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The AMD Duron Gets A Home - Sort Of 80

Techman writes "AnandTech has put together an in-depth analysis of the SiS 730S chipset for AMD's Socket-A platform. What's so special about this 730S? Well, it turns out that one of the reasons that AMD's Duron hasn't been selling well in retail markets is that it doesn't have a cheap platform to run on. The 730S from SiS is an attempt to solve that problem. Unfortunately as it is SiS' first attempt at an Athlon chipset, the 730S does not perform as well as you would hope it would. And in many cases, the Duron loses its luster when combined with the 730S."
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The AMD Duron Gets A Home - Sort Of

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    > right but what does P4 mean in french?

    In french P4 is an abreviation which means that you have been exempted of military duty because of psychological problems.


  • I just wanted to reply with my experiences with the K6-2. Back in those days not so long ago, the K6-2 was a phenomenal bargain. I think the fact there were several different motherboard manufacturers added real competition. Many of the first generation pacific rim boards did have some minor problems, but it was not soon after that new revisions came out. This is just my anecdotal evidence but back then, we could put together a good system that seemed to run just as well as the intel branded systems but would cost a few hundred dollars less. (I guess that much hasnt changed from today)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    this is a bit offtopic, yes. go ahead and moderate it as such.

    SiS appears to be the worst designer of video/graphics chipsets; I own a computer that has a SiS 6326 video card in it, and I have to say I'm displeased with it and SiS in general. Not only does it appear that the 6326 is the cause of many random crashes in my machine, SiS's support email doesn't even work.

    And don't get me started about the lack of acceleration...
  • that later branded the K6-2 as the cheap-ass chip that we know it as right now

    Who's this "we", white man?

  • Intel originally wanted to call their processor the Hardon, except in French. Unfortunately, the word celer in French means "to hide" making the processor the Hide-on, not the Hardon.

  • At the time I bought my K6-II, it was as cheap as (lower clock speed) Celerons with similar FPU performance, and it blew away anything in it's price class for integer performance. Of course, Celerons got cheaper, and gamers stopped buying K6II chips, but they were always good for business apps. If you didn't need the highest Quake II framerate, and didn't want to upgrade the system later, you were set.

    "Bad", of course, comes in when you try and stick a real AGP card in that AGP-shaped slot on most Super7 motherboards. Turns out they provided enough power through that slot for my Millenium II, but not nearly enough for even a Voodoo 3, let alone the GeForce I bought last summer. Feeling the undersized power transistors become excruciatingly hot was not encouraging. Having the computer crash, in Windows and Linux, after a few minutes use, was less encouraging. Having to upgrade my motherboard, processor, and case months before I'd intended to, to use a video card that was supposed to work in the original system, sucked.

    I went to a Duron after checking out compatibility issues, BTW.

    The original Athlon itself got a mostly-undeserved bad rep for this reason; there were a some early motherboards that had the same half-assed AGP compatibility problems.
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @11:13AM (#563005) Journal
    Well, if that's the problem, customers should order Duron Ultra Deluxe High Gloss [duron.com] rather than the flat eggshell variety!
  • Just found this link: http://www.overclockers.com.au/techstuff/a_sis_ski pframes/ [overclockers.com.au]

    That reports that SiS has been using partial-frame skipping in it's onboard video chipsets. While true that most serious buyers wouldn't buy such a mobo with an onboard video chipset, it does raise questions about SiS cheating at benchmarks to raise their value and reputation.
  • yeah I know like this one time I was trying to log onto the NT domain on the campus LAN and I was like DANG FOO, why aint you no SMP brotha. Then a chipmunk spoke into my left ear, he said somthing about Linux making out with Windows and I was like HOLD UP, what a freakin weirdo!! ya know what I mean.
  • you mean like being the first to use the Si28 process (pure "normal" Silicon isotopes) in order to aid cooling and the like on chips?

    yeah, I guess AMD isn't going that direction.

    Or like the backwards compatable and full-speed nature of the 32-bit compatability of the hammer series?

    yeah, AMD is pretty much slacking all around and never do anything right and they suck and they're just copy-cats and they couldn't speed up processors fast enough and they're always behind intel and everything amd is bad...

