Raspberry Pi 4 Memory

Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Memory Usage – Week 14

Last Updated on August 20, 2020

This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

There are 3 models of the RPI4 available. They are identical except for the amount of RAM onboard; choose from 1GB of RAM, 2 GB of RAM, or 4GB of RAM. There’s no way of upgrading the RAM once a user has made their purchase. So it’s pretty important to choose the model that best fits your requirements, or you may end up spending more than necessary, or even need to buy extra RPI4’s.

For this week’s blog, I’m seeking to provide information that’ll help you determine which model of the RPI4 to get. This article will be periodically updated with more information.

I kick off with memory consumption used by Raspbian’s graphical desktop. Then I explore memory usage with Chromium, Mathematica, and finish with a section on other programs. If there’s software you’d like covered, feel free to drop a comment at the bottom of this article.

Memory usage at desktop

As the screen image shows, the RPI4 is using 158.2MiB at the Raspbian desktop. There’s a few things to note. I’ve enabled SSH which isn’t enabled by default. I’m also running LXTerminal (a terminal emulator).

RPI4 - Memory usage at desktop

I’ve not removed any services to shave off some memory usage. From my perspective, I don’t need ModemManager. That’s a DBus-activated daemon which controls mobile broadband (2G/3G/4G) devices and connections. There’s a few other tweaks you can easily apply. But even without them, ps_mem reports the desktop is using 158MB of RAM. That’s pretty lean even if you plump for the 1GB model.

Next page: Page 2 – Web Browsing

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Desktop
Page 2 – Web Browsing
Page 3 – Mathematica
Page 4 – Other Applications

Read all my blog posts about the RPI4.

Raspberry Pi 4 Blog
Week 36Manage your personal collections on the RPI4
Week 35Survey of terminal emulators
Week 34Search the desktop with the latest version of Recoll
Week 33Personal Information Managers on the RPI4
Week 32Keep a diary with the RPI4
Week 31Process complex mathematical functions, plot 2D and 3D graphs with calculators
Week 30Internet radio on this tiny computer. A detailed survey of open source software
Week 29Professionally manage your photo collection with digiKam
Week 28Typeset beautifully with LyX
Week 27Software that teaches young people how to learn basic computing skills and beyond
Week 26Firefox revisited - Raspbian now offers a real alternative to Chromium
Week 25Turn the Raspberry Pi 4 into a low power writing machine
Week 24Keep the kids learning and having fun
Week 23Lots of choices to view images
Week 22Listening to podcasts on the RPI4
Week 21File management on the RPI4
Week 20Open Broadcaster Software (OBS Studio) on the RPI4
Week 19Keep up-to-date with these news aggregators
Week 18Web Browsers Again: Firefox
Week 17Retro gaming on the RPI4
Week 16Screen capturing with the RPI4
Week 15Emulate the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and the Atari ST on the RPI4
Week 14Choose the right model of the RPI4 for your desktop needs
Week 13Using the RPI4 as a screencaster
Week 12Have fun reading comics on the RPI4 with YACReader, MComix, and more
Week 11Turn the RPI4 into a complete home theater
Week 10Watching locally stored video with VLC, OMXPlayer, and others
Week 9PDF viewing on the RPI4
Week 8Access the RPI4 remotely running GUI apps
Week 7e-book tools are put under the microscope
Week 6The office suite is the archetypal business software. LibreOffice is tested
Week 5Managing your email box with the RPI4
Week 4Web surfing on the RPI4 looking at Chromium, Vivaldi, Firefox, and Midori
Week 3Video streaming with Chromium & omxplayerGUI as well as streamlink
Week 2A survey of open source music players on the RPI4 including Tauon Music Box
Week 1An introduction to the world of the RPI4 looking at musikcube and PiPackages

This blog is written on the RPI4.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments