RAM... 20 years gone and 20 years from now

Discussion in 'Memory' started by grim72, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. grim72

    grim72 Member

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    Hey,

    So i just been thinking about RAM in all its everlasting glory. 20 years ago, almost to-the-day, i had a friend go to US. Whilst there they grabbed me 4x 1MB EDO DRAM at $AU40 a pop. Pretty good price for the time as that was a time when AUS was around 12months (conservative) behind the rest of the world in regards to, well... pretty much everything :rolleyes:

    Doing the calcs i paid $40,000/GB back then. Hey, it was the price i paid for being on the 'cutting edge', and which made fuck all difference to my AWE32 (ended up in another systems main RAM, but i digress...).

    So a quick search now shows prices @ around $15/GB (cheapest Auspcmarket 128GB kit cbf linking it).

    My pondering is this though... what will i be tinkering with during my retirement? Another 20 years (yep, could be 30+ if government keeps it up), what will happen with RAM? Do you see it being taken over by another technology such as what SSDs are doing to HDDs? I know more and more of it is being moved on-die, but there are cost barriers there etc. and cache RAM has only grown inline with main RAM. Using above figures can anyone calculate the $/GB in 20years, ive had too many beers and dont have the mental capacity to crunch the calculator like that?

    I always wonder about what i am going to be playing with during retirement. I just hope 'desktop' PCs are still around. :thumbup:

    Now wheres my beer.
     
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  2. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    There will be no RAM, all of the memory will be unified in the system, it will be solid state. You will be able to freely address and allocate it to whatever you want. The traditional pool of memory that the OS uses will merely be a section it. What used to be hard disks and solid state drives will just be another 'partition' of this unified, fast, solid state memory.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    grim72

    grim72 Member

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    Hmm, i see what your saying. But this fast unified solid state memory... is it not just existing RAM suped up to higher capacities, faster speeds, lower latencies and a few other new techs? Do you still buy it in ××××pin modules available in various capacities?
     
  4. demiurge3141

    demiurge3141 Member

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    You've also got to factor in $40 back then is A LOT more than $40 now.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    grim72

    grim72 Member

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    True that, and speeds were way slower, latencies higher. Lol i also wasnt thinking bout my retirement back then either :Paranoid:
     
  6. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    The key difference is volatility, RAM is volatile which broadly means when it loses power it loses the data stored within it.

    Non-volatile solid-state, high capacity, with ram-like speed (whatever ram speed is at the time) that is cheap to produce will drastically alter they way stuff plugs in.

    You can research some of these terms yourself but going from block level to page level addressability of flash storage is already becoming a thing with intel optane and that will be one of the requisite steps to moving to a unified pool of memory.
     
  7. power

    power Member

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    Fancy, my first ram upgrade was 512k can't remember $$ value.
     
  8. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Quantum computing in the next 20 years and beyond. Processors and microprocessors won’t be based on silicon as we’ll have materials that will supercede the capabilities of silicon and allow much more to be on the die. Everything will be streamlined in a necropolis alike world with flying cars and flashing lights.
     
  9. hawpinghaxbag

    hawpinghaxbag Member

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    12 or 16GB of ram was the go when BF3 came out in 2011, 6 years later 16GB of ram is still good, though it has doubled in bandwidth

    edit: maybe im thinking of 4GB ->8GB for bf3
     
  10. HobartTas

    HobartTas Member

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    I remember having 2 MB to run Windows 3.0 (or was it 3.1) and anyway with the swap file it apparently ran best with 3 MB available and I was giving serious consideration at the time for buying an additional 2 MB for $200 but decided against it as performance was still quite reasonable.

    Try pre BF2 where most people usually had 4 x 256MB sticks and you needed to get 2 x 1GB sticks and your choices for those at the time was $150 for generic RAM, $300 for Corsair C2 memory, $400 for Corsair LL (low latency memory) and $450 for Corsair LL memory with the flashy multi-coloured LEDS on them and then finding out you needed slightly more than 2GB to run it well and then having to fork out the same amount again for another 2 sticks, I mean you'd want some sort of colour show put on for your $900 RAM investment because your $350 Abit IC7/Max3 motherboard and your $750 3.4Ghz Pentium 4 and your $950 AGP X850 XT PE video card didn't look that impressive by comparison. You'd probably need to multiply all those prices by two to get the equivalent in todays dollars, I shake my head at all those people that complain about the high cost of computer parts today.