  • You might think that a dual 1GHz Tbird system would be way too fast, but I seem to recall that some said that a 500MHz CPU was way to fast when they first came. Now we got the 1GHz and they want to go faster. Going SMP 1GHz is a way for people who have some extra cash but don't want to try to overclock their CPU to get increased performance. I figure once we hit the speed barrier with current technology, they'll have to find ways to make CPUs cheaper and just ship all PCs with 2 or 4 CPUs.
  • The target audience for this chipset seems to the average ignorant computer buyer who is only concerned with price. Those interested in performance need not inquire within.

    The main marketing (I can't think of a technical advantage) advantages of the Celeron is the ability to sell really cheap systems with chipsets that integrate sound/video/network on the motherboard. By integrating, they could knock off $50 or so from the price of the box.

    Up until now, there were no Duron motherboards with all of these functions integrated. Duron is clearly technically superior but had trouble competing at the extreme lower end to which it was targetted.

    I wouldn't (and most on /. wouldn't) buy one of these boards. I still believe that its an important step for AMD to attack the extreme low end of the cheap PC market.

  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @12:33PM (#563011) Homepage
    The componentization of the PC industry and the economies of scale means that nobody makes cases anymore, nobody makes chassis anymore, nobody makes PC boards anymore and nobody makes anything distinguishable from the other guy anymore. Seems all you can do is buy cheap and assemble cheaper to sell on price alone.

    That leads to an industry that's got zero interest in innovation and zero responsiveness to change.

    If you can't convince a chassis maker, who's got a thousand mom-and-pop sweat-shop box builders besides you (so he couldn't care less about you or your idea,) that you need something different and it would behove him to make it, you're going to buy off the rack the same as everybody else and slit your own throat on price alone since you can't come up with anything different, never mind better.

    The same goes for the PC board makers, the case makers, the component makers.

    You don't stand a chance if your pin-outs aren't 100% compatible.

    You don't stand a chance if your instruction set isn't 100% compatible.

    You don't stand a chance of you cabling isn't 100% compatible (What the [expletive deleted] is the deal with these parallel/serial port "USB cable" kludges. Apple had the balls to make a port for it on their iMacs.)

    This industry has [expletive deleted] itself to death. You the consumer have squat-all input in the process or the product because, even if you were willing to pay more, the people who want you to by only to sell you the same boxes as everybody else.

    Face it. The reason Apple's designs look different is that the Mac buyers are paying what good design costs. I don't see a cool looking ultra quiet Cube on my office desktop anytime soon because my boss cares more about bucks than about me. But my den would make you drool. :-)

    Apart from Apple, computers have become so boring, you want them to be invisible, except that they aren't and you rip your knuckles open installing anything. Used to be the desktop was where you worked, now its the space occupied by the monitor and the beige box. There's no room left to work.
  • by maroberts ( 15852 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @05:44AM (#563012) Homepage Journal
    ...a full Athlon does not cost that much more. I think one problem of competing for low end business is that AMDs lowest end processor is being priced out of the market.
  • Frankly, I've got a shiny new Duron box which just kicks royal tush running OpenBSD as my file/samba/X/firewall/nat/nfs/imap/smtp/nntp server. And best part, even with a killer graphics card, large hard drive, the thing only cost me $1300 CAD. (That's about $3.50 USD... but seriously folks, probably about $850 USD at current exchange.

    I just don't think that it's significantly worse than the Athlon, and it kicks the pants off of a celeron at equivalent clock speed for a comparable price.
  • by Evro ( 18923 )
    Woo hoo!

    I love asus. Abit gets the most press, but I will be an Asus dude forever. Got the K7v now, will have A7v soon with new computer... Built-in ata-100... gotta love that.

    __________________________________________________ ___

  • Remember back in the K6-2 days when everyone and their mother was building Super 7 chipsets? There was AMD, ALi, VIA, ETEQ, and SiS, just to name a few. This hodgepodge of chipsets led to incompatibilities that later branded the K6-2 as the cheap-ass chip that we know it as right now. I hope that this doesn't happen with the Duron; I'll puke if I see an e-machines with a Duron on a SiS chipset.

    Also remember that SiS is the company that can't seem to make standardized video cards/video chipsets. e-machines is a huge customer of SiS (as was their parent company, TriGem America; back in 1997 they sold my school about 15 Pentium 166 computers with 16MB of RAM and a SiS integrated video chipset that stole 2MB of the system RAM for itself; fortunately, Windows 95 could run just fine on 8MB, let alone 14).

