huh? it was my understanding that linux does exactly as you stated its should, use as much ram for cache as possible. heck, ive got 77% of my 3.5 gb (really 4gb, but only seen as 3.5 under 32bit ubuntu 7.10) used as cache now, and 16% used for programs. the argument for vista being a memory hog is not in its prefetch/caching but in that it uses an insane amounts of committed memory for nonsense stuff. take the sidebar for example. a coworker and i were working on a customer's pc which had vista installed on it. we compared the memory usage with the sidebar vs. immediately after closing the sidebar. it was a difference of about 400mb. im about 99% sure that was the committed memory. just to make sure that you realize that im not a hardcore linux fanboy here, i would like to point out that you can run xp on 400mb (in practice that would be rounded to 512mb, but still fairly close when you consider what we are talking about here)fairly well (for general email/word processing, and that would be rounded to 512mb in practice, but that still pretty close considering the discussion). thats just to point at how much microsoft bloated their own product. running an entire OS smoothly inside of what it takes to run just (what should be) a small addon.
and for your brief rant against teh average
Vista already does aggressive caching and makes full use of RAM that isn't currently being used by applications, but slashdot keeps going on about how its a bloated piece of crap that uses 2GB of RAM when idle. Yet they don't complain that their system runs a lot smoother thanks to prefetching which analyses program usage and preloads (in the background) data that it anticipates being loaded from disk in the future.
you seem to imply that most
/. users are running vista? or that we are happy cause we use linux which requires less memory than vista, thus allowing more of the memory to be used for active programs/cache? after reading your post a little more closely, i cant seem to make heads or tails of it...
Do you want your ram to sit idle the rest of the time, and have your hard drive grind away because /. would rather see the OS use 100mb of ram at idle and have the rest doing nothing?
this seems to contradict what you said earlier... first you say that we are happy because of how our system manages memory, then criticizes us for running an OS which does not manage it well?
and no, we dont want our memory wasted... which is why most of us run linux (or at least xp rather than vista), because the OS does not require as much memory, again, allowing for a greater percentage of the memory to be free for general use rather than backend stuffs, and (in the case of linux, not xp), it uses whatever is free after the committed memory for cache and whatnot...
so in a short, you seem to be criticizing the average
/. user for using an os that does not use the full potential of the system memory, then criticize us for criticizing vista which (you claim) does. in actuality, most of us use an os which does use the full potential of the system memory (*nix), then criticize vista for needing so much memory to run, much less have some left over for caching etc.
i dont think i said that as clearly as i could have, but i think you get the point. also, i may have completely misunderstood your post or how the different OSes manage memory (im a bit of a n00b), so *to all
/. readers* feel free to correct me on anything ive said.