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Old 2014-12-07, 12:47   #1
wildrabbitt
 
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Default running OS in text mode

Hi,

I've set up a machine running ubuntu. I've got mprime going.

I've started running the OS in text mode.

Can someone tell me if there is any advantage in doing this?
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Old 2014-12-07, 14:18   #2
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrabbitt View Post
Hi,

I've set up a machine running ubuntu. I've got mprime going.

I've started running the OS in text mode.

Can someone tell me if there is any advantage in doing this?
Yeah, you don't get mouse-shoulder. You also tend to learn more about how the OS really works, though this is only a tendency and not a guarantee.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2014-12-07 at 14:19
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Old 2014-12-07, 16:29   #3
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If you shut down the GUI it frees the memory the GUI would use. How much that helps depends how much memory the system has and how much you need for mprime (and any other software you are running).

Screen output in text mode uses less CPU time that screen output via a GUI. This is only significant if the application is writing a lot of screen output though.

Chris

PS. The first system I used had a teleprinter for output with paper tape for mass storage. But that was a long time ago.
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Old 2014-12-08, 09:58   #4
wildrabbitt
 
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Okay, thanks for all that.

Apparently, LL tests don't use a lot of memory.

Still, it makes sense that if the CPU has less work to do in addition to the LL tests, then it aught to get on with them faster.
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Old 2014-12-08, 14:57   #5
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It makes more of a difference if you're mfaktc/mfakto/cudalucas, which use the GPU.
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Old 2014-12-08, 16:52   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrabbitt View Post
Okay, thanks for all that.

Apparently, LL tests don't use a lot of memory.

Still, it makes sense that if the CPU has less work to do in addition to the LL tests, then it aught to get on with them faster.
This is valid, but you're talking less than one part in a thousand. It's like saying that clearly your car must be faster with the windows up, because there is less wind resistance.
Consider: on a quad-core desktop, you have ~12 billion cycles available per second. Redrawing a screen might take a million? Back in the PII era, at 400Mhz, this was maybe 1-2% faster to run without a GUI. We're 30+ times faster now, and GPUs do most of the screen-calculation work now anyway.
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Old 2014-12-08, 17:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VBCurtis View Post
This is valid, but you're talking less than one part in a thousand. It's like saying that clearly your car must be faster with the windows up, because there is less wind resistance.
Consider: on a quad-core desktop, you have ~12 billion cycles available per second. Redrawing a screen might take a million? Back in the PII era, at 400Mhz, this was maybe 1-2% faster to run without a GUI. We're 30+ times faster now, and GPUs do most of the screen-calculation work now anyway.
As George has posted elsewhere, Prime95 is memory limited rather than cpu limited. Anything which reduces memory accesses will also speed up Prime95.
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Old 2014-12-09, 10:41   #8
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I am disappointed that no one has suggested simply testing it on the target system and see if there is a noticeable difference.

Try it with a GUI. Then try it again without a GUI. Did you see any difference? If not then use whatever mode you are most comfortable with. If there is a significant difference then weigh up the loss of a GUI against the gain in speed and see which suits you best.

And ignore all of the above handwaving and guesswork by those posters that are merely speculating and pulling figures out of nowhere.
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Old 2014-12-09, 16:53   #9
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I have pure "text" based Linux, even compile kernel and remove anything except I really need to Linux work and to get picture on monitor.
And with all that I maybe have 1% faster machine then same on Windows with full GUI.
Bit since that computer is with me now for two years, I like that approach, you can write small commands, write in console.... it is like a funny :)
So , answer, no, you will not get it faster with simple "text" mode Linux...
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Old 2014-12-09, 18:20   #10
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To give a few figures based on actual experience.

Shutting down the GUI will probably save a few tens to hundreds of Mbytes of memory. Which probably won't make much difference on a newish system with several Gbytes of memory.

Writing screen output is only significant if an application is writing hundreds or thousands of lines per second. Eg msieve polynomial selection. I have seen this, that's why when I updated factMsieve.pl to multithread polynomial selection I made it put output into a file instead of to the screen.

Chris
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Old 2014-12-14, 06:50   #11
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On an older machine of mine, I used to run it in safe mode when I was at work. The amount of extra crunching was worth the 2 reboots. And if I was going to be away for a weekend, I would make sure to do safe mode. I have yet to test my current machine.
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