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Dale__
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 2:05 am    Post subject: gentoo computer hardware suggestions Reply with quote

my current system is an Intel Dual Core Celeron, 993MB RAM, 320GB HD, Intel onboard video

I have been using this for over 5 years with Ubuntu, Redhat, Windows

kde4 runs really good with a gentoo handbook/wiki install, but I'd like to get a new system so I can have the old one to tinker with and learn, also could use the newer computing resources for some color programming

am I right that radeon and intel graphics are open source and nvidia is mostly binary?

cost is a consideration as well as compatibility, one thing I want is something like a 256GB solid state drive for my bios, boot and swap partitions
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 3:24 am    Post subject: Re: gentoo computer hardware suggestions Reply with quote

Dale__ wrote:
am I right that radeon and intel graphics are open source and nvidia is mostly binary?

cost is a consideration as well as compatibility, one thing I want is something like a 256GB solid state drive for my bios, boot and swap partitions
Partially. Radeon does indeed have good open source drivers, but the binary is much better and doesn't age particularly gracefully so you will be forced to use the less capable open source drivers after a few years. Frankly, I think the intel card is more powerful than most radeon cards. It was with older hardware, but I cannot compare the newer as I don't have it.

As for the SSD, no I wouldn't put swap on an SSD. There should be a) no need and b) the space is more expensive.

I would configure it as follows: primary HDD an 80 GiB SSD. It contains the system (but not logs, kernels, or portage. These don't need speed and the SSD doesn't need the wear.) For swap, /home, and data storage get a 1TB or so mechanical drive. Speed shouldn't be an issue with these locations.

Next, I would put the savings from the SSD into 16-32 GiB of RAM for the box. /tmp and /var/tmp can be made a tmpfs for speed and the system should never swap. If you want to hibernate or such the mechanical drive should be more than adequate.

My setup is about a year old. I have an I7 with aftermarket cooler, Gigibite mother board, 16 GiB of RAM, an 80 GiB SSD (Samsung, I think) and a 1TB mechanical drive, Asus blu-ray with Corsair power supply and case. This thing is rock solid and well cooled so I think it is a great setup.

The Gigbite board is great because the built in boot loader is more than good enough to replace grub or rEFInd so it gets UEFI booting without any extra layers to battle.
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Dale__
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks much, I'll take this into consideration, I'm going to get an intergrated system, I'm going to have to shop around

couple questions,

you mentioned "gigibyte board"
is this the processor speed
or front side bus speed
or something else?

the Handbook puts a boot partition on the drive even with UEFI
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Installation/Disks#Using_UEFI

will I need a bios partition with that setup?
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

two more questions I forgot

how doo I get the system on the SSD partition, and not the other things part of "rootfs" in Handbook?
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Installation/Disks#Creating_the_partitions

are you suggesting putting /tmp and /var/tmp in the same partition or two different ones?
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gigabyte is the brand of the mother board. They decided to use a computer term for maximum confusion.

Quote:
will I need a bios partition with that setup?
As the handbook does it, yes. They put grub in as an extra layer. If you decide to simply use the manufacture's boot loader you don't need it.

Quote:
how do I get the system on the SSD partition, and not the other things part of "rootfs" in Handbook?


You would have two drives sda and sdb most likely. You would partition them both normally and set the SSD mount points as / and the second drive as /home or whatever you want.

Quote:
are you suggesting putting /tmp and /var/tmp in the same partition or two different ones?


tmpfs is a file system that exists in RAM and does not have a physical presence on any disk. It will dynamically grow to whatever size is needed so it doesn't waste RAM. Basically, using it will speed things up and save the disks from some wear. The catch is you need to have enough ram which generally seems to be 8 or more GB.
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: gentoo computer hardware suggestions Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
I would configure it as follows: primary HDD an 80 GiB SSD. It contains the system (but not logs, kernels, or portage. These don't need speed and the SSD doesn't need the wear.)

A modern SSD doesn't care at all about that little bit of wear. My laptop has gained a second life with a 750 GB SSD and I have never looked back since. I have done countless kernel builds (also due to bisects), I have gathered hundreds of MBs of logs on it (bisecting corner-case bugs on Intel hardware) all the way from kernels 3.4 to 4.1. Of course /var/tmp/portage is in tmpfs, but I have done so ever since, otherwise I haven't cared at all about extra partitions except /boot. And portage does speed up what with all those countless files to be considered, especially when you do ebuild development. In fact, the very first SSD I have bought years ago is still alive and kicking, and I have several in use.

