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  1. #1
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    First post from new Win10 system

    Been using Win10 at work for a while, but finally got around to building a new system for personal use. This one's a Shuttle XPC (SH67R3) with an i7-3770K CPU, 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD. A PCIE 4-port serial card plus the onboard header and rear-panel I/O gives me 5 standard COM ports plus a lot of USB connectivity.

    A Blu-Ray player/DVD burner and a multi-card reader (which also accepts SSDs) round out the peripheral complement. The motherboard has a mini-PCIE slot which I thought would accommodate an SSD, but the BIOS only supports a WiFi adapter. That's next on the list. I don't plan on using this system for gaming so the onboard video is more than adequate in terms of performance.

    Some of my older scanner-control and packet radio software (ScanCat Gold and XP-Win, for example) will only run on Win98 or 32-bit Windows XP (in Compatibility mode). I'd built VMs of these systems previously, but the hosts I was running them on were slowed way down if one was spun up.

    As I'm typing this, I have two XP VMs (2GB RAM/ea) up and running with almost no CPU loading.

    My next build will be centered on another Shuttle - this time, an SH170R6. Plans are to use an i7-7700K, 64GB RAM and the mini-PCIE drive I'd bought for this system. Peripherals will be the same as my SH67. Also going to add a 2TB SSD to each system as an image partition for backup purposes, though the second system will get 2X 2TB in a Raid0 configuration. I'll use the new system as the primary and this one will be parked at the other end of the operating position.

    A number of my HF receivers, VHF/UHF receivers and scanners are controllable by PC and some are only supported by ScanCat Gold. These will be managed via the VMs, while anything else that can run in Win10 native (such as FreeScan or ScanCat-Lite) will be installed on the host OS. VirtualBox 6.1.2 manages the VMs.

    Topping it all all is a shelf I'm building over my operating position. That will support a pair of Westinghouse 32" LED TVs (a third is the second PC's primary monitor and my main TV). These monitors have a number of inputs including composite, VGA and multiple HDMI. When installed and connected to the PCs they'll serve as status and operational displays for the radio control programs as well as watching the occasional video disk.

    The version of Win10 I'm using is Pro, and I'm pretty impressed with the speed so far.
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  2. #2
    "Island Bartender" KG4CGC's Avatar
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    Reader approved!

  3. #3
    Administrator ad4mg's Avatar
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    Just upgraded my system to Windows 10 last week. For me, a Windows OS is needed for a hobby... Flight Simulator. FS-X runs better on Windows 10 than it did on Windows 7. System is more than capable (24GB RAM, dual video cards, ASUS Sabertooth 990FX MB, AMD 8 core "bulldozer" processor).

    Windows 10, so far, seems smooth and efficient. Congrats on the new machine!


  4. #4
    Volcano Tamer PA5COR's Avatar
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    My I7 Laptop with 12 GB ram and 2 GB videocard from Geforce and 250 GB SSD is still fast enough (lenovo) no games, just browsing the net and watching some you tube stuff, through HDMI to the LG 50" telly.
    "If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop
    telling the truth about them." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
    Im not liberal/conservative, Im anti-idiotarian.
    At some point in the last 20 years, the left moved to the center, and the right moved into a mental institution

  5. #5
    'Grumpy old bastid' kb2vxa's Avatar
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    Congrats, leave it to The Wizard of Acrid, Ohio to build a super computer, but my eyes widened when I spotted a flaw. I'm surprised you used an older style mobo with a BIOS when UEFI has taken over. I hate to criticize because I lack your talent, but like 90% of a ham shack is on the roof, 90% of a computer's speed is in the side rails. In other words, you can have W10 running on the latest and greatest CPU, but the mobo is the one that drags its feet.

    That having been said I wouldn't put all of my eggs in one SSD when they literally eat themselves alive. Stating the obvious, memory cells can only stand so many write cycles before they fail and the drive switches unused cells on. When they're all used up and failure continues there is more and more lost data until the whole drive is kaput. That's why I have upgraded Minya my pet beast with a C 1TB SSD and a D data drive 4TB HDD (both Seagate) with pagefile.sys and the search database moved over to the HDD. This system keeps write cycles on the SSD down to a dull roar. Additionally D is Enterprise grade designed for heavy server use in a data center and carries a 5 year warranty. The old 4TB Seagate Barracuda HDD was retired to backup service run monthly via the removable drive bay containing compressed versions of both internal drives.

    When you mentioned you're not a gamer you reminded me of my new Logitech G-610 gaming keyboard. I not being a gamer bought it for two somewhat related reasons, white lighted keys I can see in low light, and it's built like a battle tank so it will last a long time. In addition to a steel frame and heavy woven cord jacket it has Cherry brown mechanical key switches (not cheap carbon button switches that don't last) that give keystrokes a tactile sense when the switches activate. This baby is worth the $95 I spent for it, it pisses all over the cheap ones with letters that wear off and buttons that wear out and cause errors I blamed on fat fingers.
    "New Jersey, the most American of all states. It has everything from wilderness to the Mafia. All the great things and all the worst, like Route 22."
    Jean Shepherd K2ORS (SK) & WOR radio personality

    We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.
    John Lennon

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  6. #6
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb2vxa View Post
    Congrats, leave it to The Wizard of Acrid, Ohio to build a super computer, but my eyes widened when I spotted a flaw. I'm surprised you used an older style mobo with a BIOS when UEFI has taken over. I hate to criticize because I lack your talent, but like 90% of a ham shack is on the roof, 90% of a computer's speed is in the side rails. In other words, you can have W10 running on the latest and greatest CPU, but the mobo is the one that drags its feet.
    Posting this from inside a newly-minted Linux Mint VM on the slow host...

