[kwlug-disc] The sweet(?) smell of power supplies

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Tue Apr 8 17:33:23 EDT 2014


Yep, speed matters. A lot. When needed.

On video, so will fast swap/tmp space - as you noted, not so much memory 
consumption in place at any one particular point in time, as much as 
space as lots of pixels pushed through processing, and it can never all 
be kept in memory. (Entire project. Add in transforms / transitions, or 
overlays, and ... it's a lot of work. One frame at a time.)

I sure notice the difference sitting between a non-hyperthreaded and 
hyperthreaded / same speed computer, even just doing everyday tasks like 
web browsing. Mind you, this day and age, can't imagine something not 
coming hyperthreaded.

BUT - this is / was something to be careful of. I remember some things 
coming out dual core, but not hyperthreaded, vs single core 
hyperthreaded. The moniker changes with CPUs has made it important to 
check CPU capabilities when trying to stay cheap.

The whole multi-core thing has been a huge OS challenge in terms of core 
scheduling optimization. To expect too much of it is probably 
self-defeating - somehow a CPU / scheduler is supposed to optimally 
divine what a program is going to do? AFAIK most of the time the best an 
os can do is send each process to it's own / least used CPU, and hope it 
all works out for the best in the end.

That's why individual apps, like Premiere, get better performance - the 
developers know what will be needed for optimal performance with their 
product, and can build in appropriate scheduling / tasking hints. It's 
also why such tend to be proprietary / for proprietary systems. Such low 
level tweaking expertise costs money. And is rather beyond the average 
hobbyist (read FOSS contributors) expertise / time available.

Fortunately, it's very few apps that need such tweaking, the OS guys 
doing a wonderful job for the majority of apps. But also explains why 
these specialized apps cost $.


