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Reviews Of AMD Duron 'Morgan' 1GHz 117

Anonymouse writes: "AMD today released their 1GHz Duron, based on the morgan core, which was mentioned briefly in your earlier Athlon article. It adds hardware pre-fetch, an internal thermal diode for accurate temperature sensing on boards that can read it, and SSE instructions. It is also the same core that will become the DuronMP for ultra cheap low-end SMP system. NewsForge has a review of it under Linux, and FiringSquad and Hexus.net have reviews for it under Windows." Nice complement to the new Athlons. 1GHz in a low end processor -- sheesh!
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Reviews Of AMD Duron 'Morgan' 1GHz

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  • by JM ( 18663 )
    Why is it written "Assembled in Malaysia"? Does that mean the silicon is made in Japan and then they put the ceramics on it in Malaysia?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      >Why is it written "Assembled in Malaysia"? Does that mean the silicon is made in Japan and then they put the ceramics on it in Malaysia?

      Basically yes, though Athlons/Durons are fabbed in the US and Germany not Japan.
  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2001 @04:41AM (#2203440) Homepage
    I try to build very quiet computers. I hate computer noise, and the cooling fans are the worst.

    This new Duron dissipates 41 Watts typical, 46 Watts maximum; a 1.4 GHz Thunderbird dissipates 65 Watts typical, 72 Watts maximum, or about 60% more heat. (Numbers from the AMD web site.)

    Less heat means a better chance of making the computer really quiet. Instead of a noisy high-volume cooling fan for the heat sink, I can use a quieter low-volume cooling fan.

    The mobile version is even tastier: only about 24 Watts for the 900 MHz version. I would drool for a MicroATX board with a couple of mobile Durons on it running SMP!


    • his new Duron dissipates 41 Watts typical, 46 Watts maximum; a 1.4 GHz Thunderbird dissipates 65 Watts typical, 72 Watts maximum, or about 60% more heat. (Numbers from the AMD web site.)

      Well, 46W is still plenty much heat to suck out of your box. If you really care about noise, you'd better go you, buy some cheap VIA C3 (Aka. Samuel 2, with L2 Cache Onchip) and build yourself a fanless X Client to connect to your Dual Athlon 1.4 GHz hidden in the Basement (where no one is annoyed of the noise such a Bastard generates).

      Would be good enough for most jobs, except games. But to be honest, have you ever heard of a hardcore gamer who cares about noise?
      • Whilst not a hardcore gamer, I am an occassional gamer, and noise is very important.

        If you are listening in (say) Half-Life/Counterstrike or Quake for the sounds made by your opponents, having several fans generating 80dB by your ear is not conducive to hearing the sounds made by your enemy slowly creeping up to a good shooting position.

        Therefore boxes which generate little extraneous noise are a good thing to gamers, and your frag ratio!! What you really want is a killer box with no fan noise.

        Also gamers want low heat as well, a sweaty gamer fragging in just his/her underwear is not a pretty sight (and may get him/her arrested)!
        • 80 decibels is the level of heavy traffic. That's almost as loud as standing next to a lawn mower. You are aware that you aren't supposed to be using a box fan to cool your system, correct?

          Unless you have a hearing disability, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. Buy a pair of headphones for gaming.
          • 80 decibels is the level of heavy traffic. That's almost as loud as standing next to a lawn mower.

            Poetic license doesn't exist where you are then ? :-)

            Actually I've recently suffered from a ear infection which gave me tinnitus, which in turn totally stuffed my hearing, headphones or no. Fortunately I got better, but my hearing is still not 100%. Headphones are not an option, as I'm normally only allowed to play games when I'm keeping an ear out for any noises coming from our children upstairs, so I don't want to screen out important ambient noises.

