February 21, 2020

The New Machine

New hardware

The New Machine

That's a fairly ominous title for a post that will amount to "I'm getting some new hardware and want to brag", but it did sound pretty cool to me.

Ye Olde

Lets quickly detail what I have:

Item Model Release Specs
Motherboard M4A88T-M 2010
Processor AMD Phenom II x4 B55 2013 OC'd 3.5ghz 4 cores
Ram Corsair Vengeance 2013 16GB 1333MHz
Primary Storage Seagate 2TB Mobile HDD Slim SATA 2.5" ST2000LM007 2017 2TB 5400RPM
Secondary Storage SAMSUNG Spinpoint M7 HM250HI 250GB 2009 256GB 5400RPM
Tertiary Storage Hitatchi 320 GB Hts54503 2010 320GB 5400RPM
Graphics Card Nvidia GTX 760 2013 2GB DDR5

While I have 2.5TB of storage available only the Seagate drive is in use, with a single partition storing everything. This was primarily done as part of a failed rescue effort to quickly get me back up and running and restore data from a dead FS a few months ago. The Hitatchi and Samsung drives currently are set entirely as swap devices.

              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:           15Gi       3.4Gi       6.1Gi       143Mi       6.1Gi        11Gi
Swap:         530Gi        52Mi       530Gi

This is very much a silly "Because I can" decision rather than something sensible and thought out. An unmentioned failing 1.5TB 3.5" drive also exists but is not currently installed

On review I'm moderately surprised that all the hardware is that "new", although the timing works out as it would be around that period I was at the tail end of my time in Yorkshire. I've felt the limitations of my CPU specifically and while I thought I was working with a 9 or 10 year old machine, 7 years is still quite a while.

The New

So I bought new hardware:

Item Model Release Specs
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 Q2 2019
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 3900x Q2 2019 3.8ghz 12 cores
Ram Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 XMP 2.0 Q1 2018 64GB 3000MHz
Primary Storage WD Green m2 WDS240G2G0B Q1 2018 240GB
Secondary Storage Seagate 2TB Mobile HDD Slim SATA 2.5" ST2000LM007 2017 2TB 5400RPM
Tertiary Storage SAMSUNG Spinpoint M7 HM250HI 250GB 2009 256GB 5400RPM
Quatiary Storage Hitatchi 320 GB Hts54503 2010 320GB 5400RPM
Graphics Card Nvidia RTX 2070S Q3 2019 8GB DDR6

Quite a sizable difference I hope you can agree.

Lets not dwell too much on this because there are pressing concerns, as mentioned above my filesystem is currently a single btrfs volume but as the new M2 storage is coming in, I thought in the name of performance I ought to layout my filesystem a little more sensibly.

The drive itself is a lower end m2, with an emphasis of power saving rather than speed, I wasn't really aware of this at time of purchase but it fit budget and was bigger than anything else I could get for that price I see why now, the folly of youth (last week) I guess. With that in mind I am coming from a pure HDD build to integrating an SSD, boot time isn't a significant concern as I rarely shutdown, perhaps that will change with this new found speed, doubtful though, as I've grown a custom to the dull whirring of fans while I sleep and never been in that habit of turning my desktop off.

Perhaps if prompted I'll write a review 3 months from now.


Back on track:

This post will need updating once I've completed with examples but as it stands the plan is:

  1. Migrate boot, etc, var, usr, bin, lib, srv and so on over to the m2 device
  2. Remove swap
  3. Create a single BTRFS partition across the available drives. Raidify it
  4. Install the failing 1.5TB device, mount /var/lib/docker, ~/.wine & ~/.steam there.

The result of this should be that system related files are quickly accessible, my personal files are secured with lots of space to expand & that games and other things that use a lot of storage (mostly docker images) get a sizable dedicated hard drive, this may fail but nothing too important will be lost (it's been a long while since I've been too upset of the loss of a saved game.). All of these can be re-downloaded and reinstalled without too much hassle.

I'm also in posession of a number of drives which I believe have failed, if boot time is insignificant I might take a look at these to establish if they are truely dead or if perhaps something can be done. A post for another time perhaps.