Friday, June 6, 2008

Swap! Swap! Swap!

You know, hating on things is like life itself. Sometimes it's hard to go on, hard to find motivation. Beating a dead horse gets tiring, however much the horse deserves it.

But then occasionally, you find something that gives you the strength to labor on.

For the lazy, it's a "tip" on how to use your spare VRAM as swap space.

I'll spare you the details, but I'll leave you with just the intro for some shitnuggets of wisdom on why anyone would want to do this:


Everybody considers today's graphic cards to be meant only for gamers. After all, why would one need a fast GPU in a server? Today's graphic cards contain a lot of very fast RAM, typically between 64 and 512 MB. With Linux, it's possible to use it as swap space, or even as RAM disk!


Oh really? Sweet. Does this mean I can use my four PCIe x16 slots and put in 4 ATI cards with 1GB of VRAM each and get 4G of swap space for like $3000? Oh! Oh! Can I even use OGD1? Because I want the hardware specs for my swap space to be totally open.

I think he should have written:

"Switched to Linux and realized your fancy pants graphics card is totally shit now? With this trick, you'll feel better about spending $500 bucks on a video card that's totally useless because you actually believed someone who told you that you could switch to Linux and use compiz to drag your pidgin windows around in ways that you never imagined."

38 flames:

triton said...

Where is the GNOME app post? :p

Federico said...

"Oh really? Sweet. Does this mean I can use my four PCIe x16 slots and put in 4 ATI cards with 1GB of VRAM each and get 4G of swap space for like $3000?"

No, it just mean that I can use the ram of my server's graphics card instead of leaving it unused.

It isn't difficult to understand. Do you want a wizard to help you?

Ramesh Dharan said...

Federico, under what *possible* circumstances could it make any kind of sense to actually go out and intentionally build a system this way?

Just buying more RAM is cheaper than buying a videocard with RAM on it.

Federico said...

Ramesh, server often come with preinstalled hardware, so it is not a choice, is something you have "by default"

I believe that nobody would buy a video card just to use its ram!

Assuming that this was the purpouse of the patch is silly!

There's a lot to criticize Linux about, but this attempt makes no sense at all!

h1d said...

no it doesnt, but gentoo is all about exploring for the hobby side. (just covering it since i still use gentoo =) )

but no one should use this on server... more complexity, less stability...

Matt said...

@Federico, who the hell buys a server with a dedicated graphics card? The first thing I'd do is rip that bastard out, put it aside to use in a workstation, and remote into the server.

Graphics cards in servers? No. Just... no.

Integrated graphics? Not enough memory to do this anyway.

Dual-Booter said...

You're forgetting one very important part of this story. Near the end of that wiki (for enabling the VRAM as SWAP), it says:

"So, Direct Rendering or fast swap. Your choice."

But most users don't have a choice. 3D won't work on their hardware even if they tried. And when I say "most users," I don't mean most _Linux_ users. I mean most _PC users_.

Cheers!

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switch to Linux and use compiz to drag your pidgin windows around in ways that you never imagined."

Hahaha, that is embarassingly funny and true! I got into Linux last year, and found myself espousing the virtues of it to people at school, and showing them the amazing spinning O' the cube in Compiz.

The novelty has long since worn off and I never use Compiz at all anymore.

I still use Linux, but not nearly as much as I use XP and Vista.

I love this blog. I just discovered it today after hearing the Linux zealots on Slashdot complain about it.

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who the hell buys a server with a dedicated graphics card?

Pretty much anyone buying an x86 or x86-64 server. Which covers, oh, somewhere around 95% of the server market.

The first thing I'd do is rip that bastard out, put it aside to use in a workstation, and remote into the server.

Kinda hard to do that when it's soldered onto the motherboard.

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