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Old 07-08-2010, 03:19 PM
Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail
 
Default My next Workstation

I hope you don't mind me asking this here:

Hi guys, I'm currently in the process of researching some hardware for my next ubuntu workstation.

My goal is to spend between 500 and 600 uds, and I want to put some enfasis on what I think is the current bottle neck of speed this days, and that is Hard Drives.

I would like to have a RAID array to have better performance.
I am thinking in getting Intel 2 Core Quad 8300 processor. But I am open to other choices too. Because Ubuntu is more focus on software/fake RAID I would like a multicore processor, and 64bit arch sounds good too.*


So right now my options looks something like this:
Processor * Intel Core 2 Quad 8300RAM * * * * 1 X 2gb DDR2 800mhz

Mother * * *Intel*Dg43gtHD * * * * *2 X 500gb SATA 3.0Gb/s

If I could I would like more drives in RAID.
And if possible real RAID?*** * I found about this controller: Syba PCI Express SATA II 4 x Ports RAID Controller Card SY-PEX40008

** * PCI Express with transfer rate 2.5 Gb/s Full Duplex channel. Fully Plug & Play compatible. Supports Raid function 0, 1, 5, 10. SATA II Interface


I had some people comments about AMD but I am kind of unfamiliar and I thought the Quad was a nice processor but that it used to be too overpriced.


Any comments guides or recommendations would be great, I feel a bit in the dark with this and would surely appreciate some guidance.


Regards,
f(t)


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Old 07-08-2010, 03:51 PM
Liam Proven
 
Default My next Workstation

On 8 July 2010 16:19, Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail
<francisco.diaztrepat@gmail.com> wrote:
> I hope you don't mind me asking this here:
>
> Hi guys, I'm currently in the process of researching some hardware for my
> next ubuntu workstation.
> My goal is to spend between 500 and 600 uds

What are "uds"? Do you mean US$?

> and I want to put some enfasis
> on what I think is the current bottle neck of speed this days, and that is
> Hard Drives.
> I would like to have a RAID array to have better performance.

You mean RAID0? Waste of money. Doesn't really help much and doubles
the risk of failure. If you want disk performance, get an SSD boot
drive. Disable swap. Keep /home on rotating media. 1TB drives are
quite cheap now. Consider a motherboard with SATA 6gig.

> I am thinking in getting Intel 2 Core Quad 8300 processor.

The Core2 line is past it now. Core i7 is the modern performance range.

> other choices too. Because Ubuntu is more focus on software/fake RAID I
> would like a multicore processor, and 64bit arch sounds good too.

All modern CPUs are 64-bit. RAID is for redundancy in servers, not performance.

> So right now my options looks something like this:
> Processor * Intel Core 2 Quad 8300
> RAM * * * * 1 X 2gb DDR2 800mhz

2 sticks for dual-channel operation on low-end processors, 3 sticks
for triple-channel on Core i7. 2GB is small these days; 4GB is a
working minimum, 6GB for Core i7.

You seem to be trying to specify a medium-to-high end machine from
2006-2007. Hint: it's 2010 now.

--
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Email: lproven@cix.co.uk • GMail/GoogleTalk/Orkut: lproven@gmail.com
Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 • Cell: +44 7939-087884 • Fax: + 44 870-9151419
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:35 PM
Preston Hagar
 
Default My next Workstation

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 10:51 AM, Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 8 July 2010 16:19, Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail
> You mean RAID0? Waste of money. Doesn't really help much and doubles
> the risk of failure. If you want disk performance, get an SSD boot
> drive. Disable swap. Keep /home on rotating media. 1TB drives are
> quite cheap now. Consider a motherboard with SATA 6gig.
>

Actually, if you have the money for it, RAID 10 can help both
performance and reliability/uptime. You will need four drives, but
you will get a performance boost, plus the boost of having to have two
drives fail to go down (RAID isn't a replacement for backups though).

