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Old 12-14-2007, 01:22 AM
"Cory K."
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

Using this as an example:

D. Michael McIntyre wrote:
"I've just learned not to encourage people with low spec hardware,
because it's usually frustrating for everyone involved."

This is something Ubuntu Studio has to think, and get asked about,
rather often.

I often recommend at least 1GB of RAM and a 1.5-2Ghz processor. Sounds
reasonable to me and a rather low requirement when you think about what
some apps need.

But, I have personally been told that saying "get better hardware" to
someone wanting to run Ardour on a PII 667Mhz and 128MB RAM (rough
example) is pushing the "Vista" mentality. There's a big difference.

As I see it people need to be realistic about the task they are trying
to undertake and realize that apps themselves often require alot of
horsepower.

We can do some great things with low-spec hardware in linux but Ubuntu
Studio isnt aimed at low-spec general-purpose machines. I'm not saying
you need something ridiculous, just say within the last 3-4 years.

Discuss.

-Cory m/

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Old 12-14-2007, 12:49 PM
Clinton Morse
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

I'm fairly new to Ubuntu and Linux in general but have Edubuntu running
nicely on an old 'low spec' machine. But I'm planning on setting up a
new machine (new, but not bleeding edge) after the first of the year to
run audio apps - mostly soft synths (I used to repair hardware synths in
the '80s) and sequencers and realize I need more horsepower for this
computation intensive kind of stuff.

I'm planning on going with 64 bit Ubuntu Studio distro on AMD processor
but am not sure whether to go with a faster dual core (say 2.6-3.0 ghz)
or whether I'll see better performance (lower latency) with one of the
entry level Phenom quad core processors. I'm assuming that running
synth's/plug-ins the Linux Kernel will split processing evenly between
the cores so the quad seems likely to give better performance. Just
curious what opinions or experience from other users of Ubuntu Studio
have to say on the tradeoff of core count versus chip speed.

Thanks in advance..

Cory K. wrote:
> As I see it people need to be realistic about the task they are trying
> to undertake and realize that apps themselves often require alot of
> horsepower.
>
> We can do some great things with low-spec hardware in linux but Ubuntu
> Studio isnt aimed at low-spec general-purpose machines. I'm not saying
> you need something ridiculous, just say within the last 3-4 years.
>
>

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Old 12-14-2007, 01:00 PM
"Sean Corbett"
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

I have a machine that is about 4 years old running US very well... granted it was top of the line then.* Dual 2GHz AMD Athlons, 1.2G Ram, 266MHz FSB, plain ol' IDE drives.* By today's standards, very average, but I recently did a large project for a local church, and tracked as many as 16 tracks simultaneously, on top of 32+ existing tracks (using Ardour).* Occasionally I had stability issues, mostly Ardour/Jack-related, but overall US did a great job and the client was very happy with the results.


Sean Corbett

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Old 12-14-2007, 01:08 PM
"Cory K."
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

Sean Corbett wrote:
> I have a machine that is about 4 years old running US very well...
> granted it was top of the line then. Dual 2GHz AMD Athlons, 1.2G Ram,
> 266MHz FSB, plain ol' IDE drives. By today's standards, very average,
> but I recently did a large project for a local church, and tracked as
> many as 16 tracks simultaneously, on top of 32+ existing tracks (using
> Ardour). Occasionally I had stability issues, mostly
> Ardour/Jack-related, but overall US did a great job and the client was
> very happy with the results.
>
> Sean Corbett

This I consider a totally reasonable expectation of hardware. Maybe even
a little less.

-Cory m/

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Old 12-14-2007, 01:18 PM
Asmo Koskinen
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

Clinton Morse kirjoitti:
> Just curious what opinions or experience from other users of Ubuntu Studio
> have to say on the tradeoff of core count versus chip speed.
>
I have no opinion, but this make me wondering - when we can expect
value for buying a quad-core processor. And you know - there is
anything else to buy in few years.

