Hey everyone.  After my CPU fan (or was it the hard drive?) spent a
day or two screeching constantly at high frequencies (and volume), I
finally broke down and ordered a new PC.  The problem is what to
install on it.

The new system is a Dell Dimension 8300, w/P4 @ 3.0 Ghz, HT etc.  The
video card is a 128M NVidia GeForce, and I want to make sure the sound
works, which should be easy enough (SB Live! 5.1).  It's gonna be
strange after working for years on the same systems at 400-450 Mhz!

The real decision isn't whether to install FreeBSD (it *will* be
FreeBSD dedicated), but which version?

I want it to be reasonably stable, so CURRENT is probably out.  I'm
running RELENG_4_10 now, which I like just fine, but I'm not sure if
this will take advantage of the HT tech in the processor.
/usr/src/UPDATING has the following on the subject:

   Support for HyperThread logical CPUs has now been enabled by
   default.  As a result, the HTT kernel option no longer exists.
   Instead, the logical CPUs are always started so that they can
   handle interrupts.  However, the extra logical CPUs are prevented
   from executing user processes by default.  To enable the logical
   CPUs, change the value of the machdep.hlt_logical_cpus from 1 to
   0.  This value can also be set from the loader as a tunable of
   the same name.

I'm not an SMP guru (or even a novice) but that sounds like it will
take full advantage if I simply make the specified sysctrl
configuration change (finding the sysctrl documentation is tricky
enough in itself).

I know nobody is going to "guarantee" their answer to this one, but is
RELENG_5_2 reliable enough for a moderately loaded system?  If it is,
are the gains worth the supposedly lower stability?  Would I even
notice this, going from a 400Mhz to a 3.0Ghz?

I don't put much load on except when upgrading ports, munging photos,
etc, but I plan to do some Perl, C/C++ and Java/Tomcat/webapp
development on it in the near future, and I'd like to finally be able
to compile OpenOffice.org.  I may also take it for a test drive with a
game or two (particularly if I get wine working), which might push the
envelope a bit.

If 4.10 is the best route for now, what kind of pain factor will the
upgrade to 5.x be when the time comes?  I typically keep over 300
ports installed, so I expect that alone will be kinda ugly to work
with (See the corrolary to Murphy at the bottom).

Since I haven't got the system yet (about 10 days out), I'd like to
have an idea where to start *before* I get it - once I do, it will be
too late to plan, because I'll probably just stop thinking objectively
until I have it up and running.  Hence the need for a plan beforehand

Thanks in advance

Louis LeBlanc               [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Fully Funded Hobbyist, KeySlapper Extrordinaire :)
http://www.keyslapper.org                     ԿԬ

Interchangeable parts won't.
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