I have used the Syba cards before and they are generally fine for
software RAID (they are fakeraid on board though, so you are better
off just using them as a SATA Controller and using "normal" Linux
software RAID). That said, most motherboards now have at least 4 SATA
ports, if not 6-8, so you could likely just use the on-board ports to
connect your drives with software RAID. Really, to get true hardware
RAID that would have performance benefits over software raid, you
would be looking at spending $200-$300 USD on just a RAID card, which
is half of your budget and not worth it anyway. If you want RAID for
performance, you will need to do RAID 10 with 4 drives. If you want
RAID for redundancy, you can do RAID 1 with 2 drives (and will get a
small performance hit). Either way, I would recommend sticking with
Linux software RAID and just using the on-board ports.


>> I am thinking in getting Intel 2 Core Quad 8300 processor.

As a quick note about processors, in general, the latest Intels
(specifically the core i5s and i7s) beat the current AMD offerings
hands down. That said, they are usually much more expensive, plus the
motherboards are much more expensive. If you are looking to stay in
the $500-$600 range, then you really want something more middle of the
road, instead of high end like the Intels. I would recommend looking
into the AMD Phenoms.

That said, depending on what you are doing, you might be better off
going for a little less CPU and a little more RAM. It really depends
on what you are shooting for though. DDR2 ram is pretty cheap now, so
I would shoot for more along the lines of 4 GB min.

Hope this helps,

Preston

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Old 07-08-2010, 04:55 PM
Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail
 
Default My next Workstation

JAJAJAJAJAJA

ROFLMAO@HINT

I know Liam, thanks for your thorough reply.

It is exactly my point. To get a 2007 middle-high end workstation. jajaja I am so glad I didn't say what I was using know. :-)



Listen, I used to live in the US, also Barcelona, where I earned in the same Units of the computer prices. Now I live in Buenos Aires, I earned in Xs/4 so I really can't afford + I don't need so much hardware.



Ok here is what I am using now, so you can see that 2007 looks like a giant leap for me. ;-)

my current WS is a PIV 3.0MHZ w/Hyperthreading 2gb of ram and two sata1 drives in fake raid 0. it works prety good and raid is working for 3rd year in a row and no trouble so far (knock on wood).



for 590 bucks they offered me that core 2 quad.
I think 775 was a nice chipset and it is prety cheap this days.

I think that with a little help I might be able to buy the parts separately and assemble it my self. Therfore be able to buy more or better hardware.


f(t)


On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 12:51 PM, Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:


On 8 July 2010 16:19, Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail

<francisco.diaztrepat@gmail.com> wrote:

> I hope you don't mind me asking this here:

>

> Hi guys, I'm currently in the process of researching some hardware for my

> next ubuntu workstation.

> My goal is to spend between 500 and 600 uds



What are "uds"? Do you mean US$?



> and I want to put some enfasis

> on what I think is the current bottle neck of speed this days, and that is

> Hard Drives.

> I would like to have a RAID array to have better performance.



You mean RAID0? Waste of money. Doesn't really help much and doubles

the risk of failure. If you want disk performance, get an SSD boot

drive. Disable swap. Keep /home on rotating media. 1TB drives are

quite cheap now. Consider a motherboard with SATA 6gig.



> I am thinking in getting Intel 2 Core Quad 8300 processor.



The Core2 line is past it now. *Core i7 is the modern performance range.



> other choices too. Because Ubuntu is more focus on software/fake RAID I

> would like a multicore processor, and 64bit arch sounds good too.



All modern CPUs are 64-bit. RAID is for redundancy in servers, not performance.



> So right now my options looks something like this:

> Processor * Intel Core 2 Quad 8300

> RAM * * * * 1 X 2gb DDR2 800mhz



2 sticks for dual-channel operation on low-end processors, 3 sticks

for triple-channel on Core i7. 2GB is small these days; 4GB is a

working minimum, 6GB for Core i7.



You seem to be trying to specify a medium-to-high end machine from

2006-2007. Hint: it's 2010 now.



