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#1 2011-08-26 01:56:12

sitquietly
Member
From: Moscow, Tennessee
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 216

Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

My new Sandy Bridge board arrives tomorrow big_smile

I plan on replacing my Zotac IONITX-A-U mini-itx board (Nvidia graphics / Intel Atom 330 dual-core cpu) with an Intel DH67CLB3 ATX board (Intel HD-3000 graphics / Intel i5-2405s quad-core cpu).

Everything else stays the same (Intel X-25e ssd, etc.).

Since I'm running a modular kernel with all modules available for the new system, and both boards are X86_64 systems it should be possible to simply replace the old board with the new and reboot with no change to the software. I'll disable kdm and get X working with the new graphics; Intel graphics is already installed.

Anybody see any problem with this plan? Is this going to work?

BUT I compile all packages from source and all of the installed software has been compiled for the Atom cpu. Specifically,

CFLAGS="-march=atom -msse3 -mfpmath=sse -O2 -pipe -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2"

As nearly as I can find the code compiled for the Atom will also run on the core i5. That's the question: Does anyone know or suspect that atom-specific code will NOT run on an i5? Yeah it will be optimized for in-order execution and not as fast as possible on the i5. I'd like to open myself to critical advice because on Saturday I'll be facing any issues the hard way, with a broken system. I have Debian Testing installed on the sdb drive as a fallback and of course have the latest , wonderfully done Arch core install cd at the ready.

Shall we just take bets? I say that the "atom" system will boot and run ok on the i5 board. But I hope I'm not being foolhardy.

If the new system runs hmm my plan is to first compile a new kernel on the new board with -march=corei7 and then to gradually rebuild all packages.

[UPDATE}

The Sandy Bridge board would not boot the atom-optimized Arch Linux. It died with "illegal instruction" messages.  I thought the instruction sets would be compatible but ... they're not.  The Debian  x86_64 system booted and ran fine. I'll be reinstalling (*) Arch Linux x86_64 on the ssd. I do love Arch big_smile

(*) as soon as I get a replacement board, an Intel micro-atx H67 board in place of the full atx board that died sad but that's another story

Last edited by sitquietly (2011-08-28 17:07:49)

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#2 2011-08-28 19:14:11

sitquietly
Member
From: Moscow, Tennessee
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 216

Re: Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

Edited the original post to show the results.

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#3 2011-08-28 22:27:22

graysky
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From: /run/user/1000
Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 8,646
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Re: Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

You installed ALL software or just manually configured software?

1) pacman -Qm shows you what isn't in a repo but is installed
2) just installed the stock linux package and boot into that for the rebuild - no need to reinstall (unless you actually build EVERY package).
3) Use the following for your CFLAGS in /etc/makepkg.conf

CFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2"
CXXFLAGS="${CFLAGS}"

CPU-optimized Linux-ck packages @ Repo-ck  • AUR packagesZsh and other configs

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#4 2011-08-28 22:42:10

.:B:.
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

Atom is an in-order design, all other Intel desktop CPUs are out-of-order. Don't know if that will yield you an illegal instruction though. Either way, I think Gentoo is way more interesting if you want to rebuild your stuff for your CPU...


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#5 2011-08-28 23:33:57

R00KIE
Forum Moderator
From: Between a computer and a chair
Registered: 2008-09-14
Posts: 3,361

Re: Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

.:B:. wrote:

Atom is an in-order design, all other Intel desktop CPUs are out-of-order. Don't know if that will yield you an illegal instruction though.

I guess that in-order or out-of-order shouldn't matter that much as out-of-order execution should be done behind the scenes without much if any software intervention I suppose.

It looks a lot more like some Atom specific instruction that the other cpus don't have/need is causing that problem.

On another note, and I guess it has been discussed a lot before ... it might make sense to compile specifically for Atom since it might bring some tangible benefit but for more powerful cpus and for common tasks the difference might not be worth all the trouble of compiling for a specific cpu. Not to mention it can prove troublesome if the disk needs to be transplanted to another machine, as it is the case here.


