Windows 11

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,624
Location
Horsens, Denmark
Does the ratio of RAM to the cores matters or not? With 96GB and 12 cores you have 8GB per core. If you have 64GB and 16 cores the ratio is only half (4GB/core). Which is better, 12 Cores and 96GB or 16 Cores and 64GB?
I think that is really dependant on the task. Most desktop users are not multitasking that much, and the programs they use are likely to get full utilization of one core, maybe 30% on a couple more, and that is it. With all the cores stuffed into CPUs these days, I would expect something like memory compression to actually increase performance, as the cores were doing nothing and you can actually get more bandwidth out of the RAM after compression.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
I don't think it matters, although having more RAM than you need is kind of a waste of electricity. On the other hand, if you're building a PC to keep for years and years, why not pad it out based on anticipated need?

My workstation has 128GB of DDR4 3600 because it came with the motherboard. The most RAM I've observed in use on it was about 80GB and that was mainly because I forgot to shut down a virtual machine before I started an editing project.

I have definitely read that it's more important for AMD's architecture to match memory frequency as best as possible so the DRAM controller doesn't do something silly like address RAM at a fraction of its rated speed, with DDR5 6400 being the current sweet spot for capacity and frequency.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
A few years ago I was testing 32GB vs 64GB. Windows appeared to hog all the RAM it could get, but I did not find any performance difference in capacity. There was about a 10% decrease in performance between 6000 and 4800 RAM speed settings.

I don't find any AMD EXPO RAMs at 6400 in 2x32GB or 2x48GB pairs. Maybe the X670E mothersboard is too old.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,264
Location
Flushing, New York
I don't think it matters, although having more RAM than you need is kind of a waste of electricity. On the other hand, if you're building a PC to keep for years and years, why not pad it out based on anticipated need?
Sort of what I always do. At the time I built my present PC, 8 GB was probably enough but I put in 16 just to have a margin. A few years ago I went to 32 because it got cheap enough. A few times I had nearly maxed out the 16.

I stopped using page files with Windows 95. Never looked back. Not needing a page file was part of the rationale for going overboard on RAM. For all the bad things not having a page file supposedly causes I never had any issues. That said, at least in the era of SSDs you'll take a far lower hit if you ever need to use the page file. Back in the '95 days I remember the PC slowed to a crawl, with the HDD crunching so much I thought it would break. So I said f*ck it, I'm just loading up on RAM and disabling the page file. Being that I was using old hardware, it wasn't that expensive to max out what I was using at the time. I think I had '95 running with 512 GB. I had '98 working fine with 1 GB.

I was surprised to see some (non-server) motherboards these days can support as much as 2 TB of RAM. Can't imagine ever needing that much, but I said the same thing when 4 GB motherboards started being available. So much for 640K being all anyone will ever need.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
My main system has swapfile.sys (16MB) and pagefile.sys (4GB). I have no idea if those are normal or not.

I recall that RAM was very expensive in the Windows 85 and even 98 era. I think it was about a dollar per MB in 1999.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
I was surprised to see some (non-server) motherboards these days can support as much as 2 TB of RAM. Can't imagine ever needing that much, but I said the same thing when 4 GB motherboards started being available. So much for 640K being all anyone will ever need.

I have a stack of servers that are using every bit of 384 or 512GB RAM right now, albeit in allocation to a VM of some sort. But some of those VMs will hit 90% utilization under load and could probably stand to be allocated an extra 50% more RAM soon. No, that's not a mainstream need for desktops, but not every system is going to get used that way.

I'm actively debating an X670E board right now. My workstation is easily the longest-serving desktop PC I've ever had at this point and it'll make a fine back-end system. I'm just having a hard time pulling the trigger. But dear god I want this furnace out of my bedroom.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,264
Location
Flushing, New York
Keep in mind by the time I got a PC fast enough for '95 or '98 it was already in the mid 2000s. I could max out the RAM on those systems for maybe $100. Yes, back in the day you would probably be looking at $1K or more to do the same.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
But why not use Win2K or XP back then? My BX board would boot with three but not four 256MB in 9x, so I got Win 2K.

