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Dual Athlon Motherboards Creep Closer 157 157

Quixote writes: "The Inquirer has an article about a dual Athlon MoBo sighted in Taiwan. Running with 1.8GHz Athlons. Sweeeet!. Ahem. Tom's Hardware also has a photo of the MoBo. Can't wait to get my grubby paws on one!" AMD seems to be waiting for the Christmas shopping season or something -- would be nice to see some mid-range dual-AMD motherboards soon, because those dual-NIC, built-in-SCSI ones look a bit out of reach for now.
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Dual Athlon MoBos Almost Here?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    AMD seems to be waiting for the Christmas shopping season or something -- would be nice to see some mid-range dual-AMD motherboards soon, because those dual-NIC, built-in-SCSI ones look a bit out of reach for now.

    Sorry, but I don't think that the average xmas shopper is looking for multi-processor motherboards. AMD has little-to-no need to worry about "mid-range" SMP boards.

    Remember, we're geeks. We may be growing in numbers, but we hardly make up the bulk of the xmas shopper population!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    According to the local rumor mill, someone has a test board with durons, and the board will be under $200 at launch!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The procs where AMDs *new* Paliminos (.13 micron, etc.). They're supposed to run cooler with the smaller etching. Even then these procs and mobos aren't widely available (the person mentioned in Tom's article stated his lab got the stuff through *certain* sources). When they're released to the commercial market, they've probably have been improved. Anyway, try checking out Ed mentions that the high demand for AMD procs is likely the cause for the current quality problems. Also, AMDs are mostly sought after by the hobbyist market who aren't so concerned with the heat problems.
  • Reasonable??
    Then I think you might want to skip Tyan board, as they are definately not cheap, and looking at the specs of this board and it's components - this going to be a very very expensive board..

    I hope that Asus and Abit will start showing something soon, I've heard some rumors that they plan to bring Dual Athlon boards too..
  • by hawk (1151)
    PUtting aside that I may be the only one in the eastern United States with a subscription to Sunset ("the Magazine of Western Living,") when we changed our address, we suddenly got two copies. Upon closer inspection, one was for my brother. We probably have seuqentilaly numbered subscriptions from my parents buying them for us at the same time. He fixed that, but apparently not before they sold the address list--he just got offered a credit card at my house--and he's never stepped foot in this state . . .


  • MY leges are long enough to use it on a lap :) But I did injure my shoulder lugging it through an airport . . .


  • I get one of these this summer! We were about ready to go with a regular Athlon, when some numbers clicked.

    To get to the 1Gb of ram I need with current motherboards, we had to use 2x256 + 1x512. THe latter runs abour $800. Going to 4x256 and not needing a u160 controller will pretty much cover the motherboard and extra processor.

    However, I won't get cold . . . hey, wait a minute! my office is already too hot in the winter--though not as bad as poor Bill next door, who has to open his window when it's 10F outside . . .

    ohh, and the noise. Not just all those fans, but I'm going to have 3x15k scsis in here, along with the 4ide drives.

    I think this puppy only gets powerred up for the heavy runs, and I work on the laptop most of the time . . .

  • A few years ago ('95? '96?) another couple of graduate students appeared at my door, with the logic that "surely *hawkins* would have a screwdriver".

    I produced one, and followed them back. There were 5 or six of us there, watching dan add new memory to his laptop (an extra 2M, i think!)

    It suddenly hit me: 20 years earlier, we'd have been watching the installation of a new carbeurator the same way . . .


  • ack, this should have gone in the comment above.

    Does anyone understand what the onboard video is? I assume it's only midrange. I don't need high performance, but I doo need to be able to drive a 21" sony at 2048x1536. Just what does this have?


  • hmm. I looked at ATI's site, and the only card I found using this is the Xpert98 (which I have in machine at home). The highest resolution listed is 1600x1200, and only at 8bpp (and if applications wouldn't hog the pallate, 8bpp would be more than enough. Heck, 4bpp is sufficient for my needs . . .)


  • > As an aside, what in the world do you use that resolution for?

    debugging, of course. Have you *ever* had enough screen space?

    This thinkpad has a 15" lcd running at 1600x1200, which is about the nicest I've ever seen. If the sony has 19" viewable, the pixels should be nominally larger than on this screen. Then I can edit and run on this screen, with watch windows all over the other . . .


  • by hawk (1151) <> on Friday May 11, 2001 @05:12AM (#230801) Journal
    On a hairdrier, peak and standard are the same--it's *job* is to run that much. On most appliances, power consumption depends upon what it's doing, and is below peak most of the time.

    Then there was the old Macintosh Portable with its 1.5A power supply. That wasn't enough to spin up the hard drive, so you *had* to have a battery in it during boot. (And I never would have debugged that blown fuse if there hadn't been a similar and common problem on the powerbooks . . .)


  • From Pricewatch: DDR 512 []

    I really need ECC which is even more expensive. There is always grossly nonlinear cost behavior at the high density end of the RAM market.

  • And where on Crucial's website may I find 512 MB ECC PC133 DDR SDRAM DIMMs?

    Search, the web and tell me where I can buy 512 MB DDR SDRAM DIMMs for less than $600 to $700 each. The point is that I need 1 GB of RAM. The motherboard has two slots for DDR.

    Read...think...then respond.
  • I can see your point about the ethical issues here, but I am spending my customers' money. I am obligated to put the best solution on their desk for the best price. There is no room for me to prop up substandard technology.

