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xxs105
Organization: Penn State University
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1993 12:06:32 EDT
From: < XXS...@psuvm.psu.edu>
Message-ID: <93113.120632XXS105@psuvm.psu.edu>
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: Performance of Linux and X11
Lines: 12

I have been reading this group for a while and trying to decide wether to get
a 486 machine that will run linux and X on top of it. Aside from the fact that
there seem to be a great varity of potential hardware problems, I never read
a post that analyzed the performance of Linux on say a 486/66 machine. I want
to know: HOW FAST IS IT? if I run X, IS THE VIDEO SLOW? I need some straight
answers.

Some people around here(mostly Sun users) don't think Linux is worth crap. So,
let's hear some honest reviews, for all of us newbies. Also, a nice hardware
recommendation will be great too!

Thanks for anyone who cares to answer.

From: sct@dcs.ed.ac.uk (Stephen Tweedie)
Subject: Re: Performance of Linux and X11
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1993 20:18:35 GMT


> I have been reading this group for a while and trying to decide
> wether to get a 486 machine that will run linux and X on top of it.
> Aside from the fact that there seem to be a great varity of
> potential hardware problems, I never read a post that analyzed the
> performance of Linux on say a 486/66 machine. I want to know: HOW
> FAST IS IT? if I run X, IS THE VIDEO SLOW? I need some straight
> answers.

OK.  Linux itself is fast.  X will be as fast as your video hardware
allows.  I have an ET4000-based board - it's good for compatibility
and is easily fast enough for excellent X performance.  You really
won't need a faster card unless you're doing a lot of graphic-
intensive work (such as animation).

If you really need speed, be *certain* to get 16MB of ram.  Beyond
this, you needn't be too concerned about Linux's ability to perform
well.

> Some people around here(mostly Sun users) don't think Linux is worth
> crap. So, let's hear some honest reviews, for all of us newbies.
> Also, a nice hardware recommendation will be great too!

I'm a Sun user.  I can take the C++ (g++-2.3.3) code I develop on Sun
workstations home and carry on with it in the evenings on Linux, and
the only differences I notice between the two working environments are
that Linux is faster and has colour.

The floating point performance of a 486 is pretty lousy compared to a
Sparc, but for integer performance a 486/33 is easily on par with a
Sun-4.  Running purely compute-bound simulations, I find that my
486/33 is twice as fast as a colour SparcStation 1+, about 30% faster
than a SparcStation-ELC and 10% faster than the department's spanking
new SparcServer-10, a Sun flagship product.

Cheers,
 Stephen Tweedie.
---
Stephen Tweedie <sct@uk.ac.ed.dcs>   (Internet: <sct@dcs.ed.ac.uk>)
Department of Computer Science, Edinburgh University, Scotland.

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
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From: g...@quads.uchicago.edu (Richard L. Goerwitz)
Subject: Re: Performance of Linux and X11
Message-ID: <1993May4.161023.17139@midway.uchicago.edu>
Sender: n...@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System)
Reply-To: g...@midway.uchicago.edu
Organization: University of Chicago
References: <93113.120632XXS105@psuvm.psu.edu> 
< SCT.93Apr24201835@ascrib.dcs.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 4 May 1993 16:10:23 GMT
Lines: 22

>> I have been reading this group for a while and trying to decide
>> wether to get a 486 machine that will run linux and X on top of it.
>> Aside from the fact that there seem to be a great varity of
>> potential hardware problems, I never read a post that analyzed the
>> performance of Linux on say a 486/66 machine.

Isn't reliability the more important issue?  Not to play down speed,
but the Suns we keep hearing about hang off a network, and run with
often heavy loads for months at a time, without ever crashing or
needing a reboot.

Has anyone here run Linux in a networked academic environment, with
at least a heavy single-user load?  What has your experience been?
Are the networking and file systems reliable?  Does the machine ever
crash unexpectedly under heavy and/or multi-user access?

Just curious.

-- 

   -Richard L. Goerwitz              goer%mid...@uchicago.bitnet
   g...@midway.uchicago.edu          rutgers!oddjob!ellis!goer

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
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From: iii...@swan.pyr (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: Performance of Linux and X11
Message-ID: <1993May5.151945.5699@swan.pyr>
Organization: Swansea University College
References: <93113.120632XXS105@psuvm.psu.edu> 
< SCT.93Apr24201835@ascrib.dcs.ed.ac.uk> <1993May4.161023.17139@midway.uchicago.edu>
Date: Wed, 5 May 1993 15:19:45 GMT
Lines: 25

In article <1993May4.161023.17...@midway.uchicago.edu> g...@midway.uchicago.edu 
writes:
>
>Has anyone here run Linux in a networked academic environment, with
>at least a heavy single-user load?  What has your experience been?
>Are the networking and file systems reliable?  Does the machine ever
>crash unexpectedly under heavy and/or multi-user access?
>

We run a 386DX40 with 3 serial links and tcp/ip access both in and out.
The machine is currently rebooted intentionally every 3 days to clear
jammed network links. We use minix fs and as yet haven't had a problem
(in 6 months). Unexpected crashes are rare, except when trying things like
suggested fixes and alpha patches that don't work. 
I'd say the file system is reliable, the kernel is reliable, the networking
needs work (and the new networking is on the way slowly). For a heavy multi
user system (we are getting up to 10-12 users) you need to set rlimits fairly
carefully as the current linux scheduling and memory management are a little
broken - the scheduler doesn't seem to switch big jobs slowly to minmise 
paging, and the paging can a) get really gunged up and b) isn't working as
well as it should (compared with our sun3).

Linux proably takes 5 times the effort of the Sun3 system to maintain.

Alan

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