Gigger Hertz

Pentium Pro-blems Redux

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I think we've got a new alternative to reality TV, reality web forums. Now if everyone had web cams we could turn it into a TV show.

Commentator: "Uh, oh! They've made the Troll angry. Look at him pound that keyboard!" :lol:

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You should definitely consider QNX.  It's not a true RTOS like RTLinuxPro, but it runs well on old hardware like yours.

What do you define as a RTOS?

I would consider QNX one of the best RTOS out there... QNX was designed as a RTOS, unlike RTLinux which is a hack.

PS. Gigger Hertz, definately give QNX a try, but be warned, it does lack the driver support of other OSs.

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Thanks, but I think I'll wait around to see how Linux 2.6 pans out. It's too early in its lifecycle to trust running my system to. FreeBSD 5.1 has been around for a little while now and is rock solid. Linux, I would imagine, still has a couple serice packs and hot fixes before it's ready for primetime.

Man, as another 5.1 user let me tell you now that 5.1 is so new and untested it still has debugging code turned on which from freebsd.org they admit may affect performance. There is also undocumented features and options. Getting support for some hardware is very hit or miss (nforce lan) compared to linux. FreeBSD is fine, but basically you are helping develop an operating system when you sign up for the release versions. I am also running 4.8 stable, and even with that version there are still notes you encounter in scripts that explain more work needs to be done.

I am not going to slam you for running your little "pet project", I hope you get some enjoyment out of it. You have to realize that with equipment that old, you are bound to have a narrow audience of interest.

What you think is a "monumental waste" of $700 makes a lot of sense to some people, buddy. Maybe some of us would like to push the limits of efficiency rather than getting speed simply by throwing money at some new system with questionable technology. This is a pet project, perhaps you should go and look up the definition.

I have some diskless units running Folding at Home using FreeBSD 4.8 with AXP 2400, MSI 6378 and 128MB pc100. I believe at around a cost of $100/unit they are fairly efficient on a $/unit of power ratio. However, getting 4.8 fBSD diskless server going was tough.

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You should definitely consider QNX.  It's not a true RTOS like RTLinuxPro, but it runs well on old hardware like yours.

What do you define as a RTOS?

I would consider QNX one of the best RTOS out there... QNX was designed as a RTOS, unlike RTLinux which is a hack.

PS. Gigger Hertz, definately give QNX a try, but be warned, it does lack the driver support of other OSs.

Well I've tried QNX 6.2.1, the latest version, but apparently my system of two 266 MHz 1 MB Pentium Pro chips with a gig of RAM is not powerful enough. I am downloading the QNX 6.1 ISO as we speak and hope that the hardware requirements are not so stringent (re: ridiculous).

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Linux 2.6 released December 2003

Perhaps you missed it when it was called the 2.5 kernel.

I would consider QNX one of the best RTOS out there

While a real time OS is nice, an old PC is not something that I would use for anything other than a learning tool. While PPro's are comprable to an Allen-Bradley in performance terms, PC's lack the device bandwidth to actually "do" much. RTOS's belong on real machines.

freebsd 5.1 is not considered to be stable. linux 2.6 is

Aside from a slap on lable that says "Stable"......... I don't think I'd trust my life to either at this point.

Frank

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I have some diskless units running Folding at Home using FreeBSD 4.8 with AXP 2400, MSI 6378 and 128MB pc100.  I believe at around a cost of $100/unit they are fairly efficient on a $/unit of power ratio.  However, getting 4.8 fBSD diskless server going was tough.

how about your electric bill efficiency due to jamming the system 24/7? :)

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running an rtos as a desktop is what is commonly referred to as 'a bad idea' anyway. unless it's for experimentation, i wouldn't bother. as soon as you start multitasking it will feel unresponsive because it will prioritize each process by default.

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You should definitely consider QNX.  It's not a true RTOS like RTLinuxPro, but it runs well on old hardware like yours.

What do you define as a RTOS?

I would consider QNX one of the best RTOS out there... QNX was designed as a RTOS, unlike RTLinux which is a hack.

PS. Gigger Hertz, definately give QNX a try, but be warned, it does lack the driver support of other OSs.