        • Fans aren't the only option. You could use water cooling or peltier devices to cool your system. Much quieter. Or you could put a layer of sound-proofing foam in your case. Either way, choosing you CPU on the basis of heat output isn't the only option anymore.
          • sound proofing foam in the case?

            even outside the case, i'de be extremely leary about it. normally with these "core meltdown in 7 seconds" cpus, you want to have LOTS of air flow through the case. hot air out, cool air in.

            maybe if that sound proof foam also doubles as an fridgerator :)

    • An alternative would be to get yourself a really quiet fan.

      Like the Silverado, which you can buy from this german company [noisecontrol.de].

      As you can read in this article on Tom's hardware [tomshardware.com], they are both VERY quiet and able to dissipate all the heat the Athlon generates. A bit expensive though.
    • The new 1.26 GHz version of the P3 (manufactured in 0.13um process) dissipates much less than the Duron (29W max), and performs a lot better (see Tom's comparison from yesterday). A P3 also has the advantage that you don't have the hassle of dealing with VIA chipset bugs, so the system ought to be more solid. If only it weren't priced quite as insanely... still, I'm probably going to get one next week.

      It's really frustrating - why can't we get a CPU with the speed of an Athlon, the power consumption of a Tualatin P3 (which isn't great at 29W, but the best of all the high performers), and a stable chipset to run it on?
    • This might be a solution, but most will not opt for it. I'm not sure about these new Durons, but connect the multiplier l1 bridges, and then underclock your processor and reduce the voltage.

      Also, instead of the CPU and video card fans, try a low RPM 120mm monster installed by cutting out a hole in your case. This fan is intake, PS fan is outtake. The caveat is that you have to get a can of spray air and clean out the system every three months.

  • Really disappointing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by evilviper ( 135110 )
    You know, as happy as I should be that notebooks will be faster, and the prices will drop on slower models, I'm strangely a bit disappointed really. As mobile processors get faster and more energy effecient, the less and less likely it is that we'll be seeing any Crusoe-based systems at all.
    • Well, it's not out yet but here's the Crusoe-based notebook [paceblade.com] I've been waiting for. It isn't out yet, but it doesn't seem like vapor. They've been updating their site recently and that's always a good sign.

      The best part is that you can pull the screen away from the keyboard and use it as a webpad. That plus a non-scalding transmeta chip makes it worth the wait, for me at least.

    • Sony has a Crusoe-based mini-laptop out now. Saw it at Frys two days ago. It's in their Viao line.
  • Technical specs aside, and interesting they are, it would be nice to see a list of vendors for those feebleminded souls (e.g., moi) who don't plan on building a machine by molding their own tower and smithing the wires. IBM just dropped AMD chips and Dell doesn't sell them. That leaves Compaq (ick) and, I think, HP in the heavyweight category. Also Gateway and Micron. AMD maintains what looks like an outdated list of where to buy AMD systems here: http://www.amd.com/products/cpg/bguide.html [amd.com]

    Everyone is talking major CPU price war in the upcoming months, so I'm thinking October for my monster-mega-dual-mp3 player. ("2GHz, because Word just doesn't open fast enough on a P3.") Cheap dual Athlon 1.4 by then?

    Saludos, Mig

    http://www.kasparovchess.com [kasparovchess.com]

    • Talk to your local computer parts retailer; most will assemble for a small fee. Where I live (near Seattle, WA), a retailer named Infotech Systems [infotechnow.com] lets you pick components and assembles them for you for a few bucks. I'm sure that where you live, you can find a fairly similar service. All you have to watch out for is tech support, because while small/medium stores might offer a warranty, they won't give you free tech support. But then, if you really want someone to hold your hand, you could just go to someplace like CompUSA (blech!).
    • Well, TCWO.com has the 1.4G Tbirds for $107 + $6.95 shipping. TCWO is a very good dealer, I just bought damn near an entire system (in parts) from them. $6.95 shipping on the WHOLE order. (Including a 17" monitor and mid-tower).

      Enuf with the plugs, the 1.4g's are pleanty cheap now. Pretty sick u can get all that power for about 2 or 3 tanks of gas in my truck.