AMD has sucky DDR5 RAM controllers so you can basically only use 2 slots with any speed. If you are running a business server like Merc then each core doesn't have to be very fast.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,264
Location
Flushing, New York
But why not use Win2K or XP back then? My BX board would boot with three but not four 256MB in 9x, so I got Win 2K.
Not sure of the exact reason but I think it may have had to do with not getting a "free" version from someone. I was broke at the time. My PCs were hand-me-downs. I couldn't afford another $100 or more for the O/S.
AMD has sucky DDR5 RAM controllers so you can basically only use 2 slots with any speed. If you are running a business server like Merc then each core doesn't have to be very fast.
So that basically means max out those two slots with the largest available capacities, and pretend any remaining slots don't exist.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
So that basically means max out those two slots with the largest available capacities, and pretend any remaining slots don't exist.
Yes, hence the 48GB RAM modules now. That was not an option in Q1 2023 for my first x670E.
2x32GB at 6000MHz or 4x32GB at 4800-5200 was typical of that time.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
But why not use Win2K or XP back then? My BX board would boot with three but not four 256MB in 9x, so I got Win 2K.

Which Abit board did you have? 😁
AMD has sucky DDR5 RAM controllers so you can basically only use 2 slots with any speed. If you are running a business server like Merc then each core doesn't have to be very fast.

The RAM controller is on the CPU die, and it MAY be something that gets addressed with Ryzen 9000. Hopefully, they've addressed that and also the heat spreader design.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
I had several BX; not sure which ones. Some people could not get more than 512MB on 9x at all, so I was not complaining too much.
I'm really bummed about the X870E. It's not clear if there is any ways to get back the PCIe lanes from the Thunderbowls thievery.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,694
Location
Eglin AFB Area
Website
sedrosken.xyz
I don't think it rightly matters for most workloads, even 64GB will be hard pressed to run out on anything but the most intensive media workloads and rendering. I run 32GB in my machines and that feels like overkill roughly 97.774% of the time.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,694
Location
Eglin AFB Area
Website
sedrosken.xyz
I had several BX; not sure which ones. Some people could not get more than 512MB on 9x at all, so I was not complaining too much.
I'm really bummed about the X870E. It's not clear if there is any ways to get back the PCIe lanes from the Thunderbowls thievery.

I found the only reliable platform to hit more than 512MB of RAM under 9x was 440BX, and even then that was strictly for 768MB and absolutely no more. With RLowe's PATCHMEM these days I hear the success rate is better -- my counterpoint is that even 512MB is utter overkill for absolutely anything you could ever make 9x do, so more is not only excessive, it's weird.

I've had a few BX boards from EPoX, Intel (including some OEM), and ASUS. I'm not sure in retrospect why 440BX is looked at as this paragon of virtue. It was kinda slow especially only having UDMA-33 controllers and only about as stable as anything else.

Incidentally, jtr, 95 won't boot with more than roughly 480MB, so it's likely some lesser (but still overkill) amount you remember. 98 is possible to get working out of the box with 1GB but not very common.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
768MB really helped a lot. In 1999 I was working with 20MP scans and the swap file and temp files were thrashing the drives. The 10K SCSI drive helped significantly. Win 11 doesn't seem so bad compared to back then,but 7 was the last MS OS I liked.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
Which Abit board did you have? 😁


The RAM controller is on the CPU die, and it MAY be something that gets addressed with Ryzen 9000. Hopefully, they've addressed that and also the heat spreader design.
Looking at my notes from 1999, I had a BX6 R2 with 768MB of some humongous 256MB RAM (looked liked it was from a server). The board was running at 117. I guess that was for the CPU to exceed MHz? Apparently I had a BH6 before that. Eventually I found a 4th RAM of the same kind and was very disappointed to find that it would not boot 98SE.

I don't think the heat spreader has been mentioned as being any different. I just assumed that AMD wants some thermal resistance so that users don't overpower and damage the cores. I surely hope that slowly booting BS will also be reduced, but it's looking more like AMD is falling behind the iNtel.
 
Last edited:

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
IIRC my go-to high end products up through the Pentium 3 era were Tyan, but it was experiences with Abit as the go-to for overclocking support that eventually put me on to Gigabyte, which I found to be much more stable and boring in a way I genuinely appreciated.

I don't think the heat spreader has been mentioned as being any different. I just assumed that AMD wants some thermal resistance so that users don't overpower and damage the cores. I surely hope that slowly booting BS will also be reduced, but it's looking more like AMD is falling behind the iNtel.

