RAM & Swap & Speed

Jon Radel jon at radel.com
Sun Apr 20 19:59:45 UTC 2008

herbert langhans wrote:
> Hi Daemons,
> recently I had to add some more RAM on a workstation. Was 512MB before and is 2GB now, the reason was to give some graphic apps more space.
> But to my surprise the workstation ran faster--but before adding RAM it did NOT make use of the swap-partition and after the big RAM chip of course not too (checked it with #top).
> This was a Slackware installation. Had anyone experienced such effect on BSD as well? 

Why are you asking about Slackware file caching on a FreeBSD mailing
list?  :-)

In any case, what you're probably seeing is the effect of having lots of
spare RAM to cache files.  In FreeBSD top look at the Cache and Buf
values up top.  If you're doing a lot of file I/O, this can make a
noticeable difference, particularly if you're repeatedly reading the
same files.

However, as is usually the case, unless you do some benchmarks on *your*
computer, it's hard to say more than "the first couple GB of RAM you add
will probably make your workstation run faster."

--Jon Radel
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