Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hackintosh, really?

There are pros and cons on running OS-X (even on Apple hardware).
On the pro, we would all agree on the eye-candy OS-X provides us with.
There are some cons however, the one most striking con is the outdated "finder 7" style header bar, which still is present in Mountain Lion today. Why do I have to activate an application first, before I can close it?! This is really not up to modern standards. Yes, one can close a window on its decoration, however this will close the application only in exceptional cases.

There is still this argument about application, especially for artists, available on OS-X only. Honestly, I am not too sure about this at all. The Linux community seems to be catching up in a high pace. Seen the applications available under "AV-Linux", the Mac world locks rather empty and expensive.

Regarding the look and feel, in terms of OS-X pros, today, there is severe competitor to the Apple operating system. The (free) OS is called "elementary OS Luna".
I played for some days with this Ubuntu based system, which in terms of eye candy comes very close to OS-X. Check the review on DistroWatch.

My personal experience with this Linux distribution is very positive in terms of the experience being very close to what my settings on OS-X would be, without the above mentioned depreciated finder-7 retro-experience Mountain Lion still provides today. Actually, I personally prefer the elementary OS Luna experience over the OS-X Mountain Lion experience, in particular since it avoids the clumsy retro experience of the header bar.

In terms of available multi-media applications, linux is catching up fast, cf. AV-Linux. Since elementary OS is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian, the Ubuntu and the Debian software repositories are available, providing an extensive range of applications.

In addition to the above, there as an elementary OS community, providing cool tools such as elementary tweaks, which helps to shift the elementary experience even closer to OS-X.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Overclocking long term experience

To be frank, I am no gamer. In my life, there is no enhanced need of a high performance, super fast machine. However, I wish to have a PC, let's call it workstation, which is responsive at average use.

In a previous post, I took overclocking my hackintosh to the extreme, i.e. the last point in which the workstation still was able to properly boot and run cinebench. Those settings were reached by slowly bringing up all the clocks during one session. Meaning, at the beginning everything was cold, but during tempering, the system was at an upper operation temperature.
The same settings, which worked nicely with a warm system, cause the workstation to cease up when I tried to boot it after cooling down, i.e. the next day. This 5.x GHz clock was a bit too much for my humble Core i5-3570k when cold. Probably drawing too much DC-power.

For daily business, I backed off from those super intense setting, playing it safe with the following parameters:
  • basic CPU clock speed: 4.4GHz
  • one core active: 4.8GHz
  • two cores active: 4.7GHz
  • three cores active: 4.6GHz
  • four cores active: 4.5GHz
In addition the RAM is overclocked from 1.6GHz (stock) to 1.8GHz.

Compared to the standard settings 3.4GHz base clock speed, with unlocked speeds up to 3.8GHz, the workstation is much snappier now.
The temperatures are moderate, no increase worth to be mentioned.
Some experimentation took place with the DDR3 clock speed. When going too high, the computer would not boot up. However, for the rest, I am not sure if overclocking adds anything to the performance. Also, overclocked or not, the temperature of those ginormous DDR3 heat sinks did not change at all. Anyways I am not sure why industry presently presents us with those huge heat sinks, or even water cooling, for DDR3-RAM... but this is another topic all together.