Newegg.ca sent me email yesterday with a tracking number. Click on it and BUH "we have no information about this package." Yes, you are idiots.

But this morning, I try again at 8h00. And BUH PACKAGE ON TRUCK IN SHERBROOKE!

So I don't go back to bed, wait impatiently for the truck to show up. Three cheers for eCommerce!

So, is a 40gb Intel X25-V SSD a speed demon? Not as much as I thought. Simple dd gives 40MB/s, which isn't huge. I'm beginning to suspect that either the SATA driver or SATA chipset nVidia MCP61 lack in some way. I have a huge Gnumeric spreadsheet that would load easily off the Seagate IDE drive, took several minutes from the WD Green SATA and maybe 15 seconds off the SSD. Maybe I just expected to much...

But speed is a secondary point for me; lack of moving parts is a HUGE WIN. Corey now makes so little noise, it's spooky. No more click-click-click as the computer hunts the hard disk for all my precious info. Just a soft fffffff from the PSU fan. And I suspect that when I put the side and front onto the case, that'll be even softer.

Now, to get rid of the last source of noise. How about a fan-less PSU. Something like a picoPSU 160 XT maybe? The mobo (ASUS M2N-MX SE) wants 15 amps on the 12 volt rail and the picoPSU has a peak load (ie <60 seconds) of 15A on the 12 volts and 8A at max load. What's more, max load requires forced air cooling. Ah well.

In other noise news, the teen was complaining about computer noises in the TV room. What with Jimmy (current file/VM server), George (future file/vm server) and Pinky (LEAF router) just next door, I agree.

Of the 3 George was the noisiest. Also, not being fully in service easiest to pull apart. Now George has 2 XEON dual core CPUs, 5 large HDDs, 12 GB of RAM. The RAM has an ASUS MEMCOOL to keep them cool, because 6 sticks of RAM huddled together == toasty. So PSU fan, 2x CPU fans, 120mm case fan and 70mm on the MEMCOOL. I expect it to be noisy. But maybe there's some win to be had.

Poking around, I noticed that a significant high-pitched SSSSSSHHHH came from the MEMCOOL. The original fan from ASUS broke at some point. I replaced it with the first 70mm fan I could find on the Internet. Wouldn't it be cool to swap that fan with a PWM and monitor the RAM temperature and scale back the fan speed/noise accordingly? YES! But such a simple thing is not to be; first because 70mm PWM fans seem to be few and far between. But more importantly is that the i5k_amb module that I need to read the RAM temp is not available for CentOS 4. Ha! I am the hacker born, I'll just download and compile my own kernel!

Or not. Turns out that kernels no longer compile out of the tar. They need to be be patched and mothered. CURSES, FOILED!

But while waiting for the Nth kernel compile to fail, I was poking through the parts box and found the heat sink/fan for Corey's Sempron. 70x70x15mm fan, higher CFM, lower noise rating then the one already in George. A little brute force to pry it off the heat sink, a little groveling to get it into George and bingo, the high-pitched SSSSSSHHH is gone.

And there was much rejoicing.

PS : if you are wondering, I followed Ted Ts'o's guide to setting up the SSD. Yes, I am using ext4 on my root partition. Yes, I know Red Hat says not to. Yes, I back up nightly.

PPS : copying Linux to a new HDD can be painful if you have LVM. What I've found out by repeatedly hitting my head on the wall is:
rsync -vax / /new-drive/
rsync -vax /boot/ /new-drive/boot/
vi /new-drive/etc/fstab # adjust for new VGs and LGs
# The next 2 are the tricky ones
mkinitrd --fstab=/new-drive/etc/fstab /new-drive/boot/initrd-$(uname -r)-PG.img $(uname -r)
cat <<GRUB | grub --no-curses --no-floppy
device (hd0) /dev/sdb
root (hd0,0)
setup (hd0)
vi /new-drive/boot/grub/grub.conf # modify initrd= and root=

PPPS : however dreamed up the syntax for installing grub ought to be shot. Why did they hate humans so much?

No comments: