Time for a New PC - Speed Specs?

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my laptop (my main development machine) is now 7 years old - time for a new one.

 

the processor is a quad-core intel i5-3230: 2.6GHz "normal" speed, and 3.2GHz "boost" - performance-wise, it is fine.

 

One with the same complement of RAM, SSD, etc has a quad-core i7-1065G7 with 1.3GHz "normal" speed, and 3.9GHz "boost" - so that's half the "normal" speed, but a tad faster "boost"

 

This seems to be quite common with comparable current offerings.

 

So the question: is this much slower "normal" speed likely to be an issue in practice?

 

 

This topic has a solution.

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Last Edited: Fri. Jul 31, 2020 - 10:06 AM
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I do a lot of heavy graphics processing and I would say that large/fast SSD and plenty of RAM are far more important than quoted CPU specs. YMMV.

 

(but let's face it, at the end of the day the big question is really going to be.. "is it good enough to run MS FS 2020?" - see recent thread! also my original thread about it... https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/wow-just-wow-phoenix-ashes )

Last Edited: Thu. Jul 30, 2020 - 04:18 PM
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But...

 

 

Neil

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On a more serious note: as Cliff pointed out, most modern applications and OSes are memory/io bound, not cpu bound. So slam loads of ram and loads of fast 'hard disk', and unless you've got a very specific sort of work load - say, training an AI to recognise carrots or something - you're golden.

 

Neil

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large/fast SSD and plenty of RAM are far more important

 

Yes - that's why I said "same complement of RAM, SSD"

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
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Photo caption:  See, you eat the dots as fast as you can while avoiding the four ghosts........  woka, woka, woka, woka....

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

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How many cores?

 

Who cares...

 

Back in the days of DOS, and with AVR's these days, one knows exactly what the processor is doing, and where it is spending its time.

 

These days, my main desktop / work machine has multiple cores.

 

However, when I'm running multiple programs simultaneously, it still seems that one core is getting its butt kicked, and the others aren't doing anything...

 

I clearly don't understand the inner workings of Win10, or of the various programs I run, but it seems to me that none of them know how to spin off a program or task to a new core that is just sitting there doing nothing.

 

Given that, at least as it appears to me, one core is doing the vast majority of the work, I still like a "fast" machine.

 

Just another thought for your consideration...

 

JC

 

This reply has been marked as the solution. 
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awneil wrote:
Yes - that's why I said "same complement of RAM, SSD"
Yeah but my point is - forget the CPU, put all the bucks into buying as much SSD and RAM as you can stuff into the thing. 

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... and if any of the ghosts eat you, we shall take it out back by the woodshed and it'll never be seen again.  S.

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DocJC wrote:
How many cores? Who cares...

No, I don't really care!

 

I nearly didn't even put it in - just added it to be clear that I was comparing processors with the same number of cores.

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  5. When your question is resolved, mark the solution: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  6. Beginner's "Getting Started" tips: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
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"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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awneil wrote:
So the question: is this much slower "normal" speed likely to be an issue in practice?

Absolutely not:

The DDR4 support and much bigger cache more than makes up the difference.

 

https://versus.com/en/intel-core-i5-3230m-vs-intel-core-i7-1065g7

&

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-1065G7-vs-Intel-Core-i5-3230M/m888368vs2772

 

In normal use though I doubt you'll notice any difference.

Having said that; the only time I see any change between my older Sandy-Bridge core-i7 CPU (even older than your vintage CPU) versus a modern core-i7 is when 7-ZIPing. Where obviously it's noticeably faster on a modern CPU.

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I bought this a few months ago:

 

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/...

 

LOADED(i7, 32G ram 1TB hard Drive 4K screen...etc).  And it cost me $2500.00usd+

 

Its no faster than my 8 year old Desktop i7 with 16Gb of ram.

 

Laptops rarely go any higher than 2 Gig cpu speed regardless of spec because of limited cooling, and power savings.