    I got a hella deal on the SH67 bare-bones setup and this thing's only a stop-gap (phase 1 of 3) until I build the SH170 - and then the Final Solution in the form of a SuperMicro 8-way Hadoop cluster. 2TB RAM, 48 Xeon cores, 42TB storage and another 30-40TB in a racked NAS. (I geek for a living, so lots of VM hosting capability for lots of sandboxes is a Good Thing.)

    The SH67 and SH170 will boot legacy OSes if I ever need to test with them, run Windows 7 and up - and ultimately will just be used to access the cluster when I build it. For that matter, any fast-pipe embedded solution that supports remote X11/SSH or RDP will work fine.

    That having been said I wouldn't put all of my eggs in one SSD when they literally eat themselves alive. Stating the obvious, memory cells can only stand so many write cycles before they fail and the drive switches unused cells on. When they're all used up and failure continues there is more and more lost data until the whole drive is kaput.
    The ones in my older (Win7) systems (180GB Intel SATA SSDs) have been chugging along for close to 10 years now without issue. However...

    That's why I have upgraded Minya my pet beast with a C 1TB SSD and a D data drive 4TB HDD (both Seagate) with pagefile.sys and the search database moved over to the HDD. This system keeps write cycles on the SSD down to a dull roar. Additionally D is Enterprise grade designed for heavy server use in a data center and carries a 5 year warranty. The old 4TB Seagate Barracuda HDD was retired to backup service run monthly via the removable drive bay containing compressed versions of both internal drives.
    I snagged a 4TB WD Enterprise (Gold) drive for this system and am going to do similar. The SH170's BIOS should recognize the Mini-PCIE SSD so I'll use it as the OS drive, grab another two WD 4TB drives then configure them in Raid0 (the 170's BIOS supports this on the 6GB channels). That's destined to be the "critical" system, while this one will be used as a secondary and radio controller. The Win7 boxes I have up as spares are going to be blocked from the 'Net and I'll probably throw a 1TB physical in each then snapshot the OS drives just in case.

    When you mentioned you're not a gamer you reminded me of my new Logitech G-610 gaming keyboard. I not being a gamer bought it for two somewhat related reasons, white lighted keys I can see in low light, and it's built like a battle tank so it will last a long time. In addition to a steel frame and heavy woven cord jacket it has Cherry brown mechanical key switches (not cheap carbon button switches that don't last) that give keystrokes a tactile sense when the switches activate. This baby is worth the $95 I spent for it, it pisses all over the cheap ones with letters that wear off and buttons that wear out and cause errors I blamed on fat fingers.
    I like the older games...Descent, Quake, Tribes and similar stuff from the mid 90s and up and am going to build VMs that support playing all those titles in addition to later-day stuff. My development/general-usage setups aren't optimized for high video throughput, so a dedicated gaming rig might be in the cards at some point. Tinkering in my lab usually keeps me too busy to play them, however!
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  7. #7
    'Grumpy old bastid' kb2vxa's Avatar
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    "The ones in my older (Win7) systems (180GB Intel SATA SSDs) have been chugging along for close to 10 years now without issue. However..."
    However is right, since the SMART data is pretty useless for several reasons judgement day never comes, it's simply sudden death. Obviously this is where current backups come into play. If I were in your shoes I'd sweat out the 10 year mark, then replace them since these days SSDs that capacity are cheap enough. Then I'd have the old ones gold plated, one I'd put on display, the others each donated to a vintage computer museum. That would spread them around rather than one going on display and the rest trashed.

    In days past I've had good luck with WD HDDs, not so with Maxtor, maybe that has changed and maybe not. I fell into a Seagate groove and have been happy ever since. The new one is a Seagate Exos 7E8 4TB HDD https://www.newegg.com/seagate-exos-...9SIA2W05MB4018 When I first shopped for an Enterprise capacity HDD I got suckered in by a company Newegg sold for advertising a 4TB Seagate at a bargain price. When installed it made a whirring sound characteristic of worn bearings I thought was a fan on its way out. I unplugged the fans and the noise persisted, the other drive being solid state left only one thing... WTF??? I looked for company reviews around the web and found hem, all bad, turns out I bought a pull sold as new, the dirty bastards! That's when I bought the Exos, a new model, and after zeroing the grinder trashed it. I know you're supposed to recycle electronic trash to keep the greenies happy, but taking it to the county recycling center costs even MORE money and I'm already operating at a loss, FOO YOU! (Thank you for the foo Smokey Stover.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fChnc0QIzdU

    I played the classic upright video arcade games and pinballs under the pretext of testing them, when the plant manager came by he reminded me not to test them TOO long. The first computer game I played was Doom, one where you shoot everything that moves. They were demos sold at the local computer store for $1, a convenient stop on the way home from work where I bought a case and scrounged junk box parts for building The Mighty 486. When I got through the final build it was running W3.1.1 over DOS 6.2 and beat the snot out of Pentium running W95. It was laughable quite literally, all the hoopla over Pentium was just another name for a 586 CPU and W95 was a joke, it wasn't until 2000 NT when it became a standalone OS. I just loved to put the ARC's braggart to shame at Saturday breakfast meets at a local diner, always complaing about his beloved Pentium running W95 when The Mighty 486 pissed all over it.

