Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Sep 2012 19:36 UTC
Apple I bought a brand new iMac on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure this will come as a surprise to some, so I figured I might as well offer some background information about this choice - maybe it'll help other people who are also pondering what to buy as their next computer.
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Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I pretty much agree with you all the way, which is why I have yet to dive into the SSD world.

You mentioned swap and "running out of RAM" but most machines these days have 4GB or more of RAM out of the box, even laptops. While I don't think one should run without swap, I really don't see the benefit of putting it on an SSD if it will rarely be touched. The exception would be older machines limited to 2GB of RAM or less, though the cost/benefit equation of an SSD in such a machine is something else to ponder.

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gfx1 Member since:
2006-01-20

OSX runs happily out of RAM with 4GB and Firefox running. After replacing it with 8GB I haven't heard complaints...

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UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Really the main benefit would be to have something to fall back on in case a runaway process starts leaking memory. Other than that... well, swap is mostly pointless at this point when you've got 4-plus gigs of RAM. Even if I had a whopping 16GB of RAM, I would probably still set up, say, 256MB swap, just in case.

I was mostly referring to slightly older machines that may only have 1-2GB RAM. The POS Dell I'm on (from 2006), for example, has a dual-core AMD64 processor with only a gig of memory, and it can only handle a max of two gigs. In fact, I recently downgraded from a 64-bit OS to 32-bit to gain performance improvements by not swapping so much. And so far, it's helped.

Still though, if it's a desktop machine in question, if you go the route you mentioned by using SSD for system and HDD for data, it'd be simple and practical to set up a small swap partition on the HDD. And as you mentioned the newest machines come with enough memory that they will probably never need to swap anyway, but you could still have it just for a little extra protection.

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