 

AND

 

THe XPS only has two USB-C ports...thats it and one is used for powering the laptop so I had ot but an expansion Dock for desktop use and to support two monitors.  I then had to buy a portable dongle to give me extra USB ports, wired ethernet and a second display.

 

 

If you are gonna go laptops look at the Lenovo Carbon X7.  I wished I had.  I could have gotten a better machine with the ports I can use.

 

Just my experience.

 

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

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Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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awneil wrote:
my laptop (my main development machine) is now 7 years old - time for a new one.

So it's like dog years then, 7 CPU years = 1 laptop year?  or is the other way round?

 

sit Ubu, sit!

 

Jim

 

 

(Possum Lodge oath) Quando omni flunkus, moritati.

"I thought growing old would take longer"

 

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get the LG gram...has a nice TALL 16:10 display...not the goofy crunched down 16:9 big mistake display 

 

https://www.lg.com/us/laptops/lg-17z90n-r.aas9u1-ultra-slim-laptop

 

TALL 16:10 display..

TALL 16:10 display..

TALL 16:10 display..

 

dell is finally waking back up

 

https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/13/21257006/dell-xps-17-15-redesign-specs-features-update-2020

 

 

Oh, I see, maybe you want a desktop, rather than a laptop?  Get both!!

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

Last Edited: Thu. Jul 30, 2020 - 10:19 PM
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Go Mac - there's no going back!

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I build my own PCs.  I wouldn't use a store bought one.  The ones I'm using are 9 years old and working fine.  The cases, power supplies, fans and one of the hard drives are several years older than that.

 

They are cool and quiet and no dust bunnies either. 

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jgmdesign wrote:

I bought this a few months ago:

 

LOADED(i7, 32G ram 1TB hard Drive 4K screen...etc).  And it cost me $2500.00usd+

 

Its no faster than my 8 year old Desktop i7 with 16Gb of ram.

 

So, um, why did you do that?

Showing off to the girls, or what?  Save up a few more years and buy a BMW if you want to do that.  frown  S.

 

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Curiously, it takes Windows on a multi-core multi-gigahertz machine longer to get a word processor into a usable state than it took CM/P on a 4MHz Z80 to kick Wordstar to life forty years ago.

 

The emphasis on layers on top of layers on top of layers of abstraction in the name of 'easier and faster for the programmer' have done neither efficiency, speed, stability, nor program safety any good at all.

 

Neil (yes, I know I'm programming an emulator atm, but that's different, right? And I'm doing it in C which is about as close to the metal as you can get and still be portable).

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steve17 wrote:
I build my own PCs. 

Not really an option with a laptop ?

 

 

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my laptop (my main development machine) is now 7 years old - time for a new one.

the processor is a quad-core intel i5-3230: 2.6GHz "normal" speed, and 3.2GHz "boost" - performance-wise, it is fine.

So... why do you want a new one, especially if you're planning on having "the same RAM/SSD" ?

 

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Admittedly not a laptop, but a SFF Asus, but I recently upgraded and went...

 

i5-9400 @2.9GHz with a 1TB hard drive.

 

I upped the RAM to 32GB, moved the 1TB to D: (and E:) and stuck in a server-grade 512GB SSD.

 

As others have said, after much reading I went more RAM and SSD rather than worry too much about chip model and number of cores.

#1 Hardware Problem? https://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/...

#2 Hardware Problem? Read AVR042.

#3 All grounds are not created equal

#4 Have you proved your chip is running at xxMHz?

#5 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand."

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I have heard that the gen-10 ("Ice Lake"?) have significantly better "integrated graphics."

 

And then there is AMD...

 

I've sort-of divided laptops into "portable machines that you plug in" (with good performance) and "things that actually have a reasonable battery life and are light enough to carry around easily" (with less performance.)

 

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westfw wrote:
portable machines that you plug in

That.

