[rc5] Re: Supercomputers & Bovine, Q&A

Arvin Meyer onsite at esinet.net
Mon Aug 4 23:03:36 EDT 1997


Might as well add my 2¢:

I don't know whether it was overhead or what, but running NT4 with 64Mb of
RAM on the Deschall project, Alphas with higher clock speeds performed
more slowly than the standard P200 Pentiums. Part of this may be due to
higher memory requirements. NT has about a 25% larger footprint on the
Alpha and PPC than it has on the Intel platform. Adding Service Packs make
it worse (they are 33% larger).

Deschall code used CPU cycles not RAM, so how much of a factor that is,
may be debatable. Code has to be optimized for the operating system as
well as the CPU, to make a valid comparison. In some cases Linux running
on the same  exact machines was faster than Win95, and in some cases quite
the reverse was true. It is really impossible to make an accurate blanket
statement.

When you start to add all the other factors affecting performance, this
argument becomes almost ridiculous. I personally prefer NT running on
Pentiums only because I get more bang (hardware and software) for my buck.
Does that mean it's better? Of course not. Were I running nothing but
Bovine code, I'd certainly reassess my choice.

In my environment, even free, Linux would be more expensive than NT,
because my users can't run Excel, Word, or Access on the Linux machines.
Their productivity suffers by a huge factor, and that's the bottom line in
a business atmosphere. It doesn't matter how good anything is if they
can't use it productively.

                          Arvin Meyer

                      On-Site Solutions
Database Development - NT Systems Engineering

"It's not 'Where do you want to go today?'
     it's where your company has to be tomorrow!"

e-mail: onsite at esinet.net
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