Posted Apr 23, 2010 18:03 UTC (Fri) by jd (guest, #26381)
Parent article: Quotes of the week
PCI allows 4K transfers in a single transaction. Thus, a 4K page can be handled in hardware atomically. Remote memory transfers (such as RDMA) also use 4K block sizes. I'm not certain, but I think most of the other standard memory hardware is also geared to 4K pages. If you can always read/insert from the very start of a block to the very end, it's convenient. No offsets to worry about, no special inserts, no mess, no fuss.
As others have noted, 4K means easier (though more resource-intensive) memory management and all of the complexities that go with juggling memory allocations.
It might actually be nice to have a multi-page-size option, where some memory uses 4K pages (specifically to exploit atomic operation benefits) and some memory uses a larger page size (for when the bottleneck is in the VM, not the bus or hardware).