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Old 26th June 2008
Snoop1990 Snoop1990 is offline
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Default What's all this power for ?

Hey,
I am quite new to the freebsd business so sorry for this stupid question.

But I am just reading the hardware thread and I am wondering what is all this power for. As far as I know FreeBSD it runs faster on a 1 Ghz P3 than Windows on a 3 Ghz P4. But what are you looking for ?

I for my needs am a web developer so the only thing my machine needs to do is processing my code editor, maybe emulate a webserver (so it is divided from the main systme) and do some general stuff, fetching mails maybe write some text but that is not a lot of work to do. There is no video processing no 3d rendering nothing (no gaming on a workstation) so what do I need these fast processors for ?

I am just wondering about those hardware notes, nearly all dual core, what for ? Ok I have a dual core at the moment as well and it is quite nice but for general work I never reach 25 % so why not buy a processor that is about a quarter of what I have at the moment ? sure compiling would be slower, but to be honest I do not compile all the time ...

To make a long story short ? Do you think I would be fine with a 1,5 Ghz processor for a mobile web development ! add about 1 GB and a 80 Gb harddisc enough ?

I am just wondering as I can not imagine what to use these power for ...


So what are you doing with all your high powered computer ?


Regrades Snoop1990
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Old 26th June 2008
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I'll bite.

For myself multi-tasking. I'm requirely downloading bittorrents while watching a video and compiling a program or writting code while encoding another video.

A guy I know who uses windows is amazed by the number of things I can do at once. He says his computer can download and watch a movie at the same time.
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Old 26th June 2008
Snoop1990 Snoop1990 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roddierod View Post
A guy I know who uses windows is amazed by the number of things I can do at once. He says his computer can download and watch a movie at the same time.
I am no windows I am running Mac OS X but I want to switch to a light faster operation system and so the question is if I need one of those high power machines or if for example a 1,5 ghz single core is enough ! Remember I am not in video business. I maybe want to watch a movie 1 or 3 times a month but for the rest it is only work stuff and listening to music !

Are there any special requirements to play a dvd or hdtv movie ? system requirements ?

Thanks for fast reply !
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Old 26th June 2008
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1.5 should do just fine. I've got very reasonable performance out of my 450Mhz box. It even boots three times faster than my fathers all new *bling* 64 bit dual core machine that still runs the OS that the vendor supplied it with under the pretense of customer satisfaction. I do recommend reading the hardware compatibility list though.


As for all this heavy machinery these people have, I can say that multi tasking gets addictive. Ya know? It's not that you're compiling and watching movies at the same time /all the time/... it's just good to be able to if you want it


I wouldn't know about HDTV, but for watching DVD's 1.5 should do nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roddierod
A guy I know who uses windows is amazed by the number of things I can do at once.
And vice versa. I've had the mouse ripped out of my hand because the owner of the Wintel feared I'd crash it. I was only loading four or five things at once :innocent:
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Old 26th June 2008
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Does anyone remember the HP Jornada? For a couple years I did nearly all my on-the-fly computing with a model 728. More recently I was investigating sustainability practices in computing and managed to put together a Pico-ITX machine that has a 1 GHz, 1 GB DDR2-533 and uses 90 watts. The Jornada runs NetBSD though.
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Old 26th June 2008
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If all you are doing is using a text editor, running a web server for testing, and don't need flashy GUIs with tonnes of eye-candy effects, then a 1 to 2 GHz CPU with around 1 GB of RAM and and 80-ish GB HD is plenty.

The more horsepower you have, the more tricks you can do. But that doesn't mean you need it.
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Old 26th June 2008
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All that power comes in handy for multitasking. I've developed a bad habit of just taking a break from something, and leaving that application running while I do something else. Any Unix operating system has superb multitasking, but the hardware makes a difference. Normally, I'll have some maintenance operation going on in the background, a couple of torrents downloading, vim open for writing scripts or some other code, and a video running in mplayer or music playing in the background via mpd. It does take up a lot of resources. Both my Mac and my desktop/server suffer the same torture. All that power goes into making sure there are enough resources to do all of this.
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Old 26th June 2008
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The hardware you need is all dependent upon what you need it for. If you had to live through Firefoxes download day, a blazing fast daemon might be good -- for the rest of us almost anything that runs works.


P3 500Mhz, 384MB RAM included 8MB shared with gfx, and an 8GB disk served me as a desktop running PC-BSD (FreeBSD 6, KDE 3.4) running such monsters as OpenOffice, MPlayer, and Mozilla.


The more you have the better, especially if you don't like to wait on application start time!

