Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop
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  1. #1
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    Cool Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    HI All

    Well, for years I struggled with a 2009 system, ddr2 and saved some of the discretionary money to buy/build my 8 core Ryzen 2700x. Joy at having it do it's first boot.
    Anger at having so many motherboard bios issues. Thanks to Antikythera, Ocratato,Robert, Bob, Maryyy and others,, my system is functioning well.

    a) Here are some things I noticed with my ASUS x470-prime motherboard. The system appears to do a double boot at each reboot. The first boot appears to be for the firmware, the second for the AMD system. It should only do a double boot on power-on or if the bios was modified before the reboot. Why does the system have to retest the ram or peripherals on a reboot?

    b) Boot elapsed time takes 25 seconds, including the 3 second bios delay, allowing for the possible delete key or F2 press. Then there is the few seconds delay by grub. All-in-all, some 30 seconds of time that should only be about 5 seconds.

    c) Running a distro installation or running dnf or running most other Linux software using a powerful system is to discover that the mentioned programs run as a single thread application. Seven cpus remain basically idle. There is virtually no boot time improvement or system speed up in having 8 cores over 2 or 4 cores. The octocore system is limited to RAM and SSD speed and the single threaded applications. While my desktop has been upgraded from 2 core 800mhz to 8 core 3000mhz, the internet connection has not improved any. On the plus side, I can do mulitple downloads in the background while using the system in the foreground.

    d) I noted that rsync will try to consume as much ram as is available. Running rync for backup (internal SSD to SSD) uses as much ram as is available (almost 15gigs worth). Linux needs a new "job" facility to limit an application's use of ram, say to not more than half the amount available. I don't mind rsync or some other apps would be limited to using 8gigs of ram but consuming 15gigs was too much. I found no way to make rsync sociable.
    e) Open contribution versus Fedora. While we like the fact that Fedora is open-source, it is not a community system. Users are there to read about the next release, without being able to contribute to it. I much enjoy two other distributions where end-users and competition drive the development forward. I am quite satisfied with two different competing rolling releases of Linux. These Linux systems appear to have more end-user innovation and participation in testing and bug fixing, than with the closed systems. In the first case, trouble shooting and bug fixing is done by volunteers, in the latter, it is a paid function.

    By the way, system security has forced major changes to the gcc and clang compilers and libraries. From what I misunderstand, what was shareable segments are now discrete segments. Intersegment Isolation blocks a hacker from accessing one and roaming around to the other, Security concerns fatten up final module sizes. One example of fattening, I have one application that I wrote that would, with gcc-7, come in at 39k bytes. With the current gcc-8.x its up to 48k. Looking at the object file sizes does not show much change. Its the linked in libraries that give rise to the bloat.

    I have been testing Fedora 30 for the past few days. Its got a few teething problems, and these will be fixed before long. It is really looking good. I much like the improvement to the night-light tinting application. With Fedora 29, my screen went too yellow at sundown. Now, I can adjust the amount of yellow tinting. This is a plus.
    On the negative side, most of my favourite gnome extensions no longer work.
    Last edited by lsatenstein; 15th March 2019 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Minor correction in explanation about bloat.
    Leslie in Montreal

    Interesting web sites list
    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...40#post1697840

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by lsatenstein
    HI All

    Well, for years I struggled with a 2009 system, ddr2 and saved some of the discretionary money to buy/build my 8 core Ryzen 2700x. Joy at having it do it's first boot.
    Anger at having so many motherboard bios issues. Thanks to Antikythera, Ocratato,Robert, Bob, Maryyy and others,, my system is functioning well.

    a) Here are some things I noticed with my ASUS x470-prime motherboard. The system appears to do a double boot at each reboot. The first boot appears to be for the firmware, the second for the AMD system. It should only do a double boot on power-on or if the bios was modified before the reboot. Why does the system have to retest the ram or peripherals on a reboot?
    There's something configured wrong then or you have a friday afternoon motherboard. It should only do a double cycle due to bad timing or voltage setting normally. It's re-testing for stability so if the XMP values aren't working for your RAM enter them manually. Don't under or over volt it and if you have overclocked the frequency reduce it to the values the manufacturer publish for it.

