[K12OSN] speed question

Kemp, Levi lnkemp at bolivar.k12.mo.us
Wed Apr 4 17:52:46 UTC 2007

So as far as video goes, what about onboard Intel? We have a lot of Compaq, Dells, etc, that have Intel chipsets, Intel Video, Intel NIC, all onboard. They seemed to run fine, but say for instance I tried to run one of the science apps, astronomy one I think, it did nothing. Where I could use the same app on my Server which had a different video card. The ones I'm mainly going to be using are iPaq, 500Mhz Celerons, with 256MB, and all onboard Intel stuff(there's no room for pci, or any expansion slots). I want the Lab to be able to do some multimedia stuff, is that going to be an issue, or will I just need to beef up the server?


Levi Kemp

Technology Specialist

Bolivar R-I School District


lnkemp at bolivar.k12.mo.us


From: k12osn-bounces at redhat.com [mailto:k12osn-bounces at redhat.com] On Behalf Of "Terrell Prudé Jr."
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 11:14 AM
To: Support list for open source software in schools.
Subject: Re: [K12OSN] speed question


If you're running apps locally on the thin client, then yes.  Otherwise, I haven't seen one whit of difference.  The CPU's on my thin clients range from Pentium-133 to Pentium II-300.  Not a single one of them "feels slow."  I do MPlayer video and all that good stuff on the thin client, at 640x480, with no framedrops.  Remember that, in pure LTSP mode, your CPU is pretty much only running Linux, dhclient, bash, and X11, and you can do that with a 486-33.

Here's what I *have* seen make a difference, though.  The first is the use of 100BaseTX on the client.  Yes, you can do it with 10BaseT, but not if you want TuxType or ChildsPlay to actually play smoothly.  :-)  The second is the need for a good--and FOSS-friendly--video chipset.  That means that any nVidious chipsets are *OUT*.  Why?  They're just too closed, even with their specs, just like ATWhy is in recent years.  Either of these issues can make your thin client feel sluggish.

Here's a case in point.  I got my hands on a recent nVidious card, thought, "hey, plug it in and go!", and discovered that even 2-D performance was D-A-W-G S-L-O-W.  The reason was that the universal, but slow, VESA driver got autodetected, since nVidia is definitely *not* FOSS-friendly.  Oh, I'm sure that I could've made a manual entry in lts.conf to point to the 2D-only nv driver.  But, since I use multiple types of old PC's with multiple video card types, I chose not to play that game and simply went with a video board that actually is F/OSS friendly (ATU Radeon 8500 and previous, Matrox Millenium G400's, and so on).


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Daniel Kuecker wrote: 

I was wondering if anyone could tell me if there is a big difference
between an 800 mhz and 200 mhz cpu for thin clients? I have devonIT
6020's and they seem to be smoking fast. I just got some eBox-2300 and
they are pretty sweet, but they seem awfully slow compared to the
devonIT. Is it the CPU difference?
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