Re: Advice on system purchase
On 10/27/12 17:29, Marc Shapiro wrote:
I'm really getting annoyed by my random system lockups, so I have been
looking at new motherboards, new systems, etc.
My previous desktop machine was Squeeze i386 running on an Intel
D865GBFLK motherboard with an Intel Pentium 4 3.4E GHz HT socket 478
processor, Kingston KVR400X64C3AK2/2G memory (2 GB DDR 400 MHz matched
pair), and Western Digital WD800JB 80 GB 7200 RPM 8 MB IDE hard drive
(circa 2004). No stability problems, just slow and outdated. I started
building a new Wheezy amd64 desktop system about 6 months ago (currently
~$820 plus tax and shipping on Amazon):
* Antec Sonata III 500 case with power supply
* Intel DQ67SWB3 motherboard
* Intel Core i7-2600S processor
* Corsair CMV8GX3M2A1333C9 memory 2 @ 4 GB DDR3 1333 MHz matched pair
* Intel SSDSC2CW060A310 solid state drive -- 520 series, 60 GB, SATA 3
* Seagate ST3000DM001 hard drive -- 3 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 MB, SATA 3
* Pioneer BDR-2206B5PK Blu-ray drive -- RW, 12x, SATA
The BIOS reports the correct memory size, speed, and latencies, but
Memtest86+ v4.20 reports that the memory is running at 1164 MHz. I
haven't figured it out.
I tried various operating systems, distributions, packages, and
configurations over the course of ~3 months in a search for SSD
optimizations, whole-drive encryption, advanced file systems, Intel HD
2000 graphics support, dual head, hypervisors, LTSP, etc. -- Debian
Squeeze/ backports, Debian Wheezy, FreeBSD, Windows 8 RC, XCP, ZFS on
Along the way, I discovered that having the SSD in a trayless hot-swap
bay was a bad idea -- the system was overflowing with SATA 3 bus errors.
This was causing major confusion for the software experiments. Once I
eliminated the bay and replaced the cable (just in case), things
starting making a lot more sense.
I finally settled on Wheezy OOTB as much as possible with LUKS, ext4,
and VirtualBox, and forgot about the rest. The SSD has a 1 GB ext4 boot
partition (6% usage), a 12 GB LUKS ext4 root partition (65% usage), and
no swap. The other ~47 GB are unused. The HDD has a single 3 TB LUKS
ext4 data partition. I initially installed the Gnome desktop, but
didn't like it and switched to Xfce.
The new machine is far more responsive, especially for anything
involving SSD I/O. The SSD has ~100x faster latency and ~10x faster
transfer. The RAM is ~6x faster and ~4x larger. The CPU has 4x the
cores, a 12% faster clock, and 7 years of improvements (PassMark
benchmark is 15x faster). The chipset, motherboard, optical drive,
case, and power supply also have years of improvements. The machine is
also much quieter and generates less heat. With VirtualBox, I was able
to eliminate two older machines that were running Approx and CVS servers.