    • If they are being sold, you should find listings from Pricewatch (http://www.pricewatch.com)
      • i already checked, they are yet to be listed. It will probably take a few weeks before they are in end-user production availability. Who the hell wants to pay the price on a brand new CPU anyway? Im just watching for thd durons and athlons and MPs to come down.
  • by q-soe ( 466472 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2001 @05:20AM (#2203474) Homepage
    The comments against INTEL for being a big company aside (AMD Is a big company as well) i have a few things that i like about AMD processors (and some i dont)

    The SD Ram advantage and improved cooling should make this the budget buyers choice - the simple fact that it is a flipchip pro as well means you dont neccesarily have to buy a new board - owners of most compatible boards can simply swap chips.

    The new core is a good move - the celeron crippling has bugged me a lot - i have sold a few but im not happy totally with their performance and the morgan does get around that ( i find cache comaprisons irrelevant for most users)

    In australia you can pick up a Duron and Board with Ram for under $500 (approx $250US) - this is a great price - the Celerons are neck and neck but generally a little dearer - the price gets better when you go to the Tbird - the difference is up to $100 on some models of P4.

    The only concern i have about Athlons (as stated in a post on todays other AMD story) is heat - i have found that the AMD processors need good cooling and this means lots of fans - which are noisy, this is a disadvantage to many of the home user (non enthusiast) market who dont want the noise of 3 or 4 fans.

    If the new processors do show the claimed lower heat buildups then they will help in making the AMD accepeted in the mass (home - mums and dads) market.

    As for vendor support - well the reasons arent hard to work out - IBM make their own processors and they have an already unwieldy product range so they made a decision to drop AMD - Dell are one of Intel's largest customers and i can only guess at the discounts - and Ditto Compaq. I think we will see them move towards AMD (all but Dell - thats not going to happen trust me) slowly - REMEBER THIS - most of these companies rely on their Major corporate customers for cash flow and sales (corporates buy more and are not as price concious as home and enthusiasts) and those corporates by and large Buy INTEL machines running MICROSOFT software (with 3COM nic's, HP Printers, etc etc) The coporate market is the area AMD need to win over - they have had huge success with Gamers and budget buyers but not in the corporates (they have long memories and AMD have had some spectaculat screw ups in the mid/late 1990's with chip problems - this gave them the unreliable tag in many corporate minds - they stick with what they know)

    I hope this chip does all it looks like - i want one at any rate.
    • I have an athlon 1200 and while they require a substantial heatsync/fan, it's not noisy. My case has no other fans in it and my processor (under load) averages around 50 degrees C. This is, according to AMD, well within it's tolerant range. Alot of people will definitley argue the cooler the better. That may be. The point is it doesn't have to run at 35 degrees to be running properly. I find the loudest thing in my machine are the scsi hard drives.
    • "(corporates buy more and are not as price concious as home and enthusiasts) and those corporates by and large Buy INTEL machines running MICROSOFT software (with 3COM nic's, HP Printers, etc etc) The coporate market is the area AMD need to win over - they have had huge success with Gamers and budget buyers but not in the corporates (they have long memories and AMD have had some spectaculat screw ups in the mid/late 1990's with chip problems - this gave them the unreliable tag in many corporate minds - they stick with what they know) "

      Boy, its a good thing that at least intel boxes running Microsoft Windows are stable. After all its not the software's fault but the chips fault that brings up reliability issue.

