computer RAM upgrade stupid questions? Answered
Well as it turns out, 8GB of RAM with Chrome and Kdenlive video editing software open at the same time causes Ubuntu to max out the RAM on my machine, and the machine will start to become very sluggish, eventually freezing for several minutes at a time with a high chance of never unfreezing. This used to be a very common issue that would occur with only google chrome open, due to a memory leak with my Gmail tabs. If I catch this sluggishness and eventually full system hang early enough, I can recover from it by entering CLI mode on ubuntu (alt+F1) and killing "chrome." After researching this problem a bit more, I created a swap file, since I do not have a SWAP partition, this helped delay the eventual unrecoverable system hang, but did not entirely fix the issue. I also tried different "swappiness" values, and also learned about this command "sudo sysctl -w vm.min_free_kbytes=400000" which supposedly forces a set amount of space to be unused in ubuntu. Looking at the system monitor this appears to do what it says, preventing a >95% RAM use, forcing swap to be used instead, and this was initially promising as it seemed to reduce the full system hangs, but created more small bugs, like freezing and stuttering wildly with buffered youtube videos, or playback in Kdenlive. A reboot seemed to have fixed that issue, but I'm not sure if those settings stuck around. ANYWAY; I guess there is no denying it, I simply do not have the RAM necessary for my workload anymore.
I DO use intel HD integrated graphics, which uses the system RAM for graphics processing, so I wonder, will faster RAM allow slightly better graphics performance? My understanding is that GDDR is optimized for sheer bandwidth, not latency, while system DDRx RAM is optimized for latency. Does this mean my system will benefit more from high clock rate and high latency setting on a given RAM set, or is low clock and low latency RAM better? Most "gaming" orented builders seem to say RAM is not important other than esthetics and reliability. Also, is there a difference between buffered and unbuffered RAM?
Currently, the specs for my RAM are:
Geil EVO Veloce GEV38GB1600C9DC 4GBx2
This RAM I got for "free" with my motherboard, and it seems to work with the following settings in the BIOS:
. . .1600MHz @ 9-9-9-28 timings, 1.5V
. . .1333MHz @ 9-9-9-24 timings, 1.5V
. . .1800MHz @ 11-12-11-33 timings, 1.65V
These are the fastest possible settings that will boot. Note, I was not too happy with the 1800MHz overclock, especially considering my computer was acting strange and crashed during an update, corrupting Ubuntu. I was able to repair the installation of some corrupted packages halfway installed. It did not seem to make any difference in some games on ubuntu, which is how I tested stability/speed. I have also had issues where while the BIOS system check passes, ubuntu puck errors all over me when I clocked at 1600MHz @ 9-9-9-24, even at 1.65V. There is really no overclocking this currently overpriced and mediocre RAM to any degree. The three settings above were the best settings I could get.
The RAM I am currently looking at getting is: http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Ballistix-PC3-12800-240-Pin-BLS2K4G3D169DS1J/dp/B00ZRG009S/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1452056996&sr=1-1&keywords=BLS2K4G3D169DS1J It is the most affordable, and states that it is 4GBx2 of 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 RAM. I think I can underclock it to match the speed of the rest of my RAM and I think it should work well alongside. What do you guys think? I do not want to have to buy the $67 16GB if I can help it.