[sclug] Cheap'n'nasty Tesco Linux machines

M.Blackmore mblackmore at oxlug.org
Fri Mar 14 13:44:06 UTC 2008

On Fri, 2008-03-14 at 09:28 +0000, Phillip Chandler wrote:
> because to do the basics you would only be
> using one core. Therefore the 2nd core is redundant, the first one has
> to be running at 100% for other work to be transferred over to the
> send
> core.

I don't do games, but on the only dual core machine we have which I
jealously guard in my study, have evolution with a couple of spam
filters running, plus openoffice err, open, plus - and this is the
killer point - habitually run firefox with something like 20-30 tabs
open at once almost all the time. Good wodge of memory (2gb) and modest
speed base/entry level as of last summer core2duo as I didn't reckon I
needed anything more - it was the lowest speed available for that chip
'cos it was real cheap.

The dual core is definitely making a difference to how fast all of this
lot is working - I'm not hanging around waiting like I do with an athlon
of similar memory specs and nearly a gigahertz of clock speed more. So
the work of managing all the tasks, both on 128mb video cards, is
definitely being split up amongst the two cores on the significantly
slower clock speed machine.

Now for the kids old games on win98se that will only use one core. I
don't know for XP for gaming - by games we aren't talking doom here but
stuff suitable for a 5 yr old and a 10yr old girl, we're going to
definitely discourage (i.e. ban) violent games due to our pacifist and
deeply held convictions (what they do at friends' houses is of course
beyond our control). 

So no idea if, say, sims or  simcities will take advantage of two cores
or whether for the kids machine/s we should go for raw clock speed over
two athlons... for me and the wife it would be two athlons anyday as we
both work with humongous numbers of windows and documents open (she's
still using an old matrox g400 dual head twin monitor card which works
very well for her needs, thank you very much, but the 700mhz/512mb ram
computer is definitely wheezing with the latest ubuntu's, even using
xfce4 -- which incidentally I like very much as a window manager).

But for our purposes and low income budget, well these tesco boxes are
very competitive, I'd just like to know a bit more about them!

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