Author Topic: PC for software development - recommendations please!  (Read 6014 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline leo938Topic starter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: ie
PC for software development - recommendations please!
« on: April 30, 2023, 03:09:34 pm »
Hello all,

I'm doing quite a bit of software development (C/C++ stuff with Makefiles & Yocto builds) & it takes about 14 hrs currently for a fresh build on my Dell XPS. Lack of threads is the main issue. I'd like to get a box with at least 6 cores (preferably more) to make this more manageable. Ideally this machine would be upgrade-able so in future it's just a matter of changing the CPU (& if really necessary the motherboard). Something like the AMD Ryzen could be a decent option but I've no allegiance...

I've no issue building a machine if that is the way to go..

Ideally around the €1000 mark,
Thanks for any suggestions!

Leo
 

Online dobsonr741

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 615
  • Country: us
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2023, 03:17:16 pm »
Are you managing the dependencies correctly? Is it a single line code change that is taking 14hrs, or is it the full build? If a single line then you need to break up the build into independently built components.

If you stuck with getting enough build power, here are two ways out:
1. Build on a CI server, get as big as you want on AWS.
2. Get a Mac Studio

 

Offline leo938Topic starter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: ie
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2023, 04:09:06 pm »
Ah no, simple changes are 'relatively ' quick.

Interesting idea of CI on AWS, do you have a ballpark on complexity & cost?
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 26600
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2023, 04:37:18 pm »
1) Get a desktop system that allows to have a CPU that can consume >100W continuously. A laptop is not the ideal choice.
2) Single thread performance is also important as quite a lot of time for these kind of builds is used for extracting archives.
3) Be sure to run Linux natively
4) Have enough memory. 16GB at least. 32GB is better.
5) Make sure the build process uses pipes instead of temporary files

In my experience having a fast hard drive doesn't matter at all. A couple of years ago I tested the difference between SSD and a regular hard drive and it didn't make any difference for compiling large amounts of code.

Whatever you do: buy quality hardware. These kind of builds are very sensitive to marginal hardware. Personally I only buy Dell machines and add things like more memory and bigger hard drives myself.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2023, 04:40:09 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online dobsonr741

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 615
  • Country: us
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2023, 05:20:22 pm »
Quote
Interesting idea of CI on AWS, do you have a ballpark on complexity & cost?

I suggest trying a Github pipeline first. For free. Then take a look at how to set up self hosted runners, to point to the AWS compute of your choice:
https://docs.github.com/en/actions/hosting-your-own-runners/managing-self-hosted-runners/about-self-hosted-runners, where you go as beefy as you want.

You can use alternatives to Gihub - there are so many other choices: GitLab, CircleCI, TravisCI, AWS Code Build

Can also go 100% AWS - both repo, CI, build farm. Many getting started guides can be goggled.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2023, 06:19:12 pm by dobsonr741 »
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3949
  • Country: nz
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2023, 05:35:19 pm »
Which Dell XPS?

Year? CPU? RAM?

Thin laptops (except Apple M1/M2) are bad for long builds because they get too hot and throttle waaaay back.
 

Offline Perkele

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 40
  • Country: ie
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2023, 06:26:04 pm »
Hello all,

I'm doing quite a bit of software development (C/C++ stuff with Makefiles & Yocto builds) & it takes about 14 hrs currently for a fresh build on my Dell XPS. Lack of threads is the main issue. I'd like to get a box with at least 6 cores (preferably more) to make this more manageable. Ideally this machine would be upgrade-able so in future it's just a matter of changing the CPU (& if really necessary the motherboard). Something like the AMD Ryzen could be a decent option but I've no allegiance...

I've no issue building a machine if that is the way to go..

Ideally around the €1000 mark,
Thanks for any suggestions!

Leo

14 hours for a Yocto build is ridiculous. How old is the computer that you're using?
NVMe drives (PCI-X 4 generation), 1TB capacity should be around 50 -70 Euro.
It does not matter how many cores your CPU has, if during the build the system is stuck waiting on disk access.

Or another solution, that would cost probably more than 1k Euro, depending on CPU and motherboard - get ECC DRAM with capacity of 64GB or more, and build Yocto from a RAM disk.
 

Offline leo938Topic starter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: ie
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2023, 07:05:48 pm »
Hello all,

I'm doing quite a bit of software development (C/C++ stuff with Makefiles & Yocto builds) & it takes about 14 hrs currently for a fresh build on my Dell XPS. Lack of threads is the main issue. I'd like to get a box with at least 6 cores (preferably more) to make this more manageable. Ideally this machine would be upgrade-able so in future it's just a matter of changing the CPU (& if really necessary the motherboard). Something like the AMD Ryzen could be a decent option but I've no allegiance...

I've no issue building a machine if that is the way to go..

Ideally around the €1000 mark,
Thanks for any suggestions!

Leo

14 hours for a Yocto build is ridiculous. How old is the computer that you're using?
NVMe drives (PCI-X 4 generation), 1TB capacity should be around 50 -70 Euro.
It does not matter how many cores your CPU has, if during the build the system is stuck waiting on disk access.

Or another solution, that would cost probably more than 1k Euro, depending on CPU and motherboard - get ECC DRAM with capacity of 64GB or more, and build Yocto from a RAM disk.

