Tux, Daemon, and Redmond

Jonitus

Member
Feb 14, 2002
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I do not want to start a flame war!!!!!

Last weekend, I finshed building my computer. I was very pleased with myself as the thing actually posted the first time I powered it up! All those long hours of researching parts, researching compatability, blah, blah, blah, paid off. A few beers later, and a few bandages on my fingers, and I had a computer built with these two hands...quite satisfying.

I loaded Windows XP Professional onto my system, and again, felt rather pleased with myself (not because installing XP takes a brain-surgeon, but because I was half sloshed, and farting pleased me!) LOL

It's been a week, and I am disappointed in my system......

I haven't had a lock-up, freeze, or crash. I've had no problems with drivers or anything else...just lackluster performance from my OS.

I have the following setup for my system:

ECS D6VAA rev 1.1 Motherboard (VIA 694D)
(2) Intel PIII 1GHz processors (matched stepping codes)
512 MB Samsung cas2 PC133 SDRAM
Promise Fastrack RAID card
(2) WD 60 GB ATA-100 Harddrives
ATi Radeon 7200 video card (cheap, but awesome graphics)
Creative Labs SB Live!
Sony 52x CDROM
Sony 24/10/40 CDRW
Floppy (of course)
ZIP 100

-case is a Lian Li aluminum with a 400W power supply (PC power and cooling)

The system is awesome, but the performance is "ho-hum"

I use my system primarily for schoolwork (papers, papers, and the occasional term paper) I also like to play with and mix sound files, do a little digital image editing, cruise the internet (T1 connection...sweet), and "goof around". I don't play games (I know...why the video card...my digital images deserve the best!) I am just wondering what you all though of my options.

I have copies of the following operating systems:

Red Hat 7.2

Mandrake 8.0

Mandrake 8.1

FreeBSD 4.3

Windows 2000 Professional

Windows XP Professional

- I would like to conclude with this:

No operating system is "the best". People and their OS's sling more mud than politicians. I have use Windows for a long time...and I like it. I have used Linux in the past...and I like it. I have never used BSD...but I ain't scared.
 

Barnaby W. Füi

Elite Member
Aug 14, 2001
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well i would not switch os's for performance reasons. i switched for philosophical reasons, and i love computers. i want to know EVERYTHING. with windows, they hide stuff from you. linux, there are no secrets! everyone is a potential developer. there are a billion other reasons why i like linux over windows, but it would take forever to list them, and that would suck :p

if you wanna switch os's, i encourage you to do it, but, know what you're getting into, and be prepared to READ alot, and troubleshoot, or, forever face the problem of being a clueless computer user! (like with mandrake, you can usually use it fine with little or not linux experience, but, what if something goes wrong? it happens:))

good luck either way.
 

thornc

Golden Member
Nov 29, 2000
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You problem might be that Via mobo of yours....

A via 694? is good for a cheap machine, but for a performance machine I doubt it.
I had a P3V4X (694X) and I thougth it was good untill I got my hands on a i815E
what a difference...

As for OSes, I don't like XP(period). I would advice win2000pro or/and any sort of
linux, you may have problems with that live and fast processor on a via
mobo, but that's a minor glitch.

Anyway, how good is that 7200?? I was planning on getting one, I rarely play, at
least 3D games and I want a good card.
 

Jonitus

Member
Feb 14, 2002
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I've never had a problem with a VIA chipset board. True my board didn't cost me alot of money, but my system has been rock-solid so far, as have all my other VIA chipset based systems.

On my last system, an Athlon 1.4Ghz, VIA KT266 system, I ran Mandrake 8.0 and was... pretty happy.

I was just hoping that XP would be faster with SMP...guess not.

As for the Linux or BSD, what would you recommend? I'm still a n00b, yet I am not affraid to "get my hands dirty". My first accomplishment was recompiling my kernel (yeah, I know, whoppe frickin' doo!)

My Radeon 7200 has never let me down. I had an identical one in my last system...WOW!

In Q3, at 800x600 high detail, with the latest drivers (beta), my frame rates hovered around 65. At low detail, 640x480, 132 fps. This system was non-overclocked. The Radeon may not be a GeForce3, but so what? GeForce3's are mainly for bragging rights at this point...very few games take full advantage of that much graphical horsepower. ...and I paid $42 for my Radeon...excellent!

I left Linux the last time simply because there was noone to help me out. Most of the books I have are essentially useless, as are a majority of message boards. I got pissed at being told "Dude, you suck, go back to Windoze!" or "Your dumb, you'll never be a haxxor!"

I would like to learn...that's the main point. I would love to see the machine I built glow as I know it is capable of. I've got more computing power than I can possibly use, but I WANTED to have a SMP rig. I cut very few corners, yet only spent $1100 on the whole shiznit.