"For example, most current (as of 2006) PC games will run faster on a 3
GHz single-core processor than on a 2GHz dual-core processor (of the
same core architecture),[citation needed] despite the dual-core
theoretically having more processing power, because they are incapable
of efficiently using more than one core at a time."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-core_(computing)#Disadvantages

But something is happening there...

""c't has tested ThreadWeaver on an experimental 4 core system with
hyperthreading, and it scales very nicely with the CPU power. Loading 56
4MBit images files took a little over 2 seconds. I guess that is fast."

http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/2714

Best Regards Asmo Koskinen.

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Old 12-14-2007, 01:38 PM
Clinton Morse
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

That's really the root of my question - most of the cited benchmarks are
based on PC gaming under WinDoze so the game software explicitly needs
to be programmed to utilize mutliple cores efficiently.

But linux is a multi-threaded OS so in theory the operating system
should be parcelling tasks out to the individual cores, especially where
there is a clear division such as when running something like Ardour or
Rosegarden while also running softsynths and/or plug-in effects. It
seems to me that linux OS would gain the advantage of multicore
processors without 'special programming' at the application level,
whereas windows (where most of the benchmarks are conducted) does not.

Asmo Koskinen wrote:
> "For example, most current (as of 2006) PC games will run faster on a 3
> GHz single-core processor than on a 2GHz dual-core processor (of the
> same core architecture),[citation needed] despite the dual-core
> theoretically having more processing power, because they are incapable
> of efficiently using more than one core at a time."
>
>


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Old 12-14-2007, 11:47 PM
Jack Bowling
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

Google for:

What every programmer should know about memory

and you will get a hit for Ulrich Drepper's 114 pdf of the same name. This
is required reading for anybody wishing to know how the various existing CPUs access memory, including multi-core chips.

Jack



On Fri, Dec 14, 2007 at 09:38:53AM -0500, Clinton Morse wrote:
> That's really the root of my question - most of the cited benchmarks are
> based on PC gaming under WinDoze so the game software explicitly needs
> to be programmed to utilize mutliple cores efficiently.
>
> But linux is a multi-threaded OS so in theory the operating system
> should be parcelling tasks out to the individual cores, especially where
> there is a clear division such as when running something like Ardour or
> Rosegarden while also running softsynths and/or plug-in effects. It
> seems to me that linux OS would gain the advantage of multicore
> processors without 'special programming' at the application level,
> whereas windows (where most of the benchmarks are conducted) does not.
>
> Asmo Koskinen wrote:
> > "For example, most current (as of 2006) PC games will run faster on a 3
> > GHz single-core processor than on a 2GHz dual-core processor (of the
> > same core architecture),[citation needed] despite the dual-core
> > theoretically having more processing power, because they are incapable
> > of efficiently using more than one core at a time."
> >

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Old 12-15-2007, 12:38 AM
"D. Michael McIntyre"
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

On Thursday 13 December 2007, Cory K. wrote:
> I often recommend at least 1GB of RAM and a 1.5-2Ghz processor. Sounds
> reasonable to me and a rather low requirement when you think about what
> some apps need.

I definitely wouldn't go lower, and I prefer to see at least 2 GHz and 2 GB of
RAM as a more realistic "satisfying minimum." Whether more GHz or more GB
would be the most helpful depends on what you're doing.

> But, I have personally been told that saying "get better hardware" to
> someone wanting to run Ardour on a PII 667Mhz and 128MB RAM (rough
> example) is pushing the "Vista" mentality. There's a big difference.

Me too. I'm the entire problem with everything, and it's all my fault.

> As I see it people need to be realistic about the task they are trying
> to undertake and realize that apps themselves often require alot of
> horsepower.

