News Raspberry Pi 4 (8GB) Tested: Double the RAM, New 64-Bit OS

scaramoosh

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You'd suggest 32GB of ram on Desktops.... what world are you living in? 8GB is perfectly fine for Windows, I just have a 2500k, 670, 8GB PC from 2012 and it's still running great today... in fact I can lay every game on it with no issues.... though obviously usually running at around medium.

I was really disappointed building my Ryzen PC as I didn't see much of a performance upgrade. I built it for HL:A... which I hated so it made me regret it even more lol. 3900x, 64GB and a 5700XT because I was planning on buying a new GPU this year for Ray Tracing.... but who knows if that's happening now.

I just didn't see much of an improvement if I'm honest with you, an 6K VR still lags... what's that about? On Android 6K plays fine, but on Windows it lags like a mofo.

Anyways I would say if you're buying a Laptop get 16GB if it's soldered on... 32GB... not needed.
 
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AlistairAB

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You'd suggest 32GB of ram on Desktops.... what world are you living in? 8GB is perfectly fine for Windows, I just have a 2500k, 670, 8GB PC from 2012 and it's still running great today... in fact I can lay every game on it with no issues.... though obviously usually running at around medium.

I was really disappointed building my Ryzen PC as I didn't see much of a performance upgrade. I built it for HL:A... which I hated so it made me regret it even more lol. 3900x, 64GB and a 5700XT because I was planning on buying a new GPU this year for Ray Tracing.... but who knows if that's happening now.

I just didn't see much of an improvement if I'm honest with you, an 6K VR still lags... what's that about? On Android 6K plays fine, but on Windows it lags like a mofo.

Anyways I would say if you're buying a Laptop get 16GB if it's soldered on... 32GB... not needed.
There are several games that don't work with 8GB memory properly. First time I ran into it was Gears of War Remastered actually. Also the 2500k has very bad performance in a few games also, such as Borderlands 3. But yeah, any 6 core (Ryzen 3600) will do just as well as any other CPU for the most part. Nothing has changed really since the 2600k came out, we got 6 cores with the i7-8700k and 8 with Ryzen, and that's that. Still waiting on large IPC improvements. Maybe later this year.
 
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Here is a good reason to want an upgrade to the 64bit Raspbian OS.... LibreOffice. This stopped its development cycle at 6.3. Currently we are at 6.4.4.
 

InvalidError

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You'd suggest 32GB of ram on Desktops.... what world are you living in? 8GB is perfectly fine for Windows, I just have a 2500k, 670, 8GB PC from 2012 and it's still running great today... in fact I can lay every game on it with no issues.... though obviously usually running at around medium.
While I agree that 32GB is likely overkill for most people, I disagree about 8GB being enough for anything much beyond basic use. My mother has a laptop with 8GB of RAM in it and almost all of the RAM is already in use by the time she has a browser opened, which leaves almost no spare RAM for the file system cache, which is bad for HDD performance and also bad for SSD endurance with Windows swapping things out to maintain some amount of free RAM. At current RAM prices, 16GB is a very nice minimum amount of RAM to aim for if you want to be comfortable doing more than one thing at a time.

A 32GB recommendation makes sense for people like me who leave many non-trivial things open all the time for the convenience of not waiting for 10-20s launch times every time I want to switch between them, people who run VMs or stuff that uses chunky data sets.
 
May 28, 2020
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As with anything, RAM needs depend on the person and what they do.
-My PC has 16 and I occasionally run it to the wall. (occasional VM use, bloated Minecraft servers with loads of mods).
-My wife's PC has 12 GB, which she apparently needs because she opens millions of browser tabs and doesn't ever close them. She has starved the machine a couple of times.
-My in-laws and my kids have PCs with 8GB, but they all tend to be single taskers or near it. They have no issues.
-Machine I just built at work has 3TB of RAM. (monster visualization machine).
 

Makaveli

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Agreed 16GB is now standard and 32GB recommended nice to have on a desktop. 8GB's of ram is not enough on a standard desktop.

