Re: [OxLUG] New PC for home

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Author: Sam Lade
To: oxlug
Subject: Re: [OxLUG] New PC for home
I'm interested in the theory, but I'm not sure it's more economical in

My desktop has a 3GHz Core 2 Duo processor (and a CUDA-capable graphics
card, for tasks that support that), which will wipe the floor with a
pair of old 1.6GHz processors. Total cost of the desktop hardware was
about £600 two years ago, and that's including a premium for a Shuttle
small form factor case and motherboard to make it easier to drag in and
out of uni.

A ~£150 dual-slot NAS with (currently) a £100 2TB drive runs file
distribution, file sharing, shares network services with the routers,
and runs other miscellaneous tasks (I have an IRC bot running on mine,
for example).

And I'd guess this setup is easier to maintain.

Multiple networked hosts have their place (distcc farms, etc), but I'm
not convinced the home is the place.


On 10/09/10 10:43, Paul Mobbs wrote:
> A bit of a tangent on this thread but...
> Most people seem to be promoting high-powered boards/overclocking/bigger =
> better, solutions. Personally I've always thought it rather uneconomic to go
> for the latest power boards when you can network older machines to achieve
> much the same outcome (which is precisely the reason I started using Linux
> back in 1999, networking half a dozen boxes to crunch data).
> E.g.:
> * I have a work laptop that's configured for general use (my only 'new'
> machine);
> * two file servers (total network storage is a bit over 4.5TB) optimised for
> storage and file distribution services;
> * two 1.6gig motherboards (mounted in a single box to save space) with all but
> the essential services disabled, and extra memory, which I used for processing
> video, crunching data, encoding video DVDs etc.;
> * finally I've got a Pentium-II laptop (only consumes 14 watts!) that keeps up
> the network and runs DNS and an old 1gig laptop that runs file sharing 24/7.
> Using a combination of SSH and VNC these machines can be controlled from my
> main work machine, or either of the other two desktop systems that my
> wife/kids use, in order to use their resources -- e.g. everyone in the house
> can back-up across the network far more regularly and easily than burning
> DVDs/using sticks.
> Most of my machines are second-hand/scrap rebuilds, and the total value of
> everything on the network is around £1100 to £1200 if you were to buy them
> (and half of that is my Lenovo work laptop) -- i.e., a lot more combined
> processing power than if you were to buy the latest super-dupa desktop system.
> In focussing on the speed of the hardware are we missing one of the most
> powerful features that we are free to play with when using Linux... System
> design!
> P.