I think it's funny that you feel that way. Intel is absolutely out of consideration for me. They use too goddamned much power and haven't had a meaningful improvement in tech beyond "up the voltage enough to be 100Hz faster, year over year" since about 2018. I don't care to have deliberately crippled e-cores. Its current products, especially on the high end, are mostly an excuse to jerk off to a benchmark.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
I'd rather have an iNtel CPU with a dozen really fast P cores and forget the E cores. I know we will probably get a desktop version of AMDs big.little next, that is "c" to drop the 3rd level cache. It's almost a miracle that they are allowing Windows 10 on the 9000 series, but everything going forward for consumers will be 11. If I can keep using 10 another year (probably not feasible depending on DXO), then I'll proceed to drop in the 9950x. I'm actually hoping that the Zen 5 power usage is lower than Zen 4 even if the TDP is technically the same. Just a few less watts would allow me to use all threads all the time.
I thought that the next iNtel dekstop was supposedly more power efficient than in the past.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,264
Location
Flushing, New York
Incidentally, jtr, 95 won't boot with more than roughly 480MB, so it's likely some lesser (but still overkill) amount you remember. 98 is possible to get working out of the box with 1GB but not very common.
Maybe. I know I didn't use '95 for long. As soon as I got a free copy of '98 I used that. Yeah, I got '98 up to 768MB on a 440BX. Can't be 100% sure about 1GB. If I tried that it would have been on my Athlon XP 3200 system (I think it was a Soyo M/B-Merc sent it to me with the CPU c. 2006). Anyway, that system went from 512 MB to 1GB to 2GB, and finally to 3GB. I may have tried '98 when it had 1GB. I probably had to do some sort of memory patch. IIRC it wasn't a straight of the box configuration.

BTW, my reason for all the RAM was MS Train Simulator. That thing was a RAM hog for its day. It could easily use 500MB if running a large route. I wanted to keep the textures in RAM cache so there was less stuttering while running it.

I found this screenshot. Apparently I even tried Windows 3.1 on my 440BX system. I got it to use all 768MB of RAM. I'm sure I used a different DOS memory manager (maybe QEMM?). The stock one maxed out at 64MB IIRC. Yes, even 64 MB on 3.1 was gross overkill. This was a case of just do it to see if I could.

1719033378530.gif
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
We were all on Win XP by the time of Barton and some already were for Thoroughbreds.
There are enough hardware limitations on RAM and there is always the desire for more, but limiting the RAM with an outdated OS obfuscates the issue.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,694
Location
Eglin AFB Area
Website
sedrosken.xyz
I had several handmedown machines up until December of 05 when Dad bought me my first new computer for christmas -- a Dell Dimension E510 with a P4 3.2HT, a gig of RAM, and I think a 120gig hard drive. I still have a soft spot for that era of Dell chassis -- my Dimension 9200 I have now as a retro box is basically built on an embiggened version of that chassis. It's full-BTX where the E510 was micro-BTX.

My computer during the proper Barton era would have been my Dad's old Pentium MMX 200 box still running 95. I was a toddler. I didn't do a lot with it other than hose the operating system so regularly that Dad stopped bothering with installing video drivers and let it just run 640x480x16. I don't even think I noticed a difference.
 

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,624
Location
Horsens, Denmark
The first PC that I built for myself was a Celeron 300A overclocked to 450Mhz. Yes, 50% overclock was a thing back then. And it was awesome.


I'd been building PCs for other people since the 486/66 days, but didn't have the money to do my own until I moved out and got a good job.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
Some people were running 300As over 500Mhz. I had a Pentium II 400, which was the top CPU when 98 came out. Later when I used a separate motherboard it ran at 468 without anything special. I was a gluon for punishment back then on BX, using 4 different Slot 1 CPUs up to 850Mhz (@952) eventually. Next were several Athlons, MP, XP, and then eventually Penetodium IV and later iNtel Cored CPUs.

I really did not enjoy the single cored period at all. Half the time some dll or irq conflict would render the computer bootless, there was never enough RAM or HDD speed and capacity, and everything was slow. I spent tens of thousands of dollars on IT stuff in the late 90s and early 2000s and it was all pointless only a few years later. Windows XP32 was ok, but the RAM was too limited. XP64 was a disaster. I wish I had gone with the MACs like normal peoples.
 

