Monday, April 04, 2011

The Practical Advantages of Hexaputing

Several people have asked me, after they've read or heard about the Hexaputer, what, exactly, I need 'all that power' for.

Here is a rundown of tonight's activities:

25 Firefox windows, most with multiple tabs, some with more than 10.
2 Google Chrome windows, each with a few tabs
VLC - VideoLan player playing successive one hour episodes of some of my favorite TV (on monitor 2)
1 Adobe CS4 processing, one at a time, multiple 16MP raw images from a recent photo shoot on monitor 1.
Various other programs and utilities running.

And, like my first 750cc Yamaha Virago, none of these programs realize they're carrying a passenger.......nothing waits for anything else. The video is very smooth. The pictures open just as quickly as if that was all I was doing. I am probably browsing, roughly, 300 websites (no, not all at once, but it takes me a while to read the material, and I'm always opening new links), enjoying the smooth clean video, and at least taking the first steps needed to process the 100 RAW pictures I took this weekend into something that can be posted on the web.

And no, despite all that, the Hexaputer still can't, quite, keep up with my brain....but is doesn't keep me waiting.

Recently, after analyzing several BSOD crashes, I had to downgrade it slightly. Initially, I thought the instability was in the video driver (and it may have been). I dropped it to a multiplier of 20 from 20.5. Around the same time I nudged the bus speed up to 203MHz from 200, and increased a few voltages.

Since I did that, I've noted the following:

1) Not one single crash
2) NorthBridge temps have never gone over 40C
3) CPU temps have remained under 35C

But, I have to admit, I haven't even come close to hitting the wall yet, and I am not sure that even I have the range of attention necessary to make this machine start to grind. I could try to watch a movie, play a game and process images, but I'm pretty sure if I did that, I'd become the bottleneck......

But then, I think, that is appropriate. There is always a bottleneck, in any system. In a personal computer, it really should be the user...... :)


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