Its certainty painful! I've hit 16hrs+ on Qt builds. Keep in mind there can be over 6000 tasks, each with fetch, configure, compile, install, etc stages . Some packages are simple but others are beasts..

I'm using a 6 yr old Dell XPS 9360, Intel i5-7200U CPU @ 2.50GHz × 2, 8 GB RAM. It can only run 4 threads so even 8 threads probably half the time, a significant reduction.

I'm using an NVMe 2GB SSD (Samsung 970 EVO Plus), albeit via external  USB C. External is obviously not desirable but I'm building myself up to do a fresh install of Linux Mint. I believe disk speed is important with something like Yocto as there's significant disk activity, however I think threads is the overriding issue given that there's over 6000 tasks, each with multiple stages. On standalone builds probably not so important.

I'm on a 500Mb line so don't believe that's the issue.

Hosting runners on AWS seems quite interesting & worth examining.

« Last Edit: April 30, 2023, 07:09:11 pm by leo938 »
 
The following users thanked this post: RichardS

Online dobsonr741

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 615
  • Country: us
 
The following users thanked this post: TerminatorBetaTester

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3949
  • Country: nz
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2023, 12:38:07 am »
Intel i5-7200U is a dual-core. There's your problem.

Yup. Dual core, 2.5 GHz base with 3.1 turbo, but in a thin (15mm) laptop it will throttle quickly. 15W TDP. Only 3 MB L3 cache.

Any modernish machine -- including this one -- is fine for light development. Working on a web site, a single app, even working on the Linux kernel.

But for things such as (what I do a lot) compiling the entire GNU toolchain from binutils and gdb to gcc and libc, or LLVM you need something stronger. And even more so for compiling a complete Linux distro (even a cut-down one).

If you want to do this on a laptop then get a 14" or 16" MacBook Pro with the 12 core CPU option (8 "performance" cores). But you're not going to get that for 1000 euro/dollars.

Otherwise make or buy a mini-tower.

In name-branch systems a 1000 euro budget is probably just enough to get an 8 core i7-12700T like this...

https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/WKSHDT5684827/HP-ProDesk-Mini-400-G9-Desktop-PC-Intel-Core-i7-12

... and maybe bump the RAM to 32 GB. Note: NZ$1525 is 855 euro.

Maybe you can get a 12 core (12 proper cores, not P+E) by building it yourself, or getting a shop to custom build for you. I'd suggest the Ryzen 9 7900 as a CPU.

Most things like that go to gamers with lots of bling and lots of price. For software development you don't need the bling. Just the CPU, a decent amount of RAM (at least 32 GB), however much disk space you need, and the cheapest video card you can find.
 

Offline Someone

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4485
  • Country: au
    • send complaints here
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2023, 01:38:59 am »
In name-branch systems a 1000 euro budget is probably just enough to get an 8 core i7-12700T like this...

https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/WKSHDT5684827/HP-ProDesk-Mini-400-G9-Desktop-PC-Intel-Core-i7-12
We had some of those compact cases as they were selling really cheap for the specs, under sustained compiles they would thermally throttle pretty hard. Replaced with full size beige box "gaming" machines.
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3949
  • Country: nz
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2023, 01:48:39 am »
In name-branch systems a 1000 euro budget is probably just enough to get an 8 core i7-12700T like this...

https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/WKSHDT5684827/HP-ProDesk-Mini-400-G9-Desktop-PC-Intel-Core-i7-12
We had some of those compact cases as they were selling really cheap for the specs, under sustained compiles they would thermally throttle pretty hard. Replaced with full size beige box "gaming" machines.

Yes, I agree, at least mini-tower is much better. That was just the best CPU I could find in a name brand machine within the budget. But I didn't spend a long time looking.
 

Offline IanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11746
  • Country: us
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2023, 02:01:48 am »
I'm using a 6 yr old Dell XPS 9360, Intel i5-7200U CPU @ 2.50GHz × 2, 8 GB RAM. It can only run 4 threads so even 8 threads probably half the time, a significant reduction.

I was for some time using a 6-7 year old laptop, disbelieving that a modern system could be that much faster, really. I had upgraded the old system with an SSD and more memory. But when I tried a modern system, I realized how wrong I was. Many tasks and operations become 10x faster! And that was with a laptop, not a desktop.

Get a modern, high performance machine with fast SSDs and plenty of memory, and your 14 hour builds will probably take 30 minutes.
 

Offline DimitriP

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1279
  • Country: us
  • "Best practices" are best not practiced.© Dimitri
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2023, 02:30:39 am »
Quote
I'm using a 6 yr old Dell XPS 9360, Intel i5-7200U CPU @ 2.50GHz × 2, 8 GB RAM

It awful that you've been suffering with this for the last few years.

The 7200U was born slow. Dropped on its head in order to keep power consumption low. There were faster CPUs even four years before the 7200U existed.


You could find a used , discarded 10 year old machine thats faster than what you have now. ( 3570K, 4790K).