    And the 10% increase that I mention is a measured quantity for my application. I ran the same benchmarks on a KT133a motherboard with PC133 and a AMD760 motherboard with DDR. The DDR system was about 10% faster. I could probably have seen the same increase by moving to CAS2 PC133 on the KT133a.
  • Truthfully, if I opted for AMD, I would stay with the KT133a. I have not tested the SiS chipset, but stream numbers seem to correlate tightly with my application performance. The VIA and Ali Magik chipsets both have lower stream numbers than the 760. If the SiS stream numbers are higher, I might take another look. But the 760 only gave me about a 10% improvement over a KT133a with CAS3 SDRAM. I would probably go with the Asus KT133a board, four cheap sticks of ECC CAS2 256 DIMMs, and a 1.33. I would end up with about the same performance I got from DDR.

    In other words, DDR is offically a "waste of money" in my book, until someone shows me otherwise. Right now, the P4/RDRAM combo is way out in front and I suspect that the 1.7 GHz chip will put it even further ahead for my application. I am going to be buying Intel and Rambus...even if it is against my will.
  • by mprinkey (1434) on Friday May 11, 2001 @05:15AM (#230806)
    I know, I know. We all hate P4s. We all love Athlons. We all love DDR. We all hate RDRAM.

    Well, I finally broke down and bought test equipment. A 1.5 P4, i850 motherboard, 640 MB RDRAM and 1.33 Athlon, AMD760 motherboard, 512 MB DDR SDRAM. I built them, installed Linux, installed the CFD software my customers use, and did some benchmarking.

    The long and short is this: for this application, the P4 was the winner by a huge margin. The 1.5 P4 with RDRAM was over 60% faster than than 1.33 Althon/DDR rig.

    So, this is important to me and to other scientific computing folks for a number of reasons:
    • P4 prices are in a freefall
    • I can put 1 GB of RDRAM on an i850 board with a 1.7 GHz for $1400 (CPU $400, RDRAM $800, MoBo $200)
    • The only DDR motherboards worth anything are based on the AMD chipset and they only have two DDR sockets. So, to get to 1 GB DDR, it costs about $600 each for two DDR DIMMs...$1200 just for RAM!
    • Even the "best" DDR implementation is only the slightest improvement over SDR. (about 10% in my tests)
    So, I am sure that this will infuriate the lemmings who wander in to moderate. I have been waiting for the dual AMD setup with anticipation, but when it comes, it desparately needs decent DDR support. At least for my application, Intel and RDRAM are doing something very right.

    So, RAMBUS sucks as a company. Intel isn't much better. For Unreal Tornament and Office Bench-O-Rama 2000, the Athlon might be the easy choice, but I think Intel has a viable platform in the i850 and they may well evolve it into an outstanding dual system. They have the kinks out of their RDRAM implementation. AMD and VIA should take note. Their DDR implementations are worthless.
  • I know I have been waiting for these AMD beauties to come out the door. When MHZ and CPUS are a must and you are running on a tight budget, dual AMDs are a dream.
    Now I need guranteed software support for them...
    (for some reason some vendors will not list AMD as a supported proc... )

  • Just replace pub with cafe

    No. No... NO!!! Never replace pub with cafe.

    I'll be glad to sit around in a pub and discuss penis size, er, uh...cpu speed, but never in a cafe.

  • I have always had (and still do have) dreams of building...gasp!!...Yes, that's right... a Beowulf cluster. I know it's a running joke and kind of cliche on Slashdot to say so, but I still think the concept is waaaay cool! Just for the pure, geekish enjoyment of it!

    By the way, I'd just like to add that I've long waited for these dual capable motherboards to actually be available, but I must say that they are starting to seem like the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot and UFOs all rolled into one. Drat! Perhaps someday...someday...

  • Gosh, thanks for pointing out that 3600 is usually greater than 1600. Usually....
  • Er, "unclean"?? Just set make options and compiler flags in /etc/make.conf

    What do you set in make.conf? Can you really set CFLAGS there without it getting stomped later?

    I think it is unclean because you are setting CFLAGS, not C_OPT_FLAGS so something that doesn't want to be optimized gets your settings, as do things that have their own carefully worked out settings.

    It is partly a limit of make, and partly a limit of how it is used ('tho I admit that the modern BSDs use make far far better then 4.3 ever did).

  • by stripes (3681) on Friday May 11, 2001 @06:53AM (#230812) Homepage Journal
    You have restored my faith. My comments about compiler based performance increases are drawn from benchmakring done prior to the P4 release. I've utterly forgotten the details, except that P4 was slammed utterly in the initial benchmark, but after severe hand made adjustments from the intel techs, it blew the competition away. Evidently the compiler wasn't quite up to scratch at that point.

    I don't think that was true, I know it got slammed in initial benchmarks, and then a few months later it was doing OK (but not significantly faster then the much slower AMDs). I think that has more to do with the motherboard chipset and memory systems improving then any compiler changes. Then again I haven't been watching closely, so I could be wrong.

    Obviously designing a compiler like gcc requires making some trade-offs, given the way it is used. Redhat can't afford to compile rpms exclusively for x86, and they can't start seperate distros for AMD and intel, realistically. As a result, compiler optimisations are a compromise.

    The compiler itself has a fair number of CPU specific bits, but they are mostly enabled by flags. On set for "what exact instruction set should I use", and a second set for "what CPU should I tune for". So you can make sure your code will run on a 486 or better (but maybe not the 386), but have the instruction ordering and cost weightings for a AMD K7, or a Intel P4 (I think that is -mtune=CPU).

    Redhat may not want to compile up different RPMs for each arch, but if it is important to you, you can do it yourself. I don't know how, on FreeBSD you can do some unclean things to the master Makefiles and pretty much everything will use the new settings. If RPMs are mostly source you should be able to do the same kind of thing.

