[clug] Which to go for?

Ben Nizette bn at niasdigital.com
Sat Jan 16 01:00:05 MST 2010

On 16/01/2010, at 6:33 PM, Adam Baxter wrote:

> What would be your reason for discounting say, the i7 920?

Yeah i7's where it's at.  I just got the baby i7, the 860, but it'll compile an (embedded) linux kernel in ~45 seconds and an AVR32 allmodconfig in ~5min.  A buildroot build takes about 6 minutes (which builds binutils, gcc, uClibc, gcc again (this time including C++), Linux kernel and a full, albeit basic, root filesystem's worth of tools).

By comparison my old P4 3.6Ghz took 15 minutes to do the small kernel, 1.5 hours to do the allmodconfig and 3 hours to do the buildroot build (the non-linear scaling between the P4 and i7 comes from the kernel build not being able to fully parallelise the linking stages).

These speeds are off a normal WD Black HDD, you can get another ~10% again building off a tmpfs though you'll need a good sized block of RAM to make that realistic.

Regarding mobo, I've heard the one to go for for 900-series i7s is the Foxconn Flaming Blade.  For the 800 series i7 like I've got, get the Gigabyte P55A-UD3R.  Good upgrade path with USB3.0, SATA 6GB/s, good overclocking and monitoring options and plenty of everything else.  The only downside to the UD3R is that badly placed caps lead to aftermarket heatsink brackets taking a bit of plier action to sit right.


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