Single thread performance is King, and with a more recent CPU you can have more threads and high single thread performance a'la i7-13700K

Have a look:   https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/2865vs828vs2275vs5061vs5060/Intel-i5-7200U-vs-Intel-i5-3570K-vs-Intel-i7-4790K-vs-Intel-i7-13700KF-vs-Intel-i7-13700K


I also stumbled on a benchmarking project for yocto ... It'll be interesting to see your 7200U results. https://github.com/sveinse/yocto-benchmark




{edit for spelling/punctuation  and adding the benchmark}
« Last Edit: May 01, 2023, 02:41:43 am by DimitriP »
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Online SiliconWizard

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14145
  • Country: fr
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2023, 03:05:14 am »
Even going to a recent Core i5 (like 13600K, 50% cheaper than the i7 13700K) and 32GB of RAM will absolutely dramatically improve the OP's build times.
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3949
  • Country: nz
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2023, 05:21:16 am »
I also stumbled on a benchmarking project for yocto ... It'll be interesting to see your 7200U results. https://github.com/sveinse/yocto-benchmark

I just tried to use that on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. Fell into Python version incompatibility hell. CBA.

Last commit there Jan 2020.

If anyone who knows what they're doing and clones and fixes it, lmk.
 

Offline magic

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6729
  • Country: pl
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2023, 07:18:40 am »
I'm inclined to believe the people saying that storage doesn't make much difference in typical build times, although SSD helps a lot with other things like git.

As usual, run some some system monitoring utility to know where your bottleneck is. CPU is a likely bet indeed.
 

Offline paulca

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3980
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2023, 08:54:18 am »
I used to script build entire Linux OS's including QT, X11, Firefox and Open Office in 18 hours from source.  Originally on a Celeron600.  The last time I did it was on a Phenom octo-core (2008 vintage).  I moved to Ubuntu in about 2017 and stopped building my own OS.  Always on spinning HDD.

The OPs specs are not that low compared to the entry level software development VM these days that we would get in work.  In work, I have a 4 Xeon 2.9GHz cores and 8Gb RAM.  Granted that is probably a slice of a much more modern 96core VM host.  We do build locally.  I have about 25 Java projects in my workspace if I hit "Clean all" with autobuild turned on, it takes about 3 or 4 minutes to build the whole 3Gb of projects.

I think there is something more fundamentally wrong there.

If you are picking Intel CPUs, do a lot of research, two almost identical model numbers can perform very differently.

I was looking at swaping two PCs in the house for "power consumption" reasons.  An i7-4790 versus a much newer i5-6500T.  However in benchmarks, it might surprise you that the old 4th gen will run rings around the 6500T in many areas still.  The most notable is that 35W TDP cap.  It will match the 4700 in all but pure multi-core work, but will overheat and current limit the CPU within minutes of going to full load.  After about 2 minutes it's performance drops to about 1/2 of less of the 4790.  All of that comes from the "T".  T is low power, but I also see it as "Thermally limited".  The headline power figures cannot be achieve sustained at 35W, the die will overheat and throttle in a matter of minutes.
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  STM32F411RE+ESP32+TFT for home IoT (NoT) projects.  Child's advent xmas countdown toy.  Digital audio routing board.
 

Offline paulca

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3980
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2023, 09:04:13 am »
I'm inclined to believe the people saying that storage doesn't make much difference in typical build times, although SSD helps a lot with other things like git.

As usual, run some some system monitoring utility to know where your bottleneck is. CPU is a likely bet indeed.

A technique used in modern linux system is to create a ram disk and map it to /tmp

If you build in /tmp you build in RAM.

You can also make your own /build folder as a RAM disk.
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  STM32F411RE+ESP32+TFT for home IoT (NoT) projects.  Child's advent xmas countdown toy.  Digital audio routing board.
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3949
  • Country: nz
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2023, 09:25:32 am »
I'm inclined to believe the people saying that storage doesn't make much difference in typical build times, although SSD helps a lot with other things like git.

As usual, run some some system monitoring utility to know where your bottleneck is. CPU is a likely bet indeed.

A technique used in modern linux system is to create a ram disk and map it to /tmp

If you build in /tmp you build in RAM.

You can also make your own /build folder as a RAM disk.

You need a lot of RAM and some organisation to do that.

If you have such an amount of RAM then just letting the disk cache do its job will give pretty much the same results, with a lot more graceful failure mode.
 
The following users thanked this post: nctnico, DiTBho

Offline DiTBho

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3742
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2023, 12:16:47 pm »
software development (C/C++ stuff with Makefiles & Yocto builds)

for? target={ arm? riscv? ... other? }
The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow
 

Offline leo938Topic starter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: ie
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2023, 02:41:51 pm »
software development (C/C++ stuff with Makefiles & Yocto builds)

for? target={ arm? riscv? ... other? }

ARM nearly exclusively, Raspberry Pi's , ATMEL/Microchip etc.

I do a lot of travel so convenience of a thin XPS is a significant positive but I take the point about thermal throttling.

I've no experience building desktops, if I go with a DIY option is a big issue to upgrade the CPU in say 5 yrs? Will I likely need a new motherboard as well? I understand bus technology will inevitable march on & I imagine its quite likely a new motherboard will be required.