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    I suspect that the main purpose of multi-core CPUs is to run several virtual machines at once.

    Writing multi-threaded programs is "interesting" in the Chinese curse sense of the word.
    It is all too easy to create race conditions where the code works as expected 99 times out of 100, but occasionally goes awry.
    I found that I had to run a lot of my test cases in a loop of a thousand iterations to trigger some failures.
    Then there are things that are just annoyingly difficult - like calling fork() in a multi-threaded program. The usual advice is "DON'T !"

    Hence, for some applications, such as video editing or complex image processing, the benefits of multi-threading outweigh the problems. For other applications all we would end up with is a reduction in reliability.

    Note: The next version of my VICI program will have more support for writing multi-threaded scripts.

    User error. Please replace user and try again

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Well, the biggest benefit of more cores (or threads for that matter) is more single threaded apps simultaneously, not necessarily VMs. It's also partially the reason why Intel is still a better sold CPU manufacturer, as its IPC ratio is still the best.
    You know, for my day to day usage, I can perfectly live with a 2C - 4T CPU, it's just that there are times when I can appreciate more, but not so much.
    It's the biggest problem of HW, looking at it from that perspective. One either has an overkill, which mostly sits unused, or an underpowered system that can barely fulfill day to day tasks.
    We really need something much more flexible in this regard. And current trend is not going to be the way. It's one of the reasons I don't invest much in HW in general, basically no point.
    Well, we can get to the fact that all of the manufacturers' existence is based on income and what people demand they produce . So stop demanding so much, including crappy games that need even crappier GPUs and we will slowly get on track of something really new.

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Well, we can get to the fact that all of the manufacturers' existence is based on income and what people demand they produce . So stop demanding so much, including crappy games that need even crappier GPUs and we will slowly get on track of something really new.
    Unfortunately the big money is in server farms. Our requirements are probably just a rounding error.

    User error. Please replace user and try again

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by ocratato
    Unfortunately the big money is in server farms. Our requirements are probably just a rounding error.
    Hi Ocratato,
    My wife says that my waist is a rounding error. Snackng and too much time before the keyboard, and not enough walking, doing chores such as, painting, shopping, repairing, carpentry and responding to her priority needs. But she does not mind my healthy "Linux" obsession, as she knows where I am when she needs me.
    Leslie in Montreal

    Interesting web sites list
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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Long BIOS boot isn't just with ASUS. My Gigabyte boards do the same thing. Ironic the faster the machine the slower the BIOS boots.... I guess I really don't care as I power down/reboot rarely. Oh, I 'barely' have time to read the BIOS keys (DEL, etc.) before it jumps to OS... That delay is at least short.

    I monitored memory usage during my rsync sessions just awhile back and I didn't see it gobble a bunch of memory as I was expecting. I have 1.7T of data that is checked and moved. Using Ubuntu though, but app should be the same. Rsync is all I use for my backups.

    As for Cores/threads, the more the better. When I run htop, there is a lot of processes out there running. When you bring up Firefox you see a lot of new processes/threads pop up. Again nice to see them spread out over the 6 Core/12 threads of my 2600.... When I run apt update/upgrade you see all the CPU threads come to life. Again spreading the workload around. No, more cores is a 'good' thing.... Even though you don't use them to their full potential. It makes for a nice 'smooth' running system. Those 'single' threaded applications, don't have to be 'interrupted' as often to handle other tasks/applications. Win Win.
    Last edited by rclark; 15th March 2019 at 06:33 PM.

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by rclark
    Long BIOS boot isn't just with ASUS. My Gigabyte boards do the same thing. Ironic the faster the machine the slower the BIOS boots.... I guess I really don't care as I power down/reboot rarely. Oh, I 'barely' have time to read the BIOS keys (DEL, etc.) before it jumps to OS... That delay is at least short.

