back in 2001.. We were building up a 4 proc Itanium box and set that thing up with 64 gigs of memory.. Those 1 gig sticks were $4,000 a pop.. We loaded up a quarter million dollars of memory that day..

        So. $160 for 16 gigs.. Dirt cheep!!!

        • by billstewart (78916) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @04:48AM (#38071310) Journal

          Back in the late 90s I built a computer lab at work, and at one point I bumped up some of the PCs to 640MB, just because it seemed appropriate. My current lab has a couple of VMware servers with 72GB of RAM.

          My first VAX came with 4MB, which was the most that would fit in the 2-rack chassis. A year or two later we upgraded it to 8MB, which was possible because they had denser RAM chips, then another year or two later to 16MB. It had 1GB of disk space (4 washing-machine-sized drives, cost $120K); I've currently got 4 GB USB flake in my wallet, and I may have lost another 4GB in the wash at some point. By the late 80s, most of the workstations we used had 8-16MB RAM, but we had a few specialized graphics workstations with 48MB, which let you do all kinds of things in real-enough time.

          And back in college, the university mainframe was out of action for a month or so because they'd had trouble adding the fourth megabyte to it (and then another time when there was a plumb leak in the water cooling.) If you ran CMS, you could define a virtual machine that would let you use a whole megabyte! Yourself! (I've forgotten by now what the standard limits had been on non-VM process size.) But if the mainframe was down, one of the operators had a punch-card deck that would let you run 4KB BASIC on the minicomputer that drove the card reader and printer. (And yes, it was uphill both ways in the snow.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can afford it doesn't mean everyone else can! Also, most people who cannot afford $160 would have their computer for as long as they can keep. Therefore, 2GB is likely to be what they have to run most software nowadays.

      • by wagnerrp (1305589)
        Yes. Most people have sufficient income that they can afford $160 on memory for their primary computer. It's simply a question of priorities. Perhaps you eat out less. Perhaps you got a smaller home or apartment, so the monthly payments didn't make you house poor. You wait a bit longer before replacing that car. You don't get all 600 channels on your cable subscription. You quit smoking. Just because you choose to spend your money elsewhere doesn't mean you simply don't have the money to spend.
    • by nwf (25607)

      16 GB only cost $160, so why not max it out?

      Because my computer can take a lot more than 16 GB, and that would be expensive. However, 16 is a comfy amount these days for 64-bit OSes.

    • by mosb1000 (710161)

      My macbook pro maxes out at 8.

      • Are you sure? The new ones actually take 16GB, although it's going to cost about $400. Mine currently has 8GB, but the 16GB will cost ten times as much as I paid for 8GB as much, so I'll save that upgrade for a year or two...
    • Re:RAM's cheap (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:32PM (#38064756)

      There's no point in buying something you dont need. Have 16GB will only be useful in a few applications, most of those are probably for business. This is especially true for a memory efficient kernel like Linux or BSD.

    • My laptop maxes out at 1 GB. And it's SODIMM SDRAM to boot.
    • by jgrahn (181062)

      16 GB only cost $160, so why not max it out?

      $160 was approximately what 2 GB cost me a year or so ago. Older machine, more expensive memory. I went from 1GB to 3GB, only for heavy image processing. Nothing else I do needs more than a fraction of that.

    • $160? You got ripped off [].

      • Indeed; it's quite amazing what's happened to the price of RAM.

        RAM capacity has been in a boom cycle for the better part of the year (and as a result prices have been bust), but the hard drive shortage has really taken a hammer to RAM and other commodity prices. RAM, optical disk drives, etc are all seeing prices crash as manufacturers have more supply on-hand than there will be hard drives to pair it with. Most of these components are only sold once - at the time of sale of a new computer - so now that we'

    • by RatBastard (949)

      Because my Mac Pro can take a lo more than 16GB.

    • Re:RAM's cheap (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ScottyLad (44798) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:25PM (#38065720)

      16 GB only cost $160, so why not max it out?

      Because I don't do anything that requires heaps of RAM. My main Mac has 4 GB, which is plenty for what I do - and I'm typing this message on my 7 year old G4 PowerBook which has 1.5GB of RAM and I've never even felt the need to upgrade it to the maximum 2 GB.

      I guess I just don't need heaps of RAM to send emails, post messages on Slashdot, and run a Terminal window to SSH in to anything I have to do real work on!

    • by Erbo (384)
      Actually, for me, it cost about $115 just this past weekend. And I needed it.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Because I really don't have a need for it and as such it'd be a total waste of money?

      Because US$160 is well over a month worth of daily lunches (just having a simple hot meal in a restaurant)?

      Because my computer is too old to support that much?

      Plenty of reasons not to have that much. But then my home PC will get an upgrade within the upcoming year or two. It's about 5 years old now. It handles 720p video fine, but the currently used 10-bit is just over the edge. That's slowly getting irritating. By then

    • by mjwx (966435)

      16 GB only cost $160, so why not max it out?

      Got $160 I could borrow.

      Pay ya back next Friday, honest.

    • 16 GB only cost $160

      Actually provided you are buying 4GB sticks of ordinary desktop DDR3 it's a lot cheaper than that. I see prices on newegg of $20 per stick which works out to $80 for 16GB.

