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Windows Hardware Technology

Laptops With 128GB of RAM Are Here (theverge.com) 361

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Brace yourself for laptops with 128GB of RAM because they're coming. Today, Lenovo announced its ThinkPad P52, which, along with that massive amount of memory, also features up to 6TB of storage, up to a 4K, 15.6-inch display, an eighth-gen Intel hexacore processor, and an Nvidia Quadro P3200 graphics card. The ThinkPad also includes two Thunderbolt three ports, HDMI 2.0, a mini DisplayPort, three USB Type-A ports, a headphone jack, and an Ethernet port. The company hasn't announced pricing yet, but it's likely going to try to compete with Dell's new 128GB-compatible workstation laptops. The Dell workstation laptops in question are the Precision 7730 and 7530, which are billed as "ready for VR" mobile workstations. According to TechRadar, "These again run with either 8th-gen Intel CPUs or Xeon processors, AMD Radeon WX or Nvidia Quadro graphics, and the potential to specify a whopping 128GB of 3200MHz system memory."

Laptops With 128GB of RAM Are Here

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  • For what use? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DogDude ( 805747 )
    I don't have any use for something like this, either personally, or in my work. What's the point of something like this? What kind of software needs this kind of juice?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @02:46PM (#56778646)

      Modern web browser with multiple tabs.

    • by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @02:47PM (#56778660)
      People doing CAD, 3D/CGI, Scientific Computing, GPGPU/HighPerformanceComputing use monster workstations every day - Dual Xeon 8, 12 or 16 Core, multiple Nvdia Titan GPUs, 64 to 256GB RAM and so on. That's what you need for today's 3D DCC and CAD design workflows. Anything lower, and everything slows down to a crawl and you don't make your deadlines. These new laptops don't even satisfy what is really needed - at least 8 to 12 CPU cores and room for 2+ powerful GPUs - but will be good enough to get work done on the go. That's the segment they are aimed at - the one that cannot get anything much done on quadcore core i7 CPUs and mobile GPUs.
    • Re:For what use? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tk77 ( 1774336 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @02:49PM (#56778674)

      Think of these kinda of machines less like laptops and more like portable workstations. Its easier to transport one of these around then it is having to transport everything needed to run a similar desktop. More "on-location" work can be done rather then having to wait to get back to a studio, for example. The battery in heavy use cases can be thought of as giving the ability to move the machine from outlet to outlet without having to shut down/power off.

      • Re:For what use? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @02:52PM (#56778694)
        Precisely this. In fact, in my segment we'd actually buy 8, 10 or 12 Core laptops or even more if we could actually get them. The battery is indeed used mostly to move the laptop about without having to switch it off. Kind of like an Uninterruptable Power Supply for those 20 - 30 minutes where you might not have power coming out of a wall socket, or where you are moving location.
      • I use a 5 YO Lenovo W530 as a replacement for a desktop machine at home. It has a quad core i7, 32 GB of RAM, and 2GB Quadro graphics board built in. I use it for CAD and 3D mesh manipulation, among the usual things. I plug in an external keyboard, 3D mouse, regular mouse, 32" display, and speakers. It literally replaced an aging desktop that had so many fans it sounded like a vacuum cleaner. Now it's quiet, and having a battery is great if there's a power failure. I spent about $350 on the W530 and al

      • Re:For what use? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @04:21PM (#56779406) Homepage Journal

        Most developers I know have a single laptop as their primary workstation. We were complaining about the 16GB limit on macbook "pro" laptops in 2015 as the on-premise software appliance we were developing at the time used about 10GB memory, which quickly ballooned to 17GB by mid-2016.
         
        The product we were using was also designed to scan other machines, which meant that you would likely have between .2 and 8 VMs running on your local machine to dev/test the entire product.
         
        So yes this is absolutely supposed to replace your personal workstation. I do about half my work from home these days, the 2-3 days a week I am in the office I still probably do 4 hours of work at home. Splitting your work between two machines is a real bear. Here we are three years later and the best "professional" macbook offering still only offers 16GB memory, where Lenovo and Dell have been offering 32GB memory in laptops for two+ years now. Will I need 128 GB? No probably not tomorrow but 64GB would be a reasonable ask for someone in my line of work. There's something like half a million software developers in the Bay area, I'm sure more than 5% of them are running in to memory problems at least monthly.

    • I don't have any use for something like this, either personally, or in my work. What's the point of something like this? What kind of software needs this kind of juice?

      Surely none that also requires portability.

