[Make-wifi-fast] Flent test hardware

Pete Heist peteheist at gmail.com
Sun Nov 5 12:39:21 EST 2017

> On Nov 5, 2017, at 5:24 PM, Jonathan Morton <chromatix99 at gmail.com> wrote:
> If budget is a primary concern, there are a number of boards available with the AM1 socket which is designed around low-power, low-cost APUs, or even with an APU soldered to them.  AMD are phasing that platform out right now, but it's still available since there isn't a direct replacement at the same price yet.
> What you'll get here are the small "cat series" cores designed for netbooks and game consoles, but a quad-core version remains pretty cheap.  My E-450 is an older, dual-core version of this and is capable enough, like a slightly gimped C2D.
> However, I haven't yet found one with anything other than a bog standard Realtek NIC.  They do have PCIe slots, so you can add a discrete card.
From this info I spec’d out two builds and compared it with the Proliant Microserver: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MVxGsreiGKNXhfkMIheNFrH_GVllFfiH9RU5ws5l_aY/edit#gid=199471438 <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MVxGsreiGKNXhfkMIheNFrH_GVllFfiH9RU5ws5l_aY/edit#gid=199471438>

You’re right, the toughest part with low-end hardware is finding high quality and/or dual-port NICs, which is what seems to make the Proliant a pretty good deal. Most hardware in this range has Realteks, which might be ok, but I’m not convinced, so I added a dual port Intel PRO/1000 to each of my two builds, which then makes their price a bit higher than the Proliant.

One advantage to the external PRO/1000 is that it supports PCIe x4 whereas the BCM5720 that comes with the Proliant only supports PCIe x2, so there’s a bit of a difference here, which I may or may not notice. On the other hand, the BCM5720 supports hardware timestamping whereas the Intel does not.

I guess I should focus on the big picture here, either quad-core is important vs dual-core or it isn’t, and either I can do my testing with one box for both client and server or I need two. Neither I’m entirely sure about, so I might end up ordering something with the option to return so I can run some tests.

Thanks again for the tips...
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