    I can tell you why the windows compiler doesn't optimize well: Apparently they haven't written code to optimise for P2 yet. Hopefully, they'll skip a generation or two and jump straight to P4.

    That's still not a why :-) I have been told you can use the Intel compiler as a backend for MS Visual C++ if you own it, so I guess either that compiler is too slow for most Windows software authors to want to use, or too expensive for their managers to pay for. I wonder if they can use gcc as a backend...

    Drag about alpha. I'd still recommend sparc for high-end over most other things, due to excellent bus speeds and huge MP support. Bus speeds count for a hell of a let in some fields.

    I expect the Alpha would do well there also. I don't think the Alpha is dead, there are still good people working on it. Just not as many. The next Alpha (which is late already, tape out being a significant fraction of a year late) looks nice. The one after it (which might come on time!) looks like a real killer.

    Of corse the other "next gen" CPUs look pretty killer too. The IBM POWER4 actually looks more impressive then the next-next-Alpha. I don't recall that being the case before (the POWER has held the lead, but mostly by having their new CPU coming out a few months ahead of the new Alpha, not a year or more!). Of corse IBM seems to be playing it close to the vest, so we don't know if the POWER4 is on time.

    Finally, it wasn't meant to be a troll. Seriously. I don't know what happened there.

    It happens. I've had posts mistaken for personal attacks that weren't.

  • by stripes (3681) on Friday May 11, 2001 @05:25AM (#230813) Homepage Journal
    Due to various changes to the super-scalar and caching features of pentium in the P4, AMD processors are a dangerous risk if you plan to use your machine for a particularly long time. As compilers are reworked to take advantage of the changes, AMD processors will perform considerably worse in comparison.

    I doubt it. Most of the compiler related benefit is pretty small. The prefetch instruction for example gave about a 20% boost to the stream benchmark when shoved into an experimental version of gcc (this was the AMD prefetch). At that time it wasn't taken because it made some other benchmarks worse (the compiler wasn't smart enough to know when not to use them). That was about 18 months ago, so I'm not sure if they were improved and put in, or shelved for a post-3.0 release. Most other tweaks are smaller. SSE/3DNow would show a bigger improvement, but so far no compiler has done much with them, that is all hand coding (or on the PowerPC minor compiler assist because Apple modified gcc to have AltiVec datatypes), but you still have to change the C/C++/ObjectaveC yourself).

    Just as importantly gcc sees optmisations for both CPUs (and many others), not just the Intel version.

    The Intel compiler (as far as I know) doesn't get AMD optmisations, but it also isn't all that wildly used, despite being a very nice compiler. Most windows code isn't all that optmised, I'm not really sure why.

    (note the superscaler changes seem like they would require a lot of compiler help, but ever since the PPro the x86 CPUs have mostly been out-of-order machines and don't need much compiler help in instruction ordering to get pretty close to top speed so unlike the 21064 or Pentimum1 or SuperSPARC rather then getting a 2x to 4x speed up for getting just the right ordering the speed up is tipicaly more like 10% and that is when there are lots of cache hits!)

    In short, if you want intel, buy intel. If you want performance, buy a different architecture, like alpha or sparc.

    Actually if you want integer performance Intel pretty much has the SPECInt crown (at least last month comp.arch was abuzz because the Alpha had finally lost it, and was in danger of losing the SPECFP as well, but that's what happens when half your design team is lost and your new CPU gets to be 20% as late as Intel's Merced).

    The SPARC isn't a performance leader, and hasn't been for a very long time. It does give you access to some great rackmountable hardware, a ROM monitor that is great for lights out management, and a lot of other things, but raw CPU speed isn't it.

    I think the Alpha still wins in SPECFP, but if you can do with reduced accuracy non-IEEE FP the PowerPC or Intel or AMD may beat it. For I/O the S/390s seem like a better bet :-)

    Don't waste your time on the low end if you are doing high end stuff, and don't blow your cash on dual proc boards that you aren't going to be able to take advantage of.

    Pretty good advice.

    Hell, there aren't any really good SMP OSs for intel anyway, except BeOS, and that suffers from other problems that keep it from achieving much popularity.

    If you are CPU bound BSD/OS will do fine. If you have some I/O in there Linux and FreeBSD aren't too bad, but they could be a lot better. They are certainly better then Solaris was after the same number of years of effort. I'm not sure the BeOS kernel is actually any better then those OSes. The userland is better positioned because of the way they designed it, and they promote use of threads quite a bit.

    P.S. yeah, I know it was probably a troll, but I had to reply :-)

  • Who says you don't learn something new every day?

    I read slashdot and regularly and this is the first time I've heard of the nickname for SSE.

    Still, I don't think I deserved being called an idiot for this. Lighten up people!

  • by jjmcwill (3739) on Friday May 11, 2001 @04:06AM (#230815) Homepage
    The article mentions support for Screaming Sindie instructions. That's a good one. Someone must have dictated "Streaming SIMD" (or SSE) over the phone and the reporter obviously didn't have a clue what was meant.

  • Oooh, yeah and the PIII 1.13 Ghz chip worked sooooo well too! Whats that you say? Oh, Intel pulled it from the market? And the floating point performance is sooo good too.