R00KIE
Tm90aGluZyB0byBzZWUgaGVyZSwgbW92ZSBhbG9uZy4K

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#6 2011-08-29 00:18:55

sitquietly
Member
From: Moscow, Tennessee
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 216

Re: Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

graysky wrote:

...no need to reinstall (unless you actually build EVERY package).

I build almost every package from source, about 90% of my system is^h^hwas locally compiled and kept in a local repository (which incudes packages from AUR).  I keep a daily / weekly / monthly backup of the entire repository with abs / local pkgbuilds and source tarballs (including those from AUR) / and built packages, so I can face regressions easily by downgrading to any previous point. It's easy to keep my system running and it's been quite stable, but now it doesn't run at all.

So...

It's time to re-install smile

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#7 2011-08-29 00:20:31

sitquietly
Member
From: Moscow, Tennessee
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 216

Re: Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

.:B:. wrote:

...I think Gentoo is way more interesting if you want to rebuild your stuff for your CPU...

I don't.  big_smile

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#8 2011-08-29 00:42:59

sitquietly
Member
From: Moscow, Tennessee
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 216

Re: Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

.:B:. wrote:

It looks a lot more like some Atom specific instruction that the other cpus don't have/need is causing that problem.

...might not be worth all the trouble of compiling for a specific cpu. Not to mention it can prove troublesome if the disk needs to be transplanted to another machine, as it is the case here.

It sure looks like there is a difference in instructions -- maybe the thing I didn't account for is the difference in microcode; on these processors it all comes down to calls to microcode, which does in fact differ between the atom and the i5. That's a level of magic that is beyond my knowledge.

I agree, it's not worth the trouble of compiling the system for a specific cpu unless the cpu is right on the edge of being able to perform for the task. In my case the atom 330 was almost unable to do smooth video and audio input with decent latency. Compiling everything from source put it over the edge and made it useable. It is proving troublesome but one reason for preferring Arch over Gentoo is that a generic system can be brought up very quickly and customization done at my leisure. 

As for Arch being superior to Gentoo even for locally customized systems consider how easy it is for me to update the toolchain. I always update the toolchain by first updating the gcc/binutils chain by "pacman -S".  _Then_ I rebuild each tool after I have done that bootstrap. This is a huge advantage.  I don't have to break my system trying to handle complex dependencies on my own from scratch.  Gentoo does all that stuff but it often proposes to rebuild a LOT of packages at once and, God-forbid, it can fail to complete the cycle of re-compiles and leave the system broken. All us (former) Gentoo users learned how to cope with every kind of complex breakage. sad  That doesn't have to happen when building under Arch. Just start from the Arch binaries and THEN customize. Wow, so much easier.

Sorry to blab on so much but I'm getting testy about Arch people telling me that I should be using Gentoo.

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#9 2011-08-29 05:44:59

.:B:.
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

To each his own, of course. I can understand you want to squeeze the maximum out of your CPU, but the time you spend recompiling stuff versus the money you spend on such a setup is a tradeoff. That's just my two cents.

The Gentoo suggestion was with the best of intentions btw.


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#10 2011-08-29 09:58:13

ChojinDSL
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2010-11-30
Posts: 64
Website

Re: Plan to replace Intel atom board with Intel Sandy Bridge [FAILED]

Ahh gentoo, my first linux success story.

I'm an ex-gentoo user as well. I loved the customisation, the use flags, etc. I gladly accepted the compile times. But over the past couple of years the quality of the ebuilds has steadily declined. System breakages seem to occur with shocking regularity. Especially the kind where a update to a minor component causes incompatibilites and requires you to recompile everything.

Tried arch on a whim and found the desktop performance to be just as fast as gentoo on my netbook. Haven't looked back since then. :-)

Still, great way to learn linux though. If it weren't for gentoo, I wouldn't be a linux sysadmin today.

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