When Your Computer Develops Memory Loss

When working in software that is to a certain extent based on memory capability (like LIDAR processing), it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

Most regular desktop computers can handle up to 128GB of memory, with some going up to 192GB (256GB now). This allows you to hold a certain amount of data in your RAM sticks, which are VERY fast. Consider that a 64GB kit of DDR5-6000 can be bought for about $185, where a high-end PCIe 4.0 1TB NVME drive is about $100. The memory kit is nearly 85% more cost, because it’s MUCH faster.

If you’ve ever seen a computer act fine, and then the mouse starts heavily lagging across the screen, the computer probably ran out of memory, and is having to use the storage AS memory. Most of the time, we just shut down programs and life resumes as normal.

Except when what you NEED to do is creating that lag.

It’s also not as simple as simply adding more memory to your existing computer. Sometimes, the technical design of the CPU makes memory-based processing very difficult. If the processing has to go between the CPU and memory, it’s using the memory CONTROLLER. When the CPU is designed with separate dies, it makes the process take much longer, adding latency. A few ms of latency is EVERYTHING in this workload. Having a CPU that is designed more all-in-one removes this problem.

In a memory-based workload (LIDAR processing), we saw an 18-core i9-10980XE ($1000) end up within 5% worse/better of a 32-core Threadripper 3970X ($2000). Most folks would think that the CPU with almost twice the cores would fare better, but it doesn’t. The workloads doesn’t scale to that extent with cores, and really needs a different CPU architecture.

Blowing it out to the extreme, we’ve seen adding an additional 1TB of RAM to a machine reduce processing times from 64 hours to 15-20 hours. Obviously, 1TB of RAM isn’t cheap, but at a certain point, the productivity loss is more expensive. This is magnified when after the 64hr render, the file is wrong or corrupted. DAYS are wasted.

It’s incredibly important to know your needs inside and out, it could cost OR save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

About Top Flight Computers

Top Flight Computers is based in North Carolina and designs custom-built computers, specializing in bespoke workstations, servers, and gaming computers.

We believe that fostering and strengthening authentic personal relationships with our customers is the most important part of our business. Above all, we want to help you get exactly what you need to be successful.

If you need more than a mass-market pre-built system, trust our technical excellence and dedication to personal service to design and build your bespoke PC.

Check out some of our older customer builds on our YouTube channel!