      • Re:For what use? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:02PM (#56778774)
        The biggest CAD/3D models these days are for 3D buildings - like a new factory, airport or shopping center. Those CAD files can very easily become bigger than 64GB and not fit in RAM anymore. If you need to go to the construction site with a 98GB CAD model that can be inspected, how do you do that without a laptop that has 128GB RAM? Do you take a 35,000 USD dual Xeon CAD workstation with 3 GPUs that weighs 40 to 50 lbs and carry it to the construction site in a van? That's what these new laptops are for. Opening huge 3D CAD files away from the office desk - and very likely at a construction site.
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          The biggest CAD/3D models these days are for 3D buildings - like a new factory, airport or shopping center. Those CAD files can very easily become bigger than 64GB and not fit in RAM anymore. If you need to go to the construction site with a 98GB CAD model that can be inspected, how do you do that without a laptop that has 128GB RAM? Do you take a 35,000 USD dual Xeon CAD workstation with 3 GPUs that weighs 40 to 50 lbs and carry it to the construction site in a van? That's what these new laptops are for. Opening huge 3D CAD files away from the office desk - and very likely at a construction site.

          No. You throw your 128 GB iMac Pro in the back of your car.

          Done. And a big enough display that is is actually USABLE.

          Next question?

        • Sounds to me like the CAD and modeling people need to optimize their shit.

      • False. I travel extensively and have a monster laptop (P71 with 64 GB RAM, 17" screen, etc) so that I have my workstation whenever I am on-site with clients. I don't have to worry about maintaining two systems, sharing/transferring SW licenses (most real CAD programs have licensing systems), etc. Last week I was in China, doing work - and engineering. This week is Los Angeles. Next week is the Bay area. I take my workstation with me, because it IS portable, and it CAN replace a desktop.
        • False. I travel extensively and have a monster laptop (P71 with 64 GB RAM, 17" screen, etc) so that I have my workstation whenever I am on-site with clients. I don't have to worry about maintaining two systems, sharing/transferring SW licenses (most real CAD programs have licensing systems), etc. Last week I was in China, doing work - and engineering. This week is Los Angeles. Next week is the Bay area. I take my workstation with me, because it IS portable, and it CAN replace a desktop.

          Ok, I can see that use-case. But you still have to have additional displays wherever you go. ..and still, a pretty narrow market-segment.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you have to ask, it ain't for you.

    • Re:For what use? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ctilsie242 ( 4841247 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:03PM (#56778784)

      Lots:

      Vagrant.
      Virtualbox.
      Developer tools.
      Photo/video editing.
      Sound editing.

      A 128 GB machine will be ideal for a developer who has it for his/her daily driver, and who has to show that their code works on some test VM bases via Vagrant. This gets rid of the "it works on my machine, but not in production" type of bugs.

      Even if the RAM is not needed, it works as a cache, making I/O faster.

      • A 128 GB machine will be ideal for a developer who has it for his/her daily driver

        640GB should be enough for anybody.

        I bet the chintzy bastages didn't even allow for upgrading the RAM either. At a piddly 128GB one might as well haul out the abacus. /s

        Strat

    • Re:For what use? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:12PM (#56778858) Journal

      I felt the same when 1G ram became a thing...

    • I do quite a bit of hard-core engineering: electrical and mechanical. A lot of FEA analysis as well for EMI, mechanical, and acoustical output. I currently have a P71 with 64 GB of RAM and I will often push that limit on more advanced FEA runs. I would love to get this new laptop provided it has a 17" (or better yet, 18") screen.
    • Re:For what use? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Unknown User ( 4795349 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:16PM (#56778892)
      Composers who use large orchestral sample libraries, for instance.
    • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:52PM (#56779178)

      The new Windows version coming soon. You'll need at least 128GB for it.

    • The ThinkPad P series are more of a mobile workstation then a laptop or a notebook computer.
      I can use up 128 gigs of RAM easily. I do so at work all the time, (Normally for the first pass proof of concept, then I optimize it down).
      With million record databases trying to forecast future probabilities, so to make a business decision on to hire more, or find problems to fix.

      I normally have a server for this that I will remote connect to with my laptop. But If I/my place of work could afford a laptop like that

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      Our "dev db" is 10 GB, down to 7GB if you take a chainsaw to it. And then each of my java containers/microservices uses 512mb so that's 16GB right there and we haven't even touched my OS or dev tools' memory requirements.

      I do all my dev work in AWS and remote in because my "pro" macbook is limited to just 16GB memory. I can't even standup my dev stack on my laptop anymore.

      Heaven forbid Chrome is running on a system in the same timezone as my laptop. I'm glad 640K is enough for you, but I re

    • What's the point of something like this?

      I don't know but the following words were probably well-chosen:

      Brace yourself for laptops with 128GB of RAM...

      My asshole's quivering already.

    • by naris ( 830549 )
      Because no one would ever need more than 640MB of memory!
    • Arm processor as good that the i5. So laptop urge to grow better than your next lenovo/moto phone...

    • I'm in to machine learning, and this thing is right up my alley. It would be great to take my workstation with me to conferences rather than trying to VPN and remote into a rig, considering how bad the latency can get. I doubt I can personally field the cost though, so I'll not be having one any time soon. My current personal portable rig is (sadly) almost exactly 1/10 the specs of this in terms of RAM, GPU, and hard disk capacity. I would imagine that travel bloggers would love encoding video on a rig li

    • "I don't have any use for something like this, either personally, or in my work. "

      Just like a SUV, but you got one anyway.

