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  1. mj0's Avatar
    Having recently switched from a Lumia 635 running Cyan to a Lumia 830 running Denim I'm left wondering where that massively improved performance comes from. Take webbrowsing for example: loading a webpage on the Lumia 830 is significantly faster than loading the exact same website on the Lumia 635, regardless of whether I'm using 3G, 4G or WiFi. The SoC is the same between these two, only difference is 1GB of RAM on the 830 vs. 512MB of RAM on the 635 - which does explain much less "Resuming..." screens (I have yet to see one on the 830 whereis they were there pretty much all the time on the 635) but not why websites load so much faster.

    Is it the Denim update? The latest Windows Phone 8.1 update? The difference between these two is staggering - what gives?
    12-16-2014 06:54 AM
  2. someone2639's Avatar
    It's the RAM, combined with the firmware. Also, dev preview can slow you down.
    12-16-2014 07:01 AM
  3. mj0's Avatar
    Never had the dev preview installed on any of these two. Never said I did, either, so I don't know where that came from ;)
    Both running the stock OS, 635 with Cyan and 830 with Denim.
    12-16-2014 07:03 AM
  4. realwarder's Avatar
    Maybe twice the RAM makes it dual channel access which would be quicker. Maybe they used faster speed RAM because it is not a budget phone. And of course having twice as much as you say is better generally.
    12-16-2014 07:12 AM
  5. Harrie-S's Avatar
    Did you use the 635 long and did you ever delete the IE history. How much free memory have you in both phones. These may influence also the performance.
    12-16-2014 07:18 AM
  6. mj0's Avatar
    I've had the 635 for three months but it's been slow since day one. I came from an iPhone 5 and immediately noticed the slump in performance. It's not that the 635 was slow, it's still decent but there were times where I got annoyed by the "Resuming.." screen (hence the update to a phone sporting 1GB of RAM) and the fact that it did take its sweet time for some things, such as rendering websites (even ones with almost no images and text only) or loading the MixRadio app.
    12-16-2014 07:37 AM
  7. several potatos's Avatar
    I've had the 635 for three months but it's been slow since day one. I came from an iPhone 5 and immediately noticed the slump in performance. It's not that the 635 was slow, it's still decent but there were times where I got annoyed by the "Resuming.." screen (hence the update to a phone sporting 1GB of RAM) and the fact that it did take its sweet time for some things, such as rendering websites (even ones with almost no images and text only) or loading the MixRadio app.
    Dude, the iPhone 5 and the 635 are not in the same category. This is like comparing a Chevy to a Mercedes.
    xandros9 and TechFreak1 like this.
    12-16-2014 07:41 AM
  8. xandros9's Avatar
    I would speculate the additional RAM means the phone doesn't need to worry as much about keeping things compact and can have more on its plate at once.
    12-16-2014 10:01 AM
  9. a5cent's Avatar
    All those saying it's RAM are mistaken. Most people will jump to attribute performance improvements to hardware, probably because it's a lot easier to imagine how hardware works than it is to understand the immaterial nature of software. RAM is an extreme example, as RAM capacity can NEVER actually make anything run faster. At most more RAM can sometimes allow a computing device to get away with doing less (as in less unloading/reloading of apps to and from memory, hence less resuming).

    In this case what you are seeing are improvements made in WP8.1 update 1. From Nokia conversations website on Denim:

    Mobile Web Site improvements in IE Connect and browse even faster with improved downloading speeds on mobile websites.

    http://lumiaconversations.microsoft....-denim-update/
    Theoretically more RAM might help when navigating backward through your browsing history, as it could cache more pages, thereby avoiding reloading pages, but mobile IE doesn't seem to ever do that. 😒
    Idiosyncrasy, Cryio and mj0 like this.
    12-16-2014 10:21 AM
  10. mj0's Avatar
    Thanks a5cent, couldn't have said it better. It can't be the memory and I can't figure out what it is.
    If what you're saying is right the 635's performance should improve significantly with WP8.1 Update 1 and Denim, correct? I still have the 635 and will update as soon as the update is available. We'll see whether or not performance improves.
    a5cent likes this.
    12-16-2014 10:27 AM
  11. a5cent's Avatar
    ^ I'm certain you'll see the same improvements in IE when denim is released for your 635. Resuming will stay the same. The best way to improve on the resuming issue is to get more apps that are built specifically for WP8.1 rather than WP8.0.
    Last edited by a5cent; 12-16-2014 at 10:44 AM.
    12-16-2014 10:30 AM
  12. mj0's Avatar
    Makes sense. I'll report back once Denim is officially released for the 635.

    One question remains, though. It's quite clear that the less memory a device has the more often it will have or display the resuming-screen. I'm quite familiar with memory management on UNIX and Windows Phone isn't much different from that, at least in theory. What I don't get is how a WP 8.1 app would resolve this issue.
    12-16-2014 12:53 PM
  13. a5cent's Avatar
    Makes sense. I'll report back once Denim is officially released for the 635.