 

The current one has a 17.3" screen - which is not so good for "carry around easily" 

 

But it's only 1600x900 pixels

 

Current ones do 1920x1080 on a 15" screen

As  avrcandies said, for development work it would be nice if they were a bit wider rather than taller

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  5. When your question is resolved, mark the solution: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  6. Beginner's "Getting Started" tips: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
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westfw wrote:
why do you want a new one

The battery is dead, the keyboard is dodgy, no BT/BLE, WiFi is 2.4GHz only,  it's Win-7, etc, etc

Top Tips:

  1. How to properly post source code - see: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment... - also how to properly include images/pictures
  2. "Garbage" characters on a serial terminal are (almost?) invariably due to wrong baud rate - see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-communication
  3. Wrong baud rate is usually due to not running at the speed you thought; check by blinking a LED to see if you get the speed you expected
  4. Difference between a crystal, and a crystal oscillatorhttps://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  5. When your question is resolved, mark the solution: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
  6. Beginner's "Getting Started" tips: https://www.avrfreaks.net/comment...
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awneil wrote:

steve17 wrote:

I build my own PCs. 

 

Not really an option with a laptop ?

 

 

Exactly.  With desktops though, the components are all standard, but some are higher quality than others.

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Most people don't need a core i7 CPU.  My computers have core i5 CPUs that cost $220 each.  My motherboards cost $180.  I don't have a graphics card.  The graphics built into the CPU is just fine for me.   If you want 2 monitors you need a motherboard with 2 video ports.

 

I'm not very familiar with modern motherboards, but some of them have a slot, maybe it's called M.2, that allows you to plug in a memory card that's faster than the traditional SSD that emulates a hard drive and plugs in with a SATA cable.  I guess it uses memory like the SSD but is faster.

 

I'd suggest 16 GB of RAM or maybe more.  One of my computers only has 8 GB and that works fine.  I do keep an eye on memory usage.  Normally it's not a problem, but sometimes when I have many tabs open on my browser, the system goes bananas and uses up all the memory.   Especially Edge does this, but I've seen it happen with Firefox.  

 

By the way, have you tried the new Edge?  It uses chromium which is Google's open source browser stuff.  I don't think I installed it on Win10 yet. Amazingly it is an important update for Win7 so I installed it there.  I thought I disabled Win7 from the internet by disabling the wifi connection in the system tray rather than disabling  the wifi connection in control panel, but apparently when I reboot Win7, it automatically enables the connection in the system tray.

Last Edited: Fri. Jul 31, 2020 - 04:58 PM
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One of my computers only has 8 GB and that works fine.

I'd hope so...one of mine only has one gig of ram & it's running the latest win 10 with no problem....the cpu is low end & the whole thing was around $120 bucks, with touchscreeen  & ssd to boot.  It's somewhat slow, but generally usable for browsing or working open office.  Somewhat amazing, overall.  Of course I have a much higher end laptop that puts it completely to shame...but still, I'm impressed.

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Apparently there are shortages of laptops at present.  I know Newegg has fewer options than they did a month ago.  I am looking at 14 inch Lenovo.  Newegg has a T480 with 32 GB DDR4 SDRAM, 512 GB SSD, 2 USB 3.1, 2 USB C, 1920x1080 with 250 nits for Less than $1300.  I don't think I need the fingerprint or Thunderbolt features, and would trade them for 1 TB SSD.  I guess I will keep looking.  Do those specs seem reasonable?  i5 processor with Windows 10

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Kartman wrote:

Go Mac - there's no going back!

 

I did, from numerous Windows laptops to a MacBook Pro three years ago, and would never go back. I've been using Unix workstations since 1991 and this the best one I've ever owned, as much as my heart/soul wants to like Linux. Fast, stable, excellent graphics, and all the software I need runs natively (excl AS7).

 

I run VMware Fusion for VMs when I need Windows or Linux. (But the putative Apple move to Arm-based silicon will put paid to that). My only regret was not getting 16GB of memory.

