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AMD's Duron Birthed 128

maniack writes "The AMD Duron, the "Celeron-killer", has finally been released and lives up to the hype. According to these reviews from Ace's Hardware, Gamer's depot, Anandtech, and Tom's Hardware, the Duron thrashes the Celeron clock for clock and even hangs with the P3 in a lot of the benchmarks. Looks like AMD has another winner in the value market to go along with the Athlon."
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AMD's Duron Birthed

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  • Some good links.

    Looks like the Duron runs pretty hot too, http://www.aceshardware.com/articles/reviews/duron /duron_cpusink.jpg [aceshardware.com]

    Ace had some detail on overclocking the Duron, but I want to know, is it going to significantly reduce my heating bills.
    I could get one for my granny to keep her warm during the winter. I could write it off on the tax too.

    But seriously, is it not a case of too little too late??
    $110-$130 is a good price but we've had the celeron for a long time, is there room for another low end chip in the arena, or should they be aiming higher with the performance. Perhaps as a cheap upgrade option for the celeron??

    Search and destroy, lunch is served
  • I can't believe nobody pointed this out. All you have to do is do to the Duron website [duron.com] to see that it's a brand of paints and wallcoverings.

    Does this mean I can get my chips in custom-mixed glossy pastels?
  • Ignorance = bad. AMD and its chipsets meet the AGP spec. If you're power supply is crappy or you didn't pick up a quality motherboard, then you may have had problems (for the Super 7 days, so before Athlon or Duron), but AMD is not to blame for poor hardware components in your system. Also, with Nvidia's new GeForce there was a slight issue with AMD 750 chipset motherboards, but that was fixed a short while after Athlon's launch last August with super bypass enabled on motherboards. Also, Via's KX133 and KT133 (which are used to make basically all Socket A motherboards, which is what Duron and the Thunderbird (ehanhced Athlon) run on) also had no problems with Nvidia's GeForce video card chipsets. Other than that, all other video cards which use AGP are fine.
  • I'm confused how you can be against one monopoly (I assume by your nick) and for another (once again your nick). If you want the best performance (that is if you can actually find a 1GHz coppermine from Intel in a retail outlet, unlike Athlons which are plentiful and much cheaper, and then spend $800 for Intel's great motherboards that only support RDRAM, thanks to those nice investor options!), get a Thunderbird (an Athlon with on die L2 cache running at CPU speed_. Duron was meant to beat Celeron as a low cost alternative and does that easily. It isn't a high-end CPU.
  • Well, ok. I can get a thunderbird for ~$188. [pricewatch.com] Still beats $192, other things being equal.

    I was about to make a comment along the lines of "but how good a vendor is that particular Pricewatch lowballer," but they didn't fare too badly on ResellerRatings.com [resellerratings.com]. OTOH, there hasn't been a particularly large amount of feedback about that firm yet. In any case, going with whoever has the lowest price on Pricewatch can be a recipe for trouble if you're not careful.

    (No, I don't work for ResellerRatings...or Pricewatch, for that matter. I'd recommend using the two sites in combination, though...it's better to pay a little more to deal with a reputable company than to get fleeced by a lowballer.)

    / v \
    (IIGS( Scott Alfter (remove Voyager's hull # to send mail)

  • Assumptions = bad. AMD released the K7 roadmap back at Comdex 98, around October 15. Just last year AMD was at 16, today it is at 88.
  • Windows 2000 RC2 for one, it worked inconsistently on an AMD (Compaq Presario 400 MHz notebook), sometimes BSODing at boot, other times working ok. Sure, they fixed it later, and Release is supposed to work ok.

    Are you so sure that the problem is with the processor and not with something else, especially given that we're talking about a "consumer-grade" notebook (read: lots of corners cut, lots of WinHardware in use, etc.)? Also, as someone else mentioned, beta software often glitches for no apparent reason on different platforms. You report those glitches back to the vendor so they can (hopefully) be fixed.

    FWIW, I've had fewer problems with systems built around AMD processors than with systems bearing "Intel Inside" stickers. YMMV, but Spitfire (AMD needs to fire whoever came up with "Duron") is looking like a good bet from where I stand.

    / v \
    (IIGS( Scott Alfter (remove Voyager's hull # to send mail)

  • If I can get a genuine Athlon 700 for ~$150 now, why would I want to buy a Duron? Not a winner on performance; not a winner on price; not a winner, period. Pity.

    You are compairing list price vs. street price. Price Watch [pricewatch.com] has them listed at $89 (600Mhz) and $159 (700Mhz). I expect the prices will be lower when the get released for real.

  • Wait a few weeks and check for Duron prices on pricewatch.com.

    While you're at it, compare with PIII prices, because that's what Duron's performance is closest too, not Celeron. Remember Duron has a full speed 200MHz FSB, while celeron is held back to 66 MHz.

    Duron is a unbelievable price/performance deal!!!
  • However, according to this, [cpureview.com] the Duron does officially support SMP.
  • Well if it's past tense then you should leave the past in the... past. Obviously AMD has straightened this out. Therefore it is a non-issue.
  • I think you were using the -ffast-math flag (or a buggy gcc), which breaks the ANSI/IEEE compliance (it is not turned on with any -O option).
    Anyway, i'm quite surprised. I've done some FPU intensive computations with a K6-2/300 and a PII/350 (time domain finite differences), and the PII was 3 times faster than the K6-2.
  • Windows 2000 RC2 for one, it worked inconsistently on an AMD (Compaq Presario 400 MHz notebook), sometimes BSODing at boot, other times working ok. Sure, they fixed it later, and Release is supposed to work ok.

    Another was the AGP incompatibility. Many people had random lockup problems using an AGP card with an AMD. Again, maybe it got fixed by now, but it proves the point.

    Finally, regarding Athlon only, the choice of mobos is simply much more limited than for Intel, and they lock you in to the chip (ok, so does the Intel).

    So considering that the days of the significant price advantage of the AMD are pretty much gone, I see no reason to put up with even just the perceived potential of incompatibility. The possible speed advantage just isn't great enough to make it worthwhile, especially at the low end. And let's face it, the Celeron end of the market is still mostly where's it's at, regardless of the odd 1GHz junkies around here.

    PS In the Pentium days I was definitely an AMD fan. My wife is still running a K6/200 and is quite happy with it for word processing and browsing. Back then it had both a price and performance advantage.

    Uwe Wolfgang Radu
  • >>> I want to get a dual AMD system just so I can say it's a "Duron Duron".

    >> And with every one you get a free Diamond Rio MP3 player, right?

    > PLUS, you get a free Hungry-Like-A-Wolf (sic -- it's actually "the wolf") Cluster.

    Please, please tell me now where I can get one!

    Actually, John Taylor was a pretty decent bassist. I maintain that it's his basslines that made their songs so popular ( [trusttheprocess.com]Duran Duran [indyramp.com], that is).

  • They did the research, that's why they chose the name, no doubt. The English word "durable" comes from the French word for hard, dur.
  • There's a new standard "AGP Pro" for AGP slots that provide more power.

    It's nothing to do with AMD/Intel or specific motherboards. Certain video cards need an AGP Pro slot to get adequate power - you need to check the specs before buying.
  • Just want to second vherva here and say that the disk subsystem is very unlikely to be the bottleneck.

    Get a lot of memory instead and linux will give you a big diskcache after the first compile, making disk speed mostly irrelevant for a the second or third compile.

    If your harddisk sounds like a rattlesnake during your second or third build (some minor disk activity is always present though) you need more memory, otherwise it's more juice in the CPU (and a faster FSB) that is needed.

  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @03:36AM (#993369)
    I want to get a dual AMD system just so I can say it's a "Duron Duron".
    Compaq dropping MAILWorks?
  • Right now your PC processor choices are PIII/Athlon or Celeron/Duron. In both cases the AMD processors are clock-for-clock faster as well as cheaper, in addition to being available in higher speeds. The latest Dell catalog I received still only has 866MHz PIII's, while Gateway has 900, 950 and 1GHz Athlons. Duron is available up to 700MHz (actually there are 750's on sale in Japan!), while Celeron is still 700 MHz.

    There's always going to be those who hold out for tomorrow's Mustang (AMD) or Willamette (Intel), or whatever, but for anyone buying today AMD's choices provide bother better performance as well as value.

    The only benchmarks I've seen where Intel beats AMD are one or two where Rambus RDRAM makes a difference, but with cheap DDR SDRAM a few months away, it's hard to justify paying today's crazy RDRAM prices. If you're buying an SDRAM PC and want top performace, then AMD is your only choice.

  • Certainly AMD has disappointed as an investment in the past, which is exactly why the stock is so ridiculously cheap (forward P/E of 15 or so, vs 40-50 for Intel).

    Last quarter AMD earned $1.15/sh completely blowing away street estimates of less that 50c, and by the estimates I am hearing it will provide another MAJOR positive surprise when current quarter earnings are out on July 19th...

    If you wait to invest in AMD until it has a history of positive results you will miss out on the big gains to be made by those who realize that profits will follow performance.... Note that when AMD announced it's 1GHz Athlon, that for the first time in history Intel had to price the 1GHz PIII UNDER AMD's part!!!

  • by Nadir ( 805 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @03:40AM (#993372) Homepage
    The word "Duro" in Italian means "Hard"... AMD's marketing should have done a bit more research on meanings... I formally give AMD an "X-Rating" :-)

    The world is divided in two categories:
    those with a loaded gun and those who dig. You dig.
  • Duron is not intended as a mobile/low power part. It's meant to compete with Celeron (and even PIII) on the desktop.

    AMD's next mobile (low power) part will be a version of their next generation "Mustang" core due out later this year.

    AMD are selling processors as fast as they can make them and ramping up production in their Dresden fab as fast as they can. The timing of the mobile Mustang should coincide with their ability to produce them in sufficient volume to satisty the market.
  • <bad pun>I want three of AMD's other chips. We can call it a Triathlon.</bad pun>

  • Intel are fighting two battles at the moment, for performance and for low power. The performance battle is against AMD, and Intel's answer will be the Willamette which is intended to be introduced late this year, and will compete with AMD's Mustang also due out this year. The low power parts introduced today are to stave off competition from Transmeta, whose Crusoe processor will be featured in laptops at PC Expo next week. Intel is having a tough battle here too, since the 1W Celeron is impressive but that is it's idle power consumption, while the Crusoe only draws 1W while running full speed!!!
  • The Athlon dual CPU motherboard is "supposedly" going to be released just before the end of the year. One can only hope a dual Duron board will be released there-after. AMD really needs multi CPU motherboards to break into the business market. Currently they haven't really made much of a dent in Intel's hold over that particular market
  • Yes, but will Jeff K. [somethingawful.com] review it?

    I only trust the smartey reviewars.

  • Let us hope, that Intel will reply to this threat, by removing the hobbling they placed on the celeron, by giving such a (comparatively)high Latency to the on-die cache.. that would seriously Rock!
  • Intel FUD, perhaps?
  • by fiziko ( 97143 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @04:42AM (#993381) Homepage
    As for the speed, like I've said, the network could have had something to do with it.

    For the compile options, I used the same set at home, with the same compiler. The fast-math flag is turned off in both cases. I checked, because I was surprised. I spent several hours going through docs and man pages, checking (and manually configuring) every option. I couldn't find any difference outside the chip.
  • Really? I haven't that problem with POVRay. Are you sure it's not an out-of-memory problem?
  • by JabXVI ( 141079 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @04:44AM (#993383)
    If I can get a genuine Athlon 700 for ~$150 now, why would I want to buy a Duron?

    You can't really compare the prices of a Duron 700 to an Athlon 700, because all 700MHz and below Athlons are not Thunderbirds (the newer Athlons with 256KB of on-die L2). The non-Thunderbirds are being phased out. BTW, according to PriceWatch [pricewatch.com], a Celeron 700 and PIII 700 are about the same in price aswell.

    Not a winner on performance; not a winner on price; not a winner, period. Pity.

    I just looked at AnandTech's Duron review, and on their benchmarks the Duron was far faster than the Celeron; IIRC, a Duron 700 beat a Celeron 850 in Quake3.

    And as for it not being a winner on price, on PriceWatch a Celeron 700 is about $50-70 more than a Duron 700. It sure looks like a winner to me.

  • Durex have a range of condoms made from a non-latex stuff that they call... Duron.
  • My K6/III is sluggish at FP compared to Intel. Is the Duron's FPU any faster?

    Simple test - how long does it take to compute a Seti@Home work-unit?

  • Those benchmarks would be useful, yes... but coding is a really high-pay occupation. If you buy the fastest SCSI disks, and a multi-CPU Xeon, you'll get very fast build times. It only costs a few thousand extra which over the course of a year is nothing compared to the cost of programmer time.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Remember that the quoted prices are suggested retail prices rather than the street price that you quoted for the Athlon 700 MHz.

    I would expect that, following the initial wave of demand, that a similar retail/street ratio would appear. By my guesstimation, that would place the 700 MHz Duron at about $110, a significant reduction from the street price you quoted for the Athlon.
  • I suppose the benchmarks are prolly trying to give you "real world" benchmarks - testing activities they think that a majority of computer users use on a regular basis. Things like MS-Word & Q3 are pretty well common and your average jo are much more likely to have experiences with this rather than having to compile Mozila on linux box... So I guess what I'm saying is that programmers are prolly not really who the reviewers had in mind when they designed the benchmarks... In going for the most generally known tests I suppose they need to over-look certain aspects...

    That said you could prolly argue that poepl reading Tom's Hardware Reviews are more likely than not, tekkies who would know a few more apps than just MS-Word.. .but hell.. EVERYONE can relate to Quake 3 i'm sure

  • Granted that the K6's FPU wasn't that good, but the K7's (Athlon/Duron) is incredible, yet it still gets poor SPEC numbers because of lack of compiler optimization. This show's how Duron's FPU blows away PIII: http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/00q2/000619/duron- 11.html Compaq apparently have a compiler that provides some minimal Athlon optimizations and confirms the above Athlon/Duron vs PIII FPU comparison. Bottom line is that you should use application benchmarks for comparisons, since a choice of compiler can completely reverse a true view of things in an artificial benchmark such as the SPECs.

  • If the material is static-resistant, then we really have a
    bundling opportunity...
  • +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
    S i g n a l 1 1 <-- note an extra space at the end
  • The program produced a few megabytes of output. At home, that was written to the hard drive. At school, that was written to the server a few floors below us. Since there were about 15 people all writing several megabytes of data to this server at any given time, I'd believe in a bottleneck. The CPU was likely to spend time idling waiting for write confirmation before moving on. (The CPU was a P2-300.)
  • I don't know about TP7, but I goofed around with software I wrote in TP6 on my Athlon and it worked fine. (Just a simple numeric integration, with Simpson's rule. Makes a good, cheap benchamrk for the work I do. I tend to use C and Linux now, but the TP6 code already exists...)
  • by Hoser McMoose ( 202552 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @11:29PM (#993395)
    I just read the review of the Duron at Sharkyextreme, and I have to say, it was really poorly done! Here's a link to it:

    http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/reviews/cp u/duron_700/