  • Or you could just go out and buy a 1Ghz TBird, and just let it gather dust in your box while you browse the web, like all the neighbors. But if you're a true geek, you don't want to be like the neighbors.
    You want a machine that people will look at and say "WTF?!". You explain to them that it runs at 1Ghz. They say "So what, I just bought a 1Ghz TBird". "Well, yeah, but this CPU is only rated at 600Mhz." Then you show them the stacked peltiers, then 120mm card coolers, hard drive coolers, blue orb on the video card, then smack them in the head with a huge "I 0wn eWe" sticker.

    It's not trouble, it's satisfaction.
  • Durons are just the amd version of the celeron so it doesn't matter much anyway most geeks would buy the athlon anyway.

    This Duron + SiS 730S platform isn't aimed at geeks, it's aimed at the goddamn-cheap market, the people who flog crappy PCs at low prices via full-page ads in the newspaper with lots of exclamation marks!! I think it has a lot of potential there - Anand says [anandtech.com] the 730S will cost $6 more in bulk than the Intel 810E, but that's no great hardship given that low-end Duron CPUs (obviously such machines use low-end CPUs) retail for $18 - $24 less than same-clocked Celerons (pricewatch [pricewatch.com]).

    Now of course these machines will suck, because even if the 730S is OK, and (as we all know) Durons are cool, every other component will be complete ass. Nasty 15" monitor, crappy case, cheapest drives in the world, etc. But anyway, it's more sales for AMD, helps fund their work on nice CPUs that geeks will love..

  • I don't think anybody would cut a corner like THAT to save ~$30

    You may not want to cut that corner when you're buying just one machine, but consider the situation I was in recently. I had $5000 to build 8 machines for a science lab. I could choose any parts I wanted, but I could spend no more than $5000. And, on top of that, I had to purchase from "reliable" vendors like buy.com, outpost.com, etc.. So, rather than inflate my system $40-50 a machine by going for a 750MHz. Athlon, I chose a 750MHz. Duron. As far as this lab is concerned, it won't make one bit of difference, as the Duron has been shown to have 80-90% of the speed of an Athlon at the same price. Therefore, why spend 50% more money for only 10% more speed? It just doesn't make sense, especially when you're on a budget. The Duron is the perfect chip in these situations. Combined with a KT133 motherboard, I doubt anyone can tell the difference between a Duron and an Athlon at the same clock speed (unless you're running Q3 or UT at some high resolution).
  • "how many of you would buy a 60 dollar motherboard?"

    I would. Not for playing games on, but for most things it is more than adequate.

    Considering that the SiS730 board with an AGP card got "only" 90+ FPS in QuakeIII at 1024x768, I don't think that most geeks would complain. A lot of them are at college or younger anyway, and can't afford a board double the price.

    And my Grandma is known as "Ace Dog Btch" on her ISPs game servers. (okay, I made that bit up, give me some slack here)

    What is more intersting is that this chipset will be *ideal* for FlexATX motherboards (and MicroFlexATX motherboards :-). You know, the tiny ones without any slots - basically a processor, chipset and ports with a DIMM sticking off of one side, and a PCI signal carrying expansion edge connector the other side.

  • I think the durons is even better. The duron makes between 85-95% of the thunderbird in the most benchmarks, but these benchmarks are really unrealistic. They benchmark the duron with an geforce 2 gts or so. If you building an budget system you will not buy a videocard for $175. An thunderbird will not get much faster than the duron in the important resolutions with an slower videocard because the cpu is limited by the videocard. If you build an value gaming system you maybe could effort an geforce 2 gts + duron 800 or an geforce 2 mx + thunderbird 850. But when you play at 800x600x32 and up, the duron system will likely be faster.
    CPUs are really not the limiting point now. If you want a fast and inexpensive system, buy an "slow" cpu like duron 800 or thunderbird 850 and than put much ram in it and buy fast harddisks(raid may be an good idea if you do video cutting and things like that) and videocards.
  • Well, I remember hearing a while back that AMD was going to be integrating Gravis Ultrasound technology into their processors. Nothing came of it it appears. Gravis no longer do soundcards. Shame as it was a nice little unit (and in groovy red too)


  • 750 Mhz Duron: $63.
    733 Celeron: $114
    750 MHz Tbird: $98

    Wow! where did you get these prices from?
    But a more important question is: why the hell did they price TBird so low?? It's sooo much better than P3 but it costs less than Celeron???

