[mythtv-users] What's better? 2.4 GHz P4 mobo or Dual 1.1 GHz PIII mobo?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Tue Dec 26 17:37:27 UTC 2006

On Dec 26, 2006, at 8:59 AM, F Peeters (MythTV) wrote:

> Hi All,
> Assuming similar specs for the remainder, what would be better for  
> a new
> backend server?
> A new board (I'd have to purchase separately as my Intel D865GLC keeps
> switching off due to thermal events that aren't really there) with a
> single 2.4 GHz P4 or an existing dual 1.1 GHz PIII board?
> (The Dual PIII is a Abit-VP6; the P4 would have to be an ASRock  
> P4I65G, as
> no other Socket 478 boards are available here)
> Either way the server will have 1 GB RAM and a 640 GB MD-RAID5 array.
> In the near future I will add a PVR-500 to it.
> I now have a single FE/BE combo with a PVR-250 and 250 GB harddisk,  
> which
> will be rebuild to become a slave to the new server and use NFS for  
> data
> storage on the new backend.
> Aside from that, the server will also act as a fileserver and  
> mailserver
> (low volumes, about 500 mails a day)
> If possible, also tell me *why* it is (in your opinion(s)) the better
> choice...

Backend service doesn't require much CPU, assuming you are using  
hardware encoding like the PVRs. Commflagging and transcoding will  
take up some CPU, and if your RAID array is software it will chew up  
a little bit as well (I'm assuming that's what you mean by "MD").

Obviously any single-threaded process will run faster on the P4, and  
the advantages to be derived from the dual-CPU board would depend on  
being able to take advantage of the multiple cores, and would include  
your kernel, libraries etc. This is far from perfect today but will  
improve with time. Even if the CPU "sharing" was perfect though, the  
effective CPU speed would be slower on the dual PIIIs, not even  
counting the CPU architecture issues.

So by all counts the P4 board should be "better", plus it could be  
upgraded to a dual or even a quad core CPU later.

But the main thing is that you say you already have the dual-PIII  
board, and would have to buy the P4 one. Why not just try it and see  
if it meets your needs? If it does then the question of whether a new  
P4 board would be "better" is moot.

Always better to use what you have if you can, not just for monetary  
reasons but less stress on the planet etc. :-)

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