    If you look at the system specs (on page 9 I believe), he used different video cards, different sound cards and different memory for the various systems! Hardly isolating the processor/motherboard! What's more, there's no mention of which chips are running in-spec and which are overclocked (the Celeron 550 is obviously an overclocked chip since no Celeron 550 exists, but what about the other ones?). And what's all the big deal about the power consumption? Sure, 41W is too high for the mobile market, but it's not as high as the power consumption of many of Intel's PII and PIII chips, it's certainly lower then nearly all of AMD's other Athlons, and it doesn't come close to touching the 100W+ power consumption of some Compaq Alphas! Sharky also has some kinda weird numbers in his benchmarks, ie the Quake ones, where the Celeron 500 (with the older core and no SSE) scores higher then the Celeron 600 (with the improved core and SSE instructions). There were even a few things that were just flat out incorrect (ie the cache associativity of the new Celerons is only 4-way, not 8-way as stated in the article).

    Anyway, here are a few reviews that were somewhat better:

    http://www.aceshardware.com/Spades/read.php?arti cle_id=5000159

  • Ok, it was a badly worded comment. The important thing is to know how 'small' a small error is, and whether or not it is significant.

    You are always going to get some errors in numerical code, and worrying about differences in the 10th decimcal place of your calculation if your integrator is only accurate to 3 decimal places is pointless. Of course, if you are seeing larger errors than those introduced by your numerical code, *then* you have problems.

  • You'll love Athlon.. I also reccommend the FIC [fica.com] SD11 motherboard... I have 3 (a K7-900, K7-700, and a K7-550).. They are great systems !

    And are they FAST... I use seti as a guideline.. What used to take 66+ hours on the K6-2 350 is now taking only 18 or so hours.. Pretty good huh ?

    Get that and the Guillemot [guillemot.com] G-Force2 card and you'll rock

  • Actually, it's Latin (durabilis)-->Old French-->Middle English-->English, but who's counting? And then there's always the indo-european root d-e-u-schwa....

  • I've seen benchmarks of Intel vs. AMD under Linux, and unfortunately Intel generally kicks AMD's ass. I suspect someone needs to take a look at gcc's optimizations...
  • Windows 2000 RC2 for one, it worked inconsistently on an AMD (Compaq Presario 400 MHz notebook), sometimes BSODing at boot, other times working ok. Sure, they fixed it later, and Release is supposed to work ok.

    If the release version is supposed to work with AMD processors, then why are you complaining? Beta versions of software aren't necessarily going to run on all of the possible hardware platforms. I'm sure there are plenty of pissed Intel owners who can't get Linux 2.4.0-pre1-ac8 to work, but they're waiting patiently.
  • If I can get a genuine Athlon 700 for ~$150 now, why would I want to buy a Duron? Not a winner on performance; not a winner on price; not a winner, period. Pity.

    One reason would be that they are switching to a new architechture (socket). If you buy Duron, you could end up saving the cost of a new motherboard on your next purchase. Your pricewatch link shows Athlon Slot arch chips, which allow an upgrade to the Slot Athlon 800, no more. If you buy a Duron and want to upgrade to an Athlon Thunderbird, you don't need a new mobo, since they use the same socket.

    If I were choosing between the two, I'd go with the future upgrade potential of the socket systems (Duron/Athlon Tbird).

    Of course, if you already have an Athlon slot m/b, it's a no brainer to just continue to the best Athlon slot chips.
  • You will be pleasently suprised. I have an ABit BP6 motherboard with two celeron 333's overclocked to 500mhz. Its been rock stable for almost a year now. A kernel compile takes slightly over 2 minutes! 2:20 to be exact. Just use gcc with the -j3 option. Overall its pretty damn quick.
  • So if this is the celeron killer what are the implications facing Intel now? How is Intel going to respond to this latest attack by AMD? Anyone know?

    The Lopez
  • You've got to be doing something wrong if they're taking 18 hours. My Athlon at 770 will go through a unit in 6.8 to 7.5 hours depending on what's in the unit.
  • Thanks for that link- it is quite interesting. I had never seen RSR before, but will definitely use it in the future. Hopefully about 10,000 other people will see it and provide a large enough set of data points for its evaluation of sellers to be worth something...

    Rev Neh
  • So he gets a score of two for calling us dorks and talking about his own ignorance, while the detailed information in our posts gets a yawn? Hmmm...moderation seems to have a populist bent.
  • I was using 'dorks' in the semi-affectionate sense, though it's not obvious. I honestly do appreciate having read your thread.

    And I automatically (not through moderation) get a score of 2 because of my existing karma rating, which, with posts like this one, is getting trashed daily.
  • Ha! I just have far too much time to post. I guess I was feeling bitter...
    You know, the problem with this sort of text formatting is that you just can't get the nuances-if I was talking to you, I would have known that.
    Anyway, sorry for being so touchy. Feel free to call me a dork next time...it's probably one of the better compliments that you can give someone these days.
    *cough*this post was totally offtopic*cough*
  • by DebtAngel ( 83256 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @05:21AM (#993409) Homepage
    Intel and AMD can never play on the same mobo now.
    The Athlon (and the Duron now) use *completely* different underlying architetures. If you put an Athlon into, say, an Asus CUBX, it won't post because the CUBX (and any Intel chipset for that matter) isn't DDR.

