[AG-TECH] Display machine specs

Robert Olson olson at mcs.anl.gov
Thu Sep 27 21:54:29 CDT 2001

My speculation on this based on some experiments I did earlier (also based 
on the positive effects that playing with PCI burst-size settings in the 
BIOS) is that there are issues with bus contention or allocation of 
resources, either within the PCI bus itself or in the management of the 
chipset memory/PCI/CPU transport resources. If anyone is deeply familiar 
with how these architectures work I'd love to have a chat (anyone doing 
architecture work at one of your universities??)


At 04:47 PM 9/27/2001 -0500, Gary Refka wrote:
>We've just completed a test using Dell Precision 330 workstations on just
>that subject.  Unfortunately it didn't work very well, the 330s bombed.  I
>don't think it was the processor speed but a Pentium 4 issue.  It seems to
>have trouble dealing with the AG video streams and you see large spikes in
>the processor and has been noted on the AG-TECH pages before.  We were
>seeing four video stream, just us parked in a room, running about 20-30% cpu
>utilization and then spikes up to 60-70% utilization.  This isn't a big
>problem with a low number of streams, but when you get to around 16 heavy
>streams (200-600kbs) the processor is already running 70-90% and the spikes
>take it over and things crash.  If you have some of the streams in large
>mode, things bomb after about 4 streams.
>We've also run some sessions on boxes with single 833mhz Pentium III and did
>not have these problems.  You can actually run more sessions on those than
>with the P4 1.4 and 1.8 Ghz machines so the problem seems to be more of a
>type of processor issue rather than a number of processors.  You're initial
>idea is sound just stay away from P4s.
>Gary A. Refka
>Senior Sales Engineer
>INSORS Integrated Communications, Inc.
>111 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1412
>Chicago, IL 60604
>Email: grefka at insors.com
>On the Web: www.insors.com
>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov [mailto:owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov]On
>Behalf Of John A. Greenfield
>Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2001 12:41 PM
>To: ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
>Subject: [AG-TECH] Display machine specs
>Has anybody looked at using a single processor Pentium4 instead of a dual
>processor for a display machine? The way the prices are right now, it is
>possible to get a 1.7 or 1.8 GHz Pentium4 system for significantly less
>money than a dual 866MHz PentiumIII system. It would seem that at 1.7GHz
>a single processor system would probably be more than adequate. Any
>John Greenfield
>green at ahpcc.unm.edu
>University of New Mexico
>Office # 505-277-8249
>Direct # 505-277-9545
>Fax #    505-277-8235

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