      • Thats a rather poor attempt at attack - Corporates buy Windows based on the fact that it is considered a standard in the office workplace - it has nothing to do with stability (and with 1500 boxes here running win2k pro believe me this is not an issue any longer - win2k is stable - unless you are talking uptime which as i have stated before has no relevance to the corporate desktop)

        A few reasons again why corporates use MS Win and Office products

        1. Lower support costs - Yep its true - with a Standard Environment and SMS admin is mainly remote and cuts down considerably on staff required (Linux is an excellent OS but is still IMHO not stable enough for a corporate luser (i support them so i have some grounds to make this comment)) - you can also be disingenoius and say that a blind monkey can support windows - i dont as this devalues and insults my staff
        2. Your documents and files can be exchnaged with other companies - Star Office sucks - sorry theres no other way to say it. Modern companies make major use of macros and customised documents which star office mangles - its compatability is ok for the eductaed user but not for the normal person.
        3. Peripherals and hardware are all supported out of the box - when supporting a large number of desktops this is vital -under win2k we have not needed drivers for 95% of our equipment and printers.
        4. MS is a corporate as well - dont overlook this one - big companies deal with other big companies - it makes them feel safe
        5. Constancy - MS products dont change every month (im not throwing off at constant development in Linux - its one of the things i like about it - but it would be hell in an office) and at the whim of a disparate group of people - this makes corporates feel safer again
        6. Simplicity of choice - you choose 1 desktop os and 1 server OS - no complicated distributions to work out and incompatabilites etc - Windows compatible softare works on all windows boxes running the right version - this is a big bonus to corporates.

        Now i like linux - i use Slackware at home and find it a great OS for the knowledgeable user - i wouldnt dream of runing a web server or proxy on anything else, but the support loads in rolling it out and training users in a non technical environment is something else - at the moment out IT budget is AU$40 Million - we have major projects on the go including and SAP rollout (ERP), Domain Rebuild and global AD and DNS implementation, SOE Phase 2, Network infrastructire Updgrade, Cognos , Oracle Backend development, Web portal for clients linked into the above, Desktop replacement (all of my machines come off lease this year) etc etc - this is with 90 total staff in IT spread across Australia

        Where would we find time to evaluate, design and then implement Linux and the money to pay for the extra staff required to support the product ?

        The point im making is to those people outside corporate IT and on the lower levels in IT the decsions to use Open Source etc seem simple, trust me at a higher level they are not and until a company or group brings out a Stable and simple linux disro will full compaptability in software with MS Word, Excel etc then corporates will stay the way they are (frankly many of them wouldnt even give linux a thought then) - The desktop OS is a minor problem for us - in the days of ERP and CRM systems running on global platforms coupled with the constant pressure for growing infrastructure and 24/7/365 availability of said systems (and staffing involved) the decsion of MS (known and understood is sometimes crappy) VS Linux (Unknown, too much like Unix in many of the older managers minds, tarred with image of hackers and zealots, not offered by their chosen vendor (IBM are just 1 and they dont have a major desktop presence in the Aust corporate market) then making no change is the easiest way.

        AMD made a mistake and produced bad chips (their first Pentiums) they then seemed to abandon the corporate market - they dont play at getting it back, that was my point.

        Dont try and lower EVERYTHING to an MS is shit line - sure some of us think that, some of us dont, some of us think both sides have merit - but the world is not black and white and neither is that issue.
  • To pay the premium price for the top low-end AMD so that i can demo four.dm_66 (800x600) at 131.5 fps instead of 119.5!!!

    Oh wait - my monitor is not good enough for 119.5 and my network connection is the limiting factor for "real gamming" ...

    It's ok anyway - at least i will know that those extra dolars give me the possibility of getting those extra 11fps

    • To pay the premium price for the top low-end AMD so that i can demo four.dm_66 (800x600) at 131.5 fps instead of 119.5!!!

