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Re: Advice on system purchase

On 10/28/2012 05:26 PM, David Christensen wrote:
On 10/28/12 15:48, Marc Shapiro wrote:
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.
I have tried to do so. I have run memtest86+ for over a day with no errors, or lockups. I have asked questions here. I have done web searches on various possibilities. The closest I could find to my situation is the graphics driver problem referred to by Johan in the thread "Debian Wheezy Hangs" about 2 weeks ago. The symptoms are virtually identical. The difference is that I have a really OLD graphics card, as opposed to a really new system. The fact that the symptoms are the same, however, is why I think that the problem MIGHT be with the graphics drivers and why I think that the system MIGHT work fine as a server without X running on it

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?
Yes. But how does putting one keyboard, mouse and monitor in front of two or more boxes with a KVM switch do anything better for me than being able to press Ctl-Alt_Fx to switch between individual sessions? It still only allows one person to work at a time and just adds an extra piece of hardware into the mix, as well as requiring multiple boxes (which I do not have and do not want to spend the money to purchase) setup as full desktop systems, instead of just one. I already have a method that works that only requires that startx is aliased for each person to start a session using a specific display and vt.

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 processor has.
That is what I thought and is why I was looking at an 8 core processor. It is not, however, what other people have said, earlier in this thread. If you look at Stan Hoeppner's reply to my initial post you will see what I am talking about. This is why I asked if running multiple consecutive logins and X sessions would be spread across multiple cores. If so then I can make use of those extra cores, if not then I am better of paying for fewer cores that are clocked at a higher speed. I am trying to keep costs down so I can not afford lots of cores clocked at a higher speed. I need to determine which trade off works better for my situation. I have tried to find the answer to the question on the web, but so far have found nothing. I am still hoping that someone on the list can give me an answer, preferably with good first hand knowledge, or web citations to back it up.
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).
Again. Cost is the issue. I can not afford to spend more than is necessary to get a stable system that will do what I need it to do.
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 overclocking goals.
I'm not "into speed" but I need a system that will efficiently do what I require of it. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.

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.
The system that I was originally looking at comes with 8GB of memory, with a max of 16, or 32 (I don't remember which). My current MB is maxed out at 2GB and I see very little, if any swapping, so I think that the amount of memory that I am looking at will not be an issue.

I've yet to load down my i7-2600S
How much did that system cost you. If you looked at the system that I asked about originally, you would see that it costs $389, less $40 in rebates. I'm willing to bet that you spent a good deal more than that on your i7-2600S system.

, 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).
I tend to keep my systems going for a long time, as evidenced by the fact that I am looking to replace a single core Athlon 2800+ with 2GB max memory at this time (while possibly keeping it running as a server to supplement my new desktop system). And that MB was simply a replacement in the box for an older MB whose caps were dying. I don't throw away parts if it can be avoided. That is also why I am looking for a system with enough power to keep me happy without breaking the bank. I am also looking for more memory slots than I currently need so that I can upgrade memory later without "throwing away the money I spent on the original parts".


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