    • Dude, that's easy - to run Android Developer Studio! (And I thought Eclipse was a dog...)
  • by DrTJ ( 4014489 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @02:47PM (#56778654)

    ... with 3 kB RAM, 8-colour TV display with 176x184 pixels, and magnetic tape storage.

    I bet it is just as fun as this machine. At least for me.

  • That's a whole lotta spy and bloatware that we are now going to be further expected to have the RAM to maintain.

  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby@[ ]cast.net ['com' in gap]> on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @02:58PM (#56778742)

    Dear Apple,

    Please have some courage and release a pro version of your laptop. If IBM and Dell can do this, you can do the same. It's the year 2018, 16 GB should be a base, not the maximum.

    • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) * on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:42PM (#56779086)

      Dear Intel,

      Release a mobile chipset that supports LPDDR4 so vendors can support more than 16GB of RAM without using a memory controller using 2-3x the power of the low power chips. Lots of RAM in laptops would be great but not at the cost of battery life.

      • It's all about the use case. Just because I need a portable computer, doesn't mean I need to sit at a cafe all day.

        Most people that use laptops for work leave them plugged in most of the time. While I appreciate a long battery life, I need the ability to perform my work to begin with.

        • I honestly wonder who these people are, who flit around from place to place, using their laptop 30 minutes at a time. Sip of battery here, sip of battery there. Oops! Battery almost out, I'll just take smaller sips. I don't use my laptop like that, and I don't think most people do.
          • by junk ( 33527 )

            I honestly wonder who these people are, who flit around from place to place, using their laptop 30 minutes at a time. Sip of battery here, sip of battery there. Oops! Battery almost out, I'll just take smaller sips. I don't use my laptop like that, and I don't think most people do.

            I don't think most people take their laptops everywhere with them any more. There was a time in the 2000s where coffee shops were filled with people showing off their overpriced fruit machines but that seems to have passed. I'd prefer a desktop but companies buy laptops for... reasons that I don't quite understand. Probably because so many more of us work remotely and/or from home, that it's the only sane thing to do.

            I honestly wonder who these people are, who flit around from place to place, using their

        • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) * on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @06:24PM (#56780268)

          Just because I need a portable computer, doesn't mean I need to sit at a cafe all day.

          Wanting good battery life is not about sitting in a cafe all day. I want a portable computer that I can use places away from my office/desk for long periods of time without hunting for a power outlet. I also want to use my laptop and not have it throttle way down on the battery. It would also really nice for it to be light so it doesn't weigh down my bag.

          Portables have aspects with inverse proportions. Intel dropping the ball after Skylake has meant any manufacturers wanting high performance parts in a small envelope can't pack a lot of RAM unless they sacrifice battery life by using much higher power draw DDR4.

          A higher power draw means lower battery life (for the same sized battery) and likely a lot of thermal throttling issues. DDR4 uses several times as much power as LPDDR3E used in the MacBook lines. Even if you are willing to sacrifice the battery life, the thermals would be a major issue even on AC power. The higher power RAM/controller would eat up the thermal budget for the CPU meaning it would enter TurboBoost mode less often or worst case actually stay throttled down.

          The ThinkPad in the story is a brick. This means thermals and battery life probably aren't major concerns. From the looks of it actual portability isn't much of a concern either.

  • by bunyip ( 17018 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:00PM (#56778764)

    Call me when they have 640 GB of RAM, thought ought to be enough for anybody !!!

    A.

  • by cerberusss ( 660701 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:08PM (#56778826) Homepage Journal

    I was curious to see how this beast looked like. I can't find pics on Lenovo's own site, but notebookcheck.net has an article [notebookcheck.net]. Pics from the article:

    Image 1 [notebookcheck.net]
    Image 2 [notebookcheck.net]

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      If that's an actual pic, it has REAL buttons at the bottom of the trackpad. I'd love to know how to get them, I can't find one without the awful "buttons integrated into trackpad" design these days.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Pics explain the need for 128GB.... It's running Windows 10

      [ducks]

  • Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @03:21PM (#56778920) Journal

    I'll buy one for $300 in about 5 years!

  • when opening a web browser will need 129GB

  • 6-row keyboard (Score:2, Insightful)

    by XanC ( 644172 )

    Still waiting them out on my x220, waiting for real keyboards to return.

  • Now I can finally open a pic of yo mamma!

    *badum-ching

  • Arm processor as good that the i5. So laptop urge to grow better than your next phone... but then who need a 128gb laptop ?

  • My laptop only has 32GB of SSD, thank you.
  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @09:29PM (#56781086)

    for power hungry applications as they don't really handle thermal dissipation as well as their full size workstation brethren.
    Not to mention the high end hardware that can deliver the power you need will eat a battery so fast it's shocking.

    Since the damn thing is going to have to be plugged in at all times anyway ( with the added bonus of that tiny ass screen ) why
    get a laptop for this sort of work ? ( I use CAD and DCC software and I'm sure as hell not going to do it on a 17" monitor on a road trip )

    Additionally, I've never really liked laptops as their upgrade possibilities are extremely limited ( if they exist at all ).

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