Re: [OxLUG] What would make the biggest difference to my pro…

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Author: John Winters
To: Oxfordshire Linux User Group Discussion List
Subject: Re: [OxLUG] What would make the biggest difference to my processing speed?
On 08/08/11 22:53, Paul Mobbs wrote:
> On Monday, August 08, 2011 10:30:08 am John Winters wrote:
>> I don't think extra cores are going to make much difference for my
>> mainly single-thread purposes, so of the other variables, which is
>> likely to make the most difference to number crunching? I don't want to
>> have to spend £300-400 on a top-of-the range CPU. I'm thinking more in
>> terms of £150, and at that price you can have some but not all of the
>> above enhancements.
> Why has everyone got a such a high-speed hardware fetish?

I don't think anyone has demonstrated any kind of symptoms of a
high-speed hardware fetish - rather the opposite in fact. The question
I asked was about how to *avoid* buying the latest and greatest
ultra-fast processor, but still effect a useful improvement.

> Simple -- buy a few old Pentium-III/IV boxes from the junk sale and stick them
> on the network.

Hmmm. For the money which I'm thinking of spending I could probably get
about 3 Pentium IV boxes. Then I could find somewhere to put them,
configure them all, maintain them all with updates, change my algorithms
to use multiple CPUs (in different boxes - not even SMP) and end up with
a solution which is slower, more power hungry, *much* noisier and rather
wasteful of time.

There comes a time when you just need to get some work done, and whilst
I plead guilty to having constructed multi-box processing networks in
the past, it only really comes into its own for a few very specialist
applications - and if I were going to do it I wouldn't use Pentium
IIIs/IVs these days. There's a big reason why Intel junked the Pentium
IV line; it was a developmental dead end.