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My workstation has 6Gb's of RAM. While this might not be "an ocean" of unlimited potential, 6Gb's for general development serves me well.

I know Microsoft say 4Gb's is the minimum, but in my experience 6Gb's is already spreading it thin. If you're developing against Sharepoint 2010 you'll likely have at least 1 instance of VS2010 running and a pretty hefty SQL process. Needless to say Sharepoint is not a toy, its a pretty demanding server application.

I recently asked management for a possible upgrade on my RAM (6Gb's) because I feel it is not enough for Sharepoint 2010 development AND keeping a functional desktop (browsers, messaging apps, dev tools, vpns, rdc sessions, etc)

Do you guys think I'm being overly fussy, or do you think a Sharepoint 2010 development machine requires more than 6Gb's?

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7 Answers

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I think 8 GB is fair. We have made 8 GB our corporate standard for developers who don't even run SharePoint locally. Even with 8 GB I turn off the SharePoint service jobs when I do not need them. If you plan to run SharePoint in a guest VM (I run SharePoint Foundation on my host and SharePoint Enterprise on a guest VM), then 8 GB is necessary.

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Hi Rob, just checking - does your 8GB allocation include ram for liberal use of VS (2 instances+), running other system vitals such as a browser with multiple tabs, MS Outlook. Or is 8GBs only enough for a "get lean and mean" configuration? –  user879 Dec 23 '10 at 8:55
    
Everything that you mention, except I don't usually have more than two VS instances running. I'll sometimes have a Remote Desktop Connection or two open as well. The only time I really see a hit is when I fire up VMWare to run my SharePoint 2010 Enterprise server. When I'm doing that, I shut down the Foundation service jobs on my host. If you plan to run multiple instances of SharePoint at once, or multiple VM's at once, then it certainly wouldn't hurt to have more than 8 GB. If not, then you should be fine. –  Rob Wilson Dec 23 '10 at 16:02
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I run Sharepoint Foundation with only 4gb of RAM. It works fine. I tried to set up a VM with windows 2008 server because we were working on a publishing site (the publishing infrastructure is not available in foundation). The VM was miserably slow.

That being said I have an older PC that doesn't support hardware virtualization.

RAM is cheap. Load up!

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I have 4GB on my dev laptop (with 2GB allocated to a 2010 VM) currently which works fine for small scale stuff but runs like a dog whenever I fire up Managed Metadata or UPS.

Go for > 8GB.

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If you really want to be Productive (work on multiple applications with ALT+TABS), then I would recommend 8GB and more RAM :)

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It depends what you are trying to do. If you are doing dev work on SharePoint Foundation, 4Gb is probably plenty. If you have SharePoint Server with all the enterprise stuff running and lots of content you will probably struggle. If your memory usage is hitting the limit or you are getting lots of page faults you know performance will improve if you add memory, which usually translates into better productivity.

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Good point here - if things start to run slow fire up PerfMon and watch the page faults. –  James Love Dec 22 '10 at 10:19
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We develop on 6Gb VMs where only SharePoint and Development tools are running (no email,no general browsing) and don't seem to hit any serious performance issues.

We have spare capacity in our virtual server and simply haven't felt the need to increase the memory of individual developer machines.

We revert our VMs on an almost daily basis so we don't accumulate a lot of content in our development systems.

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I have seen a guy running SharePoint Foundation installed on Windows 7 laptop with just 4GBs, and it was fairly quick. However I would still recommend you to get 8GB plus if possible. The keyword for management is "productivity", you will be more productive if your DEV environment is more responsive. I must admit that my productivity increased dramatically when I added additional SSD drive for my SharePoint VM.

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