Using Linux with Pentium 4 vs an I5 machine

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Using Linux with Pentium 4 vs an I5 machine

Postby bustard on Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:00 pm

Some notes on how moving from a pentium 4 to an I5 ivy bridge
machine worked out with linux.

When I had the pentium 4, any variety of linux seemed to install
and run with no problem.

In August, the motherboard crapped out so I bought the new I5.

Things were no longer so smooth; I had settled on a debian-based
os, and was interested in debian itself, ubuntu gnome or mint
(mate).

But when I tried to install debian, it got past the splash screen
and started to ask my language and so on, and at some point around
there, decided it could not detect my dvd drive. Tried with a
couple of different downloads of debian, including 32-bit, but no good.

I would have used mint in the first place except for a small
problem - see below for that.

Anyhow, ubuntu was next and that installed and ran well; it was a
bit slow compared to mint, and the system 'crashed' at least once
every two days, probably closer to once every day. The crash did
not affect the operation of the pc; it was just a popup window and
an icon that looked like a splash of blood that appeared on the
panel. Still, there has got to be something amiss for that to be
going on.

I did not run mint because, for some strange reason, when I tried
to back up with clonezilla, which I had used happily for a couple
of years, the backup got to about 98 percent of the MBR and
something choked - I got the 'something went wrong' message.

One time I let it continue to do the backup, but the result was
useless. This only happened with mint.

Finally I found Redo, which has no problems with mint/I5 and I can
now back up the OS and am happily using mint again.

Some of that must be familiar to others unless the salesman sold
me a defective I5 cpu.
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Re: Using Linux with Pentium 4 vs an I5 machine

Postby Penguinnerd on Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:37 am

bustard wrote:But when I tried to install debian, it got past the splash screen
and started to ask my language and so on, and at some point around
there, decided it could not detect my dvd drive. Tried with a
couple of different downloads of debian, including 32-bit, but no good.


Most likely you needed newer drivers or perhaps proprietary ones. Debian includes no binary/proprietary drivers out of principle. It only includes truly open source stuff. You can get install cd's that still include the non-free/closed source drivers if you do some searching.

I bet you also used debian stable. Debian testing (wheezy) is about to be released as the new stable, and was already better tested than most releases of other distros close to a year ago. Even if non-binary (open source) drivers are available, they are probably newer than debian 6.0 "squeeze" for this machine. You would want 7.0 "wheezy" for a new machine.

bustard wrote:Anyhow, ubuntu was next and that installed and ran well; it was a
bit slow compared to mint, and the system 'crashed' at least once
every two days, probably closer to once every day. The crash did
not affect the operation of the pc; it was just a popup window and
an icon that looked like a splash of blood that appeared on the
panel. Still, there has got to be something amiss for that to be
going on.


That's ubuntu... It happens.

bustard wrote:Some of that must be familiar to others unless the salesman sold
me a defective I5 cpu.


Nope. The i5 is probably fine.
CPU sales are not like car sales where some shady dealership tries to rip you off.

The problems are probably all caused by drivers, actual bugs, etc. A bad cpu typically won't even work.
Has nothing to do with the i5. The i5 is just the cpu... It's like blaming the engine when you get a flat tire.
Bad ram on the other hand can cause some crashiness.
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Re: Using Linux with Pentium 4 vs an I5 machine

Postby bustard on Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:47 am

Penguinnerd wrote:Most likely you needed newer drivers or perhaps proprietary ones. Debian includes no binary/proprietary drivers out of principle. It only includes truly open source stuff. You can get install cd's that still include the non-free/closed source drivers if you do some searching.

....You would want 7.0 "wheezy" for a new machine.

Thanks for putting that into perspective. I have used Debian in the past, but at this point in my linux-using career, I will probably stick with Mint unless something like the old freezing starts again. I think that was a couple of kernels ago, however, and so far so good with this latest version.

At this point, mint seems to be a far better os than the 12.04 ubuntu I was using: it is faster and leaner and is as effective as ubuntu in doing what I want to do with the computer. You can have the gnome look in ubuntu by installing gnome-panel, but I guess the os is built in such a way that you are stuck with the overhead for Unity whether or not you use it, hence its relative slowness.

Ubuntu has one good feature that is missing in mint: allowing you to have the entire os encrypted. I was able to do that by installing ubuntu with their alternate cd, but mint allows only the home directory to be encrypted. But even with that in the scales, mint is preferable.

I'm not in the business so it is hard to see what the ubuntu owners are trying to do. Maybe they think that the cartoon-like Unity interface will appeal to people used to Windows or maybe used to smartphones or 'tablets' or whatever the rage is these days. Maybe its relative slowness is not important in their minds in comparison to the value they see in providing the eye-candy.

I just hope the mint owners don't take the os down the ubuntu path.
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