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Thread: Three questions (PSU, GFX, WLAN)

  1. #1
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    Three questions (PSU, GFX, WLAN)

    1. what's a good way to stress test a power supply within its operating parameters? I plugged five hard disks, two optical drives, one floppy and USB-powered speakers, and ran a CPU benchmarking tool for several hours.

    2. what kind of performance can I expect from an Intel HD Graphics 3000 chip, and are modded drivers worth a try? (All I know so far is that it's much better than my GMA 3600.)

    3. is using a three-antenna wireless router a good idea to provide maximum coverage and stability as it seems to be? The rector at my school is finally willing to give us some money, so I'll buy some with three antennas either way to make the most out of it, but I want to know it they're better or just a gimmick.
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    1:
    An HDD will take 4 to 6 watts maximum.
    Optical drives takes nothing unless used in burning/copy operation.
    Floppy, nothing as above.
    USB-powered speakers ~500mA

    All of these don't even scratch the surface. So don't try them.

    Stressing the CPU means, RAM and motherboard bus transfers will be also stressed. However, video system will be left unstressed. So I would say try a game because this stresses everything from video, cpu to HDD and memory. Something big that only runs on your PC on bare minimum.


    3:
    Maximum coverage is given by the power of the antennas (referenced in dbi). The higher the better but also more expensive. Some router have detachable antennas so you can buy better one later on.

    Stability have no connection with the antennas. We're talking here about a maximum number of connections and enough CPU and RAM to be able to process them and the data.
    A good site that lists router hardware specs is http://openwrt.org/
    As an example: http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wdr3600

    If there are many wireless devices and computers, a router with at least 128MB RAM and 560Mhz.
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    The HD Graphics are pretty damn good. I have a HD4000 on my htpc and it can easily run games that aren't too power hungry. It's pretty amazing for a baked in solution. Not sure if there even are modded drivers.

    I think buying larger antenna's will get you a better result than getting more of them. The 3 antenna option is nice because you can set all 3 on an axis (x y z), living in a 3D world and all ;-) Apparently, or so I have read, it does make a difference if you set it up that way. It's better, but not _the_ solution to all problems.

    Openwrt is awesome, but I would not install this in a professional environment. Those just demand a stock option, tinkering is not an option on the work floor imho. Also, be mindful before installing it since while it comes with tons of new features, you'll lose an important one: hardware NAT which turns into software NAT. (at least the last time I read up on things)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Razor View Post
    An HDD will take 4 to 6 watts maximum.
    That's way less than I thought they needed.

    For the record, one of them was a huge Quantum Bigfoot. Had it lying around and thought the extra size made it perfect for this test. Maximum wattage on the PSU is 620 W.

    Optical drives takes nothing unless used in burning/copy operation.
    Floppy, nothing as above.
    I learned that optical drives go into standby some seconds after their last activity from HDAT2, so I kept them reading from two CDs. Planned to keep the floppy drive active too, but it was broken and caused freezes, so I didn't and thus indeed it shouldn't count.

    Stressing the CPU means, RAM and motherboard bus transfers will be also stressed. However, video system will be left unstressed. So I would say try a game because this stresses everything from video, cpu to HDD and memory. Something big that only runs on your PC on bare minimum.


    3:
    Maximum coverage is given by the power of the antennas (referenced in dbi). The higher the better but also more expensive. Some router have detachable antennas so you can buy better one later on.

    Stability have no connection with the antennas. We're talking here about a maximum number of connections and enough CPU and RAM to be able to process them and the data.
    A good site that lists router hardware specs is http://openwrt.org/
    As an example: http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/tp-link/tl-wdr3600

    If there are many wireless devices and computers, a router with at least 128MB RAM and 560Mhz.
    Thanks for the tips!

    This is the most attractive router I found so far, although I haven't checked the full specifications yet.

    450Mbps Wireless N Router TL-WR940N - Welcome to TP-LINK

    Quote Originally Posted by Sazzy View Post
    The HD Graphics are pretty damn good. I have a HD4000 on my htpc and it can easily run games that aren't too power hungry. It's pretty amazing for a baked in solution. Not sure if there even are modded drivers.
    Agreed on that they're very good for an integrated adapter. Much was my surprise when I tried GTA San Andreas and Counter-Strike: Source and realized they ran perfectly, whereas they were unplayable on my previous laptop. A much more noticeable transition than when I went from a GMA 3150 to 3600.

    I found several modded drivers and wanted to test them while the forum was down, but even though my particular model was supposedly supported, all of them refused to install. Will share the links if you want to try them out too.

    I think buying larger antenna's will get you a better result than getting more of them. The 3 antenna option is nice because you can set all 3 on an axis (x y z), living in a 3D world and all ;-) Apparently, or so I have read, it does make a difference if you set it up that way. It's better, but not _the_ solution to all problems.
    Makes sense.

    Openwrt is awesome, but I would not install this in a professional environment. Those just demand a stock option, tinkering is not an option on the work floor imho. Also, be mindful before installing it since while it comes with tons of new features, you'll lose an important one: hardware NAT which turns into software NAT. (at least the last time I read up on things)
    Does that apply to all custom firmwares, or just OpenWRT? In the former case, why is it not a good idea? We already have two TP-LINK routers flashed with DD-WRT. It seems stabler than the official firmware and most importantly, you can add many more MAC addresses to the whitelist. That is not a bulletproof solution (allowed MACs can be obtained and spoofed, and centralization is much better for this sort of filtering), but it stopped sneaky students from getting the Wi-Fi password and slowing our network down all the time.

    The routers are going to be used access points, with DHCP disabled and the uplink cable plugged to a LAN jack, so the NAT issue shouldn't be a problem (as far as I know). That's still useful information for other usage situations, however.
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  7. #5
    Because hardware NAT is a lot faster and doesn't take up as much resources as the software NAT would. It applies to all custom firmwares
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