--

Liam Proven • Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/liamproven

Email: lproven@cix.co.uk • GMail/GoogleTalk/Orkut: lproven@gmail.com

Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 • Cell: +44 7939-087884 • Fax: + 44 870-9151419

AOL/AIM/iChat/Yahoo/Skype: liamproven • LiveJournal/Twitter: lproven

MSN: lproven@hotmail.com • ICQ: 73187508



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Old 07-08-2010, 05:07 PM
Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail
 
Default My next Workstation

thanks Preston, that was awesome.

Really man, I think you are right. I am better off buying amd and 4 drives, and maybe 8gb of ram.

1Q: Could it be that some times software is not built for amd and more likely gets built for intel 64?


Thanks again,
f(t)

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 1:35 PM, Preston Hagar <prestonh@gmail.com> wrote:

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 10:51 AM, Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 8 July 2010 16:19, Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail

> You mean RAID0? Waste of money. Doesn't really help much and doubles

> the risk of failure. If you want disk performance, get an SSD boot

> drive. Disable swap. Keep /home on rotating media. 1TB drives are

> quite cheap now. Consider a motherboard with SATA 6gig.

>



Actually, if you have the money for it, RAID 10 can help both

performance and reliability/uptime. *You will need four drives, but

you will get a performance boost, plus the boost of having to have two

drives fail to go down (RAID isn't a replacement for backups though).



I have used the Syba cards before and they are generally fine for

software RAID (they are fakeraid on board though, so you are better

off just using them as a SATA Controller and using "normal" Linux

software RAID). *That said, most motherboards now have at least 4 SATA

ports, if not 6-8, so you could likely just use the on-board ports to

connect your drives with software RAID. *Really, to get true hardware

RAID that would have performance benefits over software raid, you

would be looking at spending $200-$300 USD on just a RAID card, which

is half of your budget and not worth it anyway. *If you want RAID for

performance, you will need to do RAID 10 with 4 drives. *If you want

RAID for redundancy, you can do RAID 1 with 2 drives (and will get a

small performance hit). *Either way, I would recommend sticking with

Linux software RAID and just using the on-board ports.





>> I am thinking in getting Intel 2 Core Quad 8300 processor.



As a quick note about processors, in general, the latest Intels

(specifically the core i5s and i7s) beat the current AMD offerings

hands down. *That said, they are usually much more expensive, plus the

motherboards are much more expensive. *If you are looking to stay in

the $500-$600 range, then you really want something more middle of the

road, instead of high end like the Intels. *I would recommend looking

into the AMD Phenoms.



That said, depending on what you are doing, you might be better off

going for a little less CPU and a little more RAM. *It really depends

on what you are shooting for though. *DDR2 ram is pretty cheap now, so

I would shoot for more along the lines of 4 GB min.



Hope this helps,



Preston



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Old 07-08-2010, 05:11 PM
Billie Walsh
 
Default My next Workstation

On 07/08/2010 10:19 AM, Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail wrote:
I hope you don't mind me asking this here:



Hi guys, I'm currently in the process of researching some hardware for
my next ubuntu workstation.



My goal is to spend between 500 and 600 uds, and I want to put
some enfasis on what I think is the current bottle neck of speed this
days, and that is Hard Drives.



I would like to have a RAID array to have better performance.



I am thinking in getting Intel 2 Core Quad 8300 processor. But I
am open to other choices too. Because Ubuntu is more focus on
software/fake RAID I would like a multicore processor, and 64bit arch
sounds good too.*



So right now my options looks something like this:



Processor * Intel Core 2
Quad 8300
RAM * * * * 1 X 2gb DDR2
800mhz
Mother * * *Intel*Dg43gt
HD * * * * *2 X 500gb SATA
3.0Gb/s



If I could I would like
more drives in RAID.
And if possible real RAID?*
** * I found about this
controller: Syba PCI Express SATA II 4 x Ports RAID Controller Card
SY-PEX40008
** * PCI Express
with transfer rate 2.5 Gb/s Full Duplex channel. Fully Plug & Play
compatible. Supports Raid function 0, 1, 5, 10. SATA II Interface



I
had some people comments about AMD but I am kind of unfamiliar and I
thought the Quad was a nice processor but that it used to be too
overpriced.