Any words of encouragement are appreciated, as are reasonable suggestions. Any mud-slinging will be ignored, as mud-slingers belong on a different message board.

 

thornc

Golden Member
Nov 29, 2000
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I'm just saying that a smp motherboard with a via chipset isn't very good. If they where, and
at the price they cost one would see more of them around...

And there is a problem with sb live with fast smp systems in via boards... I've seen some articles
on Linux Journal about it.

And I don't know what kind of performance did you expect from a dual cpu rig... Twice the performance?
Not quite, not only the OS needs to be smp capable but the apps also. And there aren't many around
that are! You should see a difference in multitasking but that's it.

As for the linux part, just pick one distro. And go for it! Any modern distro will do... you'll probably endup
having to reinstall everything but that's not a big issue... I did it reinstalls countless times...

Check the Linux Documentation Project, and Linux Newbie
for some help on installing Linux with an NTish boot loader...

 

Jonitus

Member
Feb 14, 2002
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I wasn't expecting twice the performance. I know that the performance of two processors is not the sum of the two processors. I also know that an application has to be written multi-threaded in order to take advantage of SMP (Q3, Adobe Photoshop, etc.)

I was simply hoping for better performance than what I have now.

If my sound card is a problem...which I doubt I'll see...I can change that.

Blindly picking a Linux distro is not the way I want to approach this thing. I want to pick something I will be happy with. I am not content to do countless formats and reinstalls...I don't have the time or energy for that crap. I want to set my system up, and not have to screw with it on a regular basis...

Everyone has their own opinion on what distro is the best and why.

Mandrake 8.0/8.1, Red Hat 7.2, FreeBSD 4.3...what's the best...and why?
 

thornc

Golden Member
Nov 29, 2000
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Ok, Check out DistroWatch!!

You should get more information about the linux distro...
FreeBSD is not linux but it's close.

RedHAt is considered a standard among the commercial distros,
they employ a lot of competent people and do a lot of in house
development. They have their one version of the kernel and
everything. I personally like it alot for a general porpouse
installation. Mandrake is a RedHat spawn that has now evolved
on its on, it has an easy install procedure, and a few good
gui configuration tools. Also its gui icons and colors are very
pleasent.

Taking that out, they are equal! All the configurations files
are on the same place(almost) and they will run the same
apps!

If you want to know what is going on behind the gui, and want
to set up everything by hand look into Debian or Slackware...
 

StuckMojo

Golden Member
Oct 28, 1999
1,069
1
76


<<
On my last system, an Athlon 1.4Ghz, VIA KT266 system, I ran Mandrake 8.0 and was... pretty happy.

I was just hoping that XP would be faster with SMP...guess not.
>>




there's your problem right there.

1) an athlon 1.4G stomps the snot out of a 1G p3

2) 2 1G p3s will not feel twice as fast as 1 p3 for day to day
activities. in many cases it will actually be slightly slower.

put these two facts together, and you end up with one
unimpressed and slightly bummed dood. ;)

when a dual system will shine is when you are really
doing 2 things at once. i suggest ripping a dvd while playing
quake 3. try that on a single cpu box. :p

a dual system is pretty sweet in linux. building the kernel
with 2 threads running and watching it complete in nearly
half the time is nice. because you tend to compile big things
and have more things going on at once with linux, you may
be more inclined to notice the advantages of a dually box.
same goes for BSD.
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
27,370
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While you are at it, download and install the latest ATI Radeon driver set - certified - ver. 6015. It is very stable and quick acting. For the risk takers, there is a beta that is even faster.

As for performance . . . that mobo is not overly impressive. :)
 

Jonitus

Member
Feb 14, 2002
109
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...enough about the motherboard!

I picked what I wanted...and I am happy with it. Just because it is not an MSI,ASUS,ABIT,etc...does not mean it is crap.

Look at the statistics...ECS sells more motherboards overseas than the three I named...put together. That has to say something. I don't need the bragging rights of saying what type of motherboard I have...who cares?

I got rid of my AMD because I found that regardless of what I used as a cooler, fan, or interface material, the idle temperature was just too high. I had to "underclock" the processor to maintain a reasonable temperature. (maybe the processor I bought was not truly a 1.4...but a 1 GHz that the company decided to overclock for me)...note to self...always build your own system!

All I really want to know is this:

Will I "see/feel" the benefits of SMP under Linux more so than under Windows XP?
 

earthman

Golden Member
Oct 16, 1999
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On what basis are you characterizing the performance as "mediocre"...what's wrong with it? XP has a heavy system overhead. Put 98 on it and I'll bet it seems much faster, visually.
 

thornc

Golden Member
Nov 29, 2000
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earthman win98 is not smp capable!!

The only options are NT,2000,XP,linux, freebsd... at least the most common ones...

As for the feeling of performance, it all depends on what you are doing!