Computing resources optimisation [2A]

So after a couple of months ago when I did some resource optimisation with my existing computers, it’s time to look at the next stage. That stage will be upgrades to enable all four computers to be used for the most stuff they can.
The plan I am considering at the moment (subject to resourcing) is:
  • serverpc gets a new mainboard with 4 RAM slots and new CPU and keeps the 16 GB of memory and we add another 8 GB to it, so the new motherboard would have to be compatible with the memory currently in serverpc as of now. serverpc gets renamed as graphicspc or mapspc as well.
  • mediapc gets serverpc’s old mainboard and 4 GB of RAM that I will have to add specifically to mediapc. One advantage is mediapc will have a spec that can play Google VP8/VP9 codec stuff which is not currently the case.
  • pc4 gets mediapc’s old mainboard with the 4 GB of RAM that it has on it. pc4 will be faster but with less RAM so it ends up doing pretty much what it does now, just better.
So I’m looking at the costs etc of that. All four computers will probably use Intel Graphics without issues with the NVidia cards and their drivers. They all have enough ports to be able to do two displays for the three computers that have a dual display setup.

I also need to look at whether I have enough backup disks at the moment to back up all three computers. The disks in all of the computers will remain the same as at present. I don’t have any desire to increase any of the disk capacities in the near future, mainpc and serverpc have 2 TB each and mediapc has 1 TB and cleaning stuff up will be first call. The maps are growing but the stuff is really going onto serverpc more than it is onto mainpc and there is a lot of space that can be freed up on serverpc if I need to.
The plan is to give serverpc ability to go up to 32 GB RAM eventually and the numbers wouldn’t have worked if we couldn’t have reused the existing memory in it. Because even 16 GB of RAM would have cost $300 if I had to buy new RAM for the mainboard which compares with putting the board into another computer and putting 4 GB of RAM into it at $85. So the saving from being able to reuse the existing RAM is enough to be able to add another 8 GB to this computer.
The existing board in pc4 will be a spare for the Win10PC which is using the same type of Mini-ITX board. I have no other use for these boards although they will fit any standard ATX chassis so if the Antec Mini-ITX chassis had a power supply failure or whatever the board could go in another chassis.

What’s interesting about computer hardware at the moment is that Moore’s Law has slowed down a bit. Intel has hit the limit of 14 nanometres for five generations of CPUs. The four computers will have the following specs:

  • mediapc: Ivy Bridge, 22nm, Intel DB75EN, Pentium G2120 
  • mainpc:  Haswell,  22 nm, Gigabyte H97, Pentium G
  • serverpc: Skylake, 14 nm, Gigabyte H110M-S2H, Pentium G4400
  • new: one of the following depending on what I can get
    • Kaby Lake, 14 nm, Gigabyte H270M-D3H, Pentium G4560
    • Coffee Lake, 14 nm, Gigabyte B360 D3H, Pentium G5400

 But the new Coffee Lake and Whiskey Lake which are the next two generations of CPUs will still be 14 nm. And the 14 nm architecture started with Broadwell which is between Haswell and Skylake.

 So at 14 nm there is Broadwell,  Skylake, Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake and then finally there will be the new 10 nm architecture on Cannon Lake, Ice Lake and Tiger Lake, etc, etc, etc. Usually with Intel you will only have two generations (tick and tock) on the same architecture so they must have had some difficulties getting to 10 nm.

With this optimisation (assuming it happens) I am also getting away from the idea of being able to use three or four computers for maps. The idea that mediapc could do some stuff has been dropped in favour of adding one of its screens to serverpc and using four screens across two computers and doing all the map work on those four screens. So the case is there to pump serverpc up to more memory.