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Hardware Software Linux

Current Processors Tested With Linux 330

Happy-Jollies writes "The team at LinuxHardware.org have kept us up-to-date on the latest in processors for quite some time now and they're at it again. With the latest release of the Pentium 4 'Prescott,' many Linux users will be deciding where to spend their money. LinuxHardware.org's round-up takes a look at the Prescott, Northwood, Extreme Edition, and the AMD Athlon 64."
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Current Processors Tested With Linux

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  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <.moc.liame. .ta. .60neksilps.> on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @12:55PM (#8181013)
    the G5? It can run linux too, you know.
    • my thought exactly... it might run OS X but if you really wanted to you cou.ld wipe the HD and run linux as well... no reason to leave it out of the comparison...
      • yes, but, the prerformance of yr linux-on-mac set up will depend a lot on the distro.

        note that almost all ppc binaries are just that... ppc binaries. no optimizations for g3 let alone g5. these binaries are designed run on a 601! so, if you want to get real performance out of yr linux-mac run something like gentoo...

        • I own a DP (1.8 Ghz) G5. I would be very interested in knowing how well it would run linux. I do love OS X, but it hurts my geek-karma not running linux on my "desktop".

          But I guess if i'd really want to know I could always try out, write myself an article and get slashdotted :)

          In that case, i'd try out Gentoo, perhaps Yellowdog, NetBSD (current has SMP support as far as i know), and benchmark that vs OS X. Perhaps someone out there already have done this, and could enlighten me ?
          • by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @02:50PM (#8182124) Homepage Journal
            i've run both yellowdog 3.0 and gentoo on an ancient imac (rev a). when the hardware is that slow, you notice small speed gains more. while yellowdog is pretty snappy and has the ease-of-use advantage (anaconda, yum &c.), the gentoo was noticably faster.

            be warned - to get the boosts yr going to have to start at a low stage install and this results in a looong install time. on my imac it took (wait for it) a week to install. and updates take forever too. but, as long as you read up on your use flags and set them well you'll get a fast core system.

    • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @12:59PM (#8181044) Homepage Journal
      I agree in a sense, but for now most people who buy G5 machines will stick with OS X. Yes, I know IBM is making some G5 boxen too, but the ratio of those to G5 Macs sold will probably mirror the ratio of Macs compared to x86 stuff.

      Yes, the submission should probably read 'Current x86 Processors Tested with Linux', but in reality the vast majority of individual Linux boxen will be using x86 based hardware so I don't think it's that big of a deal.
      • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <.moc.liame. .ta. .60neksilps.> on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:03PM (#8181095)
        superior for running linux then the best and brightest in the x86 world (including on price) then perhaps more linux users would build their own with a different class of processor.

        But we won't know if we don't look.

        • I would like to see such a comparison. Its hard to get an even comparison with hardware running different OS's.
          Although I've got a feeling that the G5 would do ok but wouldn't end up on top.

          I'm not trolling but...

          Maximum PC magazine had a review/benchmark in their Jan '04 edition. Featuring an AMD 64 FX-51, P4-EE and a Dual, 2 Ghz G5. (unfortunately the article isn't available online)

          To summarize, the G5 finished last overall. The tests even included Photoshop (with filters provided by the folks at M
          • I don't see how that if Dual CPU system with a faster SATA HD (the other two were running parallel ATA) couldn't beat a single CPU AMD or Pentium system...

            Well, you said it yourself. I make small .avi's with my Digital Ixus 400 and compress them on my DP G5, and Quicktime isn't multithreaded. Heck, even iTunes importing MP3s from cd isnt multithreaded. As far as i've noticed, not much in OS X is actually MT at all. WindowServer (~X), Finder (GUI frontend), iApps etc. None of them are...
      • by GOD_ALMIGHTY ( 17678 ) <curt.johnson@NETBSDgmail.com minus bsd> on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:19PM (#8181252) Homepage
        That doesn't make sense. Yellow Dog is an Apple Authorized Reseller who will ship you a brand-spankin new G5 or XServe with Yellow Dog Linux running on it and under warranty from Apple.

        They really should have used a Yellow Dog box or named it an x86 shootout.
      • "G5... IBM"

        I never understood why IBM has stuck with the x86 PeeCees this long. Lord knows I'd like a nice IBM laptop with a Power PC in it. If they could do it for a comprable price.