Well I've tried QNX 6.2.1, the latest version, but apparently my system of two 266 MHz 1 MB Pentium Pro chips with a gig of RAM is not powerful enough. I am downloading the QNX 6.1 ISO as we speak and hope that the hardware requirements are not so stringent (re: ridiculous).

You'd be better off with v4.x, (runs well on a single P55C@266MHz w/256MB Ram).

As Honold and Frank said QNX is not a desktop OS, it's a workhouse rather than a play thing... I do suggest you give it a try as a comparison between a workhorse and a toy... and for general desktop usage the toy OS may suite you better...

PS. QNX is normally used in embedded environments running mission critical stuff, and QNX (the company) provide a x86 version to assist developers code for the embedded environments on the same OS as the target environment. For a developer QNX offers a fantastic working environment, but if you want to play games, use office, etc don't bother with it... (I used it for a stint on several boxes as a data logger, dumping serial port to a text file, which it performed the job very well, but later moved them to Linux due to better SMB network and NIC support).

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What's the difference in what updates to an operating system are called?

This merely shows you don't know what you're talking about. If you had researched your options carefully instead of going with an OS that's nearly twice as good as another (FreeBSD 5.1 vs Linux 2.6), you would know the difference and you would have used the correct terms.

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how about your electric bill efficiency due to jamming the system 24/7? 

I have twenty comps running in my house right now, but only two monitors, and they only run 1 hour/day. 11 out of 20 diskless units. Power bill is $4.20/day Was 1.30/day last year with no comps running.

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:lol: Some people really have too much $$$ to throw out the window :D If I had 700 bucks (which I, fortunately or unfortunately, do not) and were to assemble a "geek system", I'd get

  • an Asus P2B-D(S) rev. 1.06 PCBA D03
  • someone to solder in a 4th FSB jumper and do some other mods
  • two Upgradeware Slot-T
  • two PIII-S 1.4
  • matching coolers
  • and a bunch of BX compatible 256 meg PC133 DIMMs.

FWIW, I just did a mo/bo upgrade on my duallie a few days ago, the trusty old P2L97-DS (i440LX) had to make room for a shiny new (virtually unused and in original packaging) P2B-D rev. 1.06 PCBA D03 (i440BX). All the other components remained the same at that point (I added a spare 64 meg DIMM l8r, for a total of 512 megs). All I can say is: Wow. There's much more performance increase than I had expected - the Moz 1.5 (re)load time from disk cache dropped from 7 seconds to 5-1/4 seconds (a third faster, and much closer to my notebook's time of 4-1/2 s with the same chipset and a mCel-400), the load time from disk from 13 to 8.5 seconds (which in turn made my jaw drop - that's a 50% performance increase in this "benchmark"). The load time of AIDA32 has noticeably decreased as well, and of course Mozilla not only loads faster, but page rendering has also been accelerated. Sandra MAX3 says 228/239 MB/s or 249/259 MB/s ALU/FPU (vs. 174/174 or somesuch on the P2L97-DS), depending on whether the system is freshly booted or resumed from suspend to disk. Also, I've been able to drop the VCore from 1.80 V to 1.50 V on the new CuMine compatible board. That makes a mere 10.7 W TDP per CPU, folks. (A PPro 200/1MiB L2, by comparison, would draw over 40 watts max. PPros are cool CPUs, but waaay too hot for my taste.) I may be replacing the Rage Fury with a Radeon 7000 card with DVI l8r, now that I have a board with non-negligible AGP power supply. A nice big, stable case would be nice, too (the situation with the DVD-ROM is even worse than before, now it is already blocked by the floppy connector next to the DIMM slots).

BTW: Yes, that partitioning into 16 gig chunks was nonsense, with BIOS limitations only the *total* hard drive capacity is relevant.

My "geekiest" box is probably #5 on http://stephan.win31.de/hardwear.htm

(Prolly the noisiest one too! :D)

Stephan

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You should definitely consider QNX.  It's not a true RTOS like RTLinuxPro, but it runs well on old hardware like yours.

What do you define as a RTOS?

