Theo Verelst Local Diary Page 100

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Dec 28, 01:16, 2010

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Snow, ice

Nice view, ain't it:

The big plant appears to have bowed down because of the weight of the snow.

Server broken ?!

The old server motherboard probably didn't make it througha series of restarts and installs because a fan on some chip on it had broken, and wasn't accurately put on a flow of air I had improvised from a spare fan, at least that would appear to be the reason it's broken.

This happened, and the fast notebook, after 4 years or so of farily intinsive use, including graphics and HD TV watching for hours, doesn't start except from low quality graphics mode anymore.

I put another machine, the one wit (HD!) sat receiver and TV digitizer, also years in fairly intensive use, to work as a server AND HD sat viewer, put in an extra fan, vacuum cleaned it, heatsink cleaned it  and investigaed (and talked about the price) what to do.


New I7 machine, fast...

Most likely you're viewing this page being served from the machine! The wiki is faster and possibly some page loading too, and it doesn't get more hot. It hardly works for the internet serving and even watching HD makes it not use more power than the old server which was based on a 3.3GHz Athlon 64.

This is what has come into being, after searching the internet for 4 seperate low price supplier of quite interesting computer parts, using the old (ATX) enclosure and the (already years in use with the previous server) existing 450Watt supply unit (atx 2.01), and a pretty cheap (about 50 euro) new WD Caviar green 1 Tera Byte sata disk I had already gotten:

A fanless (quiet!) zodiac NVidia 930 double precision Cuda (Fermi) capable graphics card, a I7 -950 (1366 pins, high bandwith, over 3GHz clock), a Asus X58D-E mother board with fanless chip cooling (!...) tripple channel memory and good tripple PCIe 2.0 connectors, and some normal PCIs, builtin high speed Usb-3 and 6gigb/s sata raid connectors (not used by me), as well as HD audio chip (which sound great, contrary to any other computer audio thus far), and triple channel 1300 MHz 7-7-7-20 Ocz memory modules with integrated heatsinks and platinum contacts (for heat flow issues).

Strangely enough even the disk light and power and reset still work in the enclosure, and the graphics card drives a 10 meter hdmi cable with no problems.

I put on Fedora 14 (will be a 64 bit version soon) with gnome desktop, coming from the "install to hard disc" option from a cheap usb stick on which I put a fedora 14 "live" version before I got the parts, which starts up nicely when used as a boot device.

The I7 when used at the correct memory speed and latency (what does "turn around time" mean in the Bios ?) and little higher than needed uncore clock, and the Intel-turbo and autonatic voltage and speed control of the asus board working is without a doubt blazing fast (except for the "extreme" and posssibly some specific use of a Xeon or so probably amoung the fastest pricessors in the current world), and luckily it isn't normally as power greedy as I'd anticipated: about a hundred wattts for the whole system at nominal speed with disc and periphirals on when almost idle is not bad, in fact a bit less than the previous Athlon 64 based system. With the processor going fast, overclocling memory to 1600MHz and the bus to 3333Mhz or so, and the graphics card working hard (its a not beastly version limited to about 50W), the power can go over 200W at least (I have to note the powermeter isn't always reliable with computer switched supplies on it) and easily 170 W, which is still less than the Pentium-D 3Ghz media machine does...

I got the nice Gnome sensor applets running telling the processor core/thread speed amd the graphics card, processor, and mobo temperature, the RPM of the processor fan, the core voltage, and the measured supply voltages. All appears cool after some days continuous use. Watching HD with VDPAU and heavy (nice !) 1920x1080 video filtering makes the graphics card with just a big heatsink warm upt to 75 or so degrees, and depending on memory clocking and utilisation, the processor at least was 50 so much degrees, but doing nothing heave like now typing a page and the server runnign adn some webbroswer and so on, the graphics card is 37 degrees (Celcius) and mobo and processor 40 degrees, and fan only 1270 RPM (Supply with big fan has no rpm sensor connected). I didn't get under 90w.

Honestly, it's not easy to really drive to processor to feel called upon to work at much of its real potential, the main things to get it going were the equinox 3d ray tracer and a quite rapid gaussian 32 bit float per component (!) image filtering. Even openGL (i7) rendering of h264 HD film didn;t really seem to make it roar it's engine, and I'm not quite sure mplayer uses to main HD or so type of accelerator (or is that SSE3?)!