    Back to playing computer games, somewhere along the line someone produced DOS versions of those classic arcade games, I still have the package in my "Files from The Mighty 486" archive. Since I have XP on the virtual box that I used to run Winpack on before the packet network collapsed and it can emulate every Micro$haft OS back to DOS I can still play Tank and my favorite Atari games.
    "Tinkering in my lab usually keeps me too busy to play them, however!"
    I no longer tinker in Frankenstein Laboratories having no place to work in these days, but Bustaneardrum Productions in Powzap Studios tends to keep me occupied producing and editing audio and video files often while downloading the sickest B movies I can find, mostly 50s B&W sci-fi produced on Hollyweird's Poverty Row that Frank Zappa loved and called cheepnis. He wasn't above producing sickness, around the time The Who produced their rock opera Tommy he produced his schlock opera Joe's Garage.
    (Give me de chromium cob
    You'll love it!
    It looks just like a Telefunken U-47)
    This is the Central Scrutinizer!
    You have just destroyed one model
    XQJ-37 Nuclear Powered Pan-Sexual Roto-Plooker
    And you're gonna have to pay for it!
    So give up, you haven't got a chance!
    Actually in the Scots dialect plooks are pimples which makes a plooker a pimple popper. Apparently it has quite a different meaning in left coast slang. Californians speak a different language, in their surf slang taking gas is when one wipes out and inhales water <cough> while in New York CB lingo it meant sticking one's head in the oven. I got a laugh out of Artie Windjammer telling pipsqueaks to "go take gas", so in high school print shop I ran off a few hundred "business cards" on the letterpress saying TAKE GAS and handed them out here and there.

    Telefunken U47.jpg
    Telefunken U-47 condenser mic

    Gamer or not anyone with a computer would be well off scrapping the usual POS cheepnis keyboard for a Logitech G-610 that reduces eyestrain not needing a light source to be seen and will outlast a dozen ordinary ones. My guru steered me in the right direction (as always) as he is an avid gamer with a Logitech G-810 RBG board. I don't need to map out a keyboard with "one million colors" so the 610 with white backlighting suits my non gaming purpose well. Just one little aggravation, the default lighting scheme is left to right wave instead of the IMO more practical steady and requires full time standby power to remember the light intensity setting, when I kill mains power at the power strip for the night it reverts to full on. I can live with that, one push of a button drops it down a notch, but at first I had to load the software to reset the steady state until I discovered a hack and removed the now useless software.

    Logitech G-610 / 810 keyboard lighting effects without software
    Light Button + number keys
    +0 = steady
    +1 = wave L to R
    +2 = wave R to L
    +3 = wave center out
    +4 = breathe
    +5 = flash center out
    +6 = color cycle
    +plus key = faster
    +minus key = slower
    Last edited by kb2vxa; 01-21-2020 at 01:40 PM.
    "New Jersey, the most American of all states. It has everything from wilderness to the Mafia. All the great things and all the worst, like Route 22."
    Jean Shepherd K2ORS (SK) & WOR radio personality

    We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.
    John Lennon

    73 de Warren KB2VXA
    Station powered by atomic energy, operator powered by natural gas.

  8. #8
    The Fluid of Spock KD8TUT's Avatar
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    Is that a Telefunken U-47 or are you just happy t see me?

    -- David Lee Roth
    --
    So there I was, totally naked. With only a rubber hose and a stuffed animal...

  9. #9
    'Grumpy old bastid' kb2vxa's Avatar
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    No Dave, I always go around with a U-47 in my pocket.

    Frank Sinatra and Neumann U47.jpg
    "New Jersey, the most American of all states. It has everything from wilderness to the Mafia. All the great things and all the worst, like Route 22."
    Jean Shepherd K2ORS (SK) & WOR radio personality

    We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.
    John Lennon

    73 de Warren KB2VXA
    Station powered by atomic energy, operator powered by natural gas.

  10. #10
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Got my 4TB drive in the mail yesterday.

    Put it in the system, added the last serial port connector and buttoned everything back up. As soon as I got it booted I created two drives of ~2TB each, moved the swap file and all the VMs onto one then set the OS to back itself up on the other.

    VM startup is slightly slower as compared to running from the SSD but not objectionable by any means.

    Installed KiCAD in both this VM and on the Win10 host. It's not as smooth when run by VM as it is "native" but perhaps a different (more resourced) VM config on the next host machine will fix that.
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

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