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Old 06-08-2005, 10:19 AM   #1
bomix
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Question Pentium-M and Linux. Performance ok?


According to this 6-months-old article on Anandtech:
http://www.anandtech.com/linux/showdoc.aspx?i=2308
there are some compiler-optimization issues with Pentium-M and GCC 3.4.x.

Is this still a problem?

I plan to use the processor in a "personal" server, so low power consumption is a priority. But if I get all kinds of other problems with rpm's and stuff, I'll find an ordinary i686 processor (and get a bigger electric bill...).
 
Old 06-08-2005, 10:24 AM   #2
TomalakBORG
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I have been using slackware on a dell c400 laptop, pentium IIIm, no probs wth gcc 3.3. Give it a shot, if not there's always windows...
 
Old 06-08-2005, 11:19 AM   #3
bomix
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Quote:
Originally posted by TomalakBORG
...if not there's always windows...
No no no no no no... Windows is not an option.
I used to have Windows on a server. It couldn't run for more than a couple of days before it needed to be rebooted. I grew tired of that. Now with 6 months of Linux-experience, I'm not turning back...

I know the Pentium-M can run ordinary i686 linux code, but if the compiled code doesn't have the Pentium-M specific compiler-optimizations, then I think my performance/power-consumption/price trade-off turns in favor of an Athlon64 (with a somewhat bigger electric bill). I mean... The Pentium-M is not exactly cheap...
 
Old 06-08-2005, 01:02 PM   #4
TomalakBORG
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Right, thanks for the reality check there.

I will never think of windows again
I will never think of windows again
I will never think of windows again
I will never think of windows again
I will never thi....

I forgot, linux for servers where stability is life. Good luck, -Bill
 
Old 06-08-2005, 04:23 PM   #5
Electro
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Asus has a 478 to 479 socket converter but it is only compatible with a few motherboard models. You can use the advantage of dual channel memory of 865 or 875 chipset and a Pentium-M processor. Tom's Hardware has a review of this setup.

http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20050525/index.html

Anandtech mention that the DFI motherboard had some glitches with the IDE controller, so most test should not be looked at.

You can use Gentoo, but it will take a long, long time to compile everything for a server.
 
Old 06-08-2005, 05:29 PM   #6
bomix
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The CT-479 converter does indeed look very interesting... It would have been my choice of "platform" had I chosen a Pentium-M.
But if GCC can't compile things with the proper Pentium-M optimizations then there's not a much of a point in using an expensive Pentium-M with linux. Unfortunately...

And there doesn't seem to be anything in the new GCC 4.x to improve on the Pentium-M situation. So I think I'll go for an Athlon64 instead... It does use a little more power, but you'll get full value for your money, which you wouldn't with a Pentium-M. You should also consider that the price difference for equivalent processors actually pays the extra electric bill for the Athlon64 for quite a while. Loosely calculated it will take a Pentium-M server more than a year to "catch up" with an Athlon64 server and produce a lower Total Cost of Ownership (based on the price for electricity in Denmark and max power-consumptions of 67 watt and 21 watt for the Athlon64 and Pentium-M).
 
Old 06-08-2005, 09:51 PM   #7
Electro
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You could get an Transmeta Efficeon mini-itx board. The processor consumes about 7 watts. You can make a four computer cluster and still be under power consumption of one Pentium-M processor.

You are using Fedora. Why you care that the code will be optimized. All RPM files comes i686. Of course there is Athlon version, but not for all RPM files. If you care for optimizing the code, use Gentoo and add a long CFLAG before compiling the programs. Adding pentium-m to the march is for lazy people. Usually, the optimizations do not work for each system.

I do not know why you care for performance becuse its going to be used as a personal server.
 
Old 06-09-2005, 02:09 AM   #8
bomix
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Quote:
Originally posted by Electro
I do not know why you care for performance becuse its going to be used as a personal server. [/B]
You're right, I don't actually need a whole lot of number-crunching power. It's just that the Pentium-M is kinda expensive, and I'd feel like flushing money down the toilet if I couldn't use all of its goodies. I'd like at least to be able to use all of its potential...

Quote:
Originally posted by Electro
If you care for optimizing the code, use Gentoo and add a long CFLAG before compiling the programs. Adding pentium-m to the march is for lazy people. Usually, the optimizations do not work for each system.
You are using Fedora. Why you care that the code will be optimized. [/B]
Of course, I would have had to switch to something like Gentoo with a Pentium-M. It would have been a challenge, but other people seem to manage so I'm sure I would have been able to manage also...
 
  


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