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I was wondering for a long time if source based Linux distributions, like Gentoo or Funtoo are "destroying" your system faster than binary ones (like Fedora or Debian). I'm talking about CPU and hard drive degradation.

Of course, when you're updating your system, it has to compile everything from source, so it takes longer and your CPU is used at hard conditions (it is warmer and more loaded).

Such systems compile hundreds of packages weekly, so does it really matter? Does such a system degrade faster than binary based ones?

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If you really do tuning of all packages by disabling at compile time unnecessary functionality or you have some specific clone of x86 processor that requires some specific optimizations from compiler then your system will run even faster than the same system installed from a binary distro. As for degradation of the hard drive - you may use a separate volume to keep all your intermediate files of such rebuilds that you just format each time the update completed. The another option is to perform all this building on a tmpfs device that is actually backed up by the memory and swap files/devices, so its content anyway cleared on each restart of the system.

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Hi! thank you for yous answer. I know it would run faster because it will be optimized for specific architecture. The question was if the "endless" compilation would not degradate and slow down processor. I'm talking about long term processor usage with high load (everyday compilation of packages) –  danilo2 Sep 26 '12 at 14:07
If you lower the priority of the rebuild process so it does not affect the running services and the cooling system of your CPU is functioning properly (I mean not some special additional cooling that you may install) and the CPU works in the temperature range it is designed to work - then "no degradation will be observed" –  Serge Sep 26 '12 at 14:16
But I would install an extra drive if this process affect HD performance of your running services –  Serge Sep 26 '12 at 14:19
I'm using gentoo for over 2 years and I'm planning to buy new laptop now and because of that I asked this question. When I'm updating my system (compiling) the temperature is normally about 75 Celcius degrees (on i7, thinkpads laptop). Does it not degrade it? where can I find the safe temperature range it can run? –  danilo2 Sep 26 '12 at 14:29
According to the intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/core/… the Tcase_Max temperature (maximum temperature according to the processor spec) of the modern i7 processors at its maximum power consumption (i.e. maximum load) is about 70 Celsius. Your present CPU is 2 years old so you can find the spec for your processor and see its characteristics. –  Serge Sep 26 '12 at 15:38

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