      Fps at low resolutions are NOT done to show how much fun is to play that game at 640x480x 1000fps. If tested at 1280x1024, the same game would be around 50fps for ALL cpus, because at that resolution the limiting factor is the videocard.
      The only way to use a game as a CPU benchmark is to use low resolutions: you factor out the videocard, and you are left with cpu and memory performance.
      Now, we could debate on the opportunity of using MDK2 instead of CPUMark2000... if you want CPU scores, use CPU benches. If you want to answer "Will my gaming needs will be satisfied?", test a real-world game setup.
      • Actually the Quake 3 demo benchmark is the one showing the best improvements for the AMD Duron 1GHz compared to the 950MHz. (I totally ignored the high-resolution values because of exactly the reason you stated above and the 640x400 values because nobody needs to play Quake like that even with a crapy monitor)

        The point here is that this new microprocessor will have a nice premium compared to the Duron 950Mhz (i expect it to be 10% more expensive - just like the Duron 950MHz still is in relation to the 900Mhz) while only giving a boost of about 8% to something that really doesn't need that boost (119fps-Quake3@800x600) - things like kernel compilations don't even have that big an increase in speed (less than 2% best case).

        Is it worth it buying it instead of the cheaper Duron 950MHz?

        Judging from these reviews, and unless it's price is less that 5% above that of the Duron 950Mhz - No.

        Then again who ever said that human beings were logical ....

  • the die size of an X86 processor from either AMD or intel are Huge

    AMD = 106mm^2

    while a 32bit system should only take up about 2.93 mm^2 to ~10 mm^2

    (this is on a 0.18 process)
    no wonder transmeta reckoned that they could pull off low power

    honestly where does it all go because dont tell me its logic ?


    john jones
  • As one who has been out of the hardware market lately I have a few questions. What does it take to setup an AMD MP system? The newsforge article mentions that AMD has MP certified processors but goes on to suggest that you could take 2 of these new Durons and throw them in an MP board together. Does this work with older Durons and what models of Ahtlons does it work with? Who makes good MP motherboards for AMD chips? I have seen that Tyan makes a couple. Are they any good? Thanks for the enlightenment!
    • Tyan is the only manufacturer so far, they make 1 board in 3 levels of features, highest having Ultra160 SCSI and server management on board. They are still rather pricy though, the min board with no SCSI or server management is still about $300 most places. You could wait for the cheaper duel chip boards coming out based on the 760MPX chipset later this year.

      Though only the Athlon MP chips are officially supported on the Tyan boards from what i hear all the socket A chips work though your warrenty might get voided. If you want to stay with the official Athlon MP chips you might want to wait till the 5th of september when AMD unvails the new Athlon MP 1.4 Ghz chips which will drive down the prices of the other Athlon MP chips. Athlon MP is in my opinion worth it since they are based on the new Palomino or Athlon 4 core, but i'm a sucker for high speed.
  • "Intel Corp. will introduce its 2 GHz Pentium 4 processor next week, the latest salvo in its ongoing chip war with archrival Advanced Micro Devices."

    http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nf/20010820/tc/1293 7_ 1.html

  • Laptop Use (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eric2hill ( 33085 )
    "My next computer will be an AMD."

    I've said that ever since the Athlon was released, but as it turns out, my next computer will be Intel. Why? I'm buying a laptop. As a matter of fact, it will be my sole machine as I'm getting rid of my three desktops, so I needed something powerful with a good screen. The biggest screen with the highest resolution I could find was on a Dell Inspiron 8100 or an IBM A22P. Both of these are available with Intel only. HP doesn't make a 15" UXGA laptop, but they do make AMD laptops.

    I would have gone with the AMD solution if I had the choice, but for now, my needs dictate an Intel.
    • You may want to hold off on that Dell purchase (if at all possible). I keep hearing that Dell may decide to use the Athlon/Athlon 4 in their systems sometime soon. They even had a survey going a few weeks ago asking its customers that if they were in the market for a new system, which would they choose, given a choice between Athlons and Intel chips. Naturally, I chose the Athlon.
  • 1 GHz for the low-end...sheesh...

    I thought my system was low end - now it might as well be "destined for the scrap pile"...

    I have a Celeron 366 - my board can only go up to a 667. Last night I just maxed out my ram at 768 meg (hey, when you are running KDE and Netscrape, every bit counts - someday, I will make the switch to Konq, or Moz). I still have yet to upgrade my hard drive - I have only a couple of 4.3 gig drives in the box. Perhaps I'll get one of them new-fangled 40 (60? 80?) gig drives someday - though I am saving up for a house, so it will take a while.