I would consider QNX one of the best RTOS out there... QNX was designed as a RTOS, unlike RTLinux which is a hack.

PS. Gigger Hertz, definately give QNX a try, but be warned, it does lack the driver support of other OSs.

Well I've tried QNX 6.2.1, the latest version, but apparently my system of two 266 MHz 1 MB Pentium Pro chips with a gig of RAM is not powerful enough. I am downloading the QNX 6.1 ISO as we speak and hope that the hardware requirements are not so stringent (re: ridiculous).

You'd be better off with v4.x, (runs well on a single P55C@266MHz w/256MB Ram).

As Honold and Frank said QNX is not a desktop OS, it's a workhouse rather than a play thing... I do suggest you give it a try as a comparison between a workhorse and a toy... and for general desktop usage the toy OS may suite you better...

PS. QNX is normally used in embedded environments running mission critical stuff, and QNX (the company) provide a x86 version to assist developers code for the embedded environments on the same OS as the target environment. For a developer QNX offers a fantastic working environment, but if you want to play games, use office, etc don't bother with it... (I used it for a stint on several boxes as a data logger, dumping serial port to a text file, which it performed the job very well, but later moved them to Linux due to better SMB network and NIC support).

Well I've done my checking and QNX 4.x seems to be almost a decade old and very, very expensive. QNX 6.x, by contrast, is updated every 12-18 months and comes at the right price (free), is downloadable and a snap to set up. QNX 6 has SMP support and above all else is very efficient – I am all about efficiency.

Also, the P55C was a Pentium chip, of the 585 core. My dual Pentium Pros are the first iteration of the 686 generation, just to clear that up, though I am sure that QNX 4 would love a sweet spot like my dual overclocked Pros to run on.

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looks like they've cast out 5-STABLE until 5.4-RELEASE at a minimum now

I don't see where they specifically state a version number regarding that, so stop blowing smoke up my ass. That's a false argument.

It's also moot, since it looks like QNX might be the way to go now anyway.

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What you think is a "monumental waste" of $700 makes a lot of sense to some people, buddy. Maybe some of us would like to push the limits of efficiency rather than getting speed simply by throwing money at some new system with questionable technology. This is a pet project, perhaps you should go and look up the definition.

Push the limits of efficiency?! In terms of what?

Clearly not a cost to performance efficiency, since you're spending seven hundred bucks to upgrade hardware that doesn't hold a candle to the current lineup of processors.

Couldn't be power efficiency, since there's better chips out there that consume comparable power and complete more work.

I can only guess you're trying to milk every last ounce of performance out of an outdated system. Hardly an "efficient" activity, but if it's what floats your boat, go to it.

I'm well aware that this is a "pet project," and it's your money to waste however you see fit--but it's still a waste. Lastly, modern systems are hardly "questionable technology," although you're welcome to think of them as such.

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What you think is a "monumental waste" of $700 makes a lot of sense to some people, buddy. Maybe some of us would like to push the limits of efficiency rather than getting speed simply by throwing money at some new system with questionable technology. This is a pet project, perhaps you should go and look up the definition.

Clearly not a cost to performance efficiency, since you're spending seven hundred bucks to upgrade hardware that doesn't hold a candle to the current lineup of processors.

Couldn't be power efficiency, since there's better chips out there that consume comparable power and complete more work.

Push the limits of efficiency?!  In terms of what? ... I can only guess you're trying to milk every last ounce of performance out of an outdated system.  Hardly an "efficient" activity, but if it's what floats your boat, go to it.

You've been seduced by the computer industries marketing lies to its consumers. Most peoples' needs were met with 400 MHz Pentium II or 500 MHz Pentium III system. There is no reason a non-professional needs the power in a Pentium 4, let alone the Pentium Extreme. I know better, and know that I can be happy with two 266 MHz/1MB Pentium Pros. All I do is MS Office-type work and listen to MP3s sometimes. I am not a gamer and I do not simulate nuclear explosions. The same things applies to suckers buying Apple's new dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5s. Who on Earth thought that any user needed two IBM mainframe chips in their Mac? No one, they were just selling what they had led consumers to believe they needed. Yeah, like I need a Corvette to get to work every day.

