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Author Topic: Computer performance  (Read 2385 times)

Terry74

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Computer performance
« on: February 24, 2022, 08:26:59 PM »

Hi all,

I've recently had BT/Openreach install 500 Mb/s FTTP to my home.

The Openreach guy that fitted it got something like 530Mb/s on his iphone no trouble.

I struggle to see that speed with my computers which are mainly Intel Celeron processors of varying ages. eg 2957U @ 1.4GHz an HP mini desktop achieves approx 230Mb/s down 70 Mb/s up, using Firefox and 350 Mb/s down and 70Mb/s up using Chrome. A 2955U modified chromebox achieves much the same. The processors max out with both, running Ubuntu Linux connected via ethernet.

If I try speedtest-cli via the terminal I can get 440 - 450Mb/s down and 73Mb/s up.

If I run iperf3 between these 2 computers on my network I get 944 Mb/s either way.

A chromebook with N3160 (Celeron with 4 cores) processor manages 430Mb/s down and 70Mb/s up using Chrome browser on wifi(5G),as it has no ethernet port.

My question for you knowledgable guys is what spec computer do I need to see the full download speed that my circuit is capable of?
 
Would an Intel i3 be OK? Would an i5 manage it? If so, of what generation?

Also, what is needed for Gigabit (900Mb/s) FTTP like my neighbour has?

Just what is the minimum computer spec necessary to download at these speeds?

Do you all run i7 or i9 top of the range computers? Surely not?

My computers suited me just fine when I had 30Mb/s FTTC, but now I just wonder what I'm missing.

Just interested.

Terry
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2022, 05:24:20 PM »

Getting full speed from a web browser should never be expected (without a download manager add-on/extension) even on a top-spec PC as its single-threaded (one download vs speedtests which do multiple concurrent downloads) and often the servers you are downloading from are speed limited or contended in some way.

So the real question is WHAT are you wanting to download at full speed?  What software are you using for it?

If you have the url to something you want to download, you can try using the command line downloader axel which allows multi-threaded downloads.  It basically starts the download multiple times from a different position in the file then combines them all at the end.  Or try to find an add on for the browser, but I'm not fond of how those work personally.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2022, 05:27:14 PM by Alex Atkin UK »
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craigski

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2022, 06:03:18 PM »

Just for kicks I tried something, I ran 2 speed tests at same time in 2 different browsers on my PC at exactly same time, if I add the speed together its roughly my FTTP speed.

So if you want to prove your connection, try running speed test on 2 different devices at same time, add the numbers, and should be around your 500.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2022, 11:04:40 PM »

That has the added benefit that it will multi-thread the CPU process too, so if it IS CPU bound you're likely spreading that load across multiple CPU cores.
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Weaver

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2022, 04:20:48 AM »

TCP-based speed tests are often problematic in my opinion. They are measuring the speed of the particular protocol and itís implementation, not the speed of the link.

If you must use TCP, then consider downloading a large file using say ftp and time it. See https://www.thinkbroadband.com/download

However a much better result is obtained by performing a large number of downloads at the same time as this will thoroughly thrash the link. I suggest that the number of downloads should be max( 4, npipes ◊ 2 ) where npipes is the number of internet connections that you have bonded together, if you do have any such bonded connections.

Remember that other processes may be using your own internet connection at the time of the test, either on your own machine or on other machines on your LAN. This includes background processes such as doing backups to the cloud.
Also a server at the remote end or the link coming from it may be overloaded. Do several tests and at least two in the middle of the night.
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Terry74

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2022, 09:30:07 AM »

Thanks craigski,
I had already tried that by downloading two different things on two different computers simultaneously and both downloaded at around 250Mb/s, exactly as you suggested.
Thus showing the capability of my connection.

However, the point of my OP was not so much the connection but the capability of the machine. Please see my little story below.
Terry
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Terry74

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2022, 09:30:52 AM »

Hmmm....
Perhaps I've not done a good enough job of explaining myself!

Think of me as the ordinary "Jo" who believes the hype that he reads about the internet and download speed. eg the articles like " Is my computer ready for gigabit internet " which tells him basically "look at the info in windows and if it tells you your ethernet interface is gigabit capable then you are 'good to go' ". There are lots of those.

Jo does this, is reassured and then buys 900Mb/s internet from, say, BT and with his 2010 model celeron computer, opens his Firefox browser and types in "speed test".  He chooses the first thing he sees, which is probably the "Google/M-Labs" entry OR "Speedtest by Ookla" or even "Thinkbroadband.com".  He runs the speed test and is surprised to find that it displays only 150 Mb/s!!

He tries a different speed test with results much the same no matter which he chooses.

He then considers this, and decides to try a different browser. Chrome. He is surprised to find that he now gets 300 Mb/s displayed. A browser is a browser, right?? Right???

Now, Jo's been around a long time and so he looks to the "command line". He closes his browser opens his terminal and types "speedtest-cli". This shows him 400 Mb/s.

But Jo sees all these little plaques from others plastered around the technical web sites like "Kitz.co.uk" showing 944Mb/s down and 110Mb/s up and wonders why he's not able to reproduce something similar.

Jo feels cheated!

Although he doesn't use the computer for much, other than surfing the net and a bit of research perhaps, Jo wants to see those results and be able to post his plaque proudly.