    I guess I should feel good that most of my system is made up of stuff no one else wanted - and it does what I need, which is all that matters...

    It feels almost...retro (though if I really wanted that, I would break out my TRS-80 CoCo 3 with 512K of RAM, at a blazing 1 MHz (2 MHz with high speed poke!), and 160K floppy drive - yehaw!)...
    • My understanding is that the Glenside Color Computer Club will hold an Eleventh Annual "Last" Chicago CoCoFest next year, probably once again in Elgin IL...so you can come be retro with the rest of us!
  • Notice that current motherboards are not able to handle the thermal diode because they didn't exist at the time the boards were manufactured. Instead, one will have to rely on the onboard external sensor until new mobos are released.

    Now I see why my Hexus benchmark post on the Athlon article didn't get modded up.. it was because it was important enough to get on the benchmarks article...
  • There's also a review of it at Tech Report [tech-report.com], right here [tech-report.com].
  • since Pentium II. What's the big deal with that? It's upto the motherboard vendors to impliment the circuitry.. it always has been.

    And hardware pre-fetch? Ummm hi welcome to the last year? These aren't major new innovations at all.

    Oh wait.. but it's AMD and not Intel in the news.. by default it's gotta be a great-new-better-thing.
  • Did anyone else think the title said AMD Duron 'Moron' [bbspot.com] at first glance?
  • I about creamed my pants reading that.. since my budget is restricted by my own personal bank account manager (read...my wife..) its tough to get a "loan" approval to build some badly needed servers. Currently I could only muster up a dual ppro 200 and a sketchy p200.. The ppro does fine for now, but I need something with a little more power. Dual proc durons would be a great, cheap alternative to dual proc pIII's or the athalon mps! Yea!
  • I was under the impression the Athlon MP was really a Athlon 4 (Palomino), which Morgan is based on, so if i'm correct does this mean this chip can be used in the MP motherboards without any tweaking? If not, when are the "offical" Duron MPs due?
  • i know that my next system will be a duron. I've been using AMD since the k6-2 300 and now have a k6-2 500 (that does rather nicely) but the system is showing signs of age where games are concerned. but i hadn't even thought about a duronMP system. I think that would just be k-rad. reminds me of the websites that showed you how to solder on your celery stick so you could use them in a dualie.
  • When you can get an Athlon 1ghz for 5 dollars more? Even the flagship 1.4 ghz processor is down to $120. I paid $500 for my 1.1 ghz processor less than a year ago.

    I have two Desktop systems (both Athlon) and they have turned out great, I haven't had one problem yet and the performance has been fantastic. The reason the Duron only accounts for a small percentage of AMD's sales is because the price difference between an Athlon and Duron is down to the single digits. A few months ago Durons were a good value when the high end Athlons were over $500 dollars, but now there isn't a big enough price gap to justify purchasing a Duron over an Athlon.

  • Its always amazed me that ever since a heatsink was wacked on a CPU, that an internal temperature shutdown circuit was not implemented. I use sub $1.00 chips in designs that have this feature, yet a $400 CPU doesn't.... and now all AMD is giving is a crummy diode junction!! I 'spose in the end, a thermally destroyed CPU means one more sale!!
  • by Beevis ( 194188 )
    hey ... i got a dreamcast recently ... and it's cheaper than the duron.
    lemme see ... it comes with a processor, is 3d capable, and a 56k modem and it's just $79 (i paid $99 :( )
    thing is ... most of you want a hotter (ahem ... better) processor so that you can play games ... but i figure ... playing games on a pc is not all that smart.
    hear me out first ... it cost's more to set up a pc ... and just when you get the drivers loaded properly, there's a faster chip on the market ... and within a year, the new games that are released are gonna run rater slow on your pc. now, consoles are more resestant to this sort of phenomenon.
    well ... that's just my $79!

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.