Subject: Re: VAX 6460 being slow, IO bottlenecks and SMP woes ...
To: Brian Hechinger <>
From: Gunther Schadow <>
List: port-vax
Date: 03/20/2002 22:15:12
Brian Hechinger wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 20, 2002 at 08:41:59PM -0600, Paul Thompson wrote:
>>Does your i486 feature long ribbon cable to dual ported IDE drives to
>>support its clustering?  If not, perhaps you were paying for features
>>other than speed, ones that Ultrix took less advantage of than VMS.
> mmmm.  VMS.  see, now that is the operating system that is meant to run on
> that machine.  match VMS on the 6000 vs BSD/i386 (or whatever) on the 486.
> then you will see the real difference. ;)
> and then throw in clustering just to show off exactly what the 486 can't do. :)

Yes, so, let's suppose that ULTRIX didn't take full advantage
of the hardware, but nothing can get me back to using VMS. That's
for sure.

I'm certainly not complaining, just wondering and trying to
understand what exactly it is that made people pay millions
of dollars for a harware that was only a few years later
outpaced by the poor man's desktop ... ... ... now, I don't
know that yet, I actually don't believe it. I still suspect
that once the bottlenecks are uncovered, I can find
workarounds to coerce more of the idle hardware into working.

For instance, calling GNU make with the -j option and
calling gcc with the -pipe option appears to create a
lot more CPU load:

cpu  us%  ni%  sy%  id%    csw     sys     trap    intr     ipi   ttyin   ttyout
  1  30.3  0.0  6.4 63.2    89k    288k    300k    218k     13       3k    190k
  2  22.4  0.0  1.4 76.2    27k     84k     74k      0      24     481      22k
  3  20.5  0.0  1.4 78.1    28k     80k     70k      0      13     526      17k
  4  23.1  0.0  1.5 75.4    28k     86k     74k      0      25     531      23k
  5  21.2  0.0  1.5 77.3    29k     88k     72k      0      25     550      19k
  6  19.5  0.0  1.5 79.1    29k     86k     73k      0      26     600      25k

that looks better, at least the others are not
97% idle now.


Gunther Schadow, M.D., Ph.D.          
Medical Information Scientist      Regenstrief Institute for Health Care
Adjunct Assistant Professor        Indiana University School of Medicine