    Assuming you have the required speed and even with the current speeds of say 3400 Mhz DDR4 it's still inadequate as we still have L1, L2 and L3 caches on the CPU's so its going to have to be pretty spectacular to replace todays dynamic RAM.

    Here's my prediction for just 10 years time; People will have 256GB of RAM or thereabouts of which they will probably use no more than 64GB and you will still need to have 64GB - 128GB set aside on your SSD as a swapfile because Windows 13 and other software written even as late as 2020 will still go apeshit if one doesn't exist on the drive regardless of the fact that the remaining 192GB of RAM never gets touched.
     
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  11. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    Some clever folks at IBM have just figured out how to do computation in memory...
     
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  12. SSJ4

    SSJ4 Member

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    Just looking at ddr4 prices today... they are insane. I got a 32gb(2x16) kit of 2933mhz for $300 earlier in the year, now the same kit I cant find it for less than $500...
     
  13. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    RAM has always been like a commodity (e.g. gold/silver/oil) market forces rapidly alter the prices. HDDs seem to hold a steady price (tsunami's at the factories aside), as do CPU's. you don't see a CPU at $100 one week and $150 or $70 the next. then back to $100, etc.

    RAM is so volatile (heh), becuase pretty much everything these days has a big chunk of it inside. PCs/Laptops/Servers of course, but phones, fridges, TV's etc. etc. So there's usually more demand than supply, which affects the prices.
     
  14. Cadbury

    Cadbury Member

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    I bought a 512k expansion board for my Amiga 500 back in 1988. That cost $300 at the time. Its curious that the price of RAM and rate of size increase has slowed in recent years. A 512M stick cost me around $300 15 years ago. Since then the common sizes have gone from that to 1G, 4G, and now 8G. 8G modules have ranged between $100 and $200 over the past 4 years.
     
  15. aokman

    aokman Member

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    The future is closer than you think, Apple have already been heading in this direction with changes to new versions of OSX since their NVM-e is pushing speeds 3500MB/s read / 2600MB/s write and improving drastically every generation
     
  16. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    That is quite a tangent, well done on somehow bringing apple in to the discussion, particularly for something they didn't really do, 10 points.

    3500MB/s read puts us somewhere in DDR ram territory, but we're not yet having enough of it to *only* use it. And there are issues like page addressing vs. block addressing. Optane is probably the closest thing for now, but again, more and faster would be good.
     
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  17. aokman

    aokman Member

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    I quoted Apple because no one else is really speaking about it and they have been working towards it slowly though phones will probably be the first to see it... Also you are quoting raw RAM speeds, you seem to fail to take into account as fast as RAM is, its another part of a PC and data has to be moved in and out of there at far far lower speeds and increased latency.
     
  18. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Apple is far from the first to be doing that. They never innovate anything, they just market existing ideas better than most, and sue the rest.

    Not even in the phone market place, Microsoft was doing that back while Apple was still recovering from its circling the drain back in the late 90's/early 2000's with the WindowsCE devices, all RAM devices for programs and data.

    Embedded devices have done it since day dot.

    The reason it's not happening everywhere, is still it's too expensive (in terms of both actual $ and resource constraints on PCB production, available i/o pins etc.) to do it all large enough for PC/Server requirements.

    bloody fanbois.
     
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  19. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Still quite high at the moment which sucks : (
     
  20. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    Whaa?

    I think you need to re-read my posts or something.

    I also don't think you understand how RAM/memory works in general, your state about it having to have data moved in and out doesn't really make sense. When you benchmark RAM for throughput you get a figure, that is how fast it is. The benchmark moves data in and out of the RAM, that is the very nature of the benchmark. 3500MB/s is similar bandwidth to an early 64-bit desktop computer using DDR(1). That's a fair bit lower than current DDR(4?) ram.

    Plenty of people are marketing NVMe stuff; Apple doesn't even get a look in on google results, stopped looking after page 2.
     

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