There is a mixture of people having unrealistic expectations, and our being
less efficient at certain things than our well-funded competition (which also
has up to 20 years of development time on us to boot.) There is some truth
to assertions that such and such on Windows could do more with less. It
really is true in some cases, but look at the odds stacked against our
achieving even this much. Couple that with the fact that my personal agenda
doesn't involve trying to make Rosegarden or anything else perform well in a
challenging environment. It's hard enough to get the damn thing to work in a
forgiving environment, and I don't expect computers are going to get slower
or more expensive as time passes, so there's just no good motivation to keep
looking backwards.

Having thought about this at some length, Cory, I've realized that I don't
really have a problem with people who try to get this stuff to work on an old
computer anyway. Especially not people living in, say, Argentina. What I
have the biggest problem with is the classic newbie who comes along and
starts bitching about bad performance on the PII-400 he dug out of the closet
to try Linux on, to see if it was worth the effort before he tries anything
on his real computer that's way better than mine.

I've long since been at the point where I lost all sympathy for people like
that, and I don't even bother to encourage them further anymore.
--
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:11 PM
Karlheinz Noise
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

>What I
> have the biggest problem with is the classic newbie who comes along and
> starts bitching about bad performance on the PII-400 he dug out of the closet
> to try Linux on, to see if it was worth the effort before he tries anything
> on his real computer that's way better than mine.
>
> I've long since been at the point where I lost all sympathy for people like
> that, and I don't even bother to encourage them further anymore.

So I've noticed.

I was one of those newbies, if you might recall. I got checksum errors when I tried to even install US on my old Celeron 400, asked why, and nobody gave me any help other than "Don't bother, get a better machine."

Despite the fact that there is no mention whatsoever on the US site about system requirements. None. I just checked again, just now, and if anyone can tell me where that is mentioned, I'd like to hear it.

So, I tried installing US on my current working machine... which resulted in a reformatted hard drive, lost data, the need to completely re-install Windows (GRUB overwrote the MBR), etc etc etc. Essentially I lost a week of computer time, which is EXACTLY what I was trying to avoid by doing a "dry run" on an older machine.

I didn't even bother asking for help here, since y'all were so unhelpful in general. I did eventually get help - from someone on a forum about industrial music.

I should probably point something out to the users of this list: If you are doing a distro for artists, then the OS you are really competing with is not Windows, it's Macintosh. The reason most "artistic" people go with Mac's over PC's is that they work as promised right out of the box. No tweaking, no having to set up soundcards or any of that nonsense; just plug and go. (At least in theory...)

This, in my opinion, should be the goal of any OS geared towards musicians in general: it should be totally invisible. That also means that you should encourage newbies - because most musicians are, and always will be, computer newbies. They SHOULD be - their "job" is not to run a computer, but to play an instrument.

By the way: I still, to this day, use my 400MHz machine for mastering, since it can run WaveLab with one instance of Ozone, and that's really all I need.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm about as pissed off at the above attitude as you are at newbies like me.

Off now to try 64 Studio,

-Karlheinz
_______________________
http://www.khznoise.com
__________________________________________________ _______________
Don't get caught with egg on your face. Play Chicktionary!
http://club.live.com/chicktionary.aspx?icid=chick_wlhmtextlink1_dec
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:16 PM
Asmo Koskinen
 
Default What is "low spec" for you?

Karlheinz Noise kirjoitti:
> They SHOULD be - their "job" is not to run a computer, but to play an instrument.
>

That is THE reason why I keep pushing LTSP (www.ltsp.org) to the
schools. Teachers job is teaching, not run a computer. And they do not
run computers at school, they teach with a computer. And pupils are
happy with thin clients, too.

http://www.mantykankaankoulu.kokkola.fi/vme/tunninal/tunninal.html (few
minutes before teacher arrives...)

Too bad that jackd do not run on LTSP environment, on thin clients -
everybody needs a fat client. Maybe someday we really has jackd on thin
clients, who knows...

http://www.arkki.info/howto/LTSP_Pikiruukki/Pikiruukki_20.png

Best Regards Asmo Koskinen.

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