      If you want larger modules or any other type of memory it's quite a bit more than that.

      so why not max it out?

      Are you implying that 16GB is maxing it out for current machines? LGA1155 boxes max out at 32GB which currently costs arround $500.

      If I was building a new machine now for general use i'd probablly build with 8GB (the same ammount I have in my office desk

  • by Sebastopol (189276) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @04:37PM (#38064822) Homepage

    I used to know this stuff!! I built my first 286 PC in 1988, 512KB with 64k DIPs and an RLL 30MB HDD, and then later worked in a benchmark lab tuning Windows 95 & WinNT 3.5 systems for a few years (when Hdd storage was $1/MB).

    Today I have no idea how much ram is in my Mac Mini or my Iphone.

    I'm officially an "old codger."


    Is Matlock on?

    • by idontgno (624372)

      Feh. When I started, my "most-used personal computer" had 4 Kilobytes (.000004 Gbytes). And a less-than-2-Mhz Z-80 processor. And I would have killed for a FLOPPY drive, instead of recording software onto audio cassettes at 300 bps and hoping they'd play back correctly when I needed to load the program again.

      Now get off my prehistoric ocean bottom, you crazy kids!

      on-topic P.S.: my current "most currently used" computer has 8Gb, and it's pretty much good enough for World of Warcraft. The 80 Gb SSD is a winne

      • by Pontiac (135778)

        You haven't lived until you've soldered DIMM's together to double your memory and hand wired your new keyboard.
        I miss my old Coco.. I spent months typing in code from those stupid magazines..

    • by 6Yankee (597075)

      Numlock is on. Capslock was until the lameness filter kicked in. Matlock, I can't even find that one.

    • by timothy (36799) * Works for Slashdot

      Durn -- I shoulda thought of that. Good call.



    • by antdude (79039)

      That is why I record them like in my history: [] ... ;)

  • which I use a lot more often than my 8GB desktop machine on account of having a two-year-old daughter.

  • phones (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:11PM (#38065476) Homepage

    How many people are remembering to consider their phones as possibly their "most-used personal computer"?

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:24PM (#38065690) Homepage Journal

    I mean come on, lumping together so many choices is just dumb, especially the most popular choices. We're in 2011, we know the most popular ones are going to be between 1 and 16GB.

    1GB+ to 2GB = 279 votes / 9%
    2GB+ to 4GB = 903 votes / 31%
    4GB+ to 8GB = 959 votes / 33%
    8GB+ to 16GB = 566 votes / 19%

    But we don't know how many have 1, 2, 4 or 8GB. That's just stupid poll choices.

    • by JTsyo (1338447)
      3 and 6 might significant too for those with the i7s that have triple channel memory.
  • Answers Explained (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr. Sketch (111112) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hcteks.retsim]> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @05:47PM (#38066110)

    256MB (or less): My main computer is an iPad 1, iPhone 3GS, or low-end android phone

    256+ to 512MB: My main computer is an iPad 2, iPhone 4/4S, or a mid-range android phone

    512+ MB to 1GB: My main computer is a high-end android tablet

    1GB+ to 2GB: My main computer is about 5 years old

    2GB+ to 4GB: My main computer is about 3 years old

    4GB+ to 8GB: My main computer is about 1-2 years old

    8GB+ to 16GB: My main computer is a high-end workstation

    More than 16GB: My main computer is a server

    • Modern desktops take 16GB no problem. $100 gets you a matched set of for 4GB sticks of high quality DDR3 RAM that Sandy Bridge based systems will use. 16GB is now a "regular desktop" amount of RAM. You can have it on a normal system.

      32GB, actually you can do that on a standard SB system too. There are 8GB sticks. Right now they are expensive enough that few would choose to, but it is possible. You needn't have a workstation or server.

    • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:29PM (#38067570) Homepage
      More than 32 GB: My main computer is your server
  • Well, I'm cheating. Sorta. My most used computer has 2 GB.

    But my second most used computer has a whole 16 MB. (486 PC that I use for retro games.)

  • My 1st gen iPad only has 256 MB, and it's probably my most-used machine. My system at work is obviously a bit meatier, though.
  • Whoops (Score:5, Informative)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @10:34PM (#38069456)
    Yeah, I have 4GB but accidentally picked the "4GB+ to 8GB" option. I wonder if others have made a similar mistake in this poll. Or maybe the problem solely exists between the keyboard and the chair.
    • by rdnetto (955205)

      The ranges are poorly chosen, since the most common values (2^n) are at the boundaries. He should have just asked us to round it off to the nearest power of 2.

  • by cshark (673578) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @01:38AM (#38082646)
    You know, some of us are still using our Linux based pentium 2's that have a custom compiled version of Slackware, that we hand coded every package in the eco system for, that runs with 128 mb of ram, with security patches backported from scratch, that still out performs any of your newer systems. Some of us are just that much better than you. How dare you even ask how much memory we're using. I'm so insulted, I think I'll go to my fridge, and eat my last taco. I hope you're happy with yourself!
    • Slackware? Sounds like some kind of prepackaged easy route for sissies. I started with some .1 kernel I saw posted in comp.os.minix, and created a MMU, VM, and web browser for it. Never bothered to implement javascript and flash, that stuff sucks anyways.

      moh ah, 4ch
      int 21h

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov


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