    Which motherboard did you buy? I have found processor has little to do with system stability. A good motherboard is the key to stability. So you got burned on your Athlon 500. The first release of any chip is a bad value in my opinion.
  • actually, it does mention it, doesn't it? :)
    more coffee required this morning.
  • What they don't mention is what was in a news post last week at [] (which I can't find again now, drat!) - AMD recommends at least a 450W power supply to run the two Athlons. Cooling the system containing these things must be a whole lot of fun too.
  • by Howie (4244) <[moc.ygniht] [ta] [eiwoh]> on Friday May 11, 2001 @03:19AM (#230819) Homepage Journal
    Have a look at []. I've just finished sorting out my 1Ghz Tbird to get it down to an acceptable temperature and noise level. They do silent/quiet PSUs approved by AMD, fans, drive enclosures and other bits. The noisiest thing in my PC now is the 25mm fan in the back of my CDR, which sounds like it's about to fail - Papst [] have just announced a quiet 25mm fan, but it's not actually available yet.

    Also try [] for more lots of info regarding 'Silent PCs', TCO99, and what manufacturers can help you.
  • ... or just trolling? here [] are the current DDR prices. $90 for 256MB module. The rest of this post is similarly BS.
  • Hell, in school, I had to keep the case off of my box so that I could manually stager the spin up on the drives. I had to unplug one or two drives to get the first set of drives spinning, then plug in the rest of the drives.

  • 1) if my car can accelerate faster than yours, then I'll get to my destination faster than you will (assuming all else is the same, and no interference from Johnny Law)

    2) I *frequently* use my car as a tool. I've pushed things over with it, used it as a ladder in my front lawn, and used parts of it in ways that they aren't intended. Just like my computer.

    3) I have a genuine AT motherboard in my car to play music and record information about the car, so with the simple plugging-in of a monitor, I can do everything with my car that I can with a regular computer - as well as driving it. :)

  • by Sheridan (11610) on Friday May 11, 2001 @02:35AM (#230823) Homepage
    The inquirer also has an article [] which breaks down the 460 watt PSU requirement by component. I still want one even if it would up my electricity bill. Random thought: I hope they don't release these first in California...
  • Here's the relevant bits off /etc/defaults/make.conf (you're supposed to put your changes to /etc/make.conf, which doesn't exist out of the box, mind you):

    # The CPUTYPE variable controls which processor should be targetted for
    # generated code. This controls processor-specific optimizations in
    # certain code (currently only OpenSSL) as well as modifying the value
    # of CFLAGS to contain the appropriate optimization directive to gcc.
    # The automatic setting of CFLAGS may be overridden using the
    # NO_CPU_CFLAGS variable below.
    # Currently the following CPU types are recognised:
    # Intel x86 architecture:
    # (AMD CPUs) k7 k6-2 k6 k5
    # (Intel CPUs) p4 p3 p2 i686 i586/mmx i586 i486 i386
    # Alpha/AXP architecture: ev6 pca56 ev56 ev5 ev45 ev4
    # If you experience any problems after setting this flag, please unset
    # it again before submitting a bug report or attempting to modify code.
    # It may be that certain types of software will become unstable after being
    # compiled with processor-specific (or higher - see below) optimization flags.
    # If in doubt, do not set CPUTYPE or CFLAGS to non-default values.
    #NO_CPU_CFLAGS= true # Don't add -march=<cpu> to CFLAGS automatically
    #NO_CPU_COPTFLAGS=true # Don't add -march=<cpu> to COPTFLAGS automatically
    # CFLAGS controls the compiler settings used when compiling C code.
    # Note that optimization settings above -O (-O2, ...) are not recommended
    # or supported for compiling the world or the kernel - please revert any
    # nonstandard optimization settings to "-O" before submitting bug reports
    # to the developers.
    # Note also that at this time the -O2 setting is known to produce BROKEN
    # CODE on the Alpha platform.
    #CFLAGS= -O -pipe
    # CXXFLAGS controls the compiler settings used when compiling C++ code.
    # Note that CXXFLAGS is initially set to the value of CFLAGS. If you wish
    # to add to CXXFLAGS value, "+=" must be used rather than "=". Using "="
    # alone will remove the often needed contents of CFLAGS from CXXFLAGS.
    #CXXFLAGS+= -fmemoize-lookups -fsave-memoized
    # To compile just the kernel with special optimizations, you should use
    # this instead of CFLAGS (which is not applicable to kernel builds anyway).
    # There is very little to gain by using higher optimization levels, and doing
    # so can cause problems.
    #COPTFLAGS= -O -pipe

    As for these getting stomped over, hello! the whole FreeBSD source tree honours these and the vast majority of the ports tree too. If you fetch a tarball of the net then just fix the makefiles so that it does fit the FreeBSD way of doing things, and submit a port. Most of the times this has been done by someone else though, since there are over 5000 ports nowadays...
  • What did you use for BIOS? (Surely the Athlons needs to run something when it starts, and a ROM that has Alpha code won't do. Right?)
  • What did you use for BIOS? (Surely the Athlons needs to run something when it starts, and a ROM that has Alpha code won't do. Right?)
  • I usually make subsidary boxen out of 'em and their various supporting hardware.
    (ie boxen for irc, icq, muds, and light browsing; low-end servers...)
    But donating 'em is good too, and I wish my old school had done that more often - they had a literal huge closet full of slightly obsolete PowerMac G3s. Not that I like PMS much, but...that much processing power going to waste irritates me.
  • Hahahahahahaha, You know, its comments like this that a true gems, and make slashdot the crack up fun hillarious read that it is. (There were a few other truly remarkable comments in the Science section today on the Mars 2020 story, rofl)

    Often these classic slashdot comments make it into IRC channel topics ;).

