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

F Peeters (MythTV) francesco at fampeeters.com
Tue Dec 26 18:33:38 UTC 2006

On Tue, December 26, 2006 18:37, Brian Wood wrote:
> 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").

Yes, I did mean mdraid RAID5...  ;-)

> 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.
I realize that... But when I add a PVR500, I can potentially have 3
concurrent recordings, and thus 3 concurrent comflaggings... I assume (and
please somebody correct me if I am wrong) that those separate comflaggings
would be divided over the processors

> 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.

Negative on that... I have a 2.4 GHz P4 processor on Socket 478, and do
not have funds right now for both a new mobo *and* a new processor... I
got the Intel D865GLC board for free... I guess I know why now...  ;-)

> 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.

True enough, however the Intel board had built in SATA interfaces aside
from the PATA... So I could have 6 devices connected. The Dual PIII
doesn't have SATA, so I'd have to buy a SATA card... But future RAID
enhancements would be SATA anyway, so that card probably would be useful
even if I had to get a new board with built in SATA later on...

The only fear I have is that I will not be able to get Socket 478 boards
at all any more...
> Always better to use what you have if you can, not just for monetary
> reasons but less stress on the planet etc. :-)

I agree with that...  ;-)

F Peeters
  PC-Chips M863G Geode - NVidia 440 - Hauppauge PVR250
  Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) - XFCE - MythTV 0.20 - Xine
  Panasonic NV-VHD1 VCR/DVD player case modded to fit it all in...

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