  • What new motherboards these days don't support USB? The SIS730 supports 6 USB ports. Considering that a UCB port block must cost like 10 cents or less, not including at least 2 ports should result in the death sentence. In general, most peoples parents just need the computer that you are getting rid of soon. The PII233 with 32Mb RAM and a 2 Gig HD. They don't need any more, why get them a Duron 800 system at all :-)
  • True, but with a low end system you also have to consider motherboards and features... it's much easier to get $65 board with integrted video and sound for the Celeron than it is for the Duron/T-Bird (hence the relevance of this story).

    The additional cost of those other components more than make up for the the cost difference for the proc.
  • Sure an Alpha/Sparc/Mips/etc. would be a faster way to go but it doesn't always make sense. The price tag on the Alpha/Sparc/Mips/et. may make you want to look around if you are on any kind of budget. I'm looking at putting together a render farm for my brother-in-law's graphic design company. They use Maya 3 for 3d animation. Maya 3 comes with a Linux batch renderer which you can run on unlimited machines but it only runs on x86. It supposedly only runs on Redhat too but we will see. The other option is buy some SGI Mips workstations with a full copy of Maya on each($7500.00 for Maya). x86 might not be the fastest solution but for the money is the best available solution for this at the moment. We will probably be going with 1U, dual P3, 2-4Gig RAM, U160 HD's, etc. Might use Supermicro 6010H 1U server [supermicro.com] for this.
  • Crikey. An 8Mb ATI All in wonder Pro AGP card is like $25, and also provides TV input and output facilities and good DVD functionality. An AC-97 codec chip is like 1 dollar maximum.

    The problem is that there are no low cost Socket A motherboards full stop. Integrated chipset or no. Please point out where I can buy a $65 dollar socket A motherboard. Integrated graphics, ATA100, etc need not apply.

    Once Socket A motherboards cost $65, then you can put a helluvva lot of real hardware in for the cost differential between a Celeron and a Duron at the same performance level.

    Still, I would like someone to review systems against each other based on price. Put a $500 AMD system up against a $500 Intel system. Put a $1000 AMD system against a $1000 Intel system. I think we know who the winner will be every time. Integrated graphics will just shave off $10 or so - allowing another 50MHz or a faster DVD or CD drive.

  • Here's a picture of the Via KM133 reference board [slota.com] which has been making the rounds at review sites. It supposedly combines the Savage4 and Savage2000 chipsets into it according to Via's website. I'm not exactly sure what means but it should be decent performance in a lowend system. It also supports the usual ATA100, AC-97 audio, AGP4x slot, etc. I clicked to download the product brochure in PDF format and it gives me the one for the PM133 chipset which is the same thing for Intel chips.

    Check the address before you click if your scared of a redirect.

  • I gave my Asus K7m to my brother and he loves it and my in-law's are still using an old Asus VX97 for a secondary machine. I've had a couple Asus boards but my latest board is an Abit KT7 Raid. I've always been a huge fan Asus and still am but I'm going to have to add Abit to my list now that I have seen it in action. I'm putting together an dual P3 R&D machine together for work. Right now I'm looking at an Abit VP6 but would love to pick an Asus if they made something like this.
  • ASUS P2B-DS... now *that* was a kicking mainboard (I almost wrote planar...). Nothing like built-in Adaptec UW SCSI (a good UW channel still beat ATA/66 all the time and ATA/100 almost all the time, especially with all the extra devices, but I digress).

    My main system is apparently hopelessly outdated (Abit BH-6 C-300a@450, Matrox G200, 512MB registered ECC), but it gets the job done... my gaming box is due for an upgrade soon... those 1GHz+ with a GTS2 sounds like a plan... hmmm...
  • by Tower ( 37395 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @09:18AM (#563030)
    (first, pardon the typos in my eariler post..)

    I was playing a little bit of Devil's advocate there... I haven't ever used a board with integrated sound/video that's been better than a temporary solution until one can put the new hardware in...

