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General Chat Thread, SSD drives in education in General; If you're running Pentium Ds then the bottleneck will be the processor, won't it? Changing the hard drive to an ...
  1. #61

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    If you're running Pentium Ds then the bottleneck will be the processor, won't it? Changing the hard drive to an SSD will not solve the fundamental problem with those machines which is that their rather weedy processor can't cut the mustard.

    I can definitely see the benefit in this in some machines, I just can't see it with a Pentium D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatpackhamster View Post
    If you're running Pentium Ds then the bottleneck will be the processor, won't it? Changing the hard drive to an SSD will not solve the fundamental problem with those machines which is that their rather weedy processor can't cut the mustard.

    I can definitely see the benefit in this in some machines, I just can't see it with a Pentium D.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding you but Pentium D runs at anything from 2.8 GHz on an 800Mhz (or better) 64bit memory bus. That should be able to shift 5GBs which is way beyond the capabilities of (say) the SATA II bus at 3Gbs.

    We are buying SSD's to revitalise old machines. The biggest single benefit is the significantly faster boot up times. That alone makes a massive difference to the experience in the classroom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatpackhamster View Post
    If you're running Pentium Ds then the bottleneck will be the processor, won't it?
    Not in our experience....

    The bottleneck has always been the disk access.

    Just as an example I just tested loading up a word document. 14% cpu on our older pentium machines with SSD drives. Sims takes 24% at maximum load.

    EDIT: Just run a memory test as well on our 2gb Pcs. It never gets above 1.3gb of RAM for any task.

    Conclusion: SSD is by far and away the biggest improvement in PCs in a decade.
    Last edited by zag; 10th May 2012 at 02:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding you but Pentium D runs at anything from 2.8 GHz on an 800Mhz (or better) 64bit memory bus. That should be able to shift 5GBs which is way beyond the capabilities of (say) the SATA II bus at 3Gbs.

    We are buying SSD's to revitalise old machines. The biggest single benefit is the significantly faster boot up times. That alone makes a massive difference to the experience in the classroom.
    It's not just about shifting the data, but doing the required processing. The Pentium instruction set and archiecture was much more limited and inefficient at that point so while you will get a benifit from not having to wait for storage the CPU will still bind up when it hits 100% and it will hit this more oftern not having the storage system providing convenient delays. No one is saying that the SSDs are not going to make the Pentium D machines quicker but it may not be finantially worth the cost to upgrade them as opposed to putting that money towards something more modern. How much reliable life do they have left, how much extra power do they burn per hour incuring cost than something newer and how much extra usability are you going to get if it still binds up on the CPU or lack of RAM even with the upgrade. You also need to think about how long the upgrade will last, a year, two and how much slowdown the machine is likely to experience in that time. More software, more filthly inefficient javascript based stuff filtering through whichever web browsing attrocity is popular at the time. Will the rest of the hardware last that long or just start causing way more issues after 7 or so years of usage. Is it going to even break even given the increased power cost of running the older gear as opposed to the newer stuff when you include not only running it but also cooling it (suite AC).

    In the end you need to draw the line somewhere and Core2 Duo @>2GHz is that line for me.

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  6. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding you but Pentium D runs at anything from 2.8 GHz on an 800Mhz (or better) 64bit memory bus. That should be able to shift 5GBs which is way beyond the capabilities of (say) the SATA II bus at 3Gbs.

    We are buying SSD's to revitalise old machines. The biggest single benefit is the significantly faster boot up times. That alone makes a massive difference to the experience in the classroom.
    It's not the data throughput, it's the ability of the instruction set to handle the processor requirements of modern software. It isn't all loading and unloading files.

    I agree that SSDs are brilliant, but the Pentium D chipset (in my experience) stank. Stick an SSD on a machine running an Athlon64X2 or a Core 2 Duo and I think it's worthwhile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    No one is saying that the SSDs are not going to make the Pentium D machines quicker
    Well, err ... the actual question as stated : "If you're running Pentium Ds then the bottleneck will be the processor, won't it?". The answer to THAT question is the one I gave. I appreciate your clarification may have wanted me to answer a different one ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Well, err ... the actual question as stated : "If you're running Pentium Ds then the bottleneck will be the processor, won't it?". The answer to THAT question is the one I gave. I appreciate your clarification may have wanted me to answer a different one ...
    Comparing a single application being loaded at a single time is not a fair and accurate test - it is unrealistic when looking at real use of a machine.

    Go to any student machine and they'll have a browser open, word, powerpoint etc... Go to any admin machine, they'll have SIMS.net/Word/Outlook etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Well, err ... the actual question as stated : "If you're running Pentium Ds then the bottleneck will be the processor, won't it?". The answer to THAT question is the one I gave. I appreciate your clarification may have wanted me to answer a different one ...
    After the SSD upgrade the bottleneck most likely to occour would be CPU bound, before the upgrade it would most likely be the storage system. Thing is it will still bind at certain points just less often so an SSD won't get rid of all performance issues as some will be the CPU rather than the storage subsystem let alone the other issues that were in the post above. Just trying to point out that they are not a solution to everything and not the answer to every sitiation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Comparing a single application being loaded at a single time is not a fair and accurate test - it is unrealistic when looking at real use of a machine.

    Go to any student machine and they'll have a browser open, word, powerpoint etc... Go to any admin machine, they'll have SIMS.net/Word/Outlook etc...
    I tend to answer questions as they are put, rather than the ones I would like to have been put, ones I think should have been put or just randomly splurging 'answers' that bear no relation to the question. I do of course apologise for misleading anyone by actually addressing the question that was written.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I tend to answer questions as they are put, rather than the ones I would like to have been put, ones I think should have been put or just randomly splurging 'answers' that bear no relation to the question. I do of course apologise for misleading anyone by actually addressing the question that was written.
    That, to be blunt, is a trolling answer. You provided a bare minimum response about something which is a more complex issue and you know it. It would be like answering 'what caused the building to burn down?' with 'fire'...

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazzy2501 View Post
    G630 with a 64GB SSD (Kingston)
    As others have said, go with Intel or Crucial for SSDs. They are both safe bets.

    The problem with Kingston is that they produce both good and bad SSDs. You could end up with a lemon, unless you know in advance which model of SSD you are getting.

    For example, the 64GB V200 gets very bad reviews due to the horrendously slow write speeds, as does the V100 which has a crappy JMicron controller. The V+100 on the other hand is quite a good choice (particularly for XP PCs), although it is not as good as the current generation of SSDs.
    Last edited by Arthur; 10th May 2012 at 02:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    That, to be blunt, is a trolling answer. You provided a bare minimum response about something which is a more complex issue and you know it. It would be like answering 'what caused the building to burn down?' with 'fire'...
    The question was : "If you're running Pentium Ds then the bottleneck will be the processor, won't it?"

    In normal use, your average user is unlikely to be making anything like full use of the processor for any amount of time. When they do, the bursts will be so short that they will not even be aware of a pause. A pentium D is after all capable of chewing through several thousands of millions of instructions every second. More modern machines might be faster but the difference in user experience between an EDI executing in 5 pico seconds as opposed to 2 pico seconds, is ... to the average man in the street, not actually noticeable (although I appreciate some here will be most vexed by such pauses).

    The question was followed up with : "Changing the hard drive to an SSD will not solve the fundamental problem with those machines which is that their rather weedy processor can't cut the mustard. "

    The question might be cut the mustard for what? I use a Pentium D as a CAD/CAM machine in my workshop. The CAD involves some 3D work as well as 2D graphics (tracing outlines or processing photos to lithographs). I do that at the same time as the PC is happily driving a CNC router at 8000mm/min and <gasp> I sometimes even load up web pages when I need to look up some important fact like cutting speeds for Polycarbonate. The *noticable* pauses are when I load up a big file - because that is when I do actually hit a real bottleneck which I can measure on my fingers and thumbs.

    So, IMO, saying that the 'bottleneck' in a Pentium D will be the processor and implying that the user experience won't be improved by an SSD is just wrong. Arguing anything else IS pedantic at best or trolling at worst.

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  15. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    The question was : "If you're running Pentium Ds then the bottleneck will be the processor, won't it?"

    In normal use, your average user is unlikely to be making anything like full use of the processor for any amount of time. When they do, the bursts will be so short that they will not even be aware of a pause. A pentium D is after all capable of chewing through several thousands of millions of instructions every second. More modern machines might be faster but the difference in user experience between an EDI executing in 5 pico seconds as opposed to 2 pico seconds, is ... to the average man in the street, not actually noticeable (although I appreciate some here will be most vexed by such pauses).

    The question was followed up with : "Changing the hard drive to an SSD will not solve the fundamental problem with those machines which is that their rather weedy processor can't cut the mustard. "

    The question might be cut the mustard for what? I use a Pentium D as a CAD/CAM machine in my workshop. The CAD involves some 3D work as well as 2D graphics (tracing outlines or processing photos to lithographs). I do that at the same time as the PC is happily driving a CNC router at 8000mm/min and <gasp> I sometimes even load up web pages when I need to look up some important fact like cutting speeds for Polycarbonate. The *noticable* pauses are when I load up a big file - because that is when I do actually hit a real bottleneck which I can measure on my fingers and thumbs.

    So, IMO, saying that the 'bottleneck' in a Pentium D will be the processor and implying that the user experience won't be improved by an SSD is just wrong. Arguing anything else IS pedantic at best or trolling at worst.
    Um, that is a poor example, a physical machine is comparitivly slow compared to a CPU and we have no idea how the driver and applications handle the instruction queue. As I said above, it will make it faster but there will still be bottlenecks. As someone else said above it is usual for Word, IE with a dozen tabs and some other apps to be open in the background. All it needs is one dodgy app like flash to peg the CPU and drag performance down for much more than a few picoseconds or some dodgey javascript in IE or Firefox and that is today. Who knows what a world full of barely competent web devs will churn out in the next couple of years.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 10th May 2012 at 03:19 PM.

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    Won't the graphics card be handling the 3D and 2D work in CAD? And I wasn't aware that processor speed was a factor in CNC cutting speed.

    You live and learn, I guess.

  17. #75


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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Um, that is a poor example, a physical machine is comparitivly slow compared to a CPU
    What - you mean a physical machine like a Hard Disc?? So replacing a physical machine like an HD with a solid state ..

    oh nevermind - I give up.

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