    So, while an open socket and complete interopability between Intel and AMD would be nice, it will be a chilly day in Hell before it happens.
  • In other words, if you had bothered to check out the benchmarks, you would have noticed it keeps up with the next-lowest Athlon, and that's just because it has next to no L2 cache. The FPU still r00ls j00 (sorry for the h4X0r sp33k, but I thought it was appropriate).
  • The Duron's FPU is just as powerful as the Athlon, since it's a derivative.
  • Actually, it's Latin ...

    actually, it's not. French does derive from Latin, yes, but most Latinate words came into English directly from French with the Norman conquest and subsequent rule starting 1066 AD.

    And to this day, the English language reflects the fact that the French were the rich-rulers and the English were the poor-peasants. For example, for animals we say "pig" and "cow", but for the foods we use the French "pork" and "beef" because only the wealthy ate meat on a regular basis. Also, the English words for body parts and functions still today are considered "vulgar" while the French words are "polite". You'll even note that in this thread people are making jokes out of the English word "hard". The "durable" version of the word is more closely associated with the oh-so-bourgeois preoccupation with consumer goods.

    While the way-back origin of words is very interesting, when and how words enter a language is more important to their cultural significance.

  • SPEC95 is a good benchmark for measuring the performance of a processor, and only the processor. Unfortunately, it does a very inadequate job of measuring the performance of an entire system, which is typically what you use. The reason for this is simple: all the benchmarks in SPEC95 are small, and will fit inside the l1 cache of any modern processor. Thus the memory subsystem of the processor goes completely unmeasured, not to mention all other system components.

    SPEC is usefull primarily for microarchitects, because it does a good job of measuring that. It gives a nice range of branches, from easy to difficult to predict, and various levels of instruction-level parallelism. But unfortunately it doesn't represent real-word situations well -- not even compilation, even though gcc is one of the benchmarks!

    Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that SPEC 2000 has really solved this, though it is a little better.
  • I have an AMD k6-2 that I have been using for years and it is more reliable than my Intel system. I have had no compatibility problems. I am going to need a new system again soon and this new AMD chip is looking nice... I'll have to see some other reviews first and maybe a friends system so I can experience it in real life before buying though...
  • > Another was the AGP incompatibility. Many people had random lockup problems using an AGP card with an AMD. Again, maybe it got fixed by now, but it proves the point.

    Some motherboards for the AMD did not provide enough power to the AGP slot for some of the hot new video cards. For instance, I burned up a Voodoo 3 and a FIC PA-2013 trying to get them to work together. (Later revs of the FIC do support the V3.)

    The only solution for this is to do a bit of research before you buy. (I'm learning...)

    > So considering that the days of the significant price advantage of the AMD are pretty much gone

    You don't spend much time hanging around pricewatch.com [pricewatch.com], do you?

    To pick a random example, I just looked at the Athlon 800 and the PIII 800. Best prices currently listed were $312 and $536, respectively.

  • The K6 cpus have horrible spec numbers and a weak FPU compared to intel. Were you running it on a p100 or something? Being on a network has nothing to do with cpu load, unless its doing heavy ftp/www duty.
  • You should expect small differences in the results of numerical calcs when running the same code on different OS/hardware/compiler combinations.

    Presumably the accuracy of the numerical integrator is going to be greater than the differences in the FP precision?
  • It's true-but no one has pointed out what I find annoying about these names as a classicist. The dur- root of 'Duron' is obviously Latinate. But the 'on' is a Greek neuter ending. AMD has used the same mix that Intel used with the Celeron-latin root(celer), greek ending(neuter nominative singular -on). I find it disappointing after the Athlon-a nice, proper greek noun. It's a shame that they have to make up such lame pseudowords-there is an inexhaustible supply of good latin and greek words that sound cool enough. PR firms should get some good latin and greek dictionaries-like the O.L.D. and the largest of the Liddel & Scott Greek dictionaries.
  • The SPEC int 95 [spec.org] benchmark uses gcc derived code (amongst other things). It's used by "serious" computer purchasers, rather than PC magazines.

    It's being replaced by SPEC's "CPU 2000" benchmark, but AMD don't seem to be reporting CPU 2000 results yet.

  • Being on a network has nothing to do with cpu load

    Normally, I agree, but college networks are usually plagued with tons of broadcasts. In my experience, I showed 10 times the interrupts from the network interface than from the clock. This was a simple workstation, but Intel-based. Intel architectures aren't known for their efficient interrupt handling.

    In the end, the extra interrupts didn't seem to affect my K6 from a usability standpoint, but it definitely bit my old 486. So, I'm not too quick to say that network could have nothing to do with CPU load, but I will say that it should account for less then 1%, probably less then 0.1% of the CPU.

  • Who ever upgrades without buying a new mobo'? Usuailly the frontside bus speed requirements has doubled by the time you get a new cpu. Compatability doesn't do much if your hobbling because of antique (1 year old) hw.
  • After a few .c's, most of the include files are propably in the files cache anyway. At least my experience has been that compiling almost always nearly maxes out CPU (unless something stupid is happening like MSVC waiting for include files from a network disk.) Memory bandwidth is very likely big issue, though.

