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How many cams on a Single-core Celeron 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM ??? 
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 5:51 pm
Posts: 3
Post How many cams on a Single-core Celeron 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM ???
I've done a lot of reading in the documentation and wiki. I've already read the hardware compatibility list. I don't have any cams yet, but I've ordered one to play with... it will be here next week.

I would like to have 7-8 cameras total (6 outdoor, and 1-2 indoor), all recording when motion is detected. I think it would be reasonable to detect on 3 or 4 fps until motion is detected... at which point I would like to record full motion video.

The cameras I am interested in are IP cameras from Foscam. They can do up to 30fps@320x240 or 15fps@640x480. I would rather record full resolution... in color... if possible.

I understand that performance can be optimized by defining detection zones correctly. I think I can handle that. For example, I think I would want to make ZM ignore the street (no need to record cars going by), ignore the trees, etc.

I do not see any benefit of saving any images or video when no motion is detected, so I would expect that my setup will only record something when motion is detected.

I would like to use a computer that uses as little electric power as possible. I have an old laptop that has a single-core Intel Celeron 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 60GB hard drive. This machine is attractive because: A) It's free, B) It only uses 15 watts of electric power when at idle... and only about 45 watts when running a fairly heavy load. I could use an external HDD for video storage. What I'm wondering... is it possible to run 7 cameras in this way with such a low-power computer?

Any advice is welcome. I'm interested in ZM because it's free, it looks like it has lots of cool features, and I assume that linux would be less CPU hungry than Windows. I'm not a linux guru, but I have a co-worker who is really into Ubuntu, a good friend who has lots of experience with mySQL & PHP, and I'm a fast learner. I'm very experienced with Windows, and have some limited experience with HP-UX... and this could be a good opportunity to learn more about linux.

Some further information... I have a fairly powerful HTPC, but that machine sleeps when it is not in use and there are no shows being recorded. It has a quad-core i5 2.8GHz CPU, 8GB of RAM, 4TB of disk storage, and runs Windows 7 Media Center. When all four of my Media Center Extenders are running, plus the TV that is directly-connected to the HTPC, the CPU never gets much above 20% busy. I suppose it might be possible to run linux in a virtual machine on this PC... but I don't want to use so much electric power. This machine uses 165 watts at idle.

Thanks in advance for whatever help you can provide.


Sat May 19, 2012 6:13 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:57 am
Posts: 13
Post Re: How many cams on a Single-core Celeron 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM ?
I was using an HP box with an 1.7 ghz AMD Sempron single processor chip and 4 gig of memory. This was on Ubuntu 10.04 desktop. Using six analogue cameras, this system was very overload usually between 2 - 4 on top. Although the home page says Zoneminder, "can often be installed on old hardware that may be lying around unused...", processing events and video takes a bit of CPU power. I would suggest a more powerful box if you have it.

I have recently put Zoneminder on an old Dell server I was able to find which is a dual processor 2.4 ghz Intel Xeon. It runs much more comfortably there with a much zippier response from the web interface.

Dave


Wed May 30, 2012 6:48 pm
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 5:51 pm
Posts: 3
Post Re: How many cams on a Single-core Celeron 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM ?
Thanks. That seems to agree with other advice that this machine will run 2-3 cameras comfortably. That's good enough for testing and learning about ZM.


Thu May 31, 2012 5:48 pm
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:39 am
Posts: 6
Post Re: How many cams on a Single-core Celeron 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM ?
I haven't been able to find any documentation explaining what the load numbers mean. I assume it refers to CPU load, but not exactly sure of the scale. At first I thought it may be a percentage, but it seems too low.

Can you explain what would be considered "low" and what is "high"? I'm running Zoneminder 1.25 on Ubuntu Server 12.04 with 5 IP Cameras - 4 Axis 207's at 640x480 and 1 Axis 5014 at 1280x800 resolution, all on MoDect and my load jumps around between 2 and 4. The hardware is an HP Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz machine with 1-2 GB RAM (can't remember which at the moment)

Any help would be appreciated.


Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:31 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:14 pm
Posts: 12
Post Re: How many cams on a Single-core Celeron 1.5GHz, 1GB RAM ?
scotts777 wrote:
I haven't been able to find any documentation explaining what the load numbers mean. I assume it refers to CPU load, but not exactly sure of the scale. At first I thought it may be a percentage, but it seems too low.

Can you explain what would be considered "low" and what is "high"? I'm running Zoneminder 1.25 on Ubuntu Server 12.04 with 5 IP Cameras - 4 Axis 207's at 640x480 and 1 Axis 5014 at 1280x800 resolution, all on MoDect and my load jumps around between 2 and 4. The hardware is an HP Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz machine with 1-2 GB RAM (can't remember which at the moment)

Any help would be appreciated.


See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_(computing)

Quoting that (from the middle):
"For example, one can interpret a load average of "1.73 0.60 7.98" on a single-CPU system as:
during the last minute, the system was overloaded by 73% on average (1.73 runnable processes, so that 0.73 processes had to wait for a turn for a single CPU system on average).
during the last 5 minutes, the CPU was idling 40% of the time on average.
during the last 15 minutes, the system was overloaded 698% on average (7.98 runnable processes, so that 6.98 processes had to wait for a turn for a single CPU system on average)." ('http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_(computing)')

Think that is what you were looking for...

br gerfry


Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:08 pm
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