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Comments (Continued)

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

I wonder why it isn't installed on my machine.

You could probrably find adapter(s) to fit it.

It seems you're in pretty bad shape on that not quite a laptop anymore. :P

The desighn is open so you can make one for yourself, but once again it would be a bit of work.

The processor has similar performance to an upper p3 or lower p4, so it shouldn't be that far off.

I'd reccomend This
The motherboared is a bit better featured for hardly more and includes more io including a serial port.
16gb of ram is a bit overkill still (especially when running linux)
I wouldn't trust the cx to last that long, so I replaced it with an oem seasonic unit.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

You're right that it's odd that lshw is not installed by default on Debian.

You are also correct that my current machine is in bad shape. According to BIOS diagnostics, my hard drive has failed completely. SMART data is reporting lots of bad sectors, but it still runs...

I like the motherboard with a serial port you suggested, but are you sure that 16GB of RAM isn't worth it? I know that for most people at the moment 8GB is the sweet spot, but my machine would probably function as a server for various things as well as have several VMs. I would also like to increase performance with a large RAM disk, even if there's an SSD (Like Tiny Core on steroids without any swapping?). Would 8GB still be enough for that while also accommodating for programs getting heavier over time? I just don't have a good feel for how much RAM I should have since I'm used to 512 MB.

I'm comfortable with the Corsair CX PSU. My build won't draw much power and it is better than the PSUs that companies like Dell and HP throw in their towers which work fine for millions of computers.

I didn't understand what you meant by "The processor has similar performance to an upper p3 or lower p4, so it shouldn't be that far off." I chose the i3-6100 because its the newest and therefore has excellent standards support. I want to avoid things like Google Earth not running because my PC hardware doesn't support a recent enough version of OpenGL happening in 5 or 10 years, which I see on my current machine all the time.

Lastly, would it make sense to throw in a 750 Ti for $100? I don't play games, but my understanding is that discrete GPUs can now accelerate a lot of tasks like decompression. Though it isn't clear to me how significant the difference would be. Would it reduce compile times drastically, should I be running LFS or Gentoo, or building Firefox Dev Ed?

Thanks for the advice.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Honestly, my laptop has 4gb and I don't feel it. The only times I see it going into swap is while I was compiling kodi (a media center program, I did feel it there) and playing tf2 (about 40mb gets pushed into swap, and the source engine is kind of ram intensive, but it is light on everything else) I guess you can justify it messing around in vms and with ram disks, but I definitely wouldn't call it nesisary.

Dell actually uses pretty decent psus, their motherboards are the issue. Reguardless of this, every dead hp computer I have seen died of a psu failure, and every dead dell I have seen has been because of a motherboard failure. This is almost without exception. The upgrade to a better quality unit is something like $15 more including shipping (and you don't have to deal with rebates) I would do it.

The comment about the processor being equivalent to a p3/p4 was talking about the blue netbook I used to use, not the i3 :P sorry for the confusion.

Well, the thing is. Gpus can't accelerate a whole lot of things, but the things you can accelerate get a very hefty speed boost. Unfortunately the things that can be gpu accelerated are mostly limited to programs dealing with graphics (video editing, photo editing, cad work) and things running on supercomputers (because a gpu is basically a supercomputer in itself, but with a pretty limited instruction set) The extent of things you would be doing that you would benefit from graphics acceleration would be video decoding and basic opengl driven things which the igpu can do just fine.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the information, especially regarding the GPU.

I hear you about the Dell motherboard thing. My dad's Dell Inspiron 518c had that twice. Had to argue with tech support in Bangladesh to get replacements. (If you ever get telemarketing calls, and you're just sitting around, try toying with the people on the other end. It's amazing how stupid they are. One thought 2016-13=2013 (The age of the house.) When I pointed out that this was incorrect, they said it was 2006. "I'm from company XYZ selling cheap solar? Solar is blah blah blah. Interested in getting solar panels? - Sure, why not? - OK. I just want to verify some information. Your address is blah blah blah, and your roof is 2,800 sq.ft, right? - No. I live on 123 Cloudy lane. - What's your roof area? - It's a single family cave. Hello? Hello?" - [Hang up.] They will call you back sometimes.