Fedora 14 on i7

computed with actual double precision (64 bit) parallel cuda processing but the above is on the 32 Linux version, for which some cuda examples don't run the 64 bit Fermi (Cuda dompute 2.1 capability) parallel computations which are quite a bit faster than the already fast simulated ones.

Giga ether

3d blues

New OS for the Kurzweil PC3 synthesizer

   Version 2.0 is on my machine, with my sounds.

Improvements, but I need to reedit my souns from previous os.

After a little tryping out, I the sounds are better in general, with some more space for the good type of digital tuning but some are a bit high filtered, and I'd say only about 10 percent of the potential is used,  and my sounds (sepecially the ones I made available for downloads) sound worked on, and throttled, and it seems they lost track always long before I was done with my final edits on them, and like they who made the changes to the engine don't like it, and even have thoughts about talking back over spectrograms they can't handle and such. What a mess.

I did try out the loading of some of the files from the Kurzweil site for for  instance the K2600. They load fine, and honestly more than  a few of the sounds, even with no sampling possibliity on the PC3, sound quite ok and very usable  and the impression most of them give is that those programmers sure knew what they were doing and that that works to an extend great on the PC3 architecture.

I'll have to tune my sounds of which some can sound pretty good and varied, but I don't know when and how much I feel like that.

The definitive new Fedora 14/64bit server based on the I7 machine

That's running now, probably where you read this page from..

Not everything works easily, but knowing some things the whole installation including wiki, including making a disk partition for booting the Fedora installer doing an internet install (without using DVD or Usb disk installation media) web server and web browsers, and some more software via yum the fedora installers could be done in an hour or so, including the downloads on a fast DASL connection (the one I use is about 8 megabit/s effective) assuming the web server files and the home dir with the browser and email sertting already in.

Finding it all out takes a little longer of course...

I had the server machine hardwarewise running a couple of hours after the packages came in via the mail: 4 nice boxes from different suppliers, all arriving after one night, most of them traceable over the internet, and the bootable 2GB Usb stick I had prepared with Fedora 14 live image on it ran immedately without real problems.

The packages contained:

  I7 from zercom       € 250   parcel service € 5,95

    Asus P6X58D-E iX58, SATA600 RAID, USB3.0 from 4Launch  € 199,0     parcel service € 0,00

   Zotac NVidia GF108 Fermi PCIe GT430 1GB "Zone"  Take it Now    € 94,90 parcel service  € 0,00
   OCZ  DDR3 PC3-10666 Platinum Low-Voltage Triple Ch. 3GB 1.333 GHz (7-7-7-20)  from Data Byte Shop     € 68,53  sending € 5,-

All was picked for and indeed arrived in one day, from the same mail company.

I had already:

Luckily the software is all free (in important but pro bably not yet all interpretations of the word, like free beer and so on) and includes:


Overclocking ?

Uuuuhm, well at the moment the BIOS settings are quite like how I started them: almost everything on "auto" about voltages, frequencies and multiplier factors, and even tranmission properties. I tried the official memory settings (1333 MHz, 7-7-7-20 latency), even a faster setting (1600, 9-9-9-24, I don't know if the latency should scale, but I suppose so) explicit XMOP (or whatever the right acronym is), various Quick PointToPoint Link settings (left it at the max: 6400MB/s), fan settings preferably "medium" colling program (some settings it gets stuck at 2000 RPM, bit noisy setting) and I experimented and looked up some other settings (and of course set the disk and boot parameters).

In the end, only automatic setting thus far gives normal enough behviour, and the whole doesn't respond right to setting the ram faster without setting more parameters, and I didn't yet to manually setting the bus voltages and such, because when used wrong, these could absolutely break (for my current life) expensive parts like the I7. I would like to use the memory are 1.6 GHz though, and the core probably *can* run even over 4GHz even with the standard cooler, which for peak-capacity challenging too...

All the meters oof the linux sensors package thus far appear to work reliable: evey two seconds I get most the important measurements updated on top of the screen, and at night  I fix theprocessor speeds at the  lowers setting, so even full use of all the cores by the web server doesn't take too much power or heat.