    --- Topic for #diskiller is Must.....Resist..... Need money not give dual Athlon creamy goodness...oh God give me...strength... (Info:, Picture: 0510.html)
    --- Topic for #diskiller set by diskiller at Fri May 11 22:16:26


    --- Topic for #FreeBSD is Must.....Resist..... Need money not give dual Athlon creamy goodness...oh God give me...strength... (Info:, Picture: 0510.html)
    --- Topic for #FreeBSD set by diskiller at Fri May 11 22:19:12
    --- ChanServ gives channel operator status to diskiller

  • > Now when I go to Tom's site I get not just one, but TWO visa card ads!

    Visa thought that would be appropriate for the dual-Athlon article.

  • > How the hell is a 'me too' off topic!?!?


    It should be a simple inductive proof: if the parent was on topic, then a 'me too' is on topic.

  • > have always had (and still do have) dreams of building...gasp!!...Yes, that's right... a Beowulf cluster. I know it's a running joke and kind of cliche on Slashdot to say so, but I still think the concept is waaaay cool! Just for the pure, geekish enjoyment of it!

    I wonder if some geek with a desire for fame, and more space than sense, and a sublime disregard for the magnitude of his power bills, might step forward and start the Team Slashdot Monster Beowulf Project. As we Slashdotters retired our old machines we could ship them off to the project, where they would be added to the cluster upon arival.

    We could probably create the world's faster computer just using our junkware. "Just for the pure, geekish enjoyment of it!"

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday May 11, 2001 @02:52AM (#230832)
    I've been waiting for dual-Athlon + DDR for about a year, but I finally realized that they weren't actually going to come out until I spent my money on something else. So I went and bought something else a couple of weeks, to clear the metaphysical logjam.

    Think of me when you boot your dualie.

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday May 11, 2001 @02:55AM (#230833)
    > Of course, it is in Japanese, but the pictures are *great*.

    Yeah, I visit that kind of Web site now and then too.


  • 1) There is a booming market on the various country specific newsgroups, In the UK there is uk.adverts.computers. There are also the various auction sites out there and all the for sale stuff on Yahoo. (As always buyer beware)

    2) Have you seen the price of Quad Boards?
  • FYI, "screaming sindie" is a nickname for SSE, "propably" not made up by *ntel

    Way to look like a...
  • I own several Tyan motherboards and none of them are unstable. I purchased two Slot A motherboards last year a Tyan and an Abit. The Tyan works without problem and the Abit fails to even post. I would spend money on a Tyan product before any other.
  • This is nothing but FUD, and I cannot believe I even responded to this.
    AMD processors are a viable solution for plenty of choices. They also give have much better value/money.
    The Pentium IV is also currently a risk, as you have NO UPGRADE PATH.

    The Pentium IV is still a good processor, and may be your best bet for extreme performance, but it is no less of a risk than AMD-processors.
  • by GauteL (29207) on Friday May 11, 2001 @03:35AM (#230838)
    As far as I know, Durons are just as SMP-capable as Athlons, and should work in this motherboards.
    The only catch is that Athlons will perform much better due to their bigger amount of cache, and since the motherboards will probably be rather expensive, at least in the beginning, there might not be much point in buying one, and then fitting them with the cheaper but poorer option. Besides, athlons are not very expensive right now.
  • I'm glad someone finally had the courage to stand up and reveal that the output of all 22 million taiwanese should be suspect because someone got a quirky motherboard, here is further proof of their inability to produce non-buggy products...
    1. Their own stamps [] are buggy.
    2. They actively protect [] bugs and prosecute people who attempt to remove them.
    3. The spend valuable research making healthier mosquitos []!

  • that is not what she said to me...
  • that size doesn't matter.
  • by wiredog (43288) on Friday May 11, 2001 @05:11AM (#230842) Journal
    The parallels are true. Lots of car freaks are geeks. Many geeks are car freaks. Think of how much some of us enjoy hacking, and remember that hacking a car isn't that different from hacking a pc. Philosopically, anyway.
  • by xtal (49134) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:12AM (#230843)

    If you don't care about it looking good, cooling isn't too big a deal. It's easy, even. Either just totally take off the side of the case, or drill lots of holes (if you care about RF), and then blow a $15 super-quiet desk fan at it. I'm running a duron 600 @ 900mhz, plain ol heat sink & fan it came with, @ 47C w/28C ambient. Plus, it cools my overclocked TNT2 much better, and does a good job on my hard drives and power supply too. All for $15cdn..

    Same setup would work really well with a dual configuration, and it's whisper quiet, too. Could always do it with ductwork, I guess, but this works great, and it's $15cdn. Can't beat that. Heat concerns amuse me when they have to put a 1lb heatsink on the P4, and that's to act more as a heat transfer buffer than an effective sink, imho.

  • only on slashdot...these parodies are so [] true []. There was another one that was even which sigs spread like memes through the comments, but I can't find it now.
  • Yea, right...

    The UP1000 would technically accept a Slot-A Athlon in the Slot-B slot. (Slot-B being a
    superset of Slot-A) Why you'd want to do that when you can get a Slot-A motherboard cheaper is beyond me.

    The UP2000 has Slot-B slots but the chipset, the Tsunami, doesn't support Athlons.

    There's no such board as a UP1200.

    FWIW, I work at API.
  • I really wish AMD would get this stuff out the door. I'd love to be able to start buying dual or quad CPU AMD servers. No one takes them seriously in that market yet since you can only do single CPU systems.

    I'm also annoyed at the lack of some vendors support for AMD. I just ordered a new desktop for work. We use Compaq Deskpros. Not a single AMD system in all the Deskpro lines. The only way to get an AMD workstation from Compaq is to buy the Presario, which I won't do. I ended up getting a P4. :(

    I wonder how long it will be like this in the server market even after AMD starts shipping the SMP chipsets. If Compaq doesn't put them in their good workstations, why would they put them in their servers? Give us our Athlons!