    For the compiling speed, I was surprised to find how well a 550 Athlon did compiling linux kernel compared to Intel. I don't have any exact numbers (different .config's), but I'd say Athlon won't propably lose much.

  • You forgot to mention the how the Tower of Power horn section really gave Duke that disco sound it needed to get into the charts.

  • Well, ok. I can get a thunderbird for ~$188. [pricewatch.com] Still beats $192, other things being equal.

    And as for it not being a winner on price, on PriceWatch a Celeron 700 is about $50-70 more than a Duron 700. It sure looks like a winner to me.

    I was comparing Athlons to Durons, not celerons. You are right, of course; unless you want to play UT, the order of price/perf at a given mhz would be athlon/duron/celeron/p3. My point is that it is cheaper to buy a 700 mhz athlon than a 700 mhz duron, and therefore the price that AMD thinks they are going to get for their chips does not match what they are going to get in reality.

    Rev Neh
  • I've said this before and I'll say it again -- for you investors, AMD is a surefire thing. I bought it right when the k7 roadmap was announced, and they've done nothing but good things since. AMD is taking over their market -- might as well join in for the ride.

    While I agree with your perception, I'd want to warn folks that AMD does have a habit of suprising people with bad quarters. Considering AMD for an investment over TXN, STM, INTC, MXIM, or any of their other competitors is quite risky. The greatest risks do happen to pay off with the greatest gains (when they pay off at all). AMD has been making a good fight of it lately... but I'd still be cautious about it, especially for long-term investing.

    In comparing AMD's performance with their top 9 competitors over the past year, you'll find them to be second (behind ETEK). However, when you compare them over the past 3 to 5 years, you'll see them drop into dead last.

    In short: I'm optimistic, but I wouldn't go recommending them just yet.


  • > If the release version is supposed to work with
    > AMD processors, then why are you complaining?

    Because for a substantial amount of time it WASN'T working. If the point of incompatibility is in a graphics card or some other peripheral, you yank it and replace it with something that works. If the culprit is the CPU or chipset itself, you're rather stuck, unless you replace the whole machine.

    My point is that viewed over an extended length of time, you're more likely to encounter incompatibilities with AMD than with Intel. It might often happen for trivial reasons, or even through no fault of AMD's, but the fact that it happens is enough.

    Uwe Wolfgang Radu
  • You aren't about to kill all of us are you?
  • I stopped reading Tom's years ago. As far as I'm concerned he got great (and was one of the first good hardware sites) and has just been resting on his laurels. I haven't seen it recently but he used to do updates about once a week, but then updates seemed fewer and far between. I stopped reading when updates became 3-4 weeks. There are lots of alternatives now and most the guys who run them are nice and down to earth (not I'm so cool because AMD sent me the specs before you). Not to mention how hard to navigate the site has become. I don't mean to flame here, but there are better alternatives.
  • What used to take 66+ hours on the K6-2 350 is now taking only 18 or so hours.. Pretty good huh ?

    Fast? hehe, thats funny... Which machine takes 18 hours to do a Seti [setihome.com] unit? I hope it aint the 700 or 900, cos my Celery 500 does a seti unit in just over 11 hours...

    Sorry to crash your little world...

    Even my P133 with 48 meg o RAM can do a work unit in 38 hours...

    Offtopic : Shouldnt that be a new Slashdot poll? How quick can your machine do a Seti unit?

  • socket A is socket A, a dual Durons will fit in the same boards as dual thunderbirds or mustangs.

  • On another note, Yes AMD is a phenomenal investment oportunity, even at today's market price of 85$/Share. Earnings have smashed Wall Street estimates for the last 3 quarters and will do so again in July. Furthermore, Y2K earnings are giong to be AT LEAST 6.50/share. Some analysts are even seeing a possibility of more than $8/share. That's a P/E ratio of between 10 and 15. By any investor's standards that is an undervaluation and strong buying oportunity. For reference Intel's P/E is about 40. (lower is better) There is one more kicker. AMD will split before the end of Q3 (not official info, but the rumor mill has it as a certainty). My guess is 3 or 4 for 1.

    With the Flash production completely sold out through the end of the year, the Flash division will be raking in the cash as well. Expect record quarters for AT LEAST Q2, Q3, and Q4 2000.

    As for risk, AMD's achilles has always been production problems... Dresden (the new fab) is ramping up faster than expected and yields are exceeding expectations. The ONLY risk I see right now is the availablilty and quality od motherboards and chipsets for the new Athlon and Durons. The KT133 set from VIA is available now and new boards are being produced with it. This helps, but there is a possibility that there won't be enough chipsets produced to go around (at least at first). I would discount this risk since more manufacturers are jumping in and ALi is developing a DDR chipset as well as SiS.

    Geez, this stock looks good.

    That said, buying at the announcement of the K7 roadmap sure was a wise decision... Had I had the money available to buy any stock I would have done so as well... As it is, I got in in February this year at about 50. (Right before earnings anouncements drove the price up almost to where it is now). Excellent investing!