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,624
Location
Horsens, Denmark
Back then it was a struggle, but that is what made it interesting both as a hobby and a side hustle. When even normal users would appreciate every drop of performance you could squeeze out of their system, and new systems that were significantly faster could be built every year. I think of this period as 386/16 to AthlonXP 3200. After that most users could hold off for years.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
At your age then I'm sure it was all new, but I just wish I had spent those years more fruitfully than messing with computers, scanners, printers, etc.

Now the spectre of Win 11 may get me off the computers.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,694
Location
Eglin AFB Area
Website
sedrosken.xyz
The first PC that I built for myself was a Celeron 300A overclocked to 450Mhz. Yes, 50% overclock was a thing back then. And it was awesome.


I'd been building PCs for other people since the 486/66 days, but didn't have the money to do my own until I moved out and got a good job.

My 300A build did 450 and I didn't even have to touch voltages. Intel really was selling their stock short at the time.

I don't think I'll ever wish I spent my years "more fruitfully". This is my passion, I live and breathe this stuff, and stepping foot outside these days is like walking into an oven. The older I get the less I want to do it and I didn't really want to in the first place.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
Well, computer tech work seems to be your career. :) I did not own a computer until I was much older than you are now.
In the 80s and 90s computers were something that most people had to learn for work or for avocation.
I had to learn about computer hardware from magazines and then online in various computer forums. After about a year I found SR.
 

jtr1962

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
4,264
Location
Flushing, New York
I didn't get my first PC until 1998 when I was 36. It was a used 386-33. After that it was progression of faster hand-me down machines. I basically went from the 386/DOS era to XP in the span of about a decade. I learned a lot. It was a hobby to me at the time. I don't regret it, either. I got first hand experience with 3 decades of PC evolution in less than ten years. I still have all the machines. I even have an 8086 I found by the curb, complete with a 20MB, 5.25" HDD. That's definitely a museum piece.

By the era of stuff like the XP3200 you no longer saw huge performance jumps from year to year. I used the XP3200 for close to a decade. Now maybe every 5 years I might think about upgrading.

It's similar to LEDs. I used to get excited with the big jumps in efficiency year over year. Now we've plateaued at 200 lm/W and change, not far off theoretical maximum efficiency. Outside of price drops and much better CRI, nothing to get excited about any more.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
I think that if I contributed to this discussion of old-ass computers, it might be a get off my lawn moment, but here goes.

The first actual PC we had in the house was an IBM clone with a 10MB hard drive that ran XENIX, Microsoft Unix, which eventually became my computer after my father eventually upgraded to a 386 with actual AT&T System V on it. I never touched that thing, but it was a very powerful computer for its time. Having a hard drive in my first PC made me really snobbish about dealing with the Apple IIs that were pretty much the only computers I ever saw in a school setting, all the way through high school, which is part of the reason I never bothered to take any computer classes.

My original PC got upgraded to a 286 with Hercules (high resolution mono) graphics until I was gifted a Compaq 386 DX/25 notebook that had a 10" mono-VGA screen (I didn't have a PC that had COLOR graphics until like 1993), 4MB RAM and a very exotic 9.6kbps modem. NO ONE had a laptop back then, but my dad somehow wound up with two of them and never said anything about it. It was probably misappropriated from a grant somewhere, which is how a lot of weird stuff came to be in our house. I mostly used it to dial in to the University of Illinois. I was able to e-mail my brother there and access USENET, which was pretty amazing, really.