    >The problem is that there are no low cost Socket A motherboards
    Yes, that's my point - the people trying to hit the $300-500 price point don't care nearly as much about anything else. Of course, the people that buy end up getting them at BestBuy or Radio Smack, and hope it comes with that Microsoft Netscape thing, that lets you download the Internet (fits conveniently on a Zip disk!)... An extra few bucks is usually worth the money, especially on motherboards...
  • Someone explained it to me like this:

    First came the (Classic) Athlon. The classic Athlon spawned two CPUs. The Duron is the classic Athlon with a cut down chip size, but with almost all of the power of its predecessor. The Thunderbird is an improved Athlon, faster then a Duron (or a "classic" athlon), and is the CPU that AMD is still selling under the name of "Athlon". The Thunderbird compares very favorible to the PIII, beating it in more then a few benchmarks. The Duron is also a fine CPU, running at a 100 mhz bus, while the celeron runs at a 66 mhz bus, which makes the Duron easily beat the Celeron, although both are known for their overclocking ability.
  • You think *that's* bad? eMachines are selling GHz P3s with - get this - a i810 chipset over here. *810*!!! Not even 815 (the one with the AGP slot). Now, the 810 steals RAM also, and is dog slow. And SiS are not exactly well known for their cheap chipsets either...

    Of course, I don't have this problem. I just bought an Athlon with a *real* mobo. But there could be problems elsewhere...
  • Frankly, I've got a shiny new Duron box which just kicks royal tush running OpenBSD as my file/samba/X/firewall/nat/nfs/imap/smtp/nntp server. And best part, even with a killer graphics card, large hard drive, the thing only cost me $1300 CAD.
    I have a shiny new Pentium 200 MMX system doing samba/nat/imap/smtp/http/dns/webmail server duties, running Linux (and Win98, for when I have to call my ISP and yell at them). The whole thing was made out of spare parts. I paid $30 for the case, and $1 for the penguin sticker. One 8GB hard drive came out of my old system, the other out of my brother's. The CPU/mobo I got from a friend. Also found a completely unnecessary CD-RW drive, just for fun. Won't run quite as well as your $850 system, but it does its job.

    (Yes, the DNS is necessary. My ISP's DNS machines are out about 20% of the time.)

  • Remember back in the K6-2 days when everyone and their mother was building Super 7 chipsets? There was AMD, ALi, VIA, ETEQ, and SiS, just to name a few. This hodgepodge of chipsets led to incompatibilities that later branded the K6-2 as the cheap-ass chip that we know it as right now.

    "inexpensive" != "cheap-ass"

    Put them on decent motherboards and they deliver sufficient performance for most people's needs. I have a gang of K6-x processors at home (K6-200, K6-2-300, K6-III-450) that have done a great job under Win9x and Linux. At the time, they were decent buys (mostly...the K6-III was a little bit spendy, but it was still cheaper than forking out for an Athlon, which would've also needed a new motherboard and a new case, as my K6-III is on a VA-503+ in an AT full-tower case). More importantly (at least to me), they weren't from Intel, home of the processor serial number.

  • Durons are just the amd version of the celeron so it doesn't matter much anyway most geeks would buy the athlon anyway.
  • Right for the low cost pc for the common folk, which will experience the most cpu usage with IE and outlook.
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    It still sounds like a good alternative for people who don't know any better.

    In the meantime, the rest of us will be waiting for multiprocessor boards for the Athlon...
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • by NevDull ( 170554 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @05:19AM (#563038) Homepage Journal
    In French, "dur" means hard.

    Is Duron supposed to give someone a hardon? It's not workin' for me.

  • by rute_1 ( 190676 )
    I'll wait for the 730S.1
  • Going for a cheap CPU is understandable... but why would anyone want a cheap motherboard?? They just cause headaches don't they?? Oops, not enough ports. Oops, no USB. If you're gonna go cheap on a CPU at least spend the extra money on a decent motherboard.
  • Depends what kind of geek you are I suppose, sure Durons aren't best for throwing billions of triangles over the screen a la Q3, but considering that they are considerably better than the celeron you really can't beat the price/performance ratio.
    My flatmate has a duron (I am upgrading soon now that I've seen it) it's an all round great machine, compiles the kernel quickly, no problems (that I've heard of) and I would recommend one to anyone. Surely cheaper computers are something to be cheered anyway, bring them to everyone I say.
  • You're supposed to come out with the slow chipset first, let people get used to that. Then come out with a fast mobo so that people feel like they're getting more for their money by getting the "super" mobo.

    Instead now the fast mobo is the norm, and pushing people into the mindset of paying less for the "wimpy" mobo.
  • My main concern about *any* new chipsets is still stability. We do not need a new Ali V/nvidia situation, where you simply can't get hardware piece A to work with motherboard based on chipset from manufacturer B.