On 14-04-08 01:47 PM, chaslinux at gmail.com wrote:
> I've had a look at some Mac workstations used for video editing.
> Those had Xeon 8 core CPUs - now that E3 was mentioned I think it was
> an E2. What surprised me was that the workstations only had 8GB, raw
> CPU power seems to matter more.
>
> Speaking of CPU power I did a comparison between my AMD A8-5600K CPU,
> motherboard and 16GB of RAM versus an older AMD 8 core system. My 4
> core machine edged out the 8 core (just barely though) on a couple of
> different CPU tests. I'm thinking it's because each of my cores is
> 3.6GHz versus the 2.5 of the 8 core machine. That and maybe slightly
> newer tech on the motherboard (the 8 core system had a pretty high
> end gaming board).
>
> I did some investigation on video processing using Adobe Premier and
> one of the suggestions was making sure you got Hyperthreading (it
> makes about a 30 percent difference according to most of the comments
> I read, at least for the core i5/i7 series CPUs). Blog:
> http://www.charlesmccolm.com/ Sent from my cell phone.
>
> -----Original Message----- From: unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca>
> Sender: "kwlug-disc" <kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org> Date: Mon, 07 Apr
> 2014 19:53:01 To: KWLUG discussion<kwlug-disc at kwlug.org> Reply-To:
> KWLUG discussion <kwlug-disc at kwlug.org> Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] The
> sweet(?) smell of power supplies
>
> For that app, you not only want multiple spinning platters, you want
> multiple platter platforms.
>
> e.g. One RAID for original storage, another for project / in use
> files, another for temporary files. You can't have enough speed or
> storage in these cases. e.g. First will only grow over time. Others
> will be relatively static, if big - presumably you're only actively
> working on one or a few projects at a time.
>
> Nothing says the project or temp drives can't be SSD, though, as
> mentioned. And your performance will be such that you will never want
> to go back.
>
> It may be arguable that you want a check out / in process from SSD
> to alternate though.
>
> I haven't enough experience with SSD to know, but my expectation is
> that even if it goes (can't put more on it), you'll at least be able
> to read it to get it on to another spindle / replacement SSD.
>
> And ... apparently SSD types matter. There's a reason for the
> serious jump in price / SSD tiers. IIRC, the difference is seriously
> better write speeds.
>
>
> On 14-04-07 11:21 AM, L.D. Paniak wrote:
>> OK.  What amount of disk capacity are we talking about? Anything up
>> to 1TB can be done today for a reasonable amount of coin on SSD.
>> What are the interfaces for specialized hardware?  PCIe? Interface
>> count?
>>
>> I suspect you can build a remarkably fast system inside of 150W
>> with a bit of research.  Intel E3-series v3 Xeons/Haswell CPUs pack
>> a pile of performance into 60-80W - at a decent price.  Especially
>> if the software uses recent instruction extensions eg AVX.
>>
>>
>> On 04/07/2014 11:09 AM, Darcy Casselman wrote:
>>> I'd agree, but she wants to do video and audio rendering.  She
>>> needs multiple spinning platter harddrives and some specialist
>>> video capture and sound hardware.
>>>
>>> I was able to talk her down from needing a 750W+ power supply
>>> (she doesn't need 3D graphics at all), but yeah, something in the
>>> 500W neighbourhood is more reasonable.
>>>
>>> Darcy.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 10:56 AM, L.D. Paniak
>>> <ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com
>>> <mailto:ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com>> wrote:
>>>
>>> I agree.  I have been using pico-PSU/AC brick solutions on
>>> systems up to 100W with great success.  For 95%+ of computing
>>> that more than enough to get the job done.
>>>
>>> There are many "mini-systems" of this type available:
>>> http://www.canadacomputers.com/search_result.php?checkVal0=0&subcat04=5&checkVal1=1&checkVal2=1&checkVal3=1&checkVal4=1&checkVal5=1&checkVal6=1&checkVal7=1&checkVal8=1&checkVal9=1&pagePos=0&keywords=&manu=0&search=1&ccid=1203&cPath=7_1203
>>>
>>>
>>>
Especially good are the Intel NUC series (if a little more expensive).
>>>
>>> I recently bought a 430W Corsair ATX PSU and the smell of the
>>> fancy paint finish nearly knocked me off my feet.  It took
>>> several days to dissipate. I am not sure what the motivation is
>>> here.
>>>
>>>
>>> On 04/07/2014 10:44 AM, Jason Locklin wrote:
>>>> Just for fun, this would be approximately the best you can do
>>>> while staying safely under 150Watts and staying reasonably
>>>> priced:
>>>>
>>>>> PCPartPicker part list: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/3nyKO
>>>>> Price breakdown by merchant:
>>> http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/3nyKO/by_merchant/
>>>>> Benchmarks: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/3nyKO/benchmarks/
>>>>>
>>>>> CPU: Intel Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor  ($160.80
>>>>> @
>>> Amazon Canada)
>>>>> Motherboard: MSI H67MA-E35 (B3) Micro ATX LGA1155
>>>>> Motherboard
>>> ($88.02 @ Amazon Canada)
>>>>> Memory: Kingston 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory  ($79.99 @
>>> Canada Computers)
>>>>> Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 240GB 2.5" Solid State
>>> Disk  ($129.99 @ NCIX)
>>>>>
>>>>> Total: $458.80 Estimated Wattage: 109W
>>>>>
>>>>> Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when
>>>>> available.) (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-07 10:33
>>>>> EDT-0400)
>>>> That would scream running Linux, but would be lacking for
>>>> gaming. No idea what Windows needs nowadays though. That
>>>> website is too
>>> much fun.
>>>> Now, back to work... right...
>>>>
>>>> -Jason
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Mon 07 Apr 2014 10:02:49 AM EDT, Darcy Casselman wrote:
>>>>> She has rather formidable power requirements, but we were
>>> talking about
>>>>> whether something like this was available. I'll pass it
>>>>> along.
>>> Thanks.
>>>>>
>>>>> Darcy.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 9:51 AM, Jason Locklin
>>> <locklin.jason at gmail.com <mailto:locklin.jason at gmail.com>>wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Have you thought of building a low-power system with
>>>>>> something
>>> like one
>>>>>> of these:
>>> http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104186
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Transformer is sealed in plastic, so no dust/smell from
>>>>>> it.
>>> Thinking
>>>>>> about building a system like this with one of the
>>>>>> low-power
>>> Haswell
>>>>>> chips and an SSD, myself (not for the smell, I just like
>>>>>> power-efficient, quiet machines).
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -Jason
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 14-04-05 03:56 PM, Darcy Casselman wrote:
>>>>>>> PC hardware question, not specific to Linux, but some of
>>>>>>> you
>>> folks may
>>>>>> have
>>>>>>> ideas.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> My partner has some rather significant allergies and
>>> sensitivities.  She
>>>>>>> also needs to replace her 12-year-old desktop computer.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> In general electronics tend to be okay for her, but the
>>>>>>> power
>>> supply
>>>>>> seems
>>>>>>> to be a stumbling block.  New power supplies smell
>>>>>>> really
>>> bad, triggering
>>>>>>> her sensitivities.  And they're blowing that bad air into
>>>>>>> her
>>> living
>>>>>> space.
>>>>>>> Does anyone know of a retailer that sells power supplies
>>>>>>> that
>>> she'd be
>>>>>> able
>>>>>>> to crack open a bunch and give them a sniff-test?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Is there somewhere we can look at used power supplies,
>>> preferably from
>>>>>>> hopefully neutral office environments (rather than, say,
>>>>>>> the
>>> homes of
>>>>>>> smokers or pet owners)?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> We're not entirely sure what it is in the power supplies
>>>>>>> that is
>>>>>> triggering
>>>>>>> her.  We know that the PVC wiring is bad (I'm not holding
>>>>>>> out
>>> much hope,
>>>>>>> but if someone knows of a manufacturer that coats their
>>>>>>> wires in
>>>>>> something
>>>>>>> other than PVC, that would be very useful to know).  But
>>> we've tried a
>>>>>>> bunch and haven't come up with much luck.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Any suggestions would be helpful.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Thanks! Darcy.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> kwlug-disc mailing list kwlug-disc at kwlug.org
>>>>>>> <mailto:kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
>>>>>>> http://kwlug.org/mailman/listinfo/kwlug-disc_kwlug.org
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -- - Jason Locklin http://artsweb.uwaterloo.ca/~jalockli
>>> <http://artsweb.uwaterloo.ca/%7Ejalockli>
>>>>>> PGP: 9551 BD8F BCCC 5763 9FD9 9C5E 99F2 DE4E 2972 C74D
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
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>>>>>
>>>>>
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