    I monitored memory usage during my rsync sessions just awhile back and I didn't see it gobble a bunch of memory as I was expecting. I have 1.7T of data that is checked and moved. Using Ubuntu though, but app should be the same. Rsync is all I use for my backups.

    As for Cores/threads, the more the better. When I run htop, there is a lot of processes out there running. When you bring up Firefox you see a lot of new processes/threads pop up. Again nice to see them spread out over the 6 Core/12 threads of my 2600.... When I run apt update/upgrade you see all the CPU threads come to life. Again spreading the workload around. No, more cores is a 'good' thing.... Even though you don't use them to their full potential. It makes for a nice 'smooth' running system. Those 'single' threaded applications, don't have to be 'interrupted' as often to handle other tasks/applications. Win Win.
    The next time you boot your system, hold down the F8 key. On my system, the action is undocumented, but it opens up a list of boot drives for boot selection. Included with that F8 is the usb drive select.
    Thats the positive feature that ASUS decided to not make work adequately. It is also a security flaw. There is a line in that list that allows one to get right into the bios by just booting and holding the F8 key. BTW, if you get the same results its likely that your system's bios software vendor is the same as for ASUS.

    And for double boot, I am using the system defaults. I am not overclocking or underclocking the system. I did note that the motherboard set the dram voltage to 1.2000
    When I tried to overclock, that dram voltage climbed to 1.35. Its back to what the bios determines the voltage should be.

    There is a more recent bios update which is not very clear. It is for some other cpu. Sometimes they use the "other cpu" title and with the "other CPU handling, also include other bios updates.
    Leslie in Montreal

    Interesting web sites list
    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...40#post1697840

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Gigabyte has <DEL> for BIOS, <F9> system info, <F12> Boot Menu, and <END> Q-Flash, and all are listed on the logo screen. No hidden keys. There was only a couple changes I made in BIOS. One was the Num-lock key (off on boot), enable threading, and enable XMP for my memory which it seemed to recognize. No overclocking of CPU. Just use the default.
    {edited} There is a 'hidden' key <F2> to switch between BIOS modes (easy mode/classic Setup) according to the manual. I also have a setting in the BIOS for boot speed : Normal (disabled), Fast, Ultra Fast . Haven't tried the fast modes yet and it does say what it is does/doesn't do in these modes.
    Last edited by rclark; 15th March 2019 at 10:34 PM.

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by lsatenstein
    Its back to what the bios determines the voltage should be.
    That may not be the right solution for your particular RAM though. Double check against the RAM manufacturer's voltages and timings for the front side bus speed you are using for the modules and enter them manually instead of using auto settings.

    Regarding the boot menu, it's not a security risk having an entry to enter the setup pages at the top or bottom. That is actually normal, if you have to protect it you can do so still with a password which you would be prompted for on choosing that entry and trying to use it.

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by rclark
    Gigabyte has <DEL> for BIOS, <F9> system info, <F12> Boot Menu, and <END> Q-Flash, and all are listed on the logo screen. No hidden keys. There was only a couple changes I made in BIOS. One was the Num-lock key (off on boot), enable threading, and enable XMP for my memory which it seemed to recognize. No overclocking of CPU. Just use the default.
    {edited} There is a 'hidden' key <F2> to switch between BIOS modes (easy mode/classic Setup) according to the manual. I also have a setting in the BIOS for boot speed : Normal (disabled), Fast, Ultra Fast . Haven't tried the fast modes yet and it does say what it is does/doesn't do in these modes.
    Ultra Fast is not advisable for Linux installations as it won't work with grub2 as it's designed for windows and does not power on attached peripherals, so no keyboard input recognition in grub2. It relies on the booted operating system to do that itself and grub cannot instruct the system to do that. Fast should work fine with linux though. However, differences aren't really that noticeable across the three options.

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    Re: Reflection after using an 8 core CPU for the desktop

    Thanks. I will keep 'as is' then as my system has been very stable ever since I built it. 'Knock on wood'....

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