In high school, I started doing computer repair work. People would give me $50 or $100 to remove a BIOS password or install a modem so it would work at the same time as a mouse, or I'd have to sit and show somebody how to use Windows 3.1. When people asked, I'd say I was saving up to get a car, but I didn't even get a driver's license until I was 20. Instead, I bought a sick PC, a dual 486 DX/50 workstation system with 16MB RAM, SCSI hard drive and CD-ROM and a Tseng Labs 4000 4MB graphics card (the one part I bought myself; that computer had an extremely exotic Fujitsu workstation graphics card in it that just wasn't part of the deal when I bought it). Pentiums were available by that point, but they were stupidly expensive, as were the 72 pin DIMMs they needed. That computer had been meant to demo OS/2 and Windows NT software for a bunch of engineers who were mostly using HP/UX systems of the time. I ran OS/2 on it and eventually switched it to pre-1.0 Linux just to make doing my CS homework easier. I wish I still had that PC. It got passed on to my older brother when I upgraded in about 1997. I think I went with a dual P5/133 and then a dual PPro/200, the first couple PCs that I fully built for myself.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
I didn't get my first PC until 1998 when I was 36. It was a used 386-33. After that it was progression of faster hand-me down machines. I basically went from the 386/DOS era to XP in the span of about a decade. I learned a lot. It was a hobby to me at the time. I don't regret it, either. I got first hand experience with 3 decades of PC evolution in less than ten years. I still have all the machines. I even have an 8086 I found by the curb, complete with a 20MB, 5.25" HDD. That's definitely a museum piece.

By the era of stuff like the XP3200 you no longer saw huge performance jumps from year to year. I used the XP3200 for close to a decade. Now maybe every 5 years I might think about upgrading.
The progression of computers surely has not been linear since 1998. The 15K hard drives hugely improved performance. The belated 64-bit Windows was a big deal for removing the RAM and page file bottlenecks. Then of course there was single socket SMP, and finally SSDs.

Obviously other users will have different ideas of major changes, in games for example.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
11 looks like a nightmare about to get worse. How can I buy legitimate Windows 10 now?

It's still being sold. For that matter, you can still get retail copies of Vista if you really want one. We'll see a real problem if AMD moves to a P and E core arrangement, since that will represent a real break in compatibility for Windows 10, or the day when your choice of content creation tools won't even install.

I should point out that Windows 11 can still be installed and used with a local account.
If your install ISO is old enough, you still get the Local account prompt, and if you create your install media with an unattend.xml, you probably won't even be prompted to make a Microsoft account.

My biggest objection to the Microsoft accounts are the fuckery that go along with folder redirection to Onedrive, Bitlocker being on by default and the Password restrictions + PIN login. All of that sucks. If someone creates a Microsoft login after the fact, they don't have any of that and I don't really care if they do or don't use it.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
Science Fiction author Charles Stross has some interesting thoughts about Window Recall. He's been a tech journalist as well as an award winning author of hard science fiction and he's usually coming from a place of tech wisdom.

Also, AndroidAuthority has a piece up on using a Snapdragon Elite-based Surface for a few days. Long and short of it is that, even at best, PRISM isn't all that and even native Windows on ARM is still a step down from native x86, but the battery life is great and the AI stuff is nifty when it works.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
16,998
Location
USA
I guess he likes APPLE, but I doubt they are so benevolent not to use your data. MS is just more in your face about it and under more scrutiny.

Have the Surfaces ever performed worth a damn? The old ones used to overheat and practically burn the loins and then some of them would just die. Everyone had to use a hub and dongles due to the lack of ports.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
21,836
Location
I am omnipresent
Surfaces were damned near impossible to repair in any meaningful way. I don't remember them burning any loins but they never have more than 2 USB ports and that sucks all on its own and they definitely get warm. I have somebody's retired Surface Book 2 sitting around and my OG Surface Pro 2 still works, so they aren't all terrible.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,694
Location
Eglin AFB Area
Website
sedrosken.xyz
Oh, they definitely get hot. In deploying hundreds of the cursed things I can tell you right now they do not perform like they should, usually they are thermal throttling. They will throttle on you just installing updates. I found out the hard way that the Pro 9s do in fact have fans. They're really loud and angry when they get going. Somewhere I have a video of 5 of them going at a time and it's absolutely ridiculous. These have i5-1245Us and I can almost guarantee my i7-8665U in my work laptop is outrunning them just on not being choked to death.

I kind of want one of these ARM devices to kick the tires on, but not nearly enough that I'm willing to spend my own money on it. It's also apparently still not nearly compatible enough that I'd feel comfortable asking for a testing device at work, though, either.
 
Last edited:

ddrueding

Fixture
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,624
Location
Horsens, Denmark
To revisit the get off my lawn club, the first computer I got to use was when the Epson HX-20 was no longer in use in an application my dad had written in the early 80s. In the late 80s I was able to write some code, save it to the tape, and output to the thermal printer. It was awesome.

 
Top