I do have an old sony Vaio laptop that I use as a spare machine and that runs win 10 1909 fine on 8GB's of ram. However that machine doesn't have alot of stuff running on it and it used casually.
 
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The biggest benefit for both the 4GB and 8GB RaspPi will really be the 64-bit OS. Right now a lot of projects are moving to 64-bit only, like Kubernetes. This has created a problem for a lot of hobbyist projects, since users either need to build from code (which might raise the level of effort above many "hobbyists") or projects need to make deployment exceptions for RaspPi, or drop RaspPi entirely. Also, a general move to 64-bit databases (like Mongo) has caused problems for RaspPi on 32-bit Raspbian. Considering that the RaspPi 3 B+ was also fully 64-bit capable, this is really a long while in the making, and will be a Good Thing™ .
 
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wmeyer

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"You'd suggest 32GB of ram on Desktops.... what world are you living in? 8GB is perfectly fine for Windows, I just have a 2500k, 670, 8GB PC from 2012 and it's still running great today... in fact I can lay every game on it with no issues.... though obviously usually running at around medium. "

I am a developer, and routinely use multiple virtual machines in my work. 8GB is fine for Windows. 16GB is tolerable with two of my VMs, but 32GB is much better. My personal desktop has 64GB, and has made it possible to simply work as I will, not constrained by RAM.

To judge the necessary level of RAM in a machine without knowledge of its use is just silly.
 
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JWMiddleeton

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AAARRRGGGhhh...Last month I bought a 4GB RPi-4B. So much for my timing. It is an amazing little box. But, after playing with it for a few weeks I grabbed an old Dell Optiplex 7010 with 8GB of RAM and a 2 TB HDD out of the garage and put Ubuntu 20.04 on it. Now to find a project to use the RPi with.
 
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Bluesmanuk

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You'd suggest 32GB of ram on Desktops.... what world are you living in? 8GB is perfectly fine for Windows, I just have a 2500k, 670, 8GB PC from 2012 and it's still running great today... in fact I can lay every game on it with no issues.... though obviously usually running at around medium.

I was really disappointed building my Ryzen PC as I didn't see much of a performance upgrade. I built it for HL:A... which I hated so it made me regret it even more lol. 3900x, 64GB and a 5700XT because I was planning on buying a new GPU this year for Ray Tracing.... but who knows if that's happening now.

I just didn't see much of an improvement if I'm honest with you, an 6K VR still lags... what's that about? On Android 6K plays fine, but on Windows it lags like a mofo.

Anyways I would say if you're buying a Laptop get 16GB if it's soldered on... 32GB... not needed.
My thoughts exactly.

I can understand making the statement in specific relation to programs that really need it but to make it such a blanket one is not something that I would ever hope or want to hear from somebody that gives the impression of real world professionalism.
 
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Bluesmanuk

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Agreed 16GB is now standard and 32GB recommended nice to have on a desktop. 8GB's of ram is not enough on a standard desktop.

I do have an old sony Vaio laptop that I use as a spare machine and that runs win 10 1909 fine on 8GB's of ram. However that machine doesn't have alot of stuff running on it and it used casually.
What defines a "standard desktop" will vary vastly between users, which is also reflected in the massive number of configurations and machine specs available.
 

InvalidError

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To judge the necessary level of RAM in a machine without knowledge of its use is just silly.
Only thing he was judging was the article's broad assertion that 32GB is the sweet spot for desktop. The vast majority of home PCs aren't going to get used for anything more intensive than gaming and 8GB got retired as the de-facto recommendation only recently, so 16GB should be the real value sweet-spot for the foreseeable future.

The only way I can think of 32GB as a "sweet spot" without further characterization (specifying the use-cases) would be from a "spreading the budget evenly (within reason) across all major components" perspective, which can wasteful if the amount spent on RAM could have been better spent elsewhere for whatever the system will actually get used for.
 