I'm well aware that this is a "pet project," and it's your money to waste however you see fit--but it's still a waste.  Lastly, modern systems are hardly "questionable technology," although you're welcome to think of them as such.

Oh, thank you. With your permission now granted to me, I can continue on with this thread. Please.

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Most peoples' needs were met with 400 MHz Pentium II or 500 MHz Pentium III system.

Indeed were. These days a PIII 500 just doesn't cut it with the latest OS's. Sure, I use a PIII 450 with 320 MB RAM at work to run XP but it's slow. I rather use my laptop, a PIII 700, which seems just powerful enough for the tasks I need it.

There is no reason a non-professional needs the power in a Pentium 4, let alone the Pentium Extreme.

The Pentium 4 Emergency Edition is targeted at hardcore gamers, typically not people who use configurations realistic for most users. Mr Average doesn't need a P4/AthlonXP but it sure is nice, especially with a decent OS and multimedia applications.

I know better, and know that I can be happy with two 266 MHz/1MB Pentium Pros.

I've got a duallie PPro 200/256 and it's fine as a NT4 server and a stove. At 233 MHz it's simply a better stove. I used to have a dual PII 233. Same story but cooler so not that great a stove. A dual PIII 450 18 months ago, with a full GB of RAM came close to being usable. Still not as nice as an Athlon 1 GHz with half the RAM though. I upgraded to an AthlonXP 1600+ and believe me, the machine was a lot more fun to work with, even doing mundane tasks like websurfing, word processing, writing a CD, doing disk-to-disk copies with explorer, downloading something, listening to music, ... all at once. I doubt your mighty PPro could do that.

The same things applies to suckers buying Apple's new dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5s.

Now don't say ugly things like Mac :)

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Indeed were.  These days a PIII 500 just doesn't cut it with the latest OS's.  Sure, I use a PIII 450 with 320 MB RAM at work to run XP but it's slow.  I rather use my laptop, a PIII 700, which seems just powerful enough for the tasks I need it.

This is another example of the mindset I am talking about. Have you ever given pause and realzied how ridiculous it is to have to upgrade hardware for software? Microsoft is putting more in for the sake of more. What did users really gain in the jump from Windows 2000 to Windows XP (Windows NT 5.0 and Windows NT 5.1, respectively)? A new GUI that needs turned back to the classic look in order to perform acceptably? If snake-oil salesmen like Apple can actually come out with operating systems that do more, and go faster on the same hardware, doesn't it make you question how honest our vendors are being to us?

The same things applies to suckers buying Apple's new dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5s.

Now don't say ugly things like Mac :)

Sorry I had to drag that out but it served as a good example. Of course sorry for the one I just made above too. java script:emoticon(':D')

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There are plenty of things that can be done with modern processors. While the functionality hasn't changed (word processing, surfing the web, playing music/video), the overall quality of the experience has..... Let's look at some examples......

Audio:

What Was: 200mhz playing and encodinf 128Kbps MP3's

What Is: 2000mhz playing 900kbps FLAC lossles files with 5.1 surround. A few audiophiles playing 24/96 ECD's and DVDA's. Positional 3D audio in games

Video:

What Was: 200mhz playing CIF resolution (320x240) MPEG-1 and Intel Indeo formatted AVI files.

What Is: MPEG2 DVD playback at 720x480, MPEG4 playback (AVI and MP4 containers) at 480i, 720p, and 1080i (for some lucky folk). TIVO like functionality (MPEG2 encoding on the fly with simultaneous playback).

Office tools:

What Was: Typical doc, spreadsheet, print

What Is: Real time spelling correction, auto backup and disaster recovery, background printing service, E-mail/Web integration, collaboration services (sharepoint, etc...)

New home PC's play a larger role in home life than the PC's of yesteryear. While I understand that many do not take full advantage of modern machines, quite a few people do. Heck, even my mother uses H.323 (she has netmeeting and I use gnomemeeting) to communicate with us, and that pushes the far upper limit of her Celeron 433. She often complains that her PC is not fast enough to run the games that my little brother plays (lego 3D games and starcraft looking stuff...yuck). I look forward to the next gen of PC, when MPEG4 HDTV video resolutions can be encoded on the fly, and all audio is 24/96 and losslessly compressed.