 

Offline tszaboo

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7239
  • Country: nl
  • Current job: ATEX product design
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2023, 02:48:01 pm »
For something like a Yocto build, I would keep using the XPS to edit files and whatnot, just remote desktop into the Linux machine that does the building. And for the actual computer doing the build, a used HP Z series desktop or similar is very hard to beat in value/investment. I see Z640s with 24 cores for sale for ~500 EUR plus postage. When I was building Yocto it was using as many cores as I gave it to it.
 

Offline leo938Topic starter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: ie
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2023, 03:31:46 pm »
Thanks for the suggestion, there's a HP Z620 going near me for €300, has 4 times the performance of my current setup!
 

Offline westfw

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4191
  • Country: us
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2023, 04:30:43 pm »
Quote
I'm using an NVMe 2GB SSD (Samsung 970 EVO Plus), albeit via external  USB C.
Is there a multi-tasking disk benchmark?
My gut says that the multi-tasking performance of a USB drive might be particularly sucky compared to PCIe or SATA.  (But I don't have any actual data.)

 

Offline DimitriP

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1279
  • Country: us
  • "Best practices" are best not practiced.© Dimitri
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2023, 06:20:51 pm »
I also stumbled on a benchmarking project for yocto ... It'll be interesting to see your 7200U results. https://github.com/sveinse/yocto-benchmark

I just tried to use that on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. Fell into Python version incompatibility hell. CBA.

Last commit there Jan 2020.

If anyone who knows what they're doing and clones and fixes it, lmk.

I went passed the python issue by removing "python" from the installar and linking /usr/bin/python to python2
Then I discovered it also needs QEMU , (https://docs.yoctoproject.org/dev-manual/qemu.html )

So I jumped out of the rabbit hole while I could :)


 
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline DimitriP

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1279
  • Country: us
  • "Best practices" are best not practiced.© Dimitri
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2023, 06:27:05 pm »
Quote
I'm using an NVMe 2GB SSD (Samsung 970 EVO Plus), albeit via external  USB C.
Is there a multi-tasking disk benchmark?
My gut says that the multi-tasking performance of a USB drive might be particularly sucky compared to PCIe or SATA.  (But I don't have any actual data.)


Even connected via PCI or SATA, SSD performance can be dissapointing when it comes to "small" transfers.
Writing is yet another nightmare with SSDs sometimes getting beat by good old spinning drives.
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline leo938Topic starter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: ie
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2023, 08:12:32 pm »
For anyone still interested in this I attach a screenshot below during running compilation.

Also cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "cpu MHz" returns

cpu MHz      : 2600.000
cpu MHz      : 2599.999
cpu MHz      : 2599.998
cpu MHz      : 2600.000

Not sure if this suggests thermal throttling is not occurring.
 

Online Monkeh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7984
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2023, 08:22:42 pm »
You'll know it's thermal throttling when the CPU temperature is at 95C. This is usually quite hard to do on a desktop except in an oven.

Or by putting a Dell workstation to sleep and waking it up again. What fan controller?
 

Offline retiredcaps

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3575
  • Country: ca
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2023, 09:25:30 pm »
Thanks for the suggestion, there's a HP Z620 going near me for €300, has 4 times the performance of my current setup!

I have a similar situation to yours.  For compiling LineageOS, on my i5-660 desktop (2 cores/4 threads) I get compile times of 9 hours 37 minutes from scratch (no ccache, make clean).

I recently got an used HP Z420 and with it's stock E5-1620 (4 cores/8 threads) it takes 4 hours 12 minutes (no ccahe, make clean).  Then I upgraded the CPU to a Xeon ES-2690 (8 cores/16 threads) from Aliexpress for $10 USD and now it takes 2 hours and 40 minutes (no ccache, make clean).

CPU temp on E5-1620 and E5-2690 at 80C with all cores running at 100%.

All done using a 500GB 7,200 RPM spinning disk (about 130MB/sec read speed using hdparm).
 

Offline DiTBho

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3742
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2023, 09:45:41 pm »
LOL  :-DD

my current builder is a cluster of two mac-mini
1) Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU, P7550@2.26GHz, 8GB ram
2) PowerPC7447A, altivec supported@1.5HHz, 1GB ram

I need to invest money in an HP(1) Xeon machine, or, better still, in an Ampera Arm 128 cores  :o :o :o

(1) HP Z620 Workstation
2x Intel Xeon E5-2670 V2 2.50GHz/3.30GHz = 20 Cores Total / 40 Threads
64GB RAM
700 UKP
The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 21611
  • Country: us
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2023, 10:21:46 pm »
14 hours?!  :o

Isn't the Core2 Duo like 15 years old though? I would expect any modern machine to be vastly more powerful than that. I think this is the longest compile time I've ever heard of.
 

Offline DiTBho

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3742
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2023, 12:18:51 am »
Isn't the Core2 Duo like 15 years old though?

it's this one, late 2009, old but enough for my average daily needs.
The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3949
  • Country: nz
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2023, 01:56:22 am »
14 hours?!  :o

Isn't the Core2 Duo like 15 years old though? I would expect any modern machine to be vastly more powerful than that. I think this is the longest compile time I've ever heard of.