Based on a couple of old formulas I found on some 5-15 year old posts and adjusting them for current hardware (I feel like I'm a hedge fund manager reading the tea leaves. Come on HEAR, SILC, and PPHMP. All great stocks by the way for range trading.), I've concluded that 16GB is probably worth it for me, especially when compiling software. I don't want to make my computer a bloated mess. i3 WM > KDE Plasma 5 DE in my opinion. Seeing as how this computer needs to last for a long time, and analyzing the price increases and decreases of DDR3 and DDR4, I think I'm just going to go for it, though I'll look into it a bit more, analyzing whether other parts will read obsolescence first.

Regarding the GPU, that's pretty much what I expected. I might get a 750 Ti later... but probably not. For $50 sometime in the next year I might be tempted for accelerating Blender and some more frequent though occasional audio editing. The local public library sometimes has events where they teach people how to CAD with Autodesk and print small items. I could email myself the stuff ahead of time and print them there. I've made a couple small things that were useful already. Come to think of it, this would have been a much more elegant solution than my toilet paper tube... oh well.

I think I've got my build pretty much finalized, though I'm thinking of getting a Pentium G4400 instead. This will largely depend on my further estimations of obsolescence, including the adjustment that 8GB of RAM might provide.

When it comes to building the machine, I have a few other questions that I hope experience you have might be able to answer. Should I get some Arctic Silver 5 compound? Does Arctic Silver 5 compound go bad or degrade? Is a non electrically conductive paste better in spite of the worse performance? My main reason for wanting to do this is because in the past I've gotten really angry at the adhesive crud that heatsinks have glued to them, almost to the point that I interchange the term TIM (Intel-branded sort of...) with thermal pads.

Disclosure: I'm a little bit insane, so because I can, I'm thinking about de-lidding the CPU and and lapping the CPU lid and heatsink. I have way too much time, and think this might be interesting (I know this won't increase performance much.). I have plenty of fine-grit sandpaper, a ton of broken craftsman screwdrivers (By the way, if you don't know, those things are virtually indestructible. These are THE screwdrivers to buy for heavy-duty work or just building computers. The handles are made of hard resin, and there is a no-questions-asked replacement policy which I have repeatedly abused. The last one I broke while using a drill to try to take the nut off of a busted tempered steel shaft that holds a wheel to a car.), dull razors, and time (I've built the world's largest golf ball pyramid (3 times - square, hexagonal, and tetrahedron). Am submitting to Guinness. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B24SiYP43c2_am16Q1VaS3dvbEE/view?usp=sharing). How likely am I to break my computer hardware if I'm really careful? Or is this just plain stupid? Lastly, seeing that you've made a cardboard case, I want to make one out of golf balls, but I'm not sure how to do this. Thinking along the lines of 1/4" PVC pipes right now. Any suggestions? I understand if you don't.

Again thanks for all the help, and sorry for the ranting.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually one more thing. Check out jonnyguru.com. I first wound up there when I was trying to figure out how to avoid bad power supplies. I was looking at one of the five "Death of a Gutless Wonder" PSUs. Check them out. Pretty pathetic (Especially the Hercules). In any case, I'm now very confident that the Corsair CX-Series 430W PSU is perfectly good.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

One time I was called by someone selling antivirus software. I asked him if I could put it on my new smart toaster. That was a fun couple of minuites.

I'd kind of like to see the formulas you are refering to.

You know, something told me that you might like dwm I've used it before and it was nice, but I had a little bit of a hard time replacing the tools I used from xfce with standallone programs.

I think you should keep the i3 personally, it is a good bit of a speed boost over the pentium, even if the pentium is a really good value.

as far as I know of any thermal compound will cake up, although modern thermal compounds should not have any performance drop over a reasonable amount of time unless you break contact. I'd probrably suggest getting some arctic mx4 instead of as5. It is easier to apply, doesn't have a cure time and is non cunductive/capacitive. and it advertizes an 8 year lifespan.

Delidding a skylake cpu is actually easier than previous generations because there are no surface mount components around the cpu die to accidentally cut off. If you are decently careful you should be fine.

The biggest problem that arises from a golf ball (that I can see) is being able to propperly mount things. I would suggest getting (or making, i'm sure you can find a schematic online) a motherboard tray. (something similat to this) (I got around this by making my motherboard's box into a motherboard tray) I have also seen with pretty good sucsess angled aluminum being used as the framing in diy pc cases.

I'm familiar with it, the monster in the powork box. Have you seen the reviews on the seasonic units? they are rediculously good (as far as I can tell the oem unit is most ralated to the S12II line) and ALL of the seasonic units have reviews like that, that's a lower tear line for seasonic and it scored a 9.7.

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