    As for the flamebait comments here, whatever. There is no insider trading here... the info was public information. The stock didn't REALLY respond until AMD started to make good on the roadmap months later.
    Just my 0.02USD (2.35 after taxes)
  • If AMD could only supply more processors to the public they would kill Intel
  • It's a significant performance improvement over the celeron and in some benchmarks (and games) gives a P3 CuMine a run.

    I would find it hard to recommend for anyone to buy new celeron based machines except perhaps an overclocker who coud run their Cel 533 at 800. Even then, once you factor in the extra cooling, you would probably still be better off with the Duron (Which at least one MoBo manufacturer has claimed to be able to unlock the multiplier).

  • 3D Studio Max R2.5 - runs fine when installed on my P2 Laptop, where it now lives because it crashes very very regularly with no error on my K6-2 desktop. Similar spec, main difference is that the laptop has less memory.
  • AGP power problems existed for the p2/3 line as well. Specificly with the Compaq presario series of machines. When the RivaTNT was first released it would not work in the Compaq machine because of the power deficiancy. This created quite a headache for me as I was working for a game developer at the time who had rented 15 or so Compaq computers and bought TNT cards for a demo they were doing. Imagine my displeasure when none of it worked as planned just a few days before the event.
  • The BP6 crashes when people don't cool it enough, or overclock it too high.

    If your board crashes for no reason all the time, then i suggest you get your board replaced.

  • by rde ( 17364 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @03:45AM (#993437)
    It may be an informative site, but the number of words per page seems to be dropping all the time. And given that it's regularly linked to from slashdot, it's a pain in the arse; it takes upwards of ten minutes to read a two-minute review. And some of the picture links were broken.
    I hereby suggest that a printable option be mandatory on all stories where more than one page is used. You hear me, w3c?

    Offtopic? Probably. But pertinent to all our lives.
  • Duro = Hard,

    so Duron = Hardon?

    eww!! ;-)

    Go get your free Palm V (25 referrals needed only!)

  • The sharkyextreme review puts the CPU's speed a little below the Athlon 700 in most apps, but for games, its barely going faster than a Celeron 550. Also, they were only able to overclock it to 770. However, considering the cost of this chip, it still seems like a good value. I just can't justify buying a new case/mobo/cpu for a little bit more performance, that's all. This still should make a great CPU for grandma's new computer without making things cost too much.

  • by Hollins ( 83264 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @03:57AM (#993442) Homepage
    AMD had compatibility issues through the K6 release, but I haven't heard of any starting with K6/2. I've been running countless applications and games on K6/2, K6/3 and Athlon processors for quite some time and have yet to encounter a single 'compatibility problem'. The AMDs have proven to be nothing but a better value than Intel's offerings time and time again.

    Frankly, the only people I have encountered to bring up 'compatibility problems' are uneducated intel loyalists who have never put an AMD into one of their boxes.

    Can you provide a URL to an article that discusses these 'compatibility problems'?
  • So if this is the celeron killer what are the implications facing Intel now? How is Intel going to respond to this latest attack by AMD? Anyone know?

    Simple. With 1-Watt Celerons. Check the specs on the Duron: It's hot. REAL hot. 22 W for the 700 part!!! And that's at a 90 degree T-die!!! That's insane!!! This thing will never make it into mobile, let alone set-top boxes... With those two options out, it's left to compete with Athlon and Coppermine. I don't think its gonna do to well.

  • I'd suspect that the disk subsystem would be the main bottleneck for compiling, followed by the memory subsystem.

    When you do a compile, you walk through many, many source files and nested levels of include files (take a look at your dependencies list for an idea of how nasty this is). A fast disk with scatter-gather (coughcoughSCSI) and a large disk cache in memory will work wonders for eliminating that grinding noise that tends to accompany compiles.

    Now, the memory subsystem. Compilation with a modern optimizing compiler involves building monstrously huge structures in memory and shuffling them around (I spent much of the last two semesters writing such a compiler). There's enough data here to overflow the cache, so you run into the system memory access speed bottleneck.

    100 MHz FSB is Your Friend. 133 is even better, if you have RAM with low enough latency (another poster correctly pointed out that 133 MHz does you no good if wait states eat the extra speed). A larger chip cache will also help, if that's an option.

    Lastly, if neither of these seems to be the bottleneck, having a faster CPU or a second CPU may help. Just make sure that the CPU is the bottleneck before forking out the money for a faster one. You can also safely ignore floating-point performance - almost all of the computation performed by a compiler is integer math (building bit vectors to calculate dominators and so forth with).

    As far as benchmarks go, the disk- and memory-limited ones should still be useful to you.
  • by fiziko ( 97143 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @04:09AM (#993462) Homepage
    Most people are only concerned with speed in their benchmarks. I switched from Intel to AMD a few years ago, for cost reasons. I started running physical simulations of wave propogations for class and lo! what do I find? The P2-300 and K6-2 300 chips produced different results! They were close, but not the same. (For those who understand this: I was using a fourth order Runge-Kutta integration with initial conditions that used a lot of exponentials.) The AMD chips actually produced more stable results: roundoff errors were more accurate more of the time! The results also came through substantially faster, but I don't know how much of that was processor, and how much was two different levels of overhead. (The school's machines were on a network, mine weren't. Both were RedHat 5.1.)

