I've been playing with an old Dell OptiPlex5110 and decided to attempt to
build a PentiumMMX optimised Linux on it.
To start, I installed the bare minimum Debian system for compiling programs.
Next I built a custom kernel, since most CPU optimizations are best suited to
the kernel code.
Next I built X4.2.0 from sources, especially since X make a lot of use of
matrixes and can also benifit from MMX optimizations. Since the first build,
I've been encouraged to play with the CVS of both XFree86 and the DRI stuff,
so I will be re-building X once we get some bugs worked out.
Finally I built KDE3.0BETA1 from sources I had, again to take full advantage
of the MMX processor.
Can anyone recommend other minimum tools that I should re-build to get even
more improvements in system performance? I know that not all packages can, or
do benefit from being built on PentiumMMX rather than the i386 that Debian
compiles to, but have I covered everything that CAN benefit?
I am wondering if the C, and other libraries should be re-built? Can they
take advantage of the Pentium and MMX instructions for system performance?
And would this require re-building gcc as well?
I realise that not everything can benefit from re-compiling. I.E. I doubt I
would see much system improvement if I re-compile bash, but things like the
kernel, X and KDE should improve performance.
On a related note, I know I've mentioned here before, but I'm still looking
for a Slot 1 550Mhz PIII. My regular system is a Dual PII350 and the 440BX
M/B can take PIII's. I managed to get my hands on one. If I could get another
I could put the two PIII's into this box and re-compile X to use the
SSE/Katmai instructions in the PIII. I just don't thing it is worth replacing
two PII's with one PIII. I know that they are out-of-stock, and I do watch
the Buy-N-Sell regularly, but short of buying a full PIII system, I've not
had much luck.
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