 

I was taught 40 years ago to choose the software first, then a machine to run it on, so it depends on what you need.

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obdevel wrote:
... as much as my heart/soul wants to like Linux.
Purism has a new notebook PC arriving northern Fall'20; currently on sale for the pre-sale (for maybe a month or two?)

Ubuntu certs exist for a lot of notebook PC.

obdevel wrote:
I run VMware Fusion for VMs when I need Windows ...
VMware is one of the VMM that have Visual Studio VHD images.

There's a Docker container for MPLAB X.

obdevel wrote:
... choose the software first, ...
concur

 


Librem 14 Launch FAQ – Purism

July 7, 2020

...

 

Q: When will the Librem 14 ship?
A: 
Early Q4 2020

 

...

Ubuntu Desktop certified hardware | Ubuntu via The 5 Best Cheap Linux Computers to Buy Today

 

FSF cert : Products | RYF

 

Linux Notebooks | ThinkPenguin.com

 

a reconditioned notebook PC from Berlin :

NitroPad: Secure Laptop With Unique Tamper Detection | Nitrokey

 

Download a Windows 10 virtual machine - Windows app development (VMware, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, Parallels)

Dockerfile for MPLAB X IDE/IPE and toolchains | Microchip

 

Windows 10 + Edge :

Free Virtual Machines from IE8 to MS Edge - Microsoft Edge Development (VMware, Hyper-V, VirtualBox, Parallels, Vagrant)

 

Vagrant by HashiCorp

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I use the MS developer VMs, either bare or with Visual Studio, etc. 90 days licence + extendable for another 90 days, so I only need to start afresh twice a year. I don't own a Win10 licence, other than the VM image from my last laptop. I have a free Office educational licence (and FreeDOS and Solaris VMs for nostalgia's sake). Eagle, Arduino IDE, gcc, etc run natively.

 

The problem with spinning up Win10 VMs only intermittently is the inevitable hour of updates before you can get on with any useful work. I keep my Linux Mint VM pretty fresh, and the Mac itself only needs rebooting every couple of months for security updates. I think I've spent 50 euros keeping my VMware Fusion install current.

 

The MPLAB container is useful to know about; I shall investigate.

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Release Notes for MPLAB® X IDE

MPLAB X IDE v5.40

May 14, 2020

 

...

 

2.1      Recommended Configurations (64 bit)

Platform

Processor

Memory

Disk Space

Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional/ Windows 8 Professional/ Windows 10 Professional

 

Intel® Core™ i7 or equivalent

8 GB

1.5 GB of free disk space

Ubuntu® 15.04

 

Intel Core i5 or equivalent

4 GB

1.5 GB of free disk space

Mac OS® X 10.11 Intel

 

Intel Core Duo or Intel Core 2 Duo

4 GB

1.5 GB of free disk space

...

via http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/mplabx-ide-release-notes-r1-v5.40.zip

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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obdevel wrote:

I was taught 40 years ago to choose the software first, then a machine to run it on

...

I use the MS developer VMs

...

My only regret was not getting 16GB of memory.

 

Sorry; I couldn't help that one.

 

But don't Apple charge an arm & a leg for their higher memory options? So I guess you're excused

 

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But these choices are never perfect and some software requirements are more important than others, and some non-functional reqs more important to me, e.g. security, stability, portability, robustness. The MacBook runs 90% of what I use 90% if the time. AS7 is a minor interest for me and I may well move over to MPLAB as its coverage of AVR and Arm increases.

 

Re choosing hardware, I should have added a caveat; ceteris paribus. i.e. the assumption that all hardware is created equal in terms of non-functional reqs, which clearly it is not :)

 

Looking at Surface 3 pricing as a comparison, it's not possible to just add more memory. You have to take pre-canned configs so it's difficult to compare with Apple pricing. I accept that a home-built whitebox will provide better value for money, and be upgradeable.

 

I should also add that, as a human being, the emotional aspect is a consideration as well. 