Get an SSD as big as your budget allows - they are also faster than smaller SSDs due to more internal parallelisation.

The Doctor wrote:
The Gigbite board is great because the built in boot loader is more than good enough to replace grub or rEFInd so it gets UEFI booting without any extra layers to battle.

Not sure what you mean there, such is true for any UEFI board - crappy implementations aside.
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: gentoo computer hardware suggestions Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
The Gigbite board is great because the built in boot loader is more than good enough to replace grub or rEFInd so it gets UEFI booting without any extra layers to battle.

Not sure what you mean there, such is true for any UEFI board - crappy implementations aside.
I mean it isn't a crappy implementation. There are a fair number of boards with really poor characteristics that can make them almost unusable for that purpose. Gigabyte's implementation is just really nice so I thought I'd throw that in.
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to add that Asus' UEFI firmware is particularly good, as well. I just build my second Asus-based system and I really like the work they've done in the lower layers.
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Dale__
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again, but I still don't comphrehend the disk layouts

could someone please put in it code how I should layout a 256SSD and a 2TB HD?

is there any problems with AMD Radeon HDR9 270 graphics?

I'm not able to get bootloader information from where I am getting an integrated system www.qvc.com
does it really increase performance that well?
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale__ wrote:
Thanks again, but I still don't comphrehend the disk layouts

could someone please put in it code how I should layout a 256SSD and a 2TB HD?

is there any problems with AMD Radeon HDR9 270 graphics?

I'm not able to get bootloader information from where I am getting an integrated system
does it really increase performance that well?


Well, there is really no way you should do it. We all have our own opinions about it.

Partitions make the /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2, etc. and /dev/sdb1, /dev/sdb2, etc. that you would put in your fstab. The only thing that is different about 2 disks is that you have to partition twice, once for each disk. Once you have the partitions you want the size you want them you simply put them in /etc/fstab Here is an example from my system of how that looks
Code:
#ssd mount points
/dev/sda1      /boot      vfat      noauto,relatime,discard   1 2
/dev/sda2      /      ext4      defaults,relatime,discard      0 1
# harddrive mount points
/dev/sdb1      /home      ext4      noatime      0 2   
/dev/sdb2      /windowsvm   ext4      noatime      0 2   


The built in boot loader is going to be a gamble since no one really has information about that unless you ask someone who already has that hardware and can tell you. It doesn't really affect performance at all, except for maybe, maybe a second or so boot time.

What using it saves you is the complexity of dealing with a UEFI linux boot loader. These tend to be somewhat hard to configure, but also more flexible.

Really, as with almost all things Gentoo, this comes down to personal taste.

EDIT: added file system type for /home to ext4 as "noatime" doesn't make sense there. Thanks for the catch!
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Last edited by The Doctor on Fri May 29, 2015 4:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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cal22cal
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

/dev/sdb1 /home noatime 0 2
fs type ?
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again Doctor,

I'll have to do some studying, before I come back with what I think is my taste

going to have to make sure I thoroughly know parted, fstab, and mounting, etc., these may be more linux than gentoo questions as far as I know
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dale, if you don't know what filesystem you want, then you will be happy with any. Feel free to toss a die. It's not like you're getting married to your pick, don't worry about the divorce's cost.

Partitions: keep frequently accessed stuff on SSD. This means system's binaries and home. And put large files on HDD. It's perfect for media files like photos, music and video.
A more tricky setup (but perhaps easier to use) would be tiered storage, I think LVM can use one device as a cache for another. You are unlikely to kill that ssd anyway, so why not to take advantage of this?

One thing to be aware of with ssd: filesystem should be aligned to physical blocks. There will be a big performance penalty. At least if you are able to push your drives hard enough to notice it.
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all again,

should have searched the documentation first
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/SSD

similar to THe Doctor's reccomenations except they add a small swap

and covers aligning to physical blocks that szatox mentioned

don't know if I can have two swap partitions, one on the SSD and then the HD, the link puts a small swap
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can have multiple swap partitions. YOu can also use swap files. I don't know whether kernel prioritizes one over another in case of performance differences.
You can even go without swap at all if you have enough RAM. I suppose you will have enough RAM, it's reasonably cheap and linux is not THAT bloated yet.
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Dale__
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found out how to have two swap partitions

https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/SSD#Mounting

I found a post about swap files

https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-5099313.html

found a discussion on "file" versus "partition"

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/ubuntu-63/swap-file-vs-swap-partition-640713/

thanks
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Dale__
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

question about how SSD access works as opposed to HDD

if I put my swap and root on the SSD will it have the same defeat considerations as the same configuration on the HDD?

is SSD access like RAM where aqcessing the same disk won't matter?

right now I am considering

1) put grub,boot,root on SSD and swap,home on HDD

or

2) as (1) except put some swap on SSD

okay, another question, what about tempfs (/tmp,/var/tmp?) can I put that where I want and is there an ideal situation
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tmpfs is literally a RAM file system. It has no presence on any of your hard drives at all.

