Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Things just keep getting better

So I decided earlier today to try a processor intensive action on my desktop and see how it fares. I have several long .ogg files (mixtapes created by a friend) that I want to play on my MP3 player. Sadly, my player doesn't support OGG Vorbis, so I have a need to convert them. Enter SoundConverter, a tool specifically designed to do such a thing.

Now, for a bit of description on my Desktop... It is a custom build. It has an Intel Motherboard, 8 core processor and 6 Gb of RAM. It also has 8Tb of attached storage and 60Gb(2x30 SSD drives) for OS and related programs. Needless to say, it is a beast.

I've never really tested it out. I realized the other day that I never really even needed to enter and change any of the BIOS settings(I looked through them, they were all set correctly from the factory). The Ubuntu Kernel Team and a great many of the other teams within the Ubuntu Project have wanted load testing that is effective for quite some time. It is a proposition that I have been investigating since I joined Canonical. It is also needless to say, it is a massive endeavor. How does one accomplish effective load testing on an OS and provide concrete data and results that indicate where possible problems may lie? I am still working on all of that. Now back to our situation at hand.

This machine is set up with a 1300Mb swap partition that it has never used. I set out, using the .ogg files to see what kind of pressure could be put on the machine before I see a stutter in my music that is also playing while the test is underway. (That being a major gripe of mine and many users as well)

I added 8 of the OGG files to the sound converter to be converted all at once. My load average at the time was around 1.8. I had Terminal open running htop, Chromium open with about 10 tabs of pages and my Rhythmbox app playing some DJ Chuckie. :)

All 8 cores went to 90+ percent when I started the conversion and moved between 85 and 95% all during the process, which lasted about 5 minutes. No swap usage and absolutely no skipping of the songs I was playing even when I moved to the Rhythmbox app and changed songs in the middle of the test. I also didn't notice any lag in window selection or loading like I used to on my older hardware. I'm very happy with that. :-)

This testing was conducted on the Ubuntu Maverick RC 64 bit. Great Job Ubuntu Project members!! :-D