  • I agree. But I can't buy a Dell server with an Athlon today. I can't buy a Compaq Prolient with an Athlon today. People who use them know they work and work very well... I think the real problem is managers. Compaq and Dell know that most managers wouldn't trust AMD in a server so they don't offer them. But, what they need to realize is that usually the technical staff are the one that specs out the servers and we LOVE the AMD chips.
  • Note:
    Not for sale or use in California.
  • [1] ... What the heck happens to all those outgoing chips?
    eBay baby, eBay. Seriously, for a company such as Intel that works on the principals of planned obsolesence, there must be hundreds (nay, thousands) of slightly older chips *somewhere*.

    [2] ... recycling some of the 300's and 400's and making a Quad motherboard running say a PIII 400...
    There's no such thing as the PIII 400. Also (as someone else mentioned) you can't get n-way SMP with PII's unless N=2. Finally, price out some quad-proc mobos... expensive... Note also that a 1.33ghz thunderbird machine will, for all intents and purposes, stomp a 4-way 400mhz machine for LOTS cheaper.
  • Intel crippled the P2 core (since carried on to the P3) to allow only 2 way SMP. You need Xeons to go above 2 cpus.

  • by joq (63625) on Friday May 11, 2001 @02:48AM (#230851) Homepage Journal
    IHMO I don't see the big deal about running out to get the `latest` high speed (Mhz) chip to run from any vendor be it Intel, AMD, Transmeta, etc., especially something that hasn't been tested in real world condition so my question are as follows...

    When the 300's and 400's came out the same hooplah surrounded them and everyone hyped them much the same way as the comments on this story. If marginal fractions of people brought those chips, then carried on to other higher speeds, what is everyone doing with their other chips... Is there a chip cementary I should know about or are people doing cool shit like donating older chips to non profit companies, or edu's or something? What the heck happens to all those outgoing chips?

    What about recycling some of the 300's and 400's and making a Quad motherboard running say a PIII 400 wouldn't it be cheaper, and faster for certain tasks. Has anyone tried this?

    I'm not hardcore on hardware since I don't do any high tech scientific computing, or distributed computing, hardcore gaming, etc., so I always wonder who in the `real world` buys these chips and for what...

  • by joq (63625) on Friday May 11, 2001 @02:57AM (#230852) Homepage Journal
    create a an overlying case for the PC with 4 slots cut out, left side, right side, top, and back. On the side place some fans blowing inbound, let the back blow outbound. With the top cut out you could get a hose similar to something a clothing dryer would use, and hook it up to a "Penguino" floor standing air condition to keep cool air circulating into it.

    Actually you could make a nice little desktop set up with something like that and keep most of your PC's in there to keep them cooled. Just don't forget to have AC filters on the insides of the carve outs to keep the PC's dust free. Or you could dish out for a single freon cooled case.
  • No one takes them seriously in that market yet since you can only do single CPU systems.

    We can blame this on the motherboard manufacturers more so than AMD. AMD has designed a superior processor, the specs and an example chipset to run the thing. Any chipset manufacturer should be able to get the specs to design their own chipsets to work with the Athlons in single, dual, quad, whatever. The motherboard manufacturers are lazy, getting plump on their multiprocessor Intel income, or getting pressure from Intel to drag their feet -- which Intel has been known to do on more than one occassion.

    It is certainly disappointing that it has taken this long for a serious attempt at retail multiprocessor boards for the Athlon to appear. Perhaps next year, when they've worked out the bugs, and when I've got a little more mula, I'll look into them.


  • You may be right- I looked in the Rage XL User's Guide [], but I didn't read closely enough. They have the same users guide for about 16 video cards; I only looked at one, the Rage Fury Pro, which supports up to 2048x1536@32bpp (page 36). Looks like that is the only one that will do it though.

    As an aside, what in the world do you use that resolution for? That has to be physically painful to look at. My eyes would be bleeding.

  • Following the original inquirer link, and drilling down a bit to an older article [], it seems the on-board video will be ATI Rage XL. It's an ancient chipset, but it will do 2048x1536.

    More importantly, it should do superwide 1600x1048 for my 1600sw... hehe.
  • Exactly my problem with this too. I do a bit of OpenGL development and this is not the card I would choose. I find it perplexing that many vendors are doing this on their high end boards. Just try finding a dual Intel board with the ServerWorks chipset without onboard video (actually Tyan is going to release one "real soon"). That is the only one I could find. They could at least stick an extra AGP slot on there, although that may not be technically possible...
  • Foster (dual P4) was supposed to be launched last Tuesday, but Intel announced that it was delayed for a couple of weeks due to a problem with the package (not a silicon problem). It is supposed to be launched by the end of the month. There was an article about this on CNET on Tuesday. The delay didn't get much press; I don't think anybody actually believed that Foster was coming out so soon. :-)

    Interestingly, even single processor systems with the P4 Xeon perform much better than the regular P4, due to the different chipset (i860 vs. i850). P4/i850 is already number one in base and peak SPECint, and base SPECfp (only the 833 MHz Alpha beats it at peak SPECfp), but I think P4/i860 should finally be number one at every benchmark when it's launched (not to mention the cheesy benchmarks that the unsophisticated benchmarks sites use).
  • Not only is MP P4 coming out before MP Athlon (P4 in May, Athlon in June), but MP capabilities came considerably earlier to P4 relative to the first launch. In this case, MP capabilities will be available about six months (May 2001) after the original launch (November 2000), but in the case of Athlon, it was almost two years (June 2001) after the original launch (August 1999).
  • Why is it any more or less relevant to a discussion of the power requirements of an Athlon motherboard than a hard drive??
    It's not the peak value, it's the transients. For example, imagine you're doing video processing and it only takes a fraction of the CPU bandwidth. After a frame finishes, the CPUs will almost totally go to sleep and power consumption will drop to a few tens of amps. When it wakes back up, the FPUs, caches, buses, and RAMs will suddenly start drawing as much power as they ever will, which is potentionally 100 amps for a dual Athlon.