The Core2Duo itself is still fine for most people's daily computing needs. Any problems are more likely to be the very limited amount of RAM supported by the motherboards.

This includes programmers working on individual application programs.

But for large software builds of entire OSes and toolchains ... the more cores the better, if the build system has been updated to be able to use them.

And as much MHz boost as possible with 1 or 2 cores active. Too many build systems alternate between spending aaaaages using 2 cores to run autoconf ... and then a few seconds using 128 cores to compile all the C files ... and then aaaages using one core for a link or maybe the last big C++ compile.

As for compilation times ... when I bought an EOL sale Pentium Pro 200 with 32 MB RAM in late 1998 as my first dedicated Linux machine it took 24 hours to build the d2c Dylan compiler. After throwing another 128 MB RAM in there (the other 4 slots...) that time dropped to 30 minutes.
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3949
  • Country: nz
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2023, 02:22:20 am »
I've no experience building desktops, if I go with a DIY option is a big issue to upgrade the CPU in say 5 yrs? Will I likely need a new motherboard as well?

Impossible to say.

Historically, Intel liked to change CPU sockets every couple of generations, or for versions with different numbers of RAM channels etc

- LGA 1366 for Nehalem "Bloomfield"

- LGA 1156 for Nehalem "Lynnfield"

- LGA 1366 for Westmere

- LGA 1155 for Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge

- LGA 2011 for Sandy Bridge-E, Ivy Bridge-E

- LGA 1150 for Haswell, Broadwell

- LGA 2011-3 for Haswell-E, Broadwell-E

- LGA 1151 for Skylake, Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake (6700, 7***, 8***, 9***)

- LGA 2066 for Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X

- LGA 1200 for Comet Lake, Cyprus Cove (10700, 11700)

- LGA 1700 for Colden Cove, Raptor Cove (12700, 13700


AMD on the other stuck with the AM4 socket for a LONG TIME -- 2017..2021 -- for non threadripper CPUs. Just went to AM5 Sep 2022.  AM5 good for the next five years? Maybe.....
 

Offline retiredcaps

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3575
  • Country: ca
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2023, 02:25:02 am »
Then I upgraded the CPU to a Xeon ES-2690 (8 cores/16 threads) from Aliexpress for $10 USD and now it takes 2 hours and 40 minutes (no ccache, make clean).

E5-2697 v2 for $5 USD + free shipping on Aliexpress.  That's 12 cores/24 threads.

Sorry, suspect listing as I didn't see the small print on my phone.

However, my E5-2690 for $10 USD + free shipping that I got from Aliexpress is genuine and it works in my Z420.  That's why when I saw the posting for E5-2697 v2 for $5 USD + free shipping it didn't set off any alarm bells initially.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2023, 05:15:08 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3949
  • Country: nz
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2023, 03:57:46 am »
Then I upgraded the CPU to a Xeon ES-2690 (8 cores/16 threads) from Aliexpress for $10 USD and now it takes 2 hours and 40 minutes (no ccache, make clean).

E5-2697 v2 for $5 USD + free shipping on Aliexpress.  That's 12 cores/24 threads.

That falls in the "are you sure it's genuine?" range.

130W TDP. $2614 at introduction in September 2013. LGA 2011 socket same as "E" versions of Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell i7s.

If you don't already have a compatible motherboard then you'd be better off buying an entire working machine, not just the CPU. Even at $5 for the CPU.
 

Online rdl

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3662
  • Country: us
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2023, 05:10:48 am »
In the listing there is "Decorative Paintings" and a size of 20cm x 30cm ?
I would be careful.
 

Offline retiredcaps

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3575
  • Country: ca
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2023, 05:13:46 am »
In the listing there is "Decorative Paintings" and a size of 20cm x 30cm ?
I would be careful.

When I first saw the posting, I didn't notice that on my phone, but now that I'm on a 24 inch monitor, I do see that now.  I'll modify my original post to say it's suspicious.  However, my E5-2690 for $10 USD + free shipping that I got from Aliexpress is genuine and it works in my Z420.  That's why when I saw the posting for E5-2697 v2 for $5 USD + free shipping it didn't set off any alarm bells initially.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2023, 05:15:23 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline IanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11746
  • Country: us
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2023, 05:47:17 am »
Also estimated delivery of 6 Aug? Who has time to wait that long?
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 26600
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2023, 10:18:07 am »
Quote
I'm using an NVMe 2GB SSD (Samsung 970 EVO Plus), albeit via external  USB C.
Is there a multi-tasking disk benchmark?
My gut says that the multi-tasking performance of a USB drive might be particularly sucky compared to PCIe or SATA.  (But I don't have any actual data.)
Doesn't really matter for compiling large amounts of software. Just make sure to have lots of memory. The sources are typically compressed so the amount of data that needs to be read from the hard drive is minimal. The decompressed files are then stored in disk cache formed by unused memory. The compilation process itself will take longer than it takes to spoon feed all the files to the hard drive BUT the compilation process isn't hampered by it.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline leo938Topic starter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: ie
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2023, 09:01:18 pm »
Just to finish this off if anyone is looking in the future..

I bought a seconds hand HP Z640 for around €650. 128GB RAM, E5-1680 v3 @ 3.20GHz × 8, 2TB SSD.