InvalidError

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What defines a "standard desktop" will vary vastly between users, which is also reflected in the massive number of configurations and machine specs available.
There may be a large number of configuration variants out there but the lower-end is purely utilitarian, nothing anyone would dare call a "sweet spot" by any definition. On systems that rely on the IGP, RAM can disappear quickly when hardware-accelerated software blow up IGP memory usage, which can make 8GB awfully tight there.
 
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commander-keen

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While I agree that 32GB is likely overkill for most people, I disagree about 8GB being enough for anything much beyond basic use. My mother has a laptop with 8GB of RAM in it and almost all of the RAM is already in use by the time she has a browser opened
The author of the article described
With 59 tabs open, some of which were playing offline, 4K video files, we managed to hit 4.4GB
and your mother manages to fill nearly twice of that directly on start of the browser? How many tabs does she load on startup? Like 100?

which leaves almost no spare RAM for the file system cache, which is bad for HDD performance and also bad for SSD endurance with Windows swapping things out to maintain some amount of free RAM.
Windows loads/fills cache before you start anything manually. It is normal that it issues big amount of installed RAM.
RAM is not for being empty, it's made to be filled.

If your mother cannot cope with 8 GB of RAM, either the browser is crappy or a switch from Windows to Linux would be advisable, as the article clearly shows that 4 GB of RAM are hard to fill without loading a lot of tabs or software on Raspberry Linux.
 

SonoraTechnical

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Good on the ram upgrade, now add eMMC and NVME support.
You forgot to say 'Please'.

I'm also in favor of a generous 32GB eMMC chip for storage, but perhaps an M.2 slot would be more useful as it would allow users to choose there own storage solution without taxing those who don't want to pay for the feature. I like an M.2 slot becuase it keeps my storage device right on the board instead of cabling it...

Regarding RAM. I'm so pleased with the RaspberryPi4B with 4GB of Ram. It was a nice improvement over the 1GB resident on my previous RaspberryPi3B+.

When the beta boot from USB Bios and the 64bit beta OS go to release status, I'll will invest in this 8GB board. For now, I have a number of the 4GB boards for my projects.
 
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bit_user

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@apiltch ,
As our tests show, it’s pretty difficult to use more than 4GB of RAM on Raspberry Pi, even if you’re a heavy multitasker.
Try leaving open a few windows/tabs on tomshardware.com articles, without an ad blocker. Over time, you can use about:performance and watch the memory grow. Just the tab with your 8 GB review article is currently using 1.21 GB, on my machine. Your home page is using 545.9 MB.

Last year, I upgraded my Win7 64-bit machine from 8 to 16 GB because browsers burn so much RAM, these days. Some of it is clearly the fault of leaky, client-side adware.

A new OS could also take advantage of the RAM to improve performance.
One of the main performance benefits would be simply using the A64 ISA, which is more efficient all on its own.

You can sort of compare AArch32 and AArch64, here:
...except for this:
All the preloaded apps are 32-bit, so they don’t really take advantage of the 64-bit capability.
That's just stupid. Hopefully, they'll switch to building everything in native AArch64 mode, before it leaves beta.

Strangely, there’s slightly less available RAM in the 64-bit OS than in Raspbian, with Raspbian showing 7.8GB available while the 64-bit OS has 7.6GB available.
When you build in 64-bit mode, your pointers all expand to occupy 8 bytes of memory instead of 4. There might also be additional alignment restrictions and larger stack sizes for each thread in the system. So, it's really not surprising.

BTW, a "pointer" is a data type which holds a memory address. They're used in various data structures, for program abstractions, to hold procedure addresses, etc.

Setting up a RAM disk that stores your most frequently accessed apps in memory is one way a typical user could take advantage of that extra 4GB of memory.
No, because you'd have to copy them into it, every time you reboot. It's better to follow what Eben said, and just let the OS cache your frequently-used apps and files.