Any
comments guides or recommendations would be great, I feel a bit in the
dark with this and would surely appreciate some guidance.



Regards,
f(t)






Liam mentioned an SSHD.



In my experience with computers memory is always going to be faster
than mechanical hard drives. Back in the dark ages I had an old 8088
computer that I installed what was called a "Rampat" board with 100meg
of memory on it. The computer was already running the maximum memory
that it could see so I used the extra as a ramdisk. When I called a
program from my bat file it first copied the program from the hard
drive to the ramdisk and then executed it. There was a slight
performance hit from the copy process but the programs ran so much
faster it was unreal.



I have an Asus EeePC with a 64 gig SSHD, 2 gigs memory and Atom
processor, with 10.4 installed. For speed it kicks butt. It's way
faster than my dual core laptop or quad core desktop [ four gigs memory
on both ]. Boots faster and executes programs faster.



I've heard a lot of talk about long term durability with SSHD's but
then I have some really _OLD_ computers around here with no memory
problems. Some have outlived the original hard drives that were in the
computers by many years. [ two or three hard drives ] YMMV



Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until
your dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best
investment in computer performance.



Just my $1.00 worth [ $0.02 adjusted for inflation ].



--
"A good moral character is the first essential in a man." George Washington



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Old 07-08-2010, 05:13 PM
Preston Hagar
 
Default My next Workstation

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 12:07 PM, Francisco Diaz Trepat - gmail
<francisco.diaztrepat@gmail.com> wrote:
> thanks Preston, that was awesome.
>
> Really man, I think you are right. I am better off buying amd and 4 drives,
> and maybe 8gb of ram.
>
> 1Q: Could it be that some times software is not built for amd and more
> likely gets built for intel 64?
>

No, AMD and Intel's use the same instruction set, and are completely
compatible.

Basically, as a little background info, Intel created the instruction
set for the "x86" 32-bit processors and licensed it to AMD to use for
their processors. AMD created the instruction set for 64-bit
processors "AMD64" and licensed it to Intel for their 64-bit
processors. That is why when you download Ubuntu ISOs, you will see
i686 (Intel 32-bit instruction set) and AMD64 (AMD 64-bit instruction
set) "versions" For 64 bit Intel processors, you would still use the
AMD64 download, because they use the AMD64 instructions set.

Hope this helps.

Preston

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Old 07-08-2010, 05:27 PM
Preston Hagar
 
Default My next Workstation

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 12:11 PM, Billie Walsh <bilwalsh@swbell.net> wrote:
> In my experience with computers memory is always going to be faster than
> mechanical hard drives. Back in the dark ages I had an old 8088 computer
> that I installed what was called a "Rampat" board with 100meg of memory on
> it. The computer was already running the maximum memory that it could see so
> I used the extra as a ramdisk. When I called a program from my bat file it
> first copied the program from the hard drive to the ramdisk and then
> executed it. There was a slight performance hit from the copy process but
> the programs ran so much faster it was unreal.
>
> I have an Asus EeePC with a 64 gig SSHD, 2 gigs memory and Atom processor,
> with 10.4 installed. For speed it kicks butt. It's way faster than my dual
> core laptop or quad core desktop [ four gigs memory on both ]. Boots faster
> and executes programs faster.
>
> I've heard a lot of talk about long term durability with SSHD's but then I
> have some really _OLD_ computers around here with no memory problems. Some
> have outlived the original hard drives that were in the computers by many
> years. [ two or three hard drives ] YMMV
>
> Something else. Never skimp on memory. Use as much as possible or until your
> dipping into the kids college fund, whichever comes first. Best investment
> in computer performance.
>
> Just my $1.00 worth [ $0.02 adjusted for inflation ].
>

Good info about SSHD. As one quick note though, you mention that your
old computers have no memory problems and use that as a reasoning for
the durability of SSHD. Two things to keep in mind:

1. They don't make things like they used to. Parts are more cheaply
made and less tested. This has dropped costs greatly, but leads to
more failures.

