Performance Ecstacy

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coius's picture
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No, I'm not talking about the sex kind. I am talking about the insaciable appetite to achieve the highest speed possible out of a computer.
I am feeling this right now, as I went thru my Windows XP machine that was feeling a little slow (it happens over a while. You get used to the speed) And I went thru it overclocking this (ram, CPU), Getting rid of that (unused programs, taskbar applications not being used), And in general, tweaking the OS down to the "T". I know I really didn't need to do this, as it has been running the same as when I built it.
But there is something nagging me that even though I have the best machine of all the family, and the rest of my friends, I feel I need to do more. Kinda like the superiority complex that everyone keeps telling me I have.

I am trying to figure out, pscychologically, what drives me to push it to it's limits? Same applies for Cars. What makes us tic in all the 'top performance' that we try to achieve. There has to be something in the Human Gene that drives us for this. Something that scientists are not able to touch.
I am asking myself: "Why do I need to have a machine that I can not use to it's full potential, but feel I have to get the highest, unusable speed out of the machine. And this does apply to macs as well. Why would an old person have to go and buy the hugest screen and the fastest G5 out there, only to have it sit and do nothing but email, and to visit a few URL's. I have seen this happen all to often. My dad's mom went and bought an AMD 64-bit Athlon, with 1GB of ram, only to have it sit on a desk, and let he play Solitaire, and do email. She has not visited more than 32 Websites in her life. But Why did she think she needed this, this "Monster"

Maybe we should leave it up to the philosiphors...
Maybe we will never know the truth....

Excuse me, I need to used my over-powered machine, and go play solitaire....

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moosemanmoo's picture
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I'm afraid I know exactly the

I'm afraid I know exactly the problem and the answer to this dilemma, but I wouldn't dream of telling about it. It's part of the unified truth that I will take to my grave, I fear.

But it does involve the design of the cathedrals in the renaissance period and male anatomy.

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coius's picture
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I have been told...

That this has to do with the macho male thing. One-upping the other. But it's not, as I have seen this in the female type too. There is just something universal across genders. And it carries to the gaming life. People will by new game systems just to play the old games. One of my friends only plays Gameboy color games on his GameBoy Advance. He has not touched any advanced thing, but feels that He likes holding something powerful in his hand. He won't upgrade to the DS, mainly b/c it has some trouble with the older gameboy games. For crying out loud, he got a gamcube and animal crossing just so he could play Zelda and mario for the NES 8-bit system. It is on the Animal Crossing disc. You just have to buy them. He has a perfectly capable NES in his basement that works, as well as the cartridges to play the games.
Kinda like try to kill a fly with a SCUD missile. It's just over-kill

My main goal in life is to own a super-computer. An old one in fact. Or touch a part of the UNIVAC, or ENIAC. It just seems so cool to look at how far we have gotten. But it is overkill to use a state of the art machine, on a 56k connection to browse the web. If I wanted to do that, i'll just get a 486 or PPC 601 Machine. It would be less waste of $ and would match what I need to do.

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I've had an opinion for quite

I've had an opinion for quite some time that most people could do 99% of what they want out of a computer, short of high-end 3D gaming and video/music production, with a 350MHz machine. Case-in-point, I've got my slotloader iMac 350 w/ 256MB & 10GB that runs 10.2.8 with Firefox over DSL. Of that 256MB RAM, top shows 142MB as unused. I hardly wait for anthing except transfers over the internet. I can watch FLash movies (HSR makes my head asplode) and surf and play streaming internet radio, etc. Basic 384/384 DSL can't keep up with this old slow beast. It's WAY over kill for dialup. I think most people get sucked into the sales line of bigger/fster is better. And of high pressure slaes people that spread FUD about "old" "obsolete" machines.

Heck, even a PIII is considered old and almost obsolete now. I just got a PIII Coppermine 550E system and it's the fasted PC I own. $35 bucks and I only added a HDD I already had and an extra 256MB DIMM I already had. It came with 128MB and I could have just slapped in the $1 5.1GB drive I bought with the system and run it fine with BeatrIX or Ubuntu. $35 to purchase the fastest PC in the house...

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coius's picture
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Coppermine

I can't believe how well P III's hold their own. I will still take a P III over a brand new P4 anyday. I got to use one and they are rock solid on performance-per-buck of computing power. You can watch and burn DVD's And they are great for older games. They can still use the AGP 2.0 (which is good enough for doing a lot of stuff.
But if the game you use requires something faster, it most likely will require an AGP 2.0/3.0/ PCI Extreme Video card)
Y'know, I would love to have an Athlon XP_64-bit Machine. But I can't justify it. I can't even justify me buying a game machine, as I either (1) don't play games, or (2) I don't play high intensive games.

The Pentium 3 takes it well when you have a Cable/DSL modem on it, And can do DivX and even video editing/rendering decently. If I were to get a P III again, i might use it for distributed computing using linux, and maybe double as a Storage server. Those things are just awesome! They are (IMHO) the best CPU Intel has ever put on the market. It was the first (and only) time I wanted an Intel over an AMD. That says something, especially when I am a hardcore AMD User

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An experiment of sorts....

While I have some semi-respectable machines, I have been trying slower ones until I can't tolerate using the computer.

Here's what I have so far:
AMD Sempron 2200/512MB/120GB - original main computer. Seldom used.

AMD Athlon 1000/512MB/40GB - not used much except to record TV programs that come on late enough that I would be crazy to stay up and watch (software encoder) and to tinker with Linux. I have also have been playing American McGee's Alice on it - very nice!

AMD K6-2 500/256MB/20GB - I set this one up originally for program testing, and it seems pretty fast with XP on it. It will have Win2K and 98 installed on it after I image the drive. Too bad the Nvidia reference drivers don't recognize the video card - it's a TNT2 Ultra with 32MB. Playing Crosswords with Flash is slightly sluggish. Web browsing is just fine. It's one of those last-generation Baby-AT boards in an ATX case.

G3-333/320MB/20GB+40GB - primarily used as a music repository for work. Web usage is a little slow on it running 10.2.8. The crosswords game mentioned above is even slower.

Where to next? I have a P-233 on an ATX board, but no case to put it in. Before it was used for games that didn't work on Windows 2000 or XP.

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I checked eBay for P-IIIs the

I checked eBay for P-IIIs the other day. People are paying almost $100 for a (dual I just checked) 1Ghz P-III or better, IIRC. You can get a Celeron D or a P4 new for under $130. I've heard that the original P4 was actually slower than the P-III clock-per-clock, but I think that's been fixed. The 550E I've got is a nice speedy chip, just needs a better mobo. An Intel CA810E doesn't have an AGP slot, and only 4MB VRAM. I can get an Oxygen VX1 for $5 that'll kick the Intel built-in video outta the water... Any way I'm pretty happy with the P-III under Ubuntu and Win2k ON 384MB RAM. More happy that I was with a P4 1.8GHz running XP on 512MB RAM.

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Oddly enough...

Oddly enough, I just spent the last two or three hours thinking of ways to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of this Quadra 950. I had just pulled the puny little 130 Megabyte hard drive out and replaced it with a one gigabyte Seagate that I haf laying around. Of course, this meant that a fresh install of Mac OS was in order.

Out came the Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 8.1 update CDs, and about an hour later, the Quadra 950 was humming along to the tune of Mac OS 8.1. I then attached an external Apple quad speed CDROM, inserted an old MacFormat CD, installed an old version of Netscape Navigator for 68k, searched the web for a more recent 68k web browser, downloaded iCab 2.9.8, and am responding to this thread on my trusty old Quadra 950.

I'm actually surprised at how well iCab handles the WWW on a 68k Macintosh. It renders the pages rather slowly, but the rendered page looks very good. I'm finding that this version of iCab is surprisingly compatible with a lot of the pages that I'm surfing.

Now, how to speed things up a bit and still retain the 68k architecture...

I was thinking that a graphics accelerator might speed up the page rendering, as I believe that the real bottleneck is the rendering of graphics. Anyone have any ideas on this?

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Video Acceleration on a Qudra 950

I just got back from my weekly FT Worth run and while unloading I found what appear to be Mac Video cards but with a SIS chipset and quite a bit of memory. I am not sure but I think it has the Newbus connector (White with 3 rows of pins and the connector is 4 1/4 inches long) I am not familier with the older 68K Macs, so newbus and PDS leave me in the dark. Might that work in your Qudra 950??

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Re: Video Acceleration on a Qudra 950

macsane wrote:

I just got back from my weekly FT Worth run and while unloading I found what appear to be Mac Video cards but with a SIS chipset and quite a bit of memory. I am not sure but I think it has the Newbus connector (White with 3 rows of pins and the connector is 4 1/4 inches long) I am not familier with the older 68K Macs, so newbus and PDS leave me in the dark. Might that work in your Qudra 950??

Could you post a pic of one of these cards so that I can do some homework?

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Possibly

It sounds like a 486 DOS card. While I haven't seen that card personally, a lot of older 486 boards used SiS chipsets.

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Video card

Yes I will. I have a lot of pictures to take anyway. To give you a little more insight on the card. Its Apple part# is 820-0728-A. It also has a ATI Chipset on it that says ATI Mach 64 plus it has a slot for a 168pin dimm and there is an adaptor from the NuBus/PDS connector so it can be used in a PCI slot but laying down. I woud think the memory slot is for an 8meg ram stick or better But I don't know.

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Yep!

It really sounds like the DOS card with the PDS adapter for the 610/650 (and other flat Macs).

The ATI Mach64 is a video chipset used in PCs. My PC Compatibility card has one of those in it.

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Dos Card

You know I think you're right it has a Chip with a heatsink on it and the chip is soldered in. I also have 3 Cards with almost the same setup except they have pentium 166 CPUs on them and they are full lenght cards. So I think the question has been answered as to what it is (A dos card for the mac). I do however have 10 or so IMS TT 128 cards from 4 to 8 megs with the vga/mac video outs.

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Re: Dos Card

macsane wrote:

You know I think you're right it has a Chip with a heatsink on it and the chip is soldered in. I also have 3 Cards with almost the same setup except they have pentium 166 CPUs on them and they are full lenght cards. So I think the question has been answered as to what it is (A dos card for the mac). I do however have 10 or so IMS TT 128 cards from 4 to 8 megs with the vga/mac video outs.

Are the IMS cards for PCI equipped Macs? If they're for a Nubus slot or a '040 PDS slot, I'd be interested in learning more. Perhaps even interested in buying two -- if the price were right.

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For my new computer I chose t

For my new computer I chose the cheap 1.8ghz amd64... why?

Because it can run alot faster for free:

A 45% increase in performance for a low end proc is pritty good. Plus the heat output is still lowish (70W) due to the low core voltage.

For a very cheap machine, is fast enough for me especiall for 68k disassembling.

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eeun's picture
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Re: For my new computer I chose t

martakz wrote:

For a very cheap machine, is fast enough for me especiall for 68k disassembling.

That's a nice overclock.

I've been looking at the Celeron D 330 (2.6GHz) to replace my aging Athlon system. I've seen comparable 50-ish per cent overclocks for that CPU as well.

I don't really need any more speed. The most recent game I played was Half-Life 2, and rarely experienced any slowdowns, but I've upped my hard drive and video card earlier this year, so it's time for the rest of the system to follow along.

And I want to play with this DVD-R I've got that needs a cpu with sse3 instruction set...Wink

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Funny you mention that, but t

Funny you mention that, but that was one of the reason I changed from a socket 754 amd to a 939 amd, for the SSE3 support Wink

Though, certain dynamic translators are suppost to work at nearly full speed on sse2 chips...for erm, certain apps and a rather large disk image that need sse3

The trouble with the celeron is that is so darn ineffcient. For example on a celeron overclocked 3.5ghz it takes it around 60 seconds to calculate pi to a million digits. (Using an awful algorithm yes)

On the other hand it takes a stock amd64 3000+ around 39 seconds...and that is at 1.8 ghz.

But if you need a certain graphics subsystem, I suppose its the way to go.

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Re: Funny you mention that, but t

martakz wrote:

Funny you mention that, but that was one of the reason I changed from a socket 754 amd to a 939 amd, for the SSE3 support Wink

Though, certain dynamic translators are suppost to work at nearly full speed on sse2 chips...for erm, certain apps and a rather large disk image that need sse3

The trouble with the celeron is that is so darn ineffcient. For example on a celeron overclocked 3.5ghz it takes it around 60 seconds to calculate pi to a million digits. (Using an awful algorithm yes)

On the other hand it takes a stock amd64 3000+ around 39 seconds...and that is at 1.8 ghz.

But if you need a certain graphics subsystem, I suppose its the way to go.

Are we to assume that you are no longer a Macintosh user? Your signature tag suggests that you have bid your Macs a fond farewell. Hmmm...

You're not gonna hang around and try to convert the rest of us, are you? I hope not! Cuz I, for one, do not want to change my stripes.

EDIT: I always use broad strokes and expect people to understand what it is that I'm talking about. I really have to work on that.

Anyway, to clarify, I'm not suggesting that you should leave Applefritter if you're no longer a Macintosh user. I'm just hoping that you will not take it upon yourself to flood the friendly Applefritter forums with PC propaganda. Wink

EDIT 2: It's kind of like the gay guy that has never been interested in girls. One day this girl comes along and expects the gay guy to like her. Imagine her shock when she discovers that the gay guy is not interested in her. What's wrong with this gay guy? Doesn't he realize that the girl is beautiful?

The gay guy just shakes his head and wonders, "What's wrong with this heterosexual girl? Doesn't she realize that I'm gay?"

The girl is angry now. She huffs and puffs and vows that this gay guy will never get another girl again. The girl is going to malign the gay guy and make him unattractive to every other female on the planet.

The gay guy, realizing that he's being slandered and maligned, doesn't complain about not being able to get a girl. Why should he? After all, he is gay.

Nice, eh?

Read it and weep...

EDIT 3: Conspiracy or incompetence? Why doesn't the bad guy get caught? It just doesn't make sense. The unwashed masses? Yeah!

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Re: Funny you mention that, but t

And the point of this diatribe is what?

I believe that I have ever right to be on this webboard, whatever computer architecture I prefer and choose to use as long as I don't break the rules, or get banned. I quite rarely post on this forum as of late, but I think I am at least allowed to "Hang around".

I do not intend, nor have I ever intended to "Convert the rest of you" into PC users. To be honest, I could not care less what machine you choose to use. I have better things to worry about. To me a computer is tool - an x86 machine lets me run the software I need to do my work and complete my degree.

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eeun's picture
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Re: For my new computer I chose t

martakz wrote:

For my new computer I chose the cheap 1.8ghz amd64... why?

Because it can run alot faster for free:

I'm now leaning more towards an AMD, but haven't decided on a mobo if I go that route. What board are you using?

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Hi there,I chose the MSI

Hi there,

I chose the MSI K8N Neo 2 platinum board in the end. This is because its one of the very few socket 939 motherboards that offer an AGP slot and a host of overclocking options. You will find that most 939 boards use pci-express cards instead of AGP.

I wanted an AGP card as I had an old reliable ti4200 I wanted to use. As I don't play games I thought I would keep that for now - and I didn't feel like buying a new pci-express card.

The msi board is good, as it has an AGP lock and a host of options, though the default bios is a bit buggy. That is why I use a hacked bios. There are a whole host to choose from.

If you go the PCI-express route, you will not have trouble with certain sata ports not working and agp locks.

Make sure you choose a board with the nvidia chipset. These are the most reliable and the best chipset for overclocking. The via's don't lock the agp and pci bus, hense you will get corruption of the harddrive and video errors if you overclock too much. For agp boards, look out for the nvidia nforce3 ultra. For pci-express look out for nforce4.

Secondly, you need a board that can do memory ratios. This is so that the memory does not have to run at the clock speed of the front side bus. For instance, my fsb (well htt) is running at 300mhz, when the stock is 200mhz. My ram would be unable to do 300mhz ddr, whatever voltage I put through it.

Thirdly, you need a good set of memory and, more importantly, cpu voltage settings. This venice 90nm uses a stock voltage of 1.45V, but I need to put 1.5V through it to get a stable 50% overclock.

My recommendations would have to be MSI, ASUS and DFI boards. MSI is good for a cheapish board if you are prepared to fiddle around alot to get a stable bios. Asus is alot better for compatibility and ease of use. The bios's are not buggy at all and all the options seem to work as they should. The disadvantage is that the ASUS boards lack many of the features that the MSI and DFI boards have, though to be honest you are unlikely to need them all. (I don't). Finally, for the best overclocks and multitude of options, try a DFI board. Allthough they are a bit pimpy for my taste (ultraviolet sensitive sockets etc...yuck) they do have good options in the bios, once it is upgraded from there site. But, the DFI boards are very picky about what components you use.

Personally I would get an ASUS. Just check that it has memory and cpu voltage settings, memory dividers, fsb settings and an agp bus speed setting (which you need to set to 67 mhz). AGP settings only apply obviously if you have an AGP socket...

Cooling is also important. Try not to let the cpu go over 55C full load. With the heatsink I bought the processor never goes over 43C. It may look rediculous and be rather large, but it does help. Even so, with the newer chips, they seem to do very well with the stock cooling as the cpus are around 70W.

Also, try to get the more modern amd's socket 939 over the socket 754. Especially look out for the E6 venice chips. Infact almost all venice chips are very good, due to the smaller cache and the 90nm process. My last (newcastle) socket 754 only managed a 20% overclock. Plus you get the advantages of dual channel ram with the 939's.

Hope that helps,

T

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Yes, it did help. Thanks!

Yes, it did help. Thanks!

Doing battle with both a budget limit I set for myself, plus local availability of parts, I ended up ordering a DFI Lanparty nf3 250 and Sempron 3100+. For the money I'd set aside, it was the most bang for the buck.

I was frustrated with driving-distance availability of components, and had to mail order. No one locally seems to stock the 3100+ palermo core or better Semprons, nor did they stock the Celeron D in a 775 socket (if they had, I was looking at the Asus P5P800).

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Re: I've had an opinion for quite

Jon wrote:

Heck, even a PIII is considered old and almost obsolete now. I just got a PIII Coppermine 550E system and it's the fasted PC I own. $35 bucks and I only added a HDD I already had and an extra 256MB DIMM I already had. It came with 128MB and I could have just slapped in the $1 5.1GB drive I bought with the system and run it fine with BeatrIX or Ubuntu. $35 to purchase the fastest PC in the house...

Bwahaha! JCCC auction today. Performance Ecstacy is gettin' good lately! Just nabbed a Dell Optiplex GX110. P-III 800MHz, 512Mb PC-133, DVD-ROM, Zip250, no HDD. Price: $10!

Sun Ultra 5, 400Mhz(!) UltraSPARC II+ w/ 2Mb cache, 128MB EDO, 20GB UATA. Price: $10! (ax0n bought 3 and I snagged one of his)

Optiplex GX1p, P-III 550e, 128MB, 20GB, DVD-ROM, Zip100. Price: $10 (combo)

2x G3MT 300MHz Rev 2 mobo w/ Rev B ROM, 128MB, 6GB, CD, Zip (on one), only 2MB VRAM, but each has an ATI Xclaim 3D Pro 4MB PCI in it.

7600/132, untested looks pretty stock, borked power button

Viewsonic 21" CRT, untested.

So, anyway, I'm feeling pretty good about nabbing the P-III 