    One question remains, though. It's quite clear that the less memory a device has the more often it will have or display the resuming-screen. I'm quite familiar with memory management on UNIX and Windows Phone isn't much different from that, at least in theory. What I don't get is how a WP 8.1 app would resolve this issue.
    WP8.1 has drastically changed memory management compared to WP8.0. However, those new mechanisms only kick in with apps that were built for, and run under, the WP8.1 runtime. WP8.0 apps don't do that.

    The primary difference is that WP8.0 reserved chunks of memory for each app in predetermined sizes. Either 150, 180 or 380 MB etc. If an app happened to use only 40 MB, the rest of that chunk would go to waste. Instead of this "one size fits all" approach, WP8.1 includes a profiling mechanism that, over time, determines the highest amount of RAM an app is likely to use, and reserves RAM accordingly for each app when launched. I suspect I don't need to explain more for you to understand how that allows the OS to keep more apps in memory simultaneously.

    The bigger question is why reserve memory ahead of time in such chunks at all (Unix definitely doesn't do that, so it's actually not that similar). Well, that is because WP wants to get all memory allocations and potential app force-closing out of the way at the moment you launch an app. That is preferable to just giving an app what it needs at launch, allowing heap and stack memory requirements to grow, and then at some arbitrary point in time (most likely while you are gaming or scrolling), having to force-close an app in the background. This is one of the things that caused the jitter and lag that low-end Android devices were famous for. This design is one (of many) software design choices that allows WP to run consistently fast and fluid on 512MB devices.
    12-16-2014 01:28 PM
  14. mj0's Avatar
    Right, Unix works different in this regard. There are, however, certain Unices and Unix-like systems that behave just that way, mostly real-time kernels.
    Makes perfect sense, thanks for the explanation.
    a5cent likes this.
    12-17-2014 12:35 AM
  15. benoitgphoto's Avatar
    Well honestly, I have both and don't see so much of difference between both. I find both to be very comparable in term of performance which means decently snappy
    12-17-2014 02:10 PM
  16. Darthbobcat's Avatar
    ^ I'm certain you'll see the same improvements in IE when denim is released for your 635. Resuming will stay the same. The best way to improve on the resuming issue is to get more apps that are built specifically for WP8.1 rather than WP8.0.
    Huh. If more RAM doesn't actually make you faster, why does it seem like more RAM = more speed? What benefit does RAM actually give you?
    12-17-2014 04:10 PM
  17. xandros9's Avatar
    Huh. If more RAM doesn't actually make you faster, why does it seem like more RAM = more speed? What benefit does RAM actually give you?
    I think it can improve things, speed included, but eh.

    Correct me if this analogy is wrong.

    Imagine you're working at a desk. The most desk space you have, the more RAM you have.
    You have some documents "open" in one corner which you can easily pick up and look at, some other objects you have easy access, right on your desk.
    The less RAM/space you have, you'll have to move things around, whether off the desktop or stacking things up and when a large game (say, a board game in the desk analogy) is opened, you'll have to accommodate that, and if its too big, make a requirement which requires a certain amount of desk space to play. (the 1 GB RAM requirement in some games)

    Its off the top of my head, it could be wrong.
    fdalbor and Makm like this.
    12-17-2014 04:39 PM
  18. a5cent's Avatar
    Huh. If more RAM doesn't actually make you faster, why does it seem like more RAM = more speed? What benefit does RAM actually give you?
    Well, you'd have to tell me exactly what scenario you're thinking of, where you think more RAM = more speed. IMHO that's a little too vague to serve as a useful starting point for a discussion.

    I understand why xandros is resisting the idea that more RAM can't make anything actually run faster. I think our disagreement might be just about what the most correct way to think about RAM is, rather than anything else. If you're just looking for a simple "recipe" rather than a real understanding of the issue, I'd say you should at least reverse and slightly adjust that sentence like so: "not enough (note that is not the opposite of "more") RAM can make things run slower".

    More correct, but also more abstract, is what I said in my first post: Increasing RAM capacity can, as far as performance is concerned, never achieve more than to allow a computing device to sometimes get away with doing less. Imagine two office workers at a desk, each with a stack of envelopes in front of them. Their job is to stick a postage stamp on every envelop. Both of them work exactly at the same pace, say 15 envelopes per minute (the CPU). However, one has only 30 envelopes while the other has 200. Obviously the one with 30 envelopes will finish earlier. Would you find it correct to say that the one with 30 envelopes worked faster? Obviously not. Claiming that more RAM makes a computing device run faster is wrong in exactly the same way.