For example, here is what it looks like to make a tmpfs for /tmp in /etc/fstab
Code:
tmpfs         /tmp      tmpfs      noatime,noexec       0 0
As you can see, tmpfs literally replaces the drive location


On an SSD there is no seek so it is like RAM in that regard. It is slower than RAM because it isn't on the mother board.
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Dale__
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again Doctor,

is there an advantage to put tempfs in the /etc/fstab ?

my AMD handbook/wiki install does not have that
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the advantage is that it keeps the temp directories off the hard drive which improves performance, especially for compile times. There is a security benefit too as the RAM wipes itself on every reboot automatically.

The only draw back is you need to have enough RAM, probably about 8 GB. If you don't it will have to swap.
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

get at least 16GB ram. ECC-Ram.

And then forget swap.

Best thing you can do.
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have just checked the very first post in this topic again, and here are my second-thoughts
Quote:
my current system is an Intel Dual Core Celeron, 993MB RAM, 320GB HD, Intel onboard video

Dale, this doesn't look like you were doing very heavy number crunching. I'd basicaly just go for the cheapest stuff they have in store, it's going to be more than enough anyway.
And yes, definitely forget about SWAP. 1-1.5 GB RAM alone is enough for typical tasks without, even if thsoe typical tasks mean running firefox and xorg at the same time. Going pesymistic you might need 4 GB for some BDE (Bloated Desktop Environment ™). However, RAM is reasonably cheap so you can easily have 8GB and at this point there is simply no need for SSD. A cheap 3,5" HDD with 7,2k rpm will be fast enough not to bore you to death during boot* and that extra space in RAM will make a fine cache avoiding many of the reads you would have to wait otherwise.

* you're not bisecting kernel bugs, are you? Don't reboot. Suspend only takes a few seconds which takes out another disadvantage of HDD.
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor said:
Quote:
The only draw back is you need to have enough RAM, probably about 8 GB. If you don't it will have to swap.


Yes, I have an 8G RAM system and swap is only invoked on huge stuff like firefox. I recently upgraded another system from 2G to 4G and most builds have sped up also, but I agree that 8G or more is best. BTW, my problem with the second upgrade was that the mobo only had two slots, so I had to junk the RAM that was already there, else I would have had a 6G system.

The doctor said:
Quote:
My setup is about a year old. I have an I7 with aftermarket cooler, Gigibite mother board, 16 GiB of RAM, an 80 GiB SSD (Samsung, I think) and a 1TB mechanical drive, Asus blu-ray with Corsair power supply and case. This thing is rock solid and well cooled so I think it is a great setup.


I'm contemplating building my first Intel system since my old 486DX-100. The downfall of AMD is worthy of an entirely separate thread. My question is which board are you referring to? Gigabyte has such a blizzard of Z97 and H97 boards that it's hard to choose between them. Even requiring four memory slots gives 19 boards to choose from. I don't game so have no use for SLI but do want raw power for running math models and system builds. I'd love an i7, but as a pensioner on a fixed income, I'm looking at i5 or maybe even i3 with future upgrade when the i5 gets cheaper from obsolescence.
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony0945 wrote:
I'm contemplating building my first Intel system since my old 486DX-100. The downfall of AMD is worthy of an entirely separate thread. My question is which board are you referring to? Gigabyte has such a blizzard of Z97 and H97 boards that it's hard to choose between them. Even requiring four memory slots gives 19 boards to choose from. I don't game so have no use for SLI but do want raw power for running math models and system builds. I'd love an i7, but as a pensioner on a fixed income, I'm looking at i5 or maybe even i3 with future upgrade when the i5 gets cheaper from obsolescence.


It is a Z97X-UD3H. The reason I got that particular one has more to do with circumstances at Fry's than any technical merits. At the time, it was one of the few boards comparable with the newer i7s.
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