Pretty much like night & day!

 

Offline retiredcaps

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3575
  • Country: ca
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2023, 12:11:35 am »
I bought a seconds hand HP Z640 for around €650. 128GB RAM, E5-1680 v3 @ 3.20GHz × 8, 2TB SSD.
So from the original 14 hours, what is your new compile time?
 

Offline leo938Topic starter

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: ie
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #43 on: June 02, 2023, 04:08:45 pm »
Approx 1.5hrs
 

Online SiliconWizard

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14145
  • Country: fr
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2023, 07:49:23 pm »
For anyone still interested in this I attach a screenshot below during running compilation.

Also cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "cpu MHz" returns

cpu MHz      : 2600.000
cpu MHz      : 2599.999
cpu MHz      : 2599.998
cpu MHz      : 2600.000

Not sure if this suggests thermal throttling is not occurring.

It's not hard to determine. Just look at the temperatures first. 'sensors' is a good start.
You have a Xeon CPU if I'm not mistaken? These have usually a higher max Tj than consumer CPUs - in the order of 100°C or slightly over. You'd have to have a very poor cooling solution to reach that temperature. It's almost impossible with those Xeon CPUs.

But what you are seeing is not completely different from thermal throttling. Intel CPUs have a max TDP, and while that can often be bypassed in some way in the BIOS for many consumer CPUs, it's usually not possible to bypass the TDP for Xeons. So, just look at the TDP of your Xeon and you'll have your answer.

These Xeon CPUs will never run at the max clock freq when all cores are at 100% utilization. They will throttle to the base frequency which is often 2.6GHz for Xeons of this generation.
There's nothing you can do about it.
Well, I've seen that for some specific Xeon in the E3 or E5 series (earlier than V4 or V3 I think), you can unlock them to get the boost frequency on all cores at 100% utilization, but that usually requires a modified BIOS. Not something I would try unless you feel adventurous.
 

Offline paulca

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3980
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2023, 08:50:25 am »
Even in consumer high end gaming hardware where everything is unlocked AND you have an expensive water cooling system, it's extremely difficult to tune clock speeds for maximum 100% on all cores.

The times of setting a fixed clock on all cores is pretty much gone except for bespoke loads.  Everything is dynamic from the core clock speeds to which cores take which loads.  The latest AMDs, for example, when given a single threaded load, will parallel it on 2 cores and alternate the them 50/50 at max boost speed.  Doing balances the heat and allows a faster average clock speed than a single core at 100% could deliver.

There are still people who set fixed core clocks.  They usually score well on benchmarks, but when you get them to think it through for normal daily use, having the dynamics control the clock speed usually results in bursts of 50% more performance until the thermals pull it back.

The dynamics work not just on temperature but on voltage and current.  TDP TDC and so forth.

The difference between those CPUs and the likes of Xeon's is the later are built for industrial use.  They don't have the highest clocks, they don't have the highest performance, but they are built like a tank, built to be beaten on 24/7 in a rack server for 10+ years without failing.

Your average gaming CPU that gets overclocked and beaten on will fail quite often.  Mine throws DPC Watchdog time-outs every other cold start for example.  Not an issue for me, but in a data-centre that kind of stuff costs a fortune. 
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  STM32F411RE+ESP32+TFT for home IoT (NoT) projects.  Child's advent xmas countdown toy.  Digital audio routing board.
 
The following users thanked this post: Someone

Offline DiTBho

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3742
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #46 on: June 04, 2023, 12:16:43 pm »
The times of setting a fixed clock on all cores is pretty much gone except for bespoke loads.  Everything is dynamic from the core clock speeds to which cores take which loads.

I hacked both the firmware and the kernel of some modern ARM and MIPS computers to disable and remove every dynamic clock engine. It was too problematic on the Boorst main bus with its perpetual thermal thermal throttling, and on small SBC(1) the thermal management unit caused physical damage to the SoC.

So, from my point of view, this is the first thing I don't want; perhaps, am64 and x86-* are ready for this, but other architectures are not so much.


(1) the cheapest and simplest example I can give you is the NeoPi, where I had to force the clock to 600Mhz, instead of its dynamic range { 600 .. 1100 }Mhz to save the SoC from cooking like an omelet since the Thermal management doesn't work properly.
The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6027
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #47 on: June 04, 2023, 02:05:28 pm »
leo938: having 128GB of RAM, you should have the entire source tree in RAM cached for basically any build!  Nice!

Whenever the build tree is much larger than available RAM, using software-RAID1 and two identical drives to hold the tree, used to help a lot.
(Wait, isn't RAID1 mirroring?  Don't you mean RAID0?  No.  In Linux, sw-RAID1 reads access only one of the drives, and if the bottleneck is accessing many small files, you can increase the rate significantly –– not double, but somewhat close –– by using sw-RAID1.  You lose half the capacity, though.  In the past, I did this with spinny rust, in which case the difference compiling the Linux kernel and userspace was significant.)
Nowadays, RAM is so much cheaper, than it is makes much more sense to bulk up on RAM than do that.