    Stability is the most important thing even for value users on a low budget. Speed comes in second - everytime (well that's my opinion anyway)

    What scared me was this sentence

    "The 730S claims support for both the 100 and 133MHz DDR FSB frequencies (effectively 200/266MHz). While we could get both settings to work, the 133MHz setting was noticeably less stable even to the point where none of our Windows 2000 tests would complete. Chances are that the issues will be sorted out in future revisions of the chipset if not simply requiring a BIOS update on our particular test board."

    I mean it's not as if asus produces low quality boards being it pre-release boards or not. Hopefully it's just a bios issue but could be more than that i fear. Well only time will tell....

  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Because they don't know any better.

    You also shouldn't buy a computer from Radio Shack, either, but people do...

    (well, unless it's a Tandy... ;)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • by nothng ( 147342 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @06:05AM (#563045)
    Well the 730S is supposed to be a low cost low end solution. Their target market will mostly be pc manufactures instead of more advanced pc users who can build their own system. You'll find this chipset in almost all of the sub $1000 premade pc's (ie. compaq, hp, e-machines etc.)I think it's funny how this chipset is dogged because it doesn't meet hardcore geeks expectations, but i have to ask how many of you would buy a 60 dollar motherboard? not many of you.

    Basically the chipset meets it purpose, it's an inexpensive chipset for an inexpensive processor to make inexpensive, entry-level, low-end pc's. I guess it would be the equivalant of the 440zx chipset. Grandma only checks her email, types letters, and researches our family tree. She doesn't need 23500000000000000 fps in quake 3 :)

    Now don't flame me because I put the duron in the lowend group, remember that's what it was designed for. I realize you hardware buffs will want to buy them because they perform well and are very overclockable like the celeron, but would you really buy a cheap motherboard to overclock on? I didn't think so, but then this chipset wasn't made for you.
  • Yeah, I hear you. But you know what, AMD has it share of issues I am sure.

    Given the chance, AMD would do no different than Intel. They probably have.

    Money makes all the difference, and as AMD gets more market share, I am sure that they will become more greedy.

    But my point is more general here, on /. Although you state good reasons for your opinion, it seems that most are on a bandwagon.

    What happens when AMD/Linux stumbles? I bet there will be a bunch of posts stating "I never cared for AMD."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why is everyone so gung ho about SMP?? What do you do that is soooo CPU intensive that a single 1Ghz chip cannot accomplish? You need to run NT/2000 if you want to play games that need the speed AND get SMP advantage. Unfortunately, you throw out a lot of game compatibility with those OSs.

    If you're doing a lot of rendering/graphics work, x86 probably isn't the platform you should be using if you need that much speed.

    Distributed.net/Seti@Home? Don't make me laugh. Anyone who buys dual procs just to run these apps has their priorities out of whack.

    SMP for x86 is useful for maybe 1% of the computer buying population, yet it's mentioned all the time here. WTF?
  • Slashdot probably has a larger proportion of people who stress out their systems enough that a second processor makes sense. A second processor really makes sense when you consider a Linux user that is running a virtual windows environment with VMware or plex86, on compile machines, and on our home rendering farms.
  • uhhm, no. Duron costs less than Celeron at the same clock.
  • www.pricewatch.com, it looks like...
  • by small_dick ( 127697 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @09:21AM (#563051)
    Duron lost it's luster? A little Turtle Wax and a buffer will fix that right up.

  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Well, maybe. You can't trust most big companies, and it's hard to stay a small, popular chip company.

    I started getting annoyed with Intel slightly before the Pentium release, but I loved my 386; I had that thing for years, and it ran great. Well, ok, jpeg decompression was slow, but come on. My Pentium 133 was pretty decent too.

    As for AMD, I was satisfied with my K6/300; I got it for the value and the integer performance, but the slow cache definitely hurt.

    However, now that I've got an 800Mhz Thunderbird, I'm happy as a clam. It's faster than I need at the moment, and a pleasure to use. And I won't have to worry about slow cache performance for a while yet.

    So, yeah; Intel makes decent chips, although they've been messing up lately. AMD has beaten them in the short term. But basically Intel is a sore loser, and has been acting more objectionably for a long time. If Intel dies and AMD takes over, I'll be happy. If AMD starts to abuse their newfound power, well... there's always Transmeta, right? ;)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • I've got two K6-2 systems myself, have built half a dozen for friends and family, and know a bunch more who've built themselves K6-2 systems.