For most people anything comparable to a P4 2.2-2.4Ghz, 1024MB RAM, and enough graphics memory/disk space for your needs will serve anyone until half way through the next decade as a 'comfortable' desktop machine, unless you live with Redmonds pacman development pattern.




the mental checklist I have is some thing like:


GNU/Linux -- A CPU compatible with your kernel build, enough RAM to boot the kernel, run init, and bash, a display, couple hundred megs of HDD. (various between kernel builds and distro bloat)

MS-DOS (later releases) -> Intel X86 CPU, 0.5-1MB of RAM, 4MB of HDD.

Windows XP -- 2000Mhz i686 CPU, 768MB Memory, 1.8GB+Personal space for HDD, any VESA capable graphics card (8MB is enough video memory)

Windows Vista (a real version) -- 2000Mhz i686 CPU, 2048MB Memory, GeForce 4400 or better graphics card, and since I've never used it 15~40GB + Personal space for HDD judging by their system requirements


FreeBSD 33Mhz Intel 80486DX, 128MB of RAM (less with older kernels), serial port or suitable display device, 1GB disk+Personal space, ports, src on HDD.

NetBSD a functioning power supply, serial port, and bootale media ;-)


OpenBSD (i386) Intel 80486DX, 32-64MB of RAM, 900MB of disk space, serial port or suitable display medium.


and you more or less have a functioning system, pardoning hardware support issues.
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Old 27th June 2008
Snoop1990 Snoop1990 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
...
Thank you very much all of you !

So you all agree that for my needs as described above it is enough to have what I explained ! Thank you for advice.

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Old 2nd July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
NetBSD a functioning power supply, serial port, and bootale media ;-)
Rofl!

Me? I have a 2.66GHz Pentium D running at 3.4GHz on water cooling, 4gb of ram, and a 8600GTS graphics card, 73 GB Raptor
What do I do with it? I play doom 3. I also compile everything from source, even kde, openoffice, firefox, etc. Often times multiple things compiling so long as they don't try to compile the same dependency.

It is really nice to not have to wait for your system. To click things and bam they are open. To have 25 different windows/applications open and still have no slow downs. Somthing I didn't know I needed until I had it. Now anything less that 2gb of ram on my workstations and I get cranky. My servers on the other hand, 500mhz Sparc IIi with 1GB of ram, 233 MHz Pentium MMX 192mb ram, and both of them are lazy, doing next to nothing in terms of CPU. So I really don't need anything faster there.

This is my *GASP* Windows XP machine also, that I use for gaming, more specifically Guitar Hero III. Believe it or not, my computer is just BARELY fast enough to play GHIII without lag, it lags once in a while but nothing unacceptable. It used to lag really bad until they release the latest patch.
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Old 2nd July 2008
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I've been hesitant to upgrade my computer's RAM thinking that 2GB of 4-4-4-12 DDR2 800 ought to be overkill anyway. Tad, did you go from 2GB with your install or, did you install from your initial 4GB?

My setup (Just the important stuff):
AMD Athlon64 X2 Black Edition 5000+ (OC at 3.0Ghz/1.375V), L2 is slower than Windsor's.
2x1GB shika DDR2 800@4-4-4-12 w/1.8V
Seagate Barracuda 320GB 7200.10
Asus M2N-E nForce 570 Ultra chipset
Asus GeForce EN7600GT

Running Gnome/FreeBSD7.0/Compiz-Fusion. Why have this power? Multi-tasking like the others have mentioned. Multi-tasking and the quick switching of Gnome spaces rocks the planet with productivity!

As an aside, can KDE switch spaces like Gnome? (ie, Ctrl+Alt+Arrow). Thanks.
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Old 8th July 2008
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Installed Initial 4 GB, I would say add it in a heart beat, it shouldn't hurt anything. I never use my swap at all and usually have 20+ windows open. (ADD a little?) Only 3.5GB registered but was expected.
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Old 8th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tad1214 View Post
Installed Initial 4 GB, I would say add it in a heart beat, it shouldn't hurt anything.
Be careful if you are using the nVidia driver. You have to have a BIOS option to prevent memory remapping. If you do not, the nVidia driver will not work with 4GB memory.

This applies only if you use the 32 bit version of course.
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Old 8th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJ View Post
Be careful if you are using the nVidia driver. You have to have a BIOS option to prevent memory remapping. If you do not, the nVidia driver will not work with 4GB memory.

This applies only if you use the 32 bit version of course.
I use nVidia driver and have changed nothing in the bios, no issues. Maybe only applies to integrated?
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Old 8th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tad1214 View Post
I use nVidia driver and have changed nothing in the bios, no issues. Maybe only applies to integrated?
No -- the BIOS must be set that way by default on your board.

