Several easy questions about FreeBSD, concerning hardware

Several easy questions about FreeBSD, concerning hardware

Post by Markus Meiste » Sat, 15 Feb 1997 04:00:00



I'm thinking about buying a new computer whose main task it will be
to run FreeBSD, so I would like to know some things that will allow
me to put together the right machine. It will be a single-user machine,
won't be a server of any kind.

1) I assume FreeBSD will run very nicely on a "Pentium Pro". Is it
   correct that still no dual-CPU system of any kind is supported?
   (is it by NetBSD?) The FAQ (http://cynjut.neonramp.com) is marked
   'out of date' on this point.

2) What kind of performance increase can I expect of your average
   SCSI drive over (shudder!) EIDE? The former is unfortunately a
   lot more expensive.

3) Is there anything else I should know? I would really like a nice
   FreeBSD machine. I will be grateful for any advice.

Markus

 
 
 

Several easy questions about FreeBSD, concerning hardware

Post by Ron Echever » Mon, 17 Feb 1997 04:00:00




Quote:>1) I assume FreeBSD will run very nicely on a "Pentium Pro".

It does indeed.

Quote:>   Is it
>   correct that still no dual-CPU system of any kind is supported?
>   (is it by NetBSD?) The FAQ (http://cynjut.neonramp.com) is marked
>   'out of date' on this point.

3.0 has SMP, and there is a web page that can tell you more at
http://www.freebsd.org/~fsmp/SMP/SMP.html

Quote:>2) What kind of performance increase can I expect of your average
>   SCSI drive over (shudder!) EIDE? The former is unfortunately a
>   lot more expensive.
>3) Is there anything else I should know? I would really like a nice
>   FreeBSD machine. I will be grateful for any advice.

If it's just going to be a single-user machine, don't worry about
performance of a SCSI drive over EIDE, IMO.  I run IDE drives on my
P90 and they do just fine (i'm even running Apache and INN).  Make
sure you set aside enough disk space for swap (at least 2*RAM, +25MB
if you're going to run Netscape).  32MB RAM is nice and comfortable.
And don't forget to keep up with the latest -stable sources.

rone
--

  ............................................................................
                   "Welcome to Best, here's your handbasket."

 
 
 

Several easy questions about FreeBSD, concerning hardware

Post by Jordan K. Hubbar » Thu, 20 Feb 1997 04:00:00



> 1) I assume FreeBSD will run very nicely on a "Pentium Pro". Is it
>    correct that still no dual-CPU system of any kind is supported?
>    (is it by NetBSD?) The FAQ (http://cynjut.neonramp.com) is marked
>    'out of date' on this point.

It will run very nicely on that Pentium Pro.  There is experimental SMP
support that will also probably run fairly well on it, but you'll be out
on the bleeding edge. :-)  I hear they're still having some trouble with
multiple FPUs.

Quote:> 2) What kind of performance increase can I expect of your average
>    SCSI drive over (shudder!) EIDE? The former is unfortunately a
>    lot more expensive.

If you're doing a lot of I/O, you may expect significant performance
increases with SCSI.  With a SCSI drive & controller, the CPU can just
say "Hey, you, you're pretty smart - go get me these blocks and stick
'em here in memory.  And let me know when you're done, I'm off to do
other things."  All the early (and/or cheap) IDE drives require
considerably more in the way of handshaking for every byte transferred -
they're not smart enough to do it all by themselves and they need a lot
of the CPU's help. Some of the more modern IDE drives are a bit more
intelligent where this is concerned, though still no match for SCSI when
it comes to stringing lots of disk, tape & CD devices in a line and not
having them fight for the bus (assuming they all support bus
attach/detach properly, and all but the really old ones do).

All around, SCSI just *better* than IDE. :-)

Quote:> 3) Is there anything else I should know? I would really like a nice
>    FreeBSD machine. I will be grateful for any advice.

Get yourself a nice Matrox Millenium 4Mb card since appearance is also
everything. :-)

--
- Jordan Hubbard
  FreeBSD core team / Walnut Creek CDROM.

 
 
 

Several easy questions about FreeBSD, concerning hardware

Post by Scott Hazen Muell » Sat, 22 Feb 1997 04:00:00


Quote:>>2) What kind of performance increase can I expect of your average
>>   SCSI drive over (shudder!) EIDE? The former is unfortunately a
>>   lot more expensive.
>If it's just going to be a single-user machine, don't worry about
>performance of a SCSI drive over EIDE, IMO.

I disagree.  I ran (E?)IDE drives for my first year-and-a-half, then switched
to a single not-so-fast SCSI.  It may be not-so-fast, but mine is still 3x
faster on long sequential reads and just all-around perkier in general.

If you run X and a bunch of stuff (Netscape is a particular pig, it basically
has its own 16MB SIMM in my system) you're going to swap.  If you swap, you'll
be happiest if you swap off of a SCSI drive.

That said, SCSI also gives you - so I am told - better options for tape
drives, to back up all that data.

Lastly, one of the reasons to do UNIX is to have all kinds of background
stuff cooking along.  Having your foreground tasks slow down because of IDE
overhead takes some of the fun out of running mailing lists and newsfeeds.

--

Boycott Internet Spam:  See <URL:http://www.vix.com/spam/>.

 
 
 

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