A new computer

It turns out to be good to wait 4 or 5 years between computer upgrades, because the new computer will be awesomely fast in comparison to the old one. This was the old one:

I reused the case and power supply, but put a new motherboard, CPU, memory and disk inside. I have shamelessly gone all-Intel, because I need a fast build server, and AMD doesn’t cut it these days.

  • Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K (4 cores, 8 threads)
  • ASUS P8Z68-V (Intel Z68 with LGA 1155 socket)
  • 18GB of RAM (2 x 8GB + 2 x 1GB saved from the old computer)
  • 120 GB Intel 320 Series SSD
  • 2TB Samsung HDD
  • Fedora 17

The SSD in particular is brilliant. It feels about 10 times faster than a hard drive.

‘make -j9’ just eats kernel compiles. I can build a complete Fedora kernel and modules in about 10 minutes (compared to about 28 minutes on my work laptop).

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “A new computer

  1. M@

    That 2x 1GB from your old computer may “work” but it is probably slowing down all of your memory, as the memory bus is lowest-common-denominator.

    • rich

      According to dmidecode, all the DIMMs are running at the same speed (1333 MHz). Not sure if this is reporting their actual speed or their potential speed.

      • chris

        And the timing?

      • rich

        No idea. How to find out? This is the complete dmidecode for the memory:

        Handle 0x0027, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
        Memory Device
                Array Handle: 0x0024
                Error Information Handle: No Error
                Total Width: 64 bits
                Data Width: 64 bits
                Size: 8192 MB
                Form Factor: DIMM
                Set: None
                Locator: DIMM0
                Bank Locator: BANK0
                Type: DDR3
                Type Detail: Synchronous
                Speed: 1333 MHz
                Manufacturer: Micron       
                Serial Number: 3A7C016
                Asset Tag: AssetTagNum0
                Part Number: 16JTF1G64AZ-1G4D1 
                Rank: 2
        [...]
        Handle 0x002A, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
        Memory Device
                Array Handle: 0x0024
                Error Information Handle: No Error
                Total Width: 64 bits
                Data Width: 64 bits
                Size: 8192 MB
                Form Factor: DIMM
                Set: None
                Locator: DIMM1
                Bank Locator: BANK1
                Type: DDR3
                Type Detail: Synchronous
                Speed: 1333 MHz
                Manufacturer: Micron       
                Serial Number: 3A7C00C
                Asset Tag: AssetTagNum1
                Part Number: 16JTF1G64AZ-1G4D1 
                Rank: 2
        [...]
        Handle 0x002D, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
        Memory Device
                Array Handle: 0x0024
                Error Information Handle: No Error
                Total Width: 72 bits
                Data Width: 64 bits
                Size: 1024 MB
                Form Factor: DIMM
                Set: None
                Locator: DIMM2
                Bank Locator: BANK2
                Type: DDR3
                Type Detail: Synchronous
                Speed: 1333 MHz
                Manufacturer: Samsung      
                Serial Number: 475C845
                Asset Tag: AssetTagNum2
                Part Number: M391B2873FH0-CH9  
                Rank: 1
        [...]
        Handle 0x0030, DMI type 17, 28 bytes
        Memory Device
                Array Handle: 0x0024
                Error Information Handle: No Error
                Total Width: 72 bits
                Data Width: 64 bits
                Size: 1024 MB
                Form Factor: DIMM
                Set: None
                Locator: DIMM3
                Bank Locator: BANK3
                Type: DDR3
                Type Detail: Synchronous
                Speed: 1333 MHz
                Manufacturer: Samsung      
                Serial Number: 8554B27
                Asset Tag: AssetTagNum3
                Part Number: M391B2873FH0-CH9  
                Rank: 1
        
      • chris

        dmidecode does not provide RAM timing info. Try BIOS/EFI or memtest86+ , I don’t know a Linux/Unix Tool for that.
        CPU-Z would do that on Windows.

      • I’m gonna agree with chris and m@ there, the 2GB is almost certainly going to cause slacker timings to be used than would otherwise be the case. And may result in dual-channel not happening either.

  2. salsaman123

    Nice machine ! Maybe you can post the results of hdparm -t on the SSD so we can see how it really compares to an hd.

    If you don’t mind – what was the approximate cost of all the hardware ?

    I presume the (Schroedinger´s) cat is for quantum computing experiments 😀

    • rich

      Is hdparm really a good test? I’m more interested in random access performance.

      The cost was (including tax and delivery):

      • Processor and motherboard: £380
      • Memory (16 GB): £151
      • SSD: £141
      • HDD: (It was one I had left over, but IIRC about £50)
    • as Rich says, you really really don’t need any kind of benchmark to know that SSDs are hugely faster than hard disks. Just try one. It’s not a subtle difference.

  3. markino

    +1 this hardware rules!

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