      • Don't forget that the G5 and G4 processors are used for other things. Like mars rovers, and in many other military and applications like that. It is actually a very popular series of chip outside your basic pc market.
      • Yes, but.... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella ( 173770 )
        I agree in a sense, but for now most people who buy G5 machines will stick with OS X.

        ...couldn't you say exactly the same about x86 machines and Windows? So I don't see what the argument is.

        Kjella
      • by spaceyhackerlady ( 462530 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @02:29PM (#8181893)
        Yes, the submission should probably read 'Current x86 Processors Tested with Linux', but in reality the vast majority of individual Linux boxen will be using x86 based hardware so I don't think it's that big of a deal.

        Having just had my first experience running Linux on something other than an x86, I was curious too.

        You can blame it on this very forum [slashdot.org] - after reading the article I bought an Ultra 5 on EBay [ebay.com] and loaded Debian [debian.org] on it last night. Installed most of the packages over my ADSL connection. Worked like a charm.

        ...laura

      • by axxackall ( 579006 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @02:46PM (#8182063) Homepage Journal
        but for now most people who buy G5 machines will stick with OS X.

        but for now most people who buy x86 machines will stick with Windows. so what?

        but in reality the vast majority of individual Linux boxen will be using x86 based hardware so I don't think it's that big of a deal.

        but in reality the vast majority of individual desktop boxen will be using Microsoft based software so I don't think it's that big of a deal to test with Linux anyway.

        Sarcasm apart, I think it's a very bad tradition to consider Linux only as for x86 platform. There are Linux users on other non-x86 platforms. Their percentage is most likely not less than the percentage of Linux/86 users among all x86 users. So, the logic of using any percentage here is basically corrupted.

        Linux is multiplatform system. Check the kernel source code for the list of all supported platforms. Kernel - because that wat makes it called Linux, the distributions are usually more platform specific. Also Linux is multi-purpose system - it can be used for servers, for embedded systems and for desktops. The list of oticable desktop systems on the market includes at least x86 and PPC platforms. Therefore considering Linux desktop as only Linux/x86 is not more fair than considering desktop OS only as Microsoft Windows.

    • also why did they leave out other (admittedly not) mainstream chips, such as via and trasmeta's offerings? i would much more interested to see linux's performance on these chips, frankly.
      • They wanted high end chips like the Prescotts, Northwoods, and AMD64 chips. VIA and Transmeta aren't even close in clock speed OR IPC to either Intel or AMD. VIA is slow because they're running old fourth-generation (read: 486) architecture, with sixth-gen instructions (think Pentium III, actually). Transmeta is slow because they're emulating an x86 - they've probably got very high VLIW IPC, but their x86 IPC is what counts.
  • Extra Transistors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @12:56PM (#8181020) Journal
    I know that this is a little off-topic, but does anyone know where the extra transistors in Prescott are coming from? There are 125 million in that baby. Even with alleged 64-bit extensions (hidden, at this point), SSE3, improved branch prediction and the extra large cache, there should be under 100 million, no?
    • Let's check (Score:4, Funny)

      by mckwant ( 65143 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:00PM (#8181059)
      -sound of high powered, yet extremely fine lathe-

      one, two, three...

      I'll be back.
      • Do you know what a lathe? Maybe you're thinking of a planer, because I can think of no reason why spinning a processor at several thousand rpm's would help answer the question....

        A lathe spins an object about a point very fast allowing you to work it into a cylindrical shape.
        A planer shaves a layer off the top (or bottom) of an object allowing you to quickly work it down to a desired thickness...
        • I suggest you try both methods, and report back to us. If you can find a significant difference in the results, do tell (read: nada in either case).

          Kjella
    • Re:Extra Transistors (Score:5, Informative)

      by paitre ( 32242 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:01PM (#8181076) Journal
      Actually, there's some fairly hefty core changes involved in making the integer pipeline 31 stages instead of 20. Almost enough to account for most, if not all, of the additional transistors in this thing.
      I'd actually be suprised if the AMD64 extensions were in this chip...most of what I've been hearing/seeing has Tejas being the earliest we could see them.

      • Intel and AMD64 (Score:2, Interesting)

        I don't see AMD64 showing up in Intel's processor line for a long, long time. I expect they'll build their own set of 64-bit X86 instructions and specifications. After all, they didn't adopt 3dnow! or 3dnow!ext, did they?

        In fact, that's probably why Microsoft hasn't released a 'final' AMD64 port of their OS yet. They're expecting a split in the market, and they're not going to get caught in bed with the side that hasn't historically been dominant.
      • by pyrrhos ( 227998 )
        Adding a number stages does not necesarily mean you are adding as much hardware (transistors). You can simply divide a stage into two by adding a few latches and nothing more. This can be done to increase the clock frequency.

        Example: you have a unit (say, multiplier) that has three stages, each of which can complete within 1 nsec. This means your clock can run at 1GHz (1/nsec). If you divide each of these stages in two then each of these new stages will complete in .5nsec which means you can run your clock
    • Re:Extra Transistors (Score:5, Informative)

      by philthedrill ( 690129 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:07PM (#8181134)

      Don't forget the extra pipe stages... those count for a lot. I can't say how many transistors, but it should make a dent in the numbers.

      A 1 MB L2 cache will be at least 50 million transistors, assuming 6T/bit (1024 * 1024 * 8 * 6), not including sense amps, decoders, tags, coherence, predecode bits, etc.

      • Add about 13% more on the cache for the fact that most modern CPUs have ECC there. Intel had ECC on the cache there since late PII / early PIII. I know Athlon 64 has it but I don't know about Athlon.
    • Re:Extra Transistors (Score:2, Informative)

      by hottoh ( 540941 )
      This does not enumerate the transistors, but you have a nice picture. http://www.hothardware.com/reviews/images/Prescott 32_34ee/prescott_die_8in.jpg The additional cache and pipelines add many transistors.
  • by 192939495969798999 ( 58312 ) <info.devinmoore@com> on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @12:56PM (#8181021) Homepage Journal
    It seems that Linux is becoming substantially more mainstream, and quite quickly. I don't think the desktop war has really even started -- it won't start until that linux user base reaches a critical size, where managers, etc. start having linux at home and start to desire to be consistent at work too, and then have everyone convert. Still, articles like this seem to point to a more heterogeneous system environment in the near future.
  • by thebosz ( 748870 )
    Seriously, why why anybody use Intel anymore? AMD kills them almost every single time. AND they're cheaper! (Note: I said *almost*)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Some people have this bizarre fetish over paying more for inferior hardware. I wish AMD would focus more on dual-processor stuff, though. It'd be nice to build a real dual AMD CPU machine for cheaper than a fake Hyperthreaded one.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Intel inside. Idiot outside.
    • by Krojack ( 575051 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:02PM (#8181088)

      I will always use AMD for my home PC mainly because of the price. IMHO Intel is over priced, you're paying for the name not the product/quality.
    • Answer: Compilers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by October_30th ( 531777 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:08PM (#8181143) Homepage Journal
      Where is the AMD's answer to Intel's compiler? Intel's Fortran and C/C++ compilers optimize floating point code so that it performs 20-30% better on your Intel CPU than the GCC produced code?

      That's why I still buy Intel.

    • I think it has to do with marketing - I'd suspect that a lot of people have never even heard of AMD - but have heard of Intel because of the stupid alien commercials (where an alien inserts a Pentium into some gel and checks out a chick in a bikini) and the old Blue Man Group commercials... that and the 4 note sounder..

      But what about AMD? I've personally never seen a commercial touting an Athlon from AMD. AMD should buy some commercial time and tout "Hey we kick Intel's ass AND we're cheaper! Join the rev

      • "AMD should buy some commercial time and tout "Hey we kick Intel's ass AND we're cheaper!""

        I think part of the reason AMD is cheaper is that they don't spend huge amounts on marketing.

      • Have you not seen the 'Amd Me' adversts at train stations, bus stations, etc.? AMD have a very high advertising profile. Intel (at least in the UK) seem to have dropped off the planet since the dancing multi coloured chip-workers adverts. Also most of the cheap clone PCs that you get are AMD, because in that market price matters a lot.

    • I've had problems with AMD cpu's and poorly made hardware, Mobo's especially. Of course way back in the day there were a lot of applications that simply would not work on AMD architecture - this goes back to Windows 9x but at times AMD cpus were more trouble than they were worth IMO and so I now stick with Intel as much as possible.

      I recently got a 2.8 P4 with HT, I found that with a $150 Mobo the price was very competitive with the latest AMD CPU/Mobo combinations. About the only benchmarks that AMD was b
      • " I've had problems with AMD cpu's and poorly made hardware, Mobo's especially."

        AMD makes motherboards? Also, what does the CPU have to do with the motherboard? Until the PII, Intel and AMD CPUs fit in the same boards. If the board was junk, an Intel chip isn't going to magically re-draw the traces, nor add extra layers to combat EMI.

        "Of course way back in the day there were a lot of applications that simply would not work on AMD architecture - this goes back to Windows 9x"

        Really? Which ones had probl
      • by 4of12 ( 97621 )

        The "not 100% compatible" complaint is about ten years old.

        My experience, buying a 200 MHz K6 and an 800 MHz Duron, has been good with AMD chips.

        The price/performance ratio has always been more attractive for AMD relative to Intel.

        I will say that once I had a problem with a K6-III that would lock up after an hour or so - turned out the cheapo CPU cooling fan wasn't moving.

        AMD produces fine chips, but their reputation as a "budget" CPU means they get tied into other components of mediocre quality in ord

    • by Linus Sixpack ( 709619 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:18PM (#8181249) Journal
      AMD only also is just brand blindness.

      I will always use the best priced solution. While I agree that right now that is AMD, Intel is welcome to tempt me -- I can be convinced.
    • Although the Athlon64/Opteron and AthlonXP processors either match or surpass the Pentium 4 line, the one application that the Pentium 4 processors still excel at is in multimedia editing and encoding. Most people don't look at Hyperthreading favorably, yet with Hyperthreading enabled you get an over 30% performance boost in DV25 to MPEG-2 transcoding for video with everything else equal. That's not to say that the Athlon64/Opterons are not useful, but this is one area where they still excel. Considering
  • still not biting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chuck Bucket ( 142633 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:00PM (#8181058) Homepage Journal
    I'm not biting, I'm looking at upgrading my 1.2 Gig AMD to some 2.something Gig P4 or AMD. Why not? They're cheap (under 400) plus they'll keep up for more time than you'd think. When will we really _need_ 64bits on the desktop? I don't see it for another 2 years.

    CB
    • by Patik ( 584959 ) * <cpatik@nOSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:13PM (#8181187) Homepage Journal
      When will we really _need_ 64bits on the desktop? I don't see it for another 2 years.
      Shhh, don't give away our secret. Keep telling people they need it so they'll buy it now, then in two years they'll be stable and cheap.
    • Re:still not biting (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stratjakt ( 596332 )
      64 bit workstations have been around forever. Does everyone forget the DEC Alphas?

      No, we don't need 64 bit on the desktop. We haven't for the last decade or so, and it won't have that big of an impact immediately.

      For gaming? What, you need 64bit color and 64bit sound? No, 24bit is already more colors than the eye can distinguish.. Even if you did, that's the realm of the GPU/APU. For writing emails?

      So what if you can linearly address 4TB? A 1 or 2 GB machine is top of the line these days so far as
      • You don't just get a larger physical address space, but also a larger virtual address space. I can imagine this is much more of an advantage (think of memory mapped I/O of large files, or even such simple things like dynamically expanding arrays without copying because you can leave much virtual space between your allocations).
      • by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:45PM (#8181470) Homepage
        Does everyone forget the DEC Alphas?

        Pretty much, yeah... unfortunate too, since they were such good chips.

        For gaming? What, you need 64bit color and 64bit sound?

        No, for content creation -- textures, maps, etc. You can't reasonably address >4GB with a 32-bit chip (yes, you can do it. No, it's not fast) and we're reapidly approaching that limit in content creation.

        And while 24-bits of color may be adequate, you need more precision than that when doing blends and other operations. Of course, those are largely done by the GPU nowadays, so that's a non-issue as far as the CPU is concerned.

        So what if you can linearly address 4TB? A 1 or 2 GB machine is top of the line these days so far as desktop boxes go. The barrier is mainly price, not the addressing capabilities of the CPU.

        Actually you can linearly address 256 TB with the current AMD64 chips (48-bit addressing) and 16 exabytes with true 64-bit addressing. That's quibbling though.

        The main advantage of a 64-bit CPU (or at least one with direct addressing of >32-bit) is that you can directly map permanent storage to memory. Right now trying to do that is a freaking nightmare and very expensive, since we've long outgrown 4GB of disk space.

        And, really, that's not even the main advantage of x86-64. The real advantage is compiling 32-bit code to be aware of x86-64's extra registers, which can lead to a considerable speed up with no other changes.

        As far as all the kids running out to spend their allowance on AMD64 chips, that's just them trying to fit in and show how computer savvy they are.

        Yeah, by and large. My next PC will probably be x86-64 based though. Why? Because it's not that expensive. You can get a Athlon64 3000+ for just over $200 now. That's only a little more than an AthlonXP 3200+ or a little less than a P4 3.0C. If you're looking in that price range, then why not go for it? You'll get roughly the same price/performance in 32-bit and be able to upgrade to 64-bit when the time comes. If you don't need that kind of performance, that's fine -- save your money. But otherwise it's kinda silly to ignore the potential advantages offered.
      • Re:still not biting (Score:2, Informative)

        by remmy1978 ( 307916 )

        No, we don't need 64 bit on the desktop. We haven't for the last decade or so, and it won't have that big of an impact immediately.

        For gaming? What, you need 64bit color and 64bit sound? No, 24bit is already more colors than the eye can distinguish.. Even if you did, that's the realm of the GPU/APU. For writing emails?

        One of the reasons to do use the new amd 64 bit chips is that since you'll have to recompile your software for it anyways to use the 64 bit mode efficiently, AMD has been kind enough to add

    • The Athlon64 isn't that pricey of a machine. The Athlon 64 3200+ comes in at about a 50-75 dollar premium over an Athlon XP 3200+. Pair that with a good motherboard and it is still at your 400 dollar mark.

      If you are worried about not needing 64bits, it doesn't really matter as the A64 is an all around much better 32-bit chip than A-XP.

      -Eyston
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:02PM (#8181083) Journal
    Decide what the requirements are for your system then choose appropriate hardware. Do you need 64 bit extensions? Do you need hyperthreading? Do you need instruction set X because it'll make your game run faster?

    I'm sick of hardware sites and the lame "X vs Y showdown" articles. They're utter bullcrap.

  • PPro 200 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hedley ( 8715 ) <hedley@pacbell.net> on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:02PM (#8181086) Homepage Journal

    I run 2 PPro 200 boxen. They are up 24/7/365. I find that linux keeps it lean and the incentive to keep up with the Prescott's just isn't there for me. For a home server I would say keep it simple and reliable. If you want a work engine that will be used for large EDA jobs etc, then the cpu may get you somewhere (coupled with a good system mobo etc). For EDA jobs though we are starting to look at the future wrt 64bit Synopsis builds for the Opteron family.

    I am curious if home server users need all this power...

    Hedley
    • this should be modded "obvious" and "beside the point". We know what we can do on the low end, the the point of this article is figuring out the high end.
    • I run 2 PPro 200 boxen. They are up 24/7/365. I find that linux keeps it lean

      Sure does! And FreeBSD (my server OS of choice, but not by a huge margin) does also.

      However, even my home servers spend more time running applications than kernel code. I run a Zope webserver, LDAP, a decent-size IMAP setup, and a few other services that don't require huge amounts of horsepower averaged over time, but that really make use of a nice CPU over short bursts. I probably only serve 5000 to 10000 web hits per day,

    • I completely agree. Unlike Windows, Linux doesn't need a faster processor to keep up with each new release.

      My main mail/gateway/firewall/webserver is a Dual Celeron 500 and I don't see any reason to upgrade the processors. It ran Red Hat 7.3 very well for years, and now runs SuSE 9.0 just fine.

      The only upgrades I've done were disk space related. The last one was a 3ware 7000-6 (IIRC) with 2 120GB Seagates for RAID 1.
  • Insert obligatory smartass comment about how they should be running their site on one of those high-end chips right now.
  • Yet Another... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quandrum ( 652868 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:10PM (#8181162)
    example of the megahertz myth. The chip with the largest cache won. Hands down, no contest.
    • Re:Yet Another... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:20PM (#8181261)
      example of the megahertz myth. The chip with the largest cache won. Hands down, no contest.

      Of course. Eliminating a cache miss is huge. Suppose that it takes 300 nanoseconds to get a word from memory.

      At 3GHz, that is 900 wasted cycles where each cycle could have potentially retired 3 instructions.

      At 6GHz, assuming your memory latency doesn't change, that is 1800 wasted cycles.

      It is well known that the memory latency is not keeping up with the clock cycle latency. This is why memory system design is becoming far more important the processor core design, and is also why Itanium SPEC numbers are so good.

    • "The chip with the largest cache won. Hands down, no contest."

      You make it sound as though cache is the primary factor in CPU performance.

      That's... absurd.

      Also, the statement is non-sequitur. The Athlon64 3400+ has more L1+L2 cache than the P4 Prescott or the P4 3.2 Northwood, and I believe also the P4EE (Gallatin). The P4EE has 2MB of L3 cache. There was no discernable "winner". There were only a handfull of chips tested. The AthlonFX wasn't amoung them. There were only a handfull of benchmarks. This is
  • Disappeared (Score:2, Informative)

    by slickjolly ( 749137 )
    Been 'Dotted already??? Jeez, that was fast.
  • It gets better (Score:5, Informative)

    by florin ( 2243 ) * on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:17PM (#8181226)
    Don't let the fact that they proclaim the Athlon 64 to be the 'clear looser' in the SPECViewperf discipline because of the poor results in the DX-08 and DRV-09 tests fool you.

    Those scores are probably not representative of the true performance of the AMD processor but rather of the early stages of optimization of the Linux support for the Nvidia NForce 3-150 chipset. The very same weakness was observed in the past in other reviews that used Specviewperf on Windows platforms, such as this one [tomshardware.com] from THG. Subsequent versions of the Nvidia drivers have since brought noticeable improvements [tomshardware.com].

    The AMD scores would likely have been much more competitive if a motherboard based on another Athlon 64 chipset like the VIA K8T800 would've been used for this review.
    • You know, that's exactly what I was thinking. The second I saw their motherboard of choice listed (the nforce3) I moved back a few inches. They just suck HARD under linux, and it's all because of nvidia's beta-quality nforce drivers.

      I would have picked a VIA chipset anyday for this test. Although VIA has had issues in the past under linux, these days it's better than the nforce, for maturity and stability if nothing else.
  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:19PM (#8181251)
    "Prescott, Northwood, Extreme Edition, and the AMD Athlon 64."

    In all honesty--unless you absolutely need 8GB of memory--there's little difference between these processors in terms of performance. They're all more or less in the same ballpark. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower, depending on the benchmark. None of them is a huge breakout CPU performance-wise.

    Here's what's different:

    PRICE: There's a lot more than a few percent variation in price.

    WATTS: In exchange for your 5-15% speed boost, note that you're getting more than a 15% increase in power usage.
  • Processor Last (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enonu ( 129798 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:22PM (#8181283)
    For my day-to-day activities, I'm much more affected by the speed of my hard disk and the amount of memory I have installed. IMHO one should spend the minimum amount on a processor that they feel comfortable with, and then use the savings for the rest of the system.

    Buy brand name components, a decent 7200 or even 10K RPM hard disk, and a GIG of memory. Don't forget input and output either! A cheap monitor, keyboard, or mouse will ruin your experience. Don't skimp on where it counts so you can simply brag about having one processor vs. one that's slightly slower.
    • one should spend the minimum amount on a processor that they feel comfortable with

      I have a simple method for picking CPUs:

      1. Go to Pricewatch and find the lowest prices for each of the processors in the range I'm interested in that's from a store I recognize and have good dealings with.
      2. Make a mental graph of speed vs. price.
      3. The graph usually looks like a nearly-flat line at the low end, and a nearly vertical line at the high end. Imagine something like f(x) = x^4 for x in [0, 4]; where x 1, the
  • by Linus Sixpack ( 709619 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:28PM (#8181334) Journal
    The first market I can think of for these machines is the memory hungry. Mostly I'm thinking of databases seeking to be entirely in ram. I don't personally have any 8gb databases but I think they are more common than people think.

    I'd love to see a comparison, on linux, Solaris, even windows of Databases crunching big piles of data.

    LS
  • Compare any to any (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Oh goody, this gives me a chance to trot out one of my favourite rants.

    I really don't understand why more sites don't let you compare *any* part to any other, in a database approach, like StorageReview and some online stores. It is in fact relevant to do so for more than interest, you could for example find out if it is more cost effective to use 5 $100 chips or one $1000 chip. But sites do not support this, instead you have to piece it together yourself (if you're lucky and they're using consistent method
  • by Magila ( 138485 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @01:41PM (#8181440) Homepage
    They were running Gentoo yet they apparently didn't even attempt to get the Althon 64 running the AMD64 port. Both POVRay and Vorbis-tools are already marked stable on AMD64, would have at least made the comparison a lot more interesting.
  • 64-bit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by noda132 ( 531521 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @03:26PM (#8182519) Homepage

    I was excited to look at these benchmarks because I know that Linux does 64 bits and I really, really want to see what kind of difference there is before buying an Athlon64. But there is no 64-bit testing. What is the point of running on Linux if you don't take advantage of what Linux offers?

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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