Will SR take advantage of a faster CPU?

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mappo

Member
Sep 25, 2021
14
1
Sweden
I'm planning to set up a dedicated PC for SpinRite. Still in the design-phase, I have some questions:
  • How CPU-intensive is SR? Will it be faster with a faster CPU, or will the drive always be the limiting factor?
  • What about threads? Should I go for more threads or higher speed single-thread?
  • Does it have to be a 64-bit system?
  • Does more RAM equal more better?
  • Will BIOS booting continue to work past v.6 or should I go for a mainboard with UEFI?
I'm tempted to dust off an old P4 system I have. It's only 32-bit (so no more than 3-ish GB of RAM) and single-thread (but close to 3 GHz). It's also BIOS only.
Looking forward to hear from the elder geeks.
 
In answer to your actual questions:

How CPU-intensive is SR?
Not really at all. An old 286 (AT class IBM PC, 10 MHz level) would probably be fine, except it would be missing some of the 386 class instructions needed for modern SpinRite.

What about threads?
It's strictly single threaded.

Does it have to be a 64-bit system?
No, but if it's new, it's probably better that it is for the future as even Linux us dropping some support for older 32bit machines.

Does more RAM equal more better?
No, a single gigabyte is sufficient, but again, the future is more, so 2G is probably sufficient for anything in the near future. (Good luck finding a new PC with less than 4G or even 8G of RAM though, other than in the recommended system, in previous post.)

Will BIOS booting continue to work past v.6 or should I go for a mainboard with UEFI?
Steve has committed to V7 still supporting legacy booting, but he doesn't really have control over the future of PCs. Intel has deprecated legacy booting since 2020, so it's getting more difficult to get a new machine that has the necessary CSM to support it.
 
  • Done!
Reactions: mappo
The limitation on your P4 may be the SATA speed. I have a motherboard that supports SATA-3. As a rough guide: for a 1TB hard drive, it scans a SATA-3 HD in ~2 hrs. a SATA-2 HD in ~3hrs, and a SATA-1 HD in ~4hrs.

SR6.1 will not run on a UEFI-only motherboard.
 
The limitation on your P4 may be the SATA speed. I have a motherboard that supports SATA-3. As a rough guide: for a 1TB hard drive, it scans a SATA-3 HD in ~2 hrs. a SATA-2 HD in ~3hrs, and a SATA-1 HD in ~4hrs.

SR6.1 will not run on a UEFI-only motherboard.
The slowness of the SATA might be an issue, but I consider this to be an overnight procedure anyway. Thank you for your input!
 
The only thing I would add is about the somewhat unknown future of SpinRite. If your goal is to create a dedicated SpinRite 6.1 system, then everything said above was 100% on the money. But I have big plans for SpinRite 7+ and I would be less certain that things like multiple cores and an excess of RAM and many more drive interfaces might not be useful. My biggest concern is over total memory system bandwidth, since I expect that might be stretched thin. But there, more caching would not help. Only faster main memory with wider paths.

The next SpinRite will be inherently multitasking and will be able to run on any number of drives at once. It will also be VERY busy doing other things, with a lot going on at once. I don't yet have any calibration on any of this. And in the worst case, a lesser capable machine might (and it's only a "might") prevent SpinRite from doing as much at once. But I'm also certain that the lower-end ZimaBoard will have plenty of power either way... though it might (and, again, I just don't know yet) limit how many drives can be kept busy at once, or how deeply many drives can be monitored.
 
Level 4 and 5 do a verification pass that might get bottlenecked on something as old as a Pentium 4, but I don't know if anyone has benchmarked that yet.