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obdevel wrote:
caveat; ceteris paribus. i.e.  

Only someone from Cambridge would throw all that Latin at me.  wink

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obdevel wrote:
ceteris paribus

Never having seen or heard that before, I had to look it up, then realised it has an obvious translation.

obdevel wrote:
Looking at Surface 3 pricing as a comparison,

I looked at the price for 15" Core-i7 16GB 256GB SSD Laptop; but not for very long. Interestingly though; there were remarkably fewer Intel options versus Ryzen-5 choices.

 

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look at these at you may  appreciate your choices a bit more:   https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/vintage-tech-ads/

 

 

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Intel are having widely-reported problems reducing process size, and are 6-18 months behind AMD, who outsource chip production to Taiwan.

 

https://www.theregister.com/2020...

In effect, Intel screwed up 10nm, turned to 7nm to make up lost ground, and went off the rails again.

Meanwhile, competitors like Marvell, AMD, and Nvidia, are already booking capacity within TSMC to ship 5nm chips by the end of 2021. TSMC is ramping up its 5nm output, and is set to churn out Apple-designed processors for the iPhone 12 among other things. Intel previously claimed its now-stalled 7nm process node is as good as TSMC's 5nm.

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E-mail has been around a long time.  Here's the sending unit.

 

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I don't quite get the problem.  My 9 year old CPU uses 22 nm and it works well.  I don't think new CPUs work much better.

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I also recently replaced my Acer Aspire S3 which has an  i5-2467M CPU after 7-8 years of use. Honestly, the problem was low memory and lack of an SSD, the CPU is still ok for most work.

CPU tech has hit a state of maturity where there are just incremental improvements, a bit like internal combustion engines.

 

My current laptop has an i5-8265U, 20GB of RAM and a 120GB  SSD (yeah it's small but I got a very good deal for the whole system). I think, barred any accidents, it will not need an upgrade for 10 years. Maybe a bigger SSD eventually.

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El Tangas wrote:
CPU tech has hit a state of maturity where there are just incremental improvements, a bit like internal combustion engines.
which are being replaced by an electric motor on/in each wheel (parallelization)

 


A six-year old CPU :

Intel® Xeon® Processor E7-4890 v2 (37.5M Cache, 2.80 GHz) Product Specifications

due to CPU Performance Benchmark – MCU Performance Benchmark – CoreMark – EEMBC Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium

 

VM, Containers, and Serverless Programming for Embedded Developers | Electronic Design

by William G. Wong

SEP 07, 2017

Enterprise computing has delivered virtual machines, containers and now serverless programming. Find out where it fits for embedded developers.

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I mention this [serverless] to partition out lower-end embedded systems that may lack even a memory management unit.

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... and now FaaS (Function as a Service). FaaS is also known as serverless computing. 

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Virtual Machines

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The multicore processors make this practical and help provide a scalable environment, since high-end CPU core performance has essentially flattened.

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Containers

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Serverless Computing

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"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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El Tangas wrote:

I also recently replaced my Acer Aspire S3 which has an  i5-2467M CPU after 7-8 years of use. Honestly, the problem was low memory and lack of an SSD, the CPU is still ok for most work.

I haven't looked inside a store bought computer in many years, but I'm guessing there is room for at least 2 hard drives and SSDs.  Memory is a different story, but I guess somewhere on earth is some memory that would work in your motherboard.

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steve17 wrote:

Memory is a different story, but I guess somewhere on earth is some memory that would work in your motherboard.

 

No, unfortunately the memory is not in memory modules, it's soldered on board (like MS Surface), therefore not upgradeable sad I could upgrade the disk drive to SSD, but it wasn't really worth it.

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Recommended Configurations (64 bit)

"1.5GB disk space"??!!

That's hilarious.  I guess it might be true, if you don't install any compilers, or "packs."  My "full-ish" install in about 22G on Mac.

(8G of "packs"!!!)