Opinion request about a file server

Wojciech Puchar wojtek at wojtek.tensor.gdynia.pl
Fri Jun 5 20:48:43 UTC 2009

> Sorry - it wasn't really intended that way. Please note that "slightly
> downlevel..." was meant to refer to a combination of older Netburst
> architecture and consumer retail motherboard.
> The Core Xeons that replaced the old Netburst processors are much better
> performers. In a true datacenter server environment wrt file serving it is

indeed. pentium IV in average usage (contrary to special cases like video 
encoding) are even 40% slower per clock cycle than pentium III.

new core2duo are mostly improved pentium III with higher clock and more 
cache :)

> better to spend money on I/O rather than CPU. A server motherboard (as
> opposed to consumer retail) will have better I/O subsystems, enabling better
> throughput.

indeed. in most unix usage patterns it's more important than CPU speed.

>> with proper configuration it rarely swaps, and can easily saturate
>> 100Mbit/s LAN, just not with single transfer, but it's not hardware
>> problem, but windows problem :)
> At some point (when I went to a DSL broadband connection) I replaced the
> above box with a K-6 II 500MHz with 384MB RAM. Same collection of multiple

somehow comparable to my config with sligtly slower CPU, would perform 
similar in my case.

> services. This box was previously utilized for beta testing Windows NT 3.5,
> 3.51, and NT 4. So I was able to make a direct comparison between running
> Windows NT and FreeBSD on the exact same piece of hardware. FreeBSD simply

there is no sense of any comparision ;)

> just made better use of the hardware and outperformed NT. In order to match
> what FreeBSD was capable of NT would require a more powerful hardware
> platform.

No. it can't do most things that unix is capable of, unless you install 
cygwin ;)

> will work just fine for what he and his 4 users have in mind for their
> needs. I believe the performance characteristics of FreeBSD will maximize
> his return on CPU cycles.

my home laptop (PIII-M/1133) is rarely limited by CPU power.

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