Re: Advice on system purchase
On 10/28/12 15:48, Marc Shapiro wrote:
The question is not whether or not it can be used as a server. The
question is whether the problem I have with lockups is caused by the
graphics card, drivers, some other user software that is running, etc,
or not. If so, then the system will run fine as a server and not lock
up. If not, then I might have lockups anyway. If it continues to lockup
then I will retire the whole box.
It sounds like you need to figure out why it is locking up.
As I said to Doug, earlier, we do not have space for additional monitors
and keyboards. As nice as two, or three seats would be, one is all that
we have space for.
Do you know about keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) switches?
The question remains as to whether multiple logins and multiple X
sessions will utilize multiple cores, or all run in a single thread on a
single core. That is what will determine whether I am better off with
more cores, or fewer cores with higher clock speed.
The Linux kernel should spread the workload across as many cores as your
I don't believe it's a "many low speed cores" vs. "fewer high speed
cores" choice, at least for current Intel desktop processors. Look up
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology and Intel Turbo Boost Technology.
Understand that not all processors have both. Without overclocking, my
i7-2600S (4 HT cores, 8 virtual cores) has a maximum clock of 3.8 GHz
for one single-threaded task. The fastest i5 (4 cores) is also 3.8 GHz.
The fastest i3 (2 HT cores, 4 virtual cores) is 3.4 GHz. So, the many
core processor goes the same speed or faster than the fewer core
processors (for more money).
If you're into speed, look at the 'K' or 'X' suffix processors.
Understand that you must build the rest of the system to match your
I don't use multiple X sessions. If switched-away users leave
applications open that aren't doing much, then you might consider extra
memory. Otherwise, you might notice swapping. I paid ~$40 for 8 GB of
memory; I wouldn't get less. If switched-away users leave non-trivial
processes running, then you also might consider extra cores. Also
consider heat and noise -- 'T' and 'S' suffix processors are low-power,
which means they produce less head and can use a quieter fan.
I've yet to load down my i7-2600S, but, inevitably, that will change
over the years. I've learned that it's better to build an overpowered
machine up front than to build an underpowered machine and upgrade it
later (throwing away the money I spent on the original parts).