2. RAM in your old computers is volatile memory. That is to say,
when the power is removed, it loses all stored information. A SSHD is
non-volatile and retains information when the power is turned off.
The technology is somewhat different. SSHDs are really more like USB
flash drives, they just have finally achieved speeds and capacities to
make them usable for a system drive. SSHD can be nice, but you do
sacrifice capacity and greatly increase the cost. Also, depending on
the maker of the SSHD, it may not be much faster than good SATA drive.
When you throw 4 SATA drives in a RAID 10 array, you often have just
reached the cost of 1 good SSHD, but now have close to the same speeds
and tons more capacity. Also, with SSHDs, you have a finite number of
writes. Sure, the number is high, but if you use the drive for swap,
or anything else that does a lot of small writes (I seem to remember
one of the older versions of Ubuntu having a bug that wrote to the
drive tons and was causing early SSHD failures) then it can wear out
faster.

Anyway, SSHD can be great, but there are some drawbacks as well.

Preston

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Old 07-08-2010, 05:29 PM
Dotan Cohen
 
Default My next Workstation

On 8 July 2010 20:13, Preston Hagar <prestonh@gmail.com> wrote:
> No, AMD and Intel's use the same instruction set, and are completely
> compatible.
>
> Basically, as a little background info, Intel created the instruction
> set for the "x86" 32-bit processors and licensed it to AMD to use for
> their processors. *AMD created the instruction set for 64-bit
> processors "AMD64" and licensed it to Intel for their 64-bit
> processors. *That is why when you download Ubuntu ISOs, you will see
> i686 (Intel 32-bit instruction set) and AMD64 (AMD 64-bit instruction
> set) "versions" *For 64 bit Intel processors, you would still use the
> AMD64 download, because they use the AMD64 instructions set.
>
> Hope this helps.
>
> Preston
>

That is mostly true, but each processor has it's own features that the
other doesn't have, and processor-specific optimizations. Ubuntu, so
far as I know, compiles for generic hardware but if the user were to
recompile his own software than he might be able to benchmark a
difference. Nothing a desktop user would feel in the real world,
though, in my opinion.

The OP might want to take a look at Swiftfox, a Firefox build specific
to each processor.


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Old 07-08-2010, 08:04 PM
J
 
Default My next Workstation

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 13:13, Preston Hagar <prestonh@gmail.com> wrote:

> No, AMD and Intel's use the same instruction set, and are completely
> compatible.
>
> Basically, as a little background info, Intel created the instruction
> set for the "x86" 32-bit processors and licensed it to AMD to use for
> their processors. *AMD created the instruction set for 64-bit
> processors "AMD64" and licensed it to Intel for their 64-bit
> processors. *That is why when you download Ubuntu ISOs, you will see
> i686 (Intel 32-bit instruction set) and AMD64 (AMD 64-bit instruction
> set) "versions" *For 64 bit Intel processors, you would still use the
> AMD64 download, because they use the AMD64 instructions set.

One reason why I still hate the use of AMD64 in naming conventions...
I prefer x86_64 as a more generic term...

AMD leases x86 code from Intel, and Intel leases the 64bit code from
AMD, but intel's EM46T and AMD64 were not quite the same thing...there
was a time in history when you'd have to compile a binary for each
one. Some things would run fine on both chips, but some things relied
on instructions that one processor had but the other didn't. This was
eventually worked around via compiler changes so it's no longer an
issue, but AFAIK the instruction sets between Intel and AMD chips are
still similar but not the same.

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