Nevertheless, my next desktop/HPC machine will have dual SSD for storage; partially RAID-[01].  I have some very large continuous datasets (hundreds of megabytes) that I'd like to see how fast I can chew trough, mostly MD simulations and such; I'm really looking forward to 1GB/s+ transfer rate for those...
If there are any QChemists using Dalton here, they might wish to try the same.  (I'm writing my own simulators and visualizers, though.)



DiTBho, and others:

One reason I'm lusting after a small hobby milling machine (maybe Proxxon MF70), capable of milling 150×100×50mm aluminium blocks into custom heatsink-lids for my SBCs.  I often use Hammond die-cast aluminium boxes (and clones) for enclosures, but when dust/waterproof, you need solid connection to the chassis as a heatsink or the SBC will fry eventually.  So, outside should be ribbed for maximizing surface area, and inside needs "towers" to contact to the hot chips.

Currently I'm playing with vertical wall-hanging convection-cooled thin sheet steel enclosure for MikroTik RBM33G – the very same you got recently.  My first plan of using a knotty half-round Birch block (to make it decorative) was too heat-insulating – even if it produces only 3-4 Watts of heat in normal use in my case (LTE firewall) –, but maybe as a shaped veneer on the steel lid.  The steel might even help with EM noise stuff, who knows: the official CA433U enclosure definitely is stamped aluminium.  (Thin sheet steel is half the price of aluminium here, and much more easily available in automotive stores; otherwise I'd use aluminium sheet myself.)
 
The following users thanked this post: DiTBho

Offline DiTBho

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3742
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #48 on: June 04, 2023, 03:42:18 pm »
One reason I'm lusting after a small hobby milling machine

The NanoPi is sold with a poor heatsink and you can replace it with *something else*, however, this only solves half of the problem: with a dynamic clock you also experiment issues with dynamic ram, which causes random instabilities and crashes, and this happens because both the CPU and RAM share the same PLL for the CPU clock and ram clock.

Bad design choice, I know, but that's how some SoCs are made, and you may think at this point "ok, we know Allwinner sells SoC with a bugged OR1 MPU, and we also know that OR1 MPU is there to manage the thermal unit", but even Mediatek sells this kind of things, so ... or they fix the thermal management and split the PLL once for all (and fix that buggy OpenRisc1 co-processor MPU(1)), or I will still patch/hack my kernels to disable it!


(1) I think they have to understand they have to spend more money to cure their products better! Otherwise, sorry, but your products are *de facto* not ready for thermal throttling, and I will disable it!
The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6027
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #49 on: June 04, 2023, 04:44:19 pm »
Exactly.  Many Odroids now use a extruded aluminium heatsink as their base, with the SoC on the bottom of the board; this is Very Nice, because the heatsink doesn't need milling.  With RBM33G, you need 14mm to reach the highest components (connectors in front), so say 17mm for comfort (and to being able to route any modem or WiFi antenna cables to the front like I want to, so all wires hang downwards on the wall).  An inch thick for top and a half inch for bottom, both 6.3"×4.8" or larger, will suffice, and have a bit of thickness left to form into shallow cooling fins.  For cooling WiFi/LTE cards, some kind of internal pillar with heatsinks is needed, too.  It's easier to do a convection-cooled "open" wall chassis for it, overall, and one can curve the top to make sure any accidental drops of water won't get inside.  (In my case, because of plants watered nearby and on the same wall.)

For desktop PCs, quiet but efficient cooling is one of my pet peeves.  Large piped heatsinks and large (140mm and larger) fans make it relatively easy for the 65W to 95W TDP class of processors, but it is easy to get a bit too laminar airflow, which does not go through motherboard components; one wants turbulent airflow on the motherboard surface to cover them.  Many motherboard manufacturers nowadays include heatsinks over all components that get hot, though; those are even easier to manage, I guess.
 
The following users thanked this post: DiTBho

Online SiliconWizard

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14145
  • Country: fr
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #50 on: June 04, 2023, 10:59:33 pm »
Nevertheless, my next desktop/HPC machine will have dual SSD for storage; partially RAID-[01].  I have some very large continuous datasets (hundreds of megabytes) that I'd like to see how fast I can chew trough, mostly MD simulations and such; I'm really looking forward to 1GB/s+ transfer rate for those...

A reasonably good single NVMe SSD on PCIe 4.0 will give you close to 7GB/s. And on PCIe 3.0 about half of that. Of course on large transfers, not small random blocks.
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6027
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2023, 12:04:05 am »
Nevertheless, my next desktop/HPC machine will have dual SSD for storage; partially RAID-[01].  I have some very large continuous datasets (hundreds of megabytes) that I'd like to see how fast I can chew trough, mostly MD simulations and such; I'm really looking forward to 1GB/s+ transfer rate for those...

A reasonably good single NVMe SSD on PCIe 4.0 will give you close to 7GB/s. And on PCIe 3.0 about half of that. Of course on large transfers, not small random blocks.
I dropped a zero there, I think!  :D

My current SSD, Samsung PM961, maxes out at 3 GB/s.  I've been looking at the Samsung 980 Pro series, which also has about 3x the 4k random read rate than PM961, which should help in compiling things.  (I am aware of the 3B2QGXA7 firmware being a big problem.)
It'd also be very interesting to see if RAID-1/mirroring still helps in random small file read cases in Linux, like compiling stuff.
 

