[RC5] Slower, low end machines

John Campbell jcampbel at lynn.ci-n.com
Mon Jan 11 17:37:23 EST 1999


On Mon, 11 Jan 1999, Zypher wrote:

> I'm new to this list, but already I've seen a lot of talk about using low
> end machines, maybe even a larger number of them. Has anyone stopped to
> consider the cost in power? 100 386s or whatever contribute very little in
> terms of blocks, but they still draw a good bit a current, which ends up
> costing someone somewhere something. This money would better be spent on new
> machine, or not spent at all.
> 
	I run an entire network on [34]86 machines. They're up 24x7 whether
they're cracking keys or not, because they have real work to do (guess
what... you don't need the latest, fastest hardware to run, say, a mail
server, or a web server... unless you're running Windows). Saying they
shouldn't participate in d.net because of the power cost is ridiculous.

	Besides, anything I spend on electricity, I save on heat during the
winter. :) 'Course, it evens out in the summer when I have to spend more on
air conditioning...

> If someone wants to do a large collection of "cheap" computers, I also
> recommend the C300A setups. (mine is a 464 as well) At around $3-400 for
> bare bones (cpu, mobo, ram, case, use the 386s HD and maybe video card, get
> a monitor swicther ;) instead that money for electric could be spent on
> them, as only one or two or X would be needed to compare with 100 or Y of
> 386s.

	Except that Celerons also draw power, and much more than 386es do.
Ever wondered why they've got that *huge* heat sink on them? Dissipating
heat... and heat == power. So for every machine that I replaced with a
Celeron (and it would have to be 1:1, because they'd still have real jobs to
do, which often makes the factor controlling their number physical location
or number of available IRQs rather than raw CPU power), I'd be out the cost
of the machine (and $300-400 is low for an Intel machine, even a Celery... I
could do a Cyrix or maybe an AMD for that, but not an Intel) *plus* the
extra power cost. 

	And for my hundreds of dollars, I'd get an improved keyrate and a
bunch of machines that might be slightly (and only slightly, because,
really, how much CPU power does a print server need?) better at their day
jobs.

	And you ask if keeping the 386es up is worth the cost of the
_power_?

	If you really want to blow money on your keyrate, Celerys aren't the
way to go, either. Scrape up a couple hundred thou and build yourself a
dedicated cracking machine like the EFF's. I bet it's got a _really_ good
kk/kW ratio...

	Oh, and as for monitor switchers... real computers don't need video
cards, much less monitors and monitor switchers, because Real OSes have
in.telnetd, or, better yet, sshd.

---
John Campbell
jcampbel at lynn.ci-n.com

QotD:  We are the knaves of Elfland, we are the fools of Bordertown. Where
we pass, Carnival riots. Where we stand, Soho shakes. Nothing we set our
hand to is not achieved, and what we curse is nine times blighted. We ravish
the old, we are the new. We are born tonight, we are with you now!

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