I ran into this on a P35/8500/4GB board, and it has been reproduced by many others with other video cards. Works fine with 2GB (or 3GB). There is no reason why this should be chipset dependent, though of course the BIOS settings and their defaults can be.
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Old 8th July 2008
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The power of your machine all depends on what your needs are, my workstation is dual core E8400 3ghz which is also overclocked, all software is compiled from source, i use Virutalbox to run and test other OS, i also have to process my raw images for photography. I have 4gb ram but will be updating this to 8gb mainly for virutalbox and raw processing.
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Old 8th July 2008
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If I can get myself away from WoW I think a eeeBox will fit my needs (I hope it runns FreeBSD).
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Old 8th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoop1990
Hey,
I am quite new to the freebsd business so sorry for this stupid question.

But I am just reading the hardware thread and I am wondering what is all this power for. As far as I know FreeBSD it runs faster on a 1 Ghz P3 than Windows on a 3 Ghz P4. But what are you looking for ?

I for my needs am a web developer so the only thing my machine needs to do is processing my code editor, maybe emulate a webserver (so it is divided from the main systme) and do some general stuff, fetching mails maybe write some text but that is not a lot of work to do. There is no video processing no 3d rendering nothing (no gaming on a workstation) so what do I need these fast processors for ?
Depends what you use your machine for.

I for example interest in virtualization (Xen/QEMU/VirtualBox) which you cannot do on some old P3, you need some horsepower 2-4 cores expesially for Xen and (propably more important) extensions that are avialable only in new CPUs, like Intel VT or AMD V to make hypervisor work.

If you do much stuff on your box, like graphics in GIMP and Inkscape its pain to do that even on dual Athlon XP 1.6GHz, I have had such system and I can tell you that now I can breath and just do my job instead of watching the progress bar.

3D may not be that useful on the workstation at the first place, but processing windows/screen content CAN and SHOULD be graphics accelrated, not Compiz or other 3D candy stuff, RAW graphics, toolkits like GTK, all the 2D math should be accelrated by drivers for GFX card, unfortunelly FreeBSD does not cope very well here, even on open source Intel graphics.

You can check gtkperf bemchmark to see the diffrence between vesa and accelrated GFX driver.

Also if you do many things at a time with some tasks in backgound dual core or just old plain SMP with dual P2/P3 or even SPARC system makes a lot of sense, much better comfort for the work.

Also (Open)Solaris likes memory and horsepower much more then FreeBSD which I recently ofter use..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoop1990
I am just wondering about those hardware notes, nearly all dual core, what for ? Ok I have a dual core at the moment as well and it is quite nice but for general work I never reach 25 % so why not buy a processor that is about a quarter of what I have at the moment ? sure compiling would be slower, but to be honest I do not compile all the time ...
I have 4 cores @ 3GHz each and I can make them crawl in some circumstances, but of course most of the systems are idle for most of the time, but when the workload comes you have horsepower to cope with it and do not disturb your work waiting for some tasks to finish. but of course not so many people need a lot of horsepower, for most of the time its just waste of power.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoop1990
To make a long story short ? Do you think I would be fine with a 1,5 Ghz processor for a mobile web development ! add about 1 GB and a 80 Gb harddisc enough ?

I am just wondering as I can not imagine what to use these power for ...
You can get VIA NANO (Isaiah) or Atom (with HT) Intel CPU, they have TDP at about 1-5W, get 1GB RAM + some HDD or even 4GB flash and do you job, you will also be able to work in silence since these CPUs can be colled passively. At the same time VIA NANO is so powerful that it can run Crysis with decent playable freme rate with decent graphics card.
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Old 9th July 2008
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
I have 4 cores @ 3GHz each and I can make them crawl in some circumstances, but of course most of the systems are idle for most of the time, but when the workload comes you have horsepower to cope with it and do not disturb your work waiting for some tasks to finish. but of course not so many people need a lot of horsepower, for most of the time its just waste of power.
I don't know if they already have a technique for this, but it would be nice if one could completely shutdown unused cores and maybe even underclock the used core when computing power is not needed and bring them back online during the few times you'd need that extra computational ability (the old 80/20 rule makes another visit) -- and have it do this on the fly.
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Old 9th July 2008
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This article brings up some of the operating environments that are getting on board the sustainability bandwagon.

I've experimented with different ways of achieving "green" compliance in our data center and the primary means of cutting down on power as I've seen it has been in reducing machines and employing virtualization. CPU throttling during off-peak times, when we usually perform backups and do automated maintenance, meant that the machines took longer to perform those tasks before idling down again. I've had good luck with vendors like Dell and CoolerMaster that have some PSUs that rate above 80% efficiency. There's a list of efficient PSUs at www.80plus.org/manu/psu/psu_join.aspx.
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