Your position seems to be one of romanicism and stubbornness. Yor comments in this thread illustrate the fact that you are unwilling to find new uses for your PC, and are adjusting your habits to accomodate the slow technology of yesteryear. I dbout that you even realize there's been a compromise.

Here's to the future,

Frank

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If snake-oil salesmen like Apple can actually come out with operating systems that do more, and go faster on the same hardware, doesn't it make you question how honest our vendors are being to us?

Hah!, That is utterly not the case with Apple. They more than even the Wintel monopoly have forced their users to abandon older hardware AND software, or only given them performance crippled solutions like Fat Binaries to run on 68K and PPC, and now Classic mode inside of OSX. (as well as many other code/compiler catastrophes)

On top of that, OSX itself abandons more older hardware with every release. Version 10.3 no longer runs on beige G3 desktops (yes they are called Beige, even by Apple). It has never run on even PPC 604e chips, which are very comparable in performance to your beloved PPros. And you can forget about PPC 603, 601, and the 68K series that Mac was born on.

OSX also uses all sorts of fancy tricks to speed up its GUI and run all of its eye candy. Sure 10.2 works on my beige G3 233Mhz with 192 MB of ram, but not well, and definitely not with all of its features active.

Upgrading your computer to do new things is a fact of life, maybe when people stop thinking of new things to do with computers, the upgrades will stop.

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If you only use your computer for office apps and playing some mp3's, you should have spent the money on a new system, and donated the free CPU time to the SR D2OL team. Then you don't have to worry about that shiny new processor not being fully utilized, and the things you do will run faster than ever before. Problem solved :D

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Have you ever given pause and realzied how ridiculous it is to have to upgrade hardware for software? Microsoft is putting more in for the sake of more. What did users really gain in the jump from Windows 2000 to Windows XP (Windows NT 5.0 and Windows NT 5.1, respectively)? A new GUI that needs turned back to the classic look in order to perform acceptably?

Fast user switching is great for me. I wouldn't like to miss it at home.

Actually it's you who's being stupid. You could do whatever you do with a 486 under DOS.

Or use pen and paper and listen to a radio. Man, you've been ripped off!!

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Huh, so what if you have mainframe level chips running in your desktop. They:

1) Cost much less to make then the pentium pro's you are running.

2) They are a LOT faster and a LOT more effeicient then your desktop.

Spending $700 on such an old system just because you want to try and prove a point is silly beyond all reason. I personally don't view my computer upgrading to be wasteful by any sense on the word. All my old, unwanted parts are easily moved to some other computer my family has or my friends have. By the time I start throwing stuff out, it is ussually 6 or more years old and has well and truely been used enough to justify its cost.

Also, it seems to me, that your computer really isn't fast enough for you. You overclock it, install insane amounts of memory, install modern video cards, all at great expense, to attempt to cover up that your processors have really had their day and are not fast enough for you.

My general view is that the older the computer, the less you spend on the parts to keep it running. That doesn't mean using crap parts, but it means suitable parts for the CPU and getting a good price on them.

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My general view is that the older the computer, the less you spend on the parts to keep it running. That doesn't mean using crap parts, but it means suitable parts for the CPU and getting a good price on them.

A very sensible approach. While I'm looking for a new (BIG) case for my Dual Celery now, I wouldn't really spend the ca$h for a new Lian Li either (instead, Fujitsu Cordant cases look rather intriguing on the used market).

BTW, my Dual Celery (being my main workhorse these days) just got a DVD writer (LG GSA-4040B) - very nice. The system requirements state a PIII-700 minimum, but so far this box has been bored to death when reading/writing (OK, I only tried writing to a DVD-RAM so far, and that wasn't very fast, apparently because of the medium). Given I have a bunch of stuff I should really back up once (also because part of it only clutters up the hard drive w/o being particularly useful), I'd consider this a worthwile investment.

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