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How An Old Pentium 4 System Runs With Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10

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  • #31
    Originally posted by cb88 View Post
    Well I recently installed Lucid on an 800Mhz PIII 390ish Mb ram .... it runs like crap but it does run.


    The X11 proformance is very bad as in most of these machines you end up having a cheap mach64 based card (8 mb vram if you have 4mb don't even thing about it X.x)

    by the way the mach64 driver and a few others are *greatly* in need of maintainace they aren't bad cards and work fine for 2D and very basic 3D acelleration but the developers of these cards seem to be short on time to work on keeping them working.
    I've found an old Pentium 586 w/ 64mb of RAM and a very crude VGA card can still run acceptably, given the right setup. I actually spent a couple of days using it w/ Debian Sid, Joe's Window Manager, Kazakase(sp), Claws. It wasn't fun but it did run acceptably. Only downside was the VGA card, which should have supported 1024x768, would only go as high as 800x600. I spent a lot of time horizontally scrolling across webpages.

    The craziest thing was realising how crap that old Sound Blaster 16 sounds by today's standards.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by etnlWings View Post
      I've found an old Pentium 586 w/ 64mb of RAM and a very crude VGA card can still run acceptably, given the right setup. I actually spent a couple of days using it w/ Debian Sid, Joe's Window Manager, Kazakase(sp), Claws. It wasn't fun but it did run acceptably. Only downside was the VGA card, which should have supported 1024x768, would only go as high as 800x600. I spent a lot of time horizontally scrolling across webpages.

      The craziest thing was realising how crap that old Sound Blaster 16 sounds by today's standards.
      Well, I've got an old Celeron 333MHz, 288MB RAM (32MB built-in +256MB) laptop, too with crappy VGA which still runs fine at 1024x768 (not only acceptable but even fun) with Xubuntu 9.10+LXDE and almost all light alternatives. Only Flash advertises on web pages are a big problem (but adblock/flashblock alternatives does it's job right).

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      • #33
        @etnlWings I wouldn't put it past ALSA to be making it sound like crap .... for instance I have an OPLSA2 (Supposed to be supported) that doesn't even work in Linux (Works great in BeOS,NetBSD and Windows no configuration even)

        And the sound chip in my laptop also works better in windows (ie its LOUDER and doesn't have a high SNR as it does with ALSA)

        So you might acutally want to try out OSS on that BOX before dissing your sb16

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Zhick View Post
          After reading the title I actually expected an interesting article, that'd tell me about the desktop-performance of such an old machine. Y'know, things like the general responsiveness (snappyness) and memory-consumption (swapping kills desktop-performance).
          Well, I guess I should've known better. I should've know it'd only be a bunch of meanigless pts-graphs with pretty much zero value for anyone who's actually interested in how well such an old system fares as simple desktop-system with the latest Ubuntus.
          I recently set up an AMD Sempron 2400+ system for somebody and it works fine for normal desktop tasks. It's however a good idea to get enough memory, I put 1GB in the box.

          I actually run Ubuntu Lucid on a P3 1Ghz laptop with SiS chipset, integrated SiS graphics, 12GB hard drive and 384MB of memory (minus whatever I allow the integrated video to take), and while that still works, it's less than ideal. If I were to reinstall, I would give Lubuntu a shot. A faster disk and more memory would probably help it, but it doesn't seem to make much sense to invest much money in an older laptop. I don't really mind as I only need it for some simple tasks for which it's good enough.

          So far, I've had mostly (or only) negative experiences with KMS on Lucid. Radeon RS690? Flickers and sometimes freezes the whole machine for no reason. Radeon 8500 (R200)? Brightness and contrast messed up. Radeon 7000 (RV100)? Xvideo does not work.

          And all those issues are solved by disabling KMS. radeon.modeset=0 and the sun shines again. I wonder if this would also improve 3D performance.

          Would be interesting to see the tests being done again without KMS. These older chips are nothing but trouble with KMS.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by W3ird_N3rd View Post
            So far, I've had mostly (or only) negative experiences with KMS on Lucid. Radeon RS690? Flickers and sometimes freezes the whole machine for no reason. Radeon 8500 (R200)? Brightness and contrast messed up. Radeon 7000 (RV100)? Xvideo does not work.

            And all those issues are solved by disabling KMS. radeon.modeset=0 and the sun shines again. I wonder if this would also improve 3D performance.

            Would be interesting to see the tests being done again without KMS. These older chips are nothing but trouble with KMS.
            Same here. I wonder how these tests would have run on an AMD CPU/nvidia nForce chipset AGP system.

            My personal experience with two such motherboards (S754/AGP), two processors (3200+ and 3400+), and two video cards (ATi 9000 and 9550) was that Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04 was unusable on any combination of the this hardware, with FOSS or last 2 versions of proprietary drivers. Crashing, video corruption, or 50% booting to a black screen with 9.10 and 10.04 caused me to give up on them.

            Oh, yeah, besides 8.04 they still run Windows XP just fine.

            So I'd like to see this test done with something less compatible than an all-Intel system. That would show how bad things really are for old hardware users trying new distros.

            Thank you, xorg. Thanks a lot. For nothing.

            -HF

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            • #36
              Originally posted by W3ird_N3rd View Post
              So far, I've had mostly (or only) negative experiences with KMS on Lucid. Radeon RS690? Flickers and sometimes freezes the whole machine for no reason.
              Likely fixed in this set of patches:
              http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kerne...2b4ce1ba814035
              http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kerne...4f420378fa7b30
              http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kerne...2eb6300e570603
              http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kerne...d6c1eaede5a234


              Originally posted by W3ird_N3rd View Post
              Fixed:
              http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kerne...a917b9fc29a302

              Originally posted by W3ird_N3rd View Post
              Radeon 7000 (RV100)? Xvideo does not work.
              Fixed:
              http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/dri...68bb0ab9b6e9ae

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              • #37
                That's good to hear. Time for some updating in that case, and hopefully these patches will make it into distributions soon.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by etnlWings View Post
                  I've found an old Pentium 586 w/ 64mb of RAM and a very crude VGA card can still run acceptably, given the right setup. I actually spent a couple of days using it w/ Debian Sid, Joe's Window Manager, Kazakase(sp), Claws. It wasn't fun but it did run acceptably. Only downside was the VGA card, which should have supported 1024x768, would only go as high as 800x600. I spent a lot of time horizontally scrolling across webpages.

                  The craziest thing was realising how crap that old Sound Blaster 16 sounds by today's standards.
                  2.6 kernels suck major ass on 586. Not to mention the Xorg hasn't really supported my S3 DX??? for a long time.

                  For machines this old I use XFree86 4.3 and a good 2.4 kernel.

                  OSS was better on the sb16. I agree with the other poster. AWE32 support was neat if I recall correctly. Used to have to hand install the sound banks. Good old slackware... Redhat 6.2 would probably do wonders on that old box.

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                  • #39
                    Are there any 2.4/old-XFree distros out there that are even vaguely security-patched? RH 6.2 was pretty bad when it was new, IIRC.

                    Maybe it's time for a hybrid old/new distribution, but that's quite a bit of effort really.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Chad Page View Post
                      Are there any 2.4/old-XFree distros out there that are even vaguely security-patched? RH 6.2 was pretty bad when it was new, IIRC.

                      Maybe it's time for a hybrid old/new distribution, but that's quite a bit of effort really.
                      Red Hat Enterprise 3 was a 2.4 kernel that was updated until mid 2007 at least. The CentOS version still promises major security fixes if necessary.

                      -HF

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