    All of them are rock solid and perform great for the money that was put into them.

    Of course, I didn't go out and but the cheapest motherboard available when for a $10 more a stable, good performing was available.

    You may think that the K6-2 is "cheap" and "bad", but informed people know better.

    The Duron is the same way. I've got a Duron 700 sitting here on my desk. I didn't chimp on the motherboard. It runs great (fast and stable) the the speed is indiscernable from an Athlon 700 and saved me $80 in the process. When I need a speed boost in a year or so, I'll drop in a 1.2GHz Athlon (which should run about $100 by then) and run for another year with no other changes.

  • SiS has their work cut out for them. The SiS 530 for Super Socket7 isn't the fastest integrated chipset, either. I'm waiting for the VIA chipsets with the integrated S3 video to come out for Socket A, personally.


    Kriston J. Rehberg
    http://kriston.net/ [kriston.net]

  • Crap, stupid type-o. Should be don't, not dodn't!
  • by Webmonger ( 24302 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @09:57AM (#563057) Homepage

    AMD chips are

    1. faster
    2. cheaper

    This is bad engineering? Our Durons are running smooth as silk, thanks.

  • Hold on there... All the all-in-one motherboards have the standard ports included -- two USB external, two internal USB headers, one external serial port, one internal serial port internal header for IRDA, a printer port, two PS/2 ports, VGA out, line-out/speaker-out/line-in/mic-in.

    If you want more ports then you're in the wrong market. Of course you'd want to add a modem and FireWire... but nothing beats an all-in-one computer for a server or internet terminal.


    Kriston J. Rehberg
    http://kriston.net/ [kriston.net]

  • Power consumption and heat is a big problem with Athlons and Durons. I read on a hardware reviewer site that Athlon consumes 36 watts and Duron only a little less. Compare that to Celeron at about 20 watts.


    Kriston J. Rehberg
    http://kriston.net/ [kriston.net]

  • Asus A7V mb's are excellent with Duron's and T-Birds. I have 4 systems running with so far. Very nice combo, and a good match. I'm sticking with Asus & AMD.
  • I didn't chimp on the motherboard.

    You mean that you couldn't chimp on the motherboard. Right now (well, before the SiS offering), you can only get a VIA KT133 as a Socket A board. Therefore, your entire Duron argument is null and void.

  • by Evro ( 18923 )
    I thought Via was supposed to be coming out with a chipset that had integrated video [via.com.tw] (from their acquisition of S3)? That ought to slash prices on Duron systems, if you can cut out the cost of a $50 video card. Sure, it's no GF2 MX, but...

    Anyway, given Via's kickass track record with AMD I would think they would get more coverage than this (to me, anyway) no-name company.

    __________________________________________________ ___

  • Courtesy of [H]ardOCP: http://hardocp.com/hart/images/hard09.jpg [hardocp.com]
  • by Rurik ( 113882 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @05:27AM (#563064)
    On par, a Duron is probably 90% of the speed of it's equal speed Athlon brother, on the same mobo. But it's a great bargain to pick up a 600mhz Duron for $50 and easily overclock it to 900+Mhz with another $50 of cooling supplies. That's what makes you a geek, taking slow equipment and kicking faster machine's asses in frame rates.
  • I believe that the 760 chipset will handle SMP, and you may rest assured that Abit will supply this need. Also, the venerable BP6 has been updated to the VP6 [abit-usa.com]

  • This is a borderline silly comment. The difference between the Duron and the T-bird is more than the price difference on the Motherboards that prompted this story on /. Check the prices at Pricewatch [pricewatch.com]
  • Please do not mod this down, I need to make sure it gets into the archives. Decrypt it and read it if you want.

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    __________________________________________________ ___

  • Cheap sale (auction) on OnSale [I always liked OnSale better before EggHead bought them) --

    http://www.egghead.com/category/inv/00046627/03595 770.htm

    This is a barebones type of thing -- but most geeks can handle that, right? Current bid (at time of writing) is $142. Cheap!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    People usually don't, but think about this, how many people buy prebuilt systems? How many computer users and owners have never even opened their case? Even if you by a $2500 hp pavillion or compaq presario or simular, it's going to be a "cheap" pc. It'll have a quantam bigfoot, a hsp modem, 16mb tnt or simular, some wierd integreated cheap sound card, usually crystal 3d and a cheap mobo. We who build our own machines and understand the pride and quality we get are a minority. All the other people just see is t-bird 1000Mhz, 128Mb ram, 10xDVD, 4x4x24 CDRW, 56k, etc. they don't know that there is more to pc's than just #'s and stats
  • Why did you think this was silly?..