The one area where the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 really excelled was in copying extremely large files. When we ran IOzone, a synthetic test that measures reads and writes, with 4GB of data, the 8GB capacity crushed the 4GB model on read speeds, performing both random and sequential reads that were more than 20 times faster due to the larger Pi’s ability to cache the all the data.
Normally, people test uncached reads and unbuffered writes, to measure the actual storage performance. If you tell people that it's faster at copying files, they're likely to be disappointed since most files one copies won't be already be in cache.
 
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bit_user

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Good on the ram upgrade, now add eMMC and NVME support.
They won't, because they insist on using crappy Broadcom SoCs.

I'd recommend the ODROID-N2, but it doesn't have NVMe. For that, look to something like a Rockchip RK3399-based SBC, like this:


Although, I have to point out that the CPU cores in these things are slow enough that you're not really going to see a difference between a decent SATA SSD and NVMe.

Storage just isn't a bottleneck, to that level. Please refer to the memory benchmark, in this article.
 

bit_user

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The author of the article described
Yeah, but he didn't say whether he was using any kind of ad blocker, what site, or how long he left the tabs loaded.

In short, it's not a benchmark. We wouldn't tolerate this lack of detail on any PC benchmark. It's just anecdotal, and therefore basically worthless.

Windows loads/fills cache before you start anything manually. It is normal that it issues big amount of installed RAM.
RAM is not for being empty, it's made to be filled.
No, it doesn't fill your RAM before letting you start anything. That would pointlessly lengthen boot times.

And his point was that the browser uses so much RAM that there's none left for caching. So, you're not even answering his real complaint.

If your mother cannot cope with 8 GB of RAM, either the browser is crappy or a switch from Windows to Linux would be advisable,
Nah, Linux isn't much better. The real issue is client-side scripting and I think probably aggressive JIT compilation/caching by browsers.

An ad-blocker would make a big difference, but of course you don't want your favorite web sites to go out of business.

as the article clearly shows that 4 GB of RAM are hard to fill without loading a lot of tabs or software on Raspberry Linux.
No, it really doesn't. For the most part, he didn't give enough detail that anyone could expect to repeat his tests and get the same results. As such, this is not a proper hardware review.

The author is clearly chummy with Eben Upton and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and I'm okay with that. However, I don't think it's really helpful to let your standards slip on hardware reviews.
 
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Deicidium369

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AAARRRGGGhhh...Last month I bought a 4GB RPi-4B. So much for my timing. It is an amazing little box. But, after playing with it for a few weeks I grabbed an old Dell Optiplex 7010 with 8GB of RAM and a 2 TB HDD out of the garage and put Ubuntu 20.04 on it. Now to find a project to use the RPi with.
Same with washing the car or any number of things ... Universe looks down, smirks and smites us. I have the 4GB for playing with and about 14 of the 2GB models deployed for my Home Automation system. The ability to run full Linux was a huge up from the previous architecture. Even have 1 running the MQTT broker.

Relegated my old 3B+ to full time Amiga WHDLoad system - the emulation is better on Amibian/FS-UAE than on the Minimig core on MiSTer.
 

Deicidium369

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There are several games that don't work with 8GB memory properly. First time I ran into it was Gears of War Remastered actually. Also the 2500k has very bad performance in a few games also, such as Borderlands 3. But yeah, any 6 core (Ryzen 3600) will do just as well as any other CPU for the most part. Nothing has changed really since the 2600k came out, we got 6 cores with the i7-8700k and 8 with Ryzen, and that's that. Still waiting on large IPC improvements. Maybe later this year.
The biggest improvement will come when there is an easy and effective way to make code more parallel - this is has been an issue since the first DP/MP super computers and persists to this day. Today there is A LOT of hand tuning of various libraries to make sure they can make full use of however many CPU cores there are. When businesses starting virtualizing their machines, it achieved a lot of the same goals - more complete utilization of the hardware.

IPC gains are fine - but the average enthusiast PC has more than enough raw capabilities to to whatever we would want in our wildest fever dreams. Maybe the current programming paradigm is not up to the task - maybe it should be more of an OS thing.
 

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