Louis LeBlanc <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> 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 think you'd be happier with 5 at this point.  Not -CURRENT, but the latest

You are going to have a few problems, depending on what you're doing.  For
example, I wanted to do C# development on FreeBSD, and was majorly bummed to
find that mono doesn't work on 5 ... seems to work OK on 4.

So you might just want to peruse the ports you want searching for BROKEN=
messages that refer to 5.x before taking that route.

I believe the upgrade path from 4 to 5 is more or less a reinstall at this
point ... but wiser folk may correct me on this if I'm wrong.

I ran 5 for quite a while on my 1G desktop machine, and the only frustration
I had was being unable to use mono.  Then my HDD went up in smoke, and when
I reinstalled, I put 4 on so I could do C# work ... then (following the
rules of Murphy) I got tied up in other things, and haven't done a damn thing
with C# yet ...

Anyway, 5 seemed (in my opinion) to perform just as well as 4 for a desktop
system, so I wouldn't worry about that at all.

> 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
> :)

Bill Moran
Potential Technologies
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