[time-nuts] NTP for 64 bit windows

Anthony G. Atkielski anthony at atkielski.com
Tue Jan 17 08:51:31 EST 2012

> The built-in client does not support NTP fully - for example, reference
> clocks and the management functions.  Tell me how accurate it is, for
> example.

It is accurate enough that I can't see or hear a difference between
the Windows machine and the BSD server to which it is synchronzed. All
I've done is set the Windows client to synchronize every seven
minutes, instead of every seven days, and I've pointed it to my
server, instead of the default server.

> My advice is to forget the Microsoft built-in client.

I don't have anything that requires accuracy better than I can
perceive, and the Microsoft client provides that, so there's no need
to install anything special.

> Running updates more frequently than is necessary is not particularly
> server friendly.

My NTP server has nothing better to do, so it's not a problem. I
wouldn't sync every seven minutes to an outside server.

> Properly configured, read NTP can be within milliseconds on Windows,
> and within a couple of hundred microseconds if you have a PPS source.

It seems to do very well with the built-in client. I imagine that
perceived accuracy is within 50 ms or so.

Of course, others can do as they wish, but why install something
special if the built-in client does well enough? I used to have
something special (can't remember which product it was), but when I
discovered that the regular client did just as well for my purposes, I
removed it.

Now, maybe a third-party client might work better if you update at
longer intervals, but in my case my NTP server is on the same table,
so there's no reason not to update at very frequent intervals. I'd be
surprised by any client that could keep the machine accurate for 7-day
intervals, though, given how crummy PC real-time clocks tend to be.


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