    Individual system builders are still IMO unlikely to go for a Duron when for $50 more you can have a full Athlon system. Both are cheaper than an equivalent Celeron or Pentium III system.

    With Athlons, you get the same or better performance than an equivalent Intel processor, so there's a reason to buy. A Duron, whilst it offers reasonable bang per buck, just does not seem to offer the same type of 'bang'. System upgraders probably see little point in upgrading to a Duron when the full T/Bird is within their price band.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2000 @07:36AM (#563071) Homepage Journal

    750 Mhz Duron: $63.

    733 Celeron: $114

    750 MHz Tbird: $98

    Duron costs less than Celeron at the same clock

    Thunderbird costs less than Celeron at the same clock. When building a low-end system, the real choice is between Tbird and Duron; Celeron isn't even a factor. Maroberts' point was: with the Tbird's extra cache only costing $35, it is hard to justify the purchase of Duron.

  • Some people do not need that stuff. My mother, for example, needs a computer for word processing and emailing and a little bit of spreadsheet work. Why does she need the same motherboard that I do?

    Certainly, a cheap motherboard can cause problems. No USB is almost criminal these days. But some people don't need that stuff!

    The problem comes in when someone doesn't know what they really want and they go out and buy the cheapest system they can find. And then they find out later that they cannot upgrade it or that it doesn't provide the functionality they really want. But the solution isn't to refuse to manufacture low-end motherboards. The solution is in better education.

  • Individual system builders are still IMO unlikely to go for a Duron when for $50 more you can have a full Athlon system. Both are cheaper than an equivalent Celeron or Pentium III system. System upgraders probably see little point in upgrading to a Duron when the full T/Bird is within their price band.

    This is why a chipset like this is so important! Individual system builders will be willing to spend a little more for an Athlon, usually. System upgraders too. So the target market than the Duron desperately needs to nail is the ultra cheap-ass system mass producers market. These guys do NOT give a damn that a Duron is 90% of the speed of an Athlon - they wouldn't give a damn if it was 50% of the speed! They care only that they can shave $50 off the cost of their systems while still uttering the magic words "700MHz", "800MHz" or whatever.

    These guys do not build systems without integrated video/audio - there's just no way they could be ultra cheap-ass if they did. So without a chipset like this SiS one, Duron was never going to sell to this market at all, surrendering it entirely to Celeron. That left only the individual system builders and system upgraders, who, as you pointed out, are more likely to go for a full Athlon.. hence the poor Duron sales..

  • I really appreciated your description of the i740 graphics core as "capable!"
    I now know where to go to fulfill all my Nepalese cannabis resin needs.
  • I use the asus a7v... and now that I've used it, there's no way you'll see mee using a motherboard thats NOT from asus...

    so it isn't cheap.. its fast and stable.. but a7v+duron is about as "cheap" as an celeron+some motherboard.. and a lot faster!
  • I thought the same way you did too, and while I agree that the Duron is pretty awesome, A duron 800 costs around $74, while an 800 Thunderbird costs around $110 (prices from pricewatch). I don't think anybody would cut a corner like THAT to save ~$30, a very small percentage of the system price overall. I mean, I can get a7v and a Thunderbird 1ghz for $360 retail! I just configured a system with that mobo/cpu, 256mb pc133, IBM Deskstar 30 gig ata 100, Guillermot gf2mx, etc, and it was $1200!!! That price is with a hitachi 17" .24 dp monitor!!! I can't wait til xmas is over and UPS returns to normal. Then that computer will be mine and this old Athlon 750 I'm using will become my samba server.

    __________________________________________________ ___

  • My Duron 700 is just plain yummy, thank you very much.

    'course, I like my games on the 36" tv, not on the 17" computer screen.

    But it seems pretty satisfied with Oracle to keep it busy.


    Baaah Humbug. Sheep! [saveoursheep.com]

  • Or with that $50 you could just buy an 800 MHz Tbird and save yourself the trouble. Which is cooler? You decide.

    __________________________________________________ ___

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.