    Bottom line: AMD produced better numbers, and it produced them faster. I have yet to see an official benchmark that looked at accuracy, but maybe they should.
  • And with every one you get a free Diamond Rio MP3 player, right?

  • by Nehemiah S. ( 69069 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @04:13AM (#993464)
    From the AMD press release:

    The 700MHz, 650MHz, and 600MHz AMD Duron processors are priced at $192, $154, and $112, respectively, each in 1,000-unit quantities.

    If I can get a genuine Athlon 700 for ~$150 [pricewatch.com] now, why would I want to buy a Duron? Not a winner on performance; not a winner on price; not a winner, period. Pity.

    Rev Neh
  • Nah, they should just hire you two complete dorks to tell 'em all about it.

    Seriously though, very interesting thread. I appreciate the fact that you two are very literate. Wish there were more like this around... sad to say, I can't play, but I have sure enjoyed watching.

  • by GimpyAMD ( 202356 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @10:37AM (#993472)
    We've put up a review of Duron at AMD Zone [amdzone.com], the largest AMD site on the net. We also hit a few of your problems (less pages, more paragraphs) and use more benchmarks. For example, Currently, there are five standard SPECopc viewsets: ProCDRS viewset is intended to model the graphics performance of Parametric Technology Corporation's CDRS industrial design software. IBM's Data Explorer (DX), which has 10 different tests, is a visualization application. Intergraph's DesignReview (DRV), which has 10 different tests, is a 3D computer model review package. Alias/Wavefront's Advanced Visualizer, with 10 tests, is an animation application. And Discreet Logic's Lightscape Visualization System, with four tests, is a radiosity visualization application. All five viewsets represent relatively high-end applications. These type of applications typically render large data sets. They almost always include lighting, smooth shading, blending, line antialiasing, z-buffering, and some texture mapping. So we use Specview, Seti, Distributed, and a few other benchmarks made by a friend of ours who attends the University of Illnois. QMC is best described in the words of Tim QMC tests cpu power, cache quality to some extent depending on the file Input1D0, bus io and ram. It calculates the ground state properties of a particular lattice model using a Quantum Monte Carlo algorithm. Linpack is a very interesting benchmark for comparing the Tbird to the classic Athlon because you can watch the data get too big for the CPUs caches and watch performance fall. Here is Tim's description of the benchmark. For a matrix of size N you use 8 * N * N bytes to store that matrix. For 25 sites you use 5KB. Each time the matrix is increased by 25 the memory consumption rises by 4 fold. So you use 5KB, 20KB, 80KB, .... , 5.12 MB. At some point the L2 is overflowed. At that point performance will depend on how quick data can be accessed from ram. This is where you will see a noticable performance drop, or at least you should depending on the latency of getting data from ram. So for matrices that are larger than L1(data) + L2 you are really stressing the quality of the cache and the bus speed. Also you pay a tremendous performance hit for using CAS3 ram. I think it's a very good benchmark. Also to those who commented that Athlon is about the same as Duron's price. That is off Price Watch, which is not the MSRP which was released as always in press releases, and was OEM. Duron will cost much less at Price Watch when it is readily available than its MSRP just like Athlon does now. Hope that helped.
  • PLUS, you get a free Hungry-Like-A-Wolf Cluster.
    Compaq dropping MAILWorks?
  • by Dave Fiddes ( 832 ) on Monday June 19, 2000 @04:17AM (#993476)
    Having read a couple of Spitfire (I can't bear to say Duron) and Thunderbird reviews I am struck by just how irrelevant the performance figures are to me. Like a lot of Slashdot readers I do a *lot* of software development and spend forever watching gcc, msvc and Delphi chew processor cycles. I'd give anything to find out the most effective platform for what I do.... how quickly Word loads or Q3A runs is not likely to be representative. The few benchmarks that these sites run that do involve a compiler (some of the Spec* tests use gcc and the ZD Content Creation bm uses msvc AFAIK) never quote the results separately from the whizzy 3D piccie software.

    Wouldn't it be great if we could get hardware reviews of setups that software developers are likely to want. Is the Thunderbird really quicker than the Coppermine and Spitfire for building Mozilla on Linux(or Windows)? Is it worth paying for SCSI or is that PC266DDR SDRAM what we should hold out for?
  • Sound good, but the socket 462 vs socket 370 aspect is about as funny as the "Duron, Duron" jokes.

    It's expensive to develop chips of this size and I can understand that both Intel and AMD want to protect their IP, but we really need an OpenSocket (or maybe a slot variety, but I'm not going to write that).

    That would be for the good of all, more fair competition and I would be able to use the newest CPU with my one year old motherboard.
  • I've said this before and I'll say it again -- for you investors, AMD is a surefire thing. I bought it right when the k7 roadmap was announced, and they've done nothing but good things since. AMD is taking over their market -- might as well join in for the ride.

    Mike Roberto (roberto@soul.apk.net [mailto]) -GAIM: MicroBerto

Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it. -- William Buckley