    So the power supply has to go from 10 amps to 100 amps in a microsecond without drooping excessively. This takes a stout power supply, and once you've made it stout it's fairly cheap to go ahead and raise the maximum power output. Conversely, if you're looking for off-the-shelf power supplies with better transient response, they're typically the higher power models.

    The first dual Athlons are intended for big servers anyway, where the hard drives will need lots of power, so there's no point in optimizing for transient response alone.

  • I was talking about internal DC currents. If you have a pair of CPUs drawing 100 W total and running at 1.0 V, that's 100 A. When they go from sleep to full-bore-computation, that's a hell of a sudden current change for the power supply to deal with.
  • Thanks for a genuine laugh-out-loud moment. Mike Magee has finally been found out!

    And in the other article [] he refered to Chimpzilla as the chip supplier. The guy is clueless!

    By way of explanation it is a very common jest in the UK to exchange someone / something's name for a ridicule that sounds similar. Not exactly highbrow humour but I like it all the same. I was under the impression this existed in other cultures... obviously not yours.

  • stream numbers seem to correlate tightly with my application performance. That's why the P4 and RDRAM is better for you. Sequential memory bandwidth is the one thing that the P4 is really good at. OTOH, if you had a more cache intensive application that gained benefit from the K7's larger L1 cache, the P4 would suck pretty hard. In reality, for most applications the P4's cache is puny, you've got a specialized application where the its ability to stream from memory benefits you.
  • Ok, everyone seems to be agreeing, and yeah, of course I see the parallels. There is a difference though. Why do you want a pc in the first place? to do work, to play games to communicate. Cars take you places, but you can't create tools with them. PC are tools that (in a programmers sense) help you create tools. Computer geeks like fast computers, big surprise. You can always use more speed in your computer (ALWAYS!). You can't usually get someplace faster because you have a faster car. Faster computers open up new doors, faster cars are more towards fun cool stuff then opening up new possibilities.
  • That seems like an aweful lot. Crucial has 256MB sticks for around $100. I wouldn't think that a 512MB stick would cost 6 times that....Did you get screwed?
  • 84685+/usr/local/www/db/text/2001/freebsd-smp/2001 0422.freebsd-smp
  • The product might turn out to be buggy, but dissing the whole of Taiwan in one sweeping statement is horribly predjudiced

  • I'm posting this from a dual Athlon, in fact. Dual Slot-A Athlons @ 650 MHz each on a dual EV6 motherboard [] from API. The only major downside is wonky AGP, but my PCI Matrox Millenium II is keeping up pretty well (I don't play games or do anything 3D anyway). True, it would be faster if I would use actual EV6 Alpha 21264s...
  • Not that I like PMS much

    I don't think any woman does. But is that news for nerds? Is that stuff that matters? I think not.


  • Well, I'm happy of your findings. However, I'd have a hard time (ethically) supporting Rambus - even if they had the superior technology.

    Unfortunatly the DDR chipsets for AMD have been weak at best. However, SiS's latest chipset is doing good. To correct your "10% faster" statement, both the AMD760 and SiS735 can be found to perform upwards of 40% faster than PC133 for memory bandwidth intensive applications.

    I will agree that AMD has not been able to execute with it's chipset vendors of late. Until there's a solid Athlon/DDR or even better a solid Athlon4/DDR (Polimino[sic]) solution, I'm sticking with my PII350 :).
  • by Alien54 (180860) on Friday May 11, 2001 @03:38AM (#230894) Journal
    They have moved it off the front page.

    It is now at: 0510.html []

    There is also another article with decent info here []

    They also have updated info on the specs on the front page.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

  • by sv0f (197289) on Friday May 11, 2001 @08:19AM (#230898)
    IHMO I don't see the big deal about running out to get the `latest` high speed (Mhz) chip to run from any vendor be it Intel, AMD, Transmeta, etc.,

    To cheaply achieve the same raw performance as the latest and greatest from Transmeta, just buy a 1-2 year old product from Intel or AMD :)
  • What about dual Duron? Do Durons support this, and does the MoBo support it? I remember the rush for dual Celerons and Intels lies about the possibility of using dual Celeron.
  • I don't know what happens to all of the older CPUs, but I have a friend at intel who says he has drawer fulls of leftover/recycled PII chips in that speed range that he can't do anything with.

    Apparently, they're just kind of "sequestered" there...



  • I don't suppose if anyone heard anything about dual duron mobos coming out at all...? I remember this was in the rumour mill for a while.
  • It's good to see the lag time reduced for delivery on 1U ready hardware. Competition does great things.

  • Last year Taiwan put out some terrible, buggy products, so I would say that the wait will be worth it... particularly if we're going to have to rely on them.
  • No, I'm not talking about the entire body of Taiwanese, but (since we import an incredible amount of stuff from there) the Taiwanese hardware industry during the first three quarters of 2000. The dot-coms were asking for as many products as possible for as cheap as possible... a lot of dot-coms were giving them out for cheap or for free, so they didn't care what the quality was. I'm not just talking about a single mobo or power supply.

    At that time, we had massive problems with Taiwanese tech products in the supply chain which were built. Power supplies down to cases down to motherboards. Quality control issues, from "oops, we forgot to include jumpers" to "oops, this causes disk corruption and we'll get around to fixing it eventually".