Jo decides it must be his old computer at fault despite what those articles told him. Perhaps it's processor is not powerful enough, perhaps it doesn't have enough memory.

But what should he buy?  It's become obsessional.

There is an attractive i3 machine in the shop down the road, but it's 5 years old. Will that do what he wants? Remember that plaque! Maybe he needs an i5, an i7, an i9??

He notices that Apple have a new M1 Mac Mini machine which everyone says is fantastic.

He wants that plaque.  What does he do?

If he buys a new computer what will he see?

It's easy to say "Don't be so stupid. Stick with what you've got". But, Jo is still thinking about those adverts and that plaque. He's determined to buy something, so, what does he buy?

That is the sort of "reasoning" behind my OP.

Answers please.

Terry
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Terry74

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2022, 01:34:35 PM »

Hi Alex Atkin UK,

You'll probably have gathered from my posting above that I want a speed test result from Thinkbroadband.com for example, just like those you have in your signature. BUT, I would like to know what spec the computer was that gave you those results. I would say that it pretty certainly wasn't a Celeron that is 10 years old.

It really isn't about downloading anything in particular.

I note you have an Apple Mac Mini for example or/and a Ryzen 5 5600 or some such which look pretty powerful computers.

Just what do you consider to be a minimum spec to achieve those results from thinkbroadband? You've always struck me as pretty knowledgable from your posts.

There must be some minimal spec to achieve that end OR am I totally wrong?

Regards

Terry
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craigski

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2022, 01:48:40 PM »

See here:

https://speedtest.btwholesale.com/

Click the link where it says if you are running 500Mb/s

I would say that is the absolute minimum spec, assuming you are dedicating all the pc resources to the Speedtest.

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Terry74

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2022, 02:00:50 PM »

Hi Weaver,

Yep, I've tried downloading those thinkbroadband files with my Celeron computer and get 58 MiB/s (or about 464Mib/s if I multiply by 8) using wget or aria2 -x5 .... but I'm willing to bet my processor was maxed out doing it. That was last night around midnight, so a pretty quiet time.
Thanks for the suggestion. Not sure it thrashed the link but rather my processor.
Not having anything better computerwise, I just wonder what I'm missing.  All brought on by getting FTTP!!
It's all idle speculation really. I don't compile stuff like you do except for the odd Arduino playthings with ESP32's. I really don't NEED anything new.

Regards
Terry
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Terry74

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2022, 02:04:50 PM »

Thank you craigski,
That's just the sort of thing I was looking for. Really good info.

Regards
Terry
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2022, 04:50:33 PM »

Taking another look, I'm actually impressed you got as good as you did - those Celerons as well below the Pentium 3805U laptop I had to stop using because it was painfully slow.

I think BT are exaggerating, I'd think a half-decent i3 might be enough.  Its also complicated as an i3 desktop will outperform an i5 laptop in a lot of cases (especially older models), so which do they mean?

If you can find out the exact CPUs in any PCs you are looking at we can guesstimate the performance from the linked site.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-i3-2120-vs-Intel-i5-2410M-vs-Intel-Celeron-N3160-vs-Intel-Celeron-2957U/752vs796vs2812vs2200

You should be able to find something that will run rings around what you have right now for relatively cheap.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2022, 05:01:25 PM by Alex Atkin UK »
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Ronski

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2022, 05:19:48 PM »

Sounds to me like you really don't need 500Mbps, if all you want is a nice badge I've attached two below  ;)

The real one, which is easy to tell, was done on an Old Intel NUC i5-6260U, and whilst it does achieve maximum line speed both CPU cores (4 threads) were at 100% during the download test. The best part is it barely draws any power, between 10 -30w depending on what its doing.

My 6 core 4.5Ghz i7-5820K barely woke from a slumber, but got the same result.
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Terry74

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2022, 06:43:49 PM »

Thank you Alex,
I think if I were seriously looking, I'd choose the M1 Mac Mini that you "reviewed" - it looks like good value to me at £629 from a couple of places. I started with an Apple IIe a long time ago, after a Commodore Pet. Trouble is, I sort of like Linux, so... maybe not. But at least I know a bit more about what is required in performance terms.

Hi Ronski,
Thank you for the Badges and you are quite right, I don't need 500Mb/s but it was going cheap on Black Friday....... I'm kind of surprised that the i5-6260 was flat out but that is more useful info as is the i7-5820.
I've just done a couple of Badges myself..... if they appear. I don't do this too often. The second of which frankly amazes me, when I look at your result. The difference is simply the browser that I used.  It seems like I can't type dates either!!

Regards to both

Terry
« Last Edit: February 26, 2022, 06:53:03 PM by Terry74 »
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Computer performance
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2022, 06:58:51 PM »

I think if I were seriously looking, I'd choose the M1 Mac Mini that you "reviewed" - it looks like good value to me at £629 from a couple of places. I started with an Apple IIe a long time ago, after a Commodore Pet. Trouble is, I sort of like Linux, so... maybe not. But at least I know a bit more about what is required in performance terms.

Its great hardware but I do hate MacOS, but then Linux for Apple Silicon is well in the works so that could be interesting once I replace it with a newer model.

I'm absolutely in love with the Macbook Pro hardware wise, its the best screen in the house.  I'd kill for a screen that good on my desktop PC.
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