Will either of these work?

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12 Jun 2020 03:43 #171210 by my1987toyota
Hello all
I am still very new to all this and I am in the info gathering stages . I have access to 2 older computers were I work. the boss would like to see them being useful for something other then collecting dust. I gathered what info I could on them. So would either of these be usable with LinuxCNC?

option 1
2003/2004
Dell Precision 360 workstation
Pentium 4 chip
current O/S windows XP
1Gig of ram? (not 100% sure)
sata HDD (would replace with SSD)
has a graphics card NX6200AX-256H (MSI maybe?)
has a dvd drive
has a parallel port
has USB

option 2
2010
Lenovo H215
2 gigs ram
cpu AX2 250 (not sure who that belongs to. AMD?)
current O/S windows 7
sata HDD (would replace with SSD)
has a dvd rw drive
no parallel port but has a pci slot (perfect for Mesa cards)
no graghics card (probably integrated graphics)

I know this isn't a whole lot of information but as I said I am still very new to all this.

I would be using it for one for my bosses small 3 axis cnc machines as a test bench. They all currently use Arduino uno with GRBL and steppers, 1 has gradually been becoming buggy.
However I am thinking of replacing the Mach3 and smooth stepper setup on my converted grizzly G0619 mill as well .

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12 Jun 2020 07:49 #171218 by bbsr_5a
Replied by bbsr_5a on topic Will either of these work?
Hi
it is as simple if you got access to the PC just input the ISO DVD
the machines can run on the DVD itself no need to install
and look for your latency with at least one GLX gear running in terminal

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12 Jun 2020 20:30 #171312 by Todd Zuercher
Linuxcnc's actual resource demands are not all that great, a very fast pc with lots of memory isn't nessisary. For the most part Linuxcnc's minimum hardware specs are less than the Linux operating system. The P4 system will run with some of the older systems Linuxcnc has been packaged with, but it is a bit on the pathetic side for the current release ISO (which is about a year obsolete.) There is ongoing work to build a new release ISO based on a current OS, but there have been issues. Hopefully it will be ready soon. I currently have one router running in a factory environment on a comparable P4 machine. It is still using an Ubuntu 10.04 based OS. That is the oldest hardware I have running Linuxcnc and it still works great, but I don't think I'd recommend it for starting a new installation, it is just too old.
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12 Jun 2020 23:13 #171338 by my1987toyota
Thanks to both for the reply.
Todd Zuercher that was definitely one of the things I was wondering about . And as I said I am still very new to LinuxCNC,
Linux altogether actually.
I am great with mechanical stuff, since I was a kid, but when it comes to computers and electronics
the more I learn the more I feel I don't know.

It looks like I will be dealing with the lenovo . That said there seems to be other dust collecting computers and more importantly
spare parts were I work so back into the insanity I go.

Actually would I be better off just figuring on using Mesa cards instead of bothering with computers that still have a parallel port?

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15 Jun 2020 04:07 #171676 by Todd Zuercher
It depends on your needs. If all you are setting up is a simple stepper driven 3 axis router or mill, a parallel port is usually adequate. If you are converting an existing parallel port controlled system, such as a Mach3 install or some other old parallel port based control, sticking with a parallel port would be easy. If it is a more complex machine, needing lots of IO, for things like tool changers, or specialized interface hardware, such as encoder counters and analog outputs for servo control, going with something like Mesa is almost a given.
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18 Jun 2020 22:38 - 18 Jun 2020 23:16 #172045 by my1987toyota
Well I was finally able to get the live install DVD made and installed on the Lenovo. Thanks to Joe Hildreth AKA My Heap on Youtube for the tutorials. I also installed an ssd as well. After some research I found out the cpu is an AMD Athlon II X2 250 . I did some stress testing simultaneously running 3 glxgears programs a video and randomly transferring files from a usb to the SSD and back again and got a max Jitter Base thread of 20939 and Servo thread of 18469.
I let that run for about 4 hours. Then I decided to really push the system that's when things got alarming although it is probably my fault due to lack of experience. I ran multiple videos at once with 3 glx gears running as well and got a Base thread of 114,945. YIKES !!!
So I guess my question is did I simply push too hard and not worry about the 114,945 number ?
or Should I be worried?
Last edit: 18 Jun 2020 23:16 by my1987toyota.

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18 Jun 2020 23:00 #172046 by tommylight
Look for a header on the mainboard, most of them do have parallel ports.
That latency should be fine for running a Mesa board, but nothing is guaranteed.
Might even use it for software stepping if there is not need for high step rates, so it all depends on what you want to use it for.
And that is not pushing it, i run 10 or 12 glxgears with 1 to 4 youtube videos, i just keep adding till it bogs down, then leave it running like that for a while while minimising and maximising youtube videos several times.
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18 Jun 2020 23:33 #172048 by my1987toyota
tommylight Holy crap your whole screen must be Glxgears . LOL

I will most likely use Mesa cards. The Mother board has
2@ PCIE
1@ PCIE X16
1@ PCI

This is the first time playing around with Linux Debian Wheezy there's a lot of similarities between it and windows
I am pleasantly surprised . When any of my windows machines loose their drive (or annoy me too much)
I will be switching them to linux
Unless it's my CAD/CAM machine I am stuck with Windows because of Fusion 360.
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19 Jun 2020 00:33 #172050 by Todd Zuercher
You could always stick Windows in a vm. I don’t run it on bare metal any more.
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19 Jun 2020 00:51 #172051 by my1987toyota
HHMM . I will have to consider that.

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