    So, what I was saying is, it is worth the wait to let Tyan get it right versus getting it out because public pressure demands it.

  • by discovercomics (246851) on Friday May 11, 2001 @02:50AM (#230918) Homepage
    Here is a direct link for the photo page at Toms Harware 0510.html 0510.html []

  • Time was not so long ago when computer geeks would spend time discussing how they could change the world, come up with exciting new products, benefot millions. Now they just seem happy to become clones of those guys who sit with a beer in a pub and discuss how to get an extra 2bhp out of their car engine by tweaking the injectors or resetting the turbo waste gate dump pressure etc etc etc ..... Just replace pub with cafe, bhp with mhz and car with CPU. Sad isn't it?
  • by fors (310930) on Friday May 11, 2001 @03:57AM (#230924) Homepage
    I don't usually flame people but I can't resist this one.
    This is so full of crap I almost don't know where to begin. The possible performance increase you might see in the future from using the P4 is offset by the fact that it costs more know and doesn't perform as well. In the future that you are looking at the Sledgehammer will make a much nicer desktop processor than either of those chips. Get the best performance you can afford know and upgrade as necessary. If you really need the best performance you use what is best at the time of purchase and upgrade when there is a significant improvement by changing. You don't buy the slower now and pray for miracles.
    As far as OS's go, that is what truly gave away the fact that you are a troll. SMP support in Linux and W2k is more than adequate for any purpose your limited brain can come up with. Especially since SMP performance is determined as much by the app as by the OS and the current crop of apps could all stand a little work in that area. There is also the fact that the Palimino chip cans use 3Dnow and Screamin Sindie instructions if I remember correctly.
    You buy your P4. I'll spend the same amount on an Athlon system and spend the difference in price on RAM. My system will smoke yours now and even at the end of there useful lifespans there won't be an appreciable difference in performance over the range of apps most people use. I'll still beat you on everything except games and graphic apps.
  • I'm looking at building a system for general use, but primarily as a platform for video editing. I've been kind of waiting for a dual Athlon system 'cause I need something with lots of speed.

    I need something with lots and lots of speed, lots of memory and multiple large hard drive. I'll probably run Win2k as a my primary OS (it seems to support the widest range of video capture cards).

    Can I get some /. opinions on system bases for this application? I'm not married to athlon or p4 and since I'm not certain the application will take advantage of multi-cpu's, I'm flexible there too.

    Just looking for some opinions before I shell out lots of cash.


  • 1) Actually there are several companies that reclaim gold from old computers, and lots of not-so-old hardware gets donated or given away.

    2) There are several quad boards out there, but unfortunately they are poorly designed. Intel processors share the same bus, and at 66 or 100MHz you're going to have a very large bottleneck. This limits the effectiveness of large multi processor machines. In almost every situation the two 1800's would be faster than the four 400's.
  • by Liquid-Gecka (319494) on Friday May 11, 2001 @02:58AM (#230930)
    That is 460W peak not average. We power tested our IDE drives here (5400RPM) and found that they use 10-15W during startup, but then only draw 1W average while running. I want to know what they where using for USB devices since the usb supply only provides a few hundred miliwatts. That power must have been a supply (not from the internal Power supply)

    Another interesting thing to note though is how this board is going to be 1U ready.. (Notice the angled memory sockets, this is so that 'tall' memory can still fit within the 1U enclosure.) The 8 fan thing really isn't that impressive when you realize that they are designed to run small 1U style fans like the Intel [] ISP1100 []. This system uses lots of smaller 1U sized fans to move air through the case and out the back.
  • Only I'd rather save is fast.

  • That was before the dark days, before Microsoft.
  • There are two problems:

    1) Not every OS does multiprocessing well (not every OS even does multiprocessing at all).

    2) The more processors, the more overhead. Multiprocessor synchronisation can be a major headache at times, let alone contention for common resources such as memory.

    The real guys who go out and buy this kind of stuff generally have money to spare for hardware but no time or resources to clean up their software. Think, the trading rooms of banks, for example.

    Someone may have coded something wonderful as a VBA macro. Performance sucks, but there are no resouces to rewrite in a decent, compilable language.

    Oh and btw, these guys do notgenerally buy individual chips or even motherboards. They buy the complete new PC and the old one is disposed of.

  • Go here []

    It has tens of pictures of REAL and working Dual Socket A motherboards, with a nice bit of information. Of course, it is in Japanese, but the pictures are *great*.

  • by The Ultimate Badass (450974) on Friday May 11, 2001 @05:44AM (#230945) Homepage

    You have restored my faith. My comments about compiler based performance increases are drawn from benchmakring done prior to the P4 release. I've utterly forgotten the details, except that P4 was slammed utterly in the initial benchmark, but after severe hand made adjustments from the intel techs, it blew the competition away. Evidently the compiler wasn't quite up to scratch at that point.

    Obviously designing a compiler like gcc requires making some trade-offs, given the way it is used. Redhat can't afford to compile rpms exclusively for x86, and they can't start seperate distros for AMD and intel, realistically. As a result, compiler optimisations are a compromise.

    I can tell you why the windows compiler doesn't optimise well: Apparently they haven't written code to optimise for P2 yet. Hopefully, they'll skip a generation or two and jump straight to P4.

    Drag about alpha. I'd still recommend sparc for high-end over most other things, due to excellent bus speeds and huge MP support. Bus speeds count for a hell of a let in some fields.

    Finally, it wasn't meant to be a troll. Seriously. I don't know what happened there.

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists. -- John Kenneth Galbraith