    One example:

    Think of how Windows memory paging works (I think this is similar to the analogy that xandros9 was making above). If your computer doesn't have enough RAM to accommodate all the programs and data you are working with, Windows will be forced to write the contents of some of that memory out to secondary storage (HDD, SDD, etc). If you then do something that accesses that memory, that data must be read back into main memory and other contents in RAM swapped out in exchange. This is of course excruciatingly slow compared to just having everything in RAM, so you might be tempted to say more RAM makes things faster. This is incorrect for two reasons:

    1. it's not having more RAM that is making anything run faster, but not having enough RAM that is requiring the computer to do more(swap memory pages to secondary storage), and hence run slower.
    2. once you have enough RAM to accommodate all your programs and data, adding more RAM won't do anything for you. If all your programs and data fit into 3GB of memory, a device with 4GB or 1024GB of RAM will exhibit exactly the same performance. Zero difference.

    Particularly that second point highlights why it's incorrect to think that more RAM = "more speed". The only time that is ever correct, is when you didn't have enough RAM to begin with.

    The resuming message we often see on WP is conceptually similar to the above. In this case the OS is just swapping out entire apps rather than individual memory pages. On WP the number of simultaneously opened apps is limited to 9 (or fewer on 512MB devices). If MS were to remove that limit, and build a device with 200GB of RAM, what would you expect the difference to be? Assuming all of your apps would fit into those 200 GB of RAM (they very likely would), then you'd see the loading message only once, when an app is first launched. You' never see the resuming message. Here too we might be tempted to say such a WP device "runs faster". In a way it does, but in reality it's just doing less, just like the office worker with the stamps. More importantly, everything else would perform exactly the same as it performs now. Not a single app would actually do anything faster than it does on an otherwise comparable 1GB device.

    Saying that more RAM makes our devices faster would only be correct if every MB we added to a device had some measureable affect on performance. In an infinite number of configurations it will do nothing of the sort. It's only in a handful of situations (when we had too little RAM to begin with) that it will.

    Don't misunderstand this as an argument along the lines of "we don't need more RAM". As long as the OS has a way of using it (less resuming) and provides some of that extra memory to apps (for higher resolution textures in games, or just generally larger and more comprehensive programs/apps), then that's definitely a good thing. It's just not correct to think of RAM as primarily or generally related to performance.

    From a developers point of view this is all a bit different, but I don't think that's relevant here.
    12-17-2014 07:32 PM
  19. Darthbobcat's Avatar
    That was very educational. It also explains why my 1 GB RAM Encore 2 does well for itself; I never give it,anything complicated,enough to require more RAM.
    12-17-2014 07:40 PM
  20. etad putta's Avatar
    Me thinks something was wrong with your 635,
    12-18-2014 01:16 AM
  21. mj0's Avatar
    The first point is that more RAM allows more applications to run simultaneously, which has been explained in amazing detail by a5cent already. However, there's a second scenario where more RAM can make things faster - an application that requires more RAM than available will also start swapping during execution, which will result in sloppy performance of said application. Remember - what a5cent refers to as secondary storage can be up to 1000x times slower than memory, considering the fact that a triple-channel DDR3-1866 bus can move around up to 45GB per second and a harddrive can get as slow as 50MB per second. Thus, something that would take one second in memory can take up to 20 minutes in a worst case scenario when swapping occurs.

    On Windows Phone this is a bit different, since there is no secondary storage to swap hence applications have to be quit to clear available memory. Obviously, a 2GB device can keep much more in memory without having to force-quit applications than a 512MB device. Applications that require more memory than the device has to offer will simply not run, whereas on a PC or Mac they will run, albeit slow due to the swapping issues explained above.

    And this, in short, is why 512MB of RAM will not cause Internet Explorer to render websites slower. It might cause applications to launch slower since the system might have to quit background tasks more often, and it will definitely result in more and loger "Resuming..." screens for apps that have been removed from memory and have to be resumed from Flash.

    Additional note for the tech enthusiasts: on a modern PC swapping is not secondary storage but depending on the microprocessor architecture either quaternary or quinary. The hierarchy goes 1st level cache, 2nd level cache, 3rd level cache, RAM, SSD/HDD. Whether it's quaternary (4th level) or quinary (5th level) depends on whether the microprocessor sports an exclusive or inclusive cache architecture. From the microprocessor's point of view even accessing a triple channel DDR3 memory is painfully slow considering cache level speeds of for example Intel's current Haswell architecture: L1-Cache: 700GB/s, L2-Cache: 200GB/s, L3-Cache: 120GB/s, triple channel DDR3-1866 RAM: 42GB/s.

    And in case you're wondering: yes, I did have to look up what comes after tertiary. Thanks Oxford Online Dictionary
    12-18-2014 01:18 AM
  22. anon(9057135)'s Avatar
    It's the RAM, combined with the firmware. Also, dev preview can slow you down.

    To OP, like ⬆ said, it's Ram.
    12-18-2014 03:29 PM
  23. aerosidinc's Avatar
    my lumia 525 with 1 gb ram cant handle more than two tabs at once. whenever I open third page one page is closed.
    12-19-2014 06:37 AM
  24. Makm's Avatar
    (Commenting just to keep an eye on this thread. Seems interesting.)
    12-19-2014 07:02 AM

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