As it is, the machine can be heavily mulit-threading transcoding h264 to .mks format at 6 frames per second while playing HD video with software decoding from schroedinger (Dirac, the BBC wavelett codec) with graphics card acceleration for image improvements (VDPAU flter), and meanwhile run a webbrowser and let Google-Earth run into swap space (there's 16 Gig of that and 3 Gig of main mem) while downloading a megabyte per second sustained with the webserver running in the meanwhile, without any problems of doing that quite a while. Powe use? About 215 watts in that case.

Is it possible to get close to the real power of the machine's processor anyhow? Besides the above test, the equinox3d program for 3D graphics rendering has a software ray-tracer next to a "normal" opengl accelerated pipeline and a great Cg based frame-rate renderer which can draw a lot of the juice from the 8 I7 threads simultaneously. and get a very fast image with radiosity (even scientifically tested) and ray tracing effects as such:

Probably under a minute rendering.

There are NVidia opverclocl utilities I can yum-in, I didn't try, and the fanless card might not be the most excellent candidate for that... In this case the adaptive clocking taking the used power down during server-olny operation is more interesting me.

The Fermi doubl-precision computation power is pretty cool though, if the nbody Cuda-64 example doesn't lie, it gets a whopping enough

   > 12 Giga Double precision-Floating point computations per second

out of the cuda machinery, sustained and measured in practice that is. Should be cool for accurate audio, too.

Can the ultimate suffer more accessories?

This a great possibility of the still not expensive kind:
  from Mycom: € 192,-
about 500 Megabyte per second fills a PCIexpress slot nicely with .1 ms latency,  only 50GigaByte makes it affordable for storing frames and playing like 16 bits per RGBA component back over opengl or so. Are there already SSE4 programs ? The gnu compiler seems to support them (like max computations for HD).

  from Mycom € 110,-
60 GB almost 300MB/s transfer speed (minus maybe some more) good for frames and Linux-/Gigasampler sample files and possibly startup executables and/or web pages and scripts to put the main disk in standby during the night and "server only" hours.

An extreme I7 of higher frequency and 1.5 more cores wouldn't be bad.

Of course with a 1000 Watt supply (which the motheboard supports) tripple SLI graphics cards with even heavier processors wouldn't be bad experiment!

Two (or even 4 if that's possible) Western Digital Caviar drives in RAID fashion, a 1.5 Terabyte one costs only about 70 euro a piece. Are there already Sata 6Mb/sec drives of some kind ?

A bluray reader or burner, there appear to be Linux possibiities to write discs  and at least some amount of Linux Mplayer playing of Blurays is possible.

Sat receiver for S2 type signals (exists and no too expensive but I'm not sure Linux support) , I have already a "normal" HD sat machine, but the card is probably a special type of PCI card.

A UPS could be cool, though recently the (previous) server could run for months (without a restart except for the X server) without problems.

An extra case fan is needed for heavy graphics/Cuda and some motherboard cooling and in the long run keeping the disk cool for certain maybe. and some 3.5 mm (mini) jack to 1/4" jack would be nice to use the inputs and outputs of the graphics card.

Aes meeting

I was here: 'Luidheidsnormalisatie volgens EBU R128'
Eelco Grim - Richard van Everdingen

I think the subject was covered alread in the 50s,

but I suppose the observed loudness differences in the cable TV area speak about some serious matters.

My reading materials

nice shape. Can I go US though ?

A digitizer on Linux

I finally got the Aiptec digitizer tablet from Conrad from years ago working in pressure sensitive mode, except the nicest brusing program *with* 16 or more bits per RGB component doesn't work at all on 64 bit Fedora.

I wouldn't call it an abstract work much (I can know, I did more than a few years of art academy drawing practice), more like trying out the various effects on GIMP (which works reliable, except mouse + digitizer is sometimes hard):

With some processing and more scetchy stripes this small image (really, sometimes I don't work in HD..) it turned to this:

I can't help feeling like with sytnhesizers, digitizer tablets are mofo-ed too to behave not faster and more free than necessary for some poeples' needs.

"You have to believe we are magic"
I don't care what I've been told. Eskimo pussy.. etc.