Online SiliconWizard

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14145
  • Country: fr
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2023, 01:57:52 am »
Nevertheless, my next desktop/HPC machine will have dual SSD for storage; partially RAID-[01].  I have some very large continuous datasets (hundreds of megabytes) that I'd like to see how fast I can chew trough, mostly MD simulations and such; I'm really looking forward to 1GB/s+ transfer rate for those...

A reasonably good single NVMe SSD on PCIe 4.0 will give you close to 7GB/s. And on PCIe 3.0 about half of that. Of course on large transfers, not small random blocks.
I dropped a zero there, I think!  :D

Ha, then sure!

It'd also be very interesting to see if RAID-1/mirroring still helps in random small file read cases in Linux, like compiling stuff.

I'd be curious to see that. How could RAID-1 achieve that?
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6027
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2023, 02:44:30 am »
It'd also be very interesting to see if RAID-1/mirroring still helps in random small file read cases in Linux, like compiling stuff.
I'd be curious to see that. How could RAID-1 achieve that?
On software RAID-1, the kernel does a read on only one drive, not both.  Remember, there is no compare on reads.  Although writes must be duplicated on both drives, reads only access one of the drives, so as long as the workload is mostly reading small files and the I/O scheduler is smart enough to read from both drives, the overall small file random 4k-reads-per-sec increases.  In theory, it doubles.
 

Online SiliconWizard

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14145
  • Country: fr
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2023, 03:12:44 am »
so as long as the workload is mostly reading small files and the I/O scheduler is smart enough to read from both drives,

That's the part I had no idea about. Does it actually do this?
 

Offline paulca

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3980
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2023, 09:56:05 am »
3D Mark uses semi-sythetic real world loads to benchmark disks.

Here's mine from this morning:
https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/95229506?

That is a PCI-E Gen 4 Mv.2 drive on a Crosshair Hero 8
« Last Edit: June 05, 2023, 09:58:12 am by paulca »
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  STM32F411RE+ESP32+TFT for home IoT (NoT) projects.  Child's advent xmas countdown toy.  Digital audio routing board.
 

Offline nigelwright7557

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 688
  • Country: gb
    • Electronic controls
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #56 on: June 05, 2023, 12:27:16 pm »
I'm inclined to believe the people saying that storage doesn't make much difference in typical build times, although SSD helps a lot with other things like git.
My PC boots in half the time with a M.2 SSD.
I have a 12600k, 20GB DRAM and it compiles hundreds of thousands of lines of code in a couple of seconds.
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3949
  • Country: nz
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #57 on: June 05, 2023, 01:29:32 pm »
I'm inclined to believe the people saying that storage doesn't make much difference in typical build times, although SSD helps a lot with other things like git.
My PC boots in half the time with a M.2 SSD.
I have a 12600k, 20GB DRAM and it compiles hundreds of thousands of lines of code in a couple of seconds.

Sure, but once we got rid of Classic MacOS and Windows 95/98 we boot PCs once every couple of months, so who cares about boot times?
 

Offline Nominal Animal

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6027
  • Country: fi
    • My home page and email address
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #58 on: June 05, 2023, 01:48:02 pm »
so as long as the workload is mostly reading small files and the I/O scheduler is smart enough to read from both drives,
That's the part I had no idea about. Does it actually do this?
Used to, on spinny rust drives over a decade ago, when seek times were measured in milliseconds.  Haven't tested it since.
 

Offline paulca

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3980
  • Country: gb
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #59 on: June 05, 2023, 04:17:51 pm »
Sure, but once we got rid of Classic MacOS and Windows 95/98 we boot PCs once every couple of months, so who cares about boot times?

Yep.  Right up until the tripled the cost of electric here.

Then all (4 PCs) those 5-10W of sleep power had to go.  They now all get shut down.  Except the linux server.

At the moment, it takes my monitors longer to wake up to the new signal than it does for windows to boot.  I might see BIOS, then the monitor goes into it's black screen while EUFI enables the framebuffer to show the spinner screen with windows logo, however I rarely see it because the PC boots to the login screen faster than the monitor reconnects to the framebuffer.... especially as windows resets it again before displaying the login screen.
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  STM32F411RE+ESP32+TFT for home IoT (NoT) projects.  Child's advent xmas countdown toy.  Digital audio routing board.
 

Online SiliconWizard

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14145
  • Country: fr
Re: PC for software development - recommendations please!
« Reply #60 on: June 05, 2023, 09:00:21 pm »
It does make a significant difference for build times, obviously it depends on the exact thing you're building.
Large C++ files, for instance, tend to take a long compile time and in this case, file access time will only be a moderate factor.

For those using KiCad, this is a very easy to witness improvement, when opening the symbol and footprint editors for the first time in a session (so nothing cached yet.) Libraries have a ton of small files.
Opening the symbol editor (first time) when libraries are on a HDD (even the fastest one) will take up to 20s-30s. Yes, drives you nuts. On a SATA SSD, it will typically be around 5s.
On a NVMe SSD (which I have switched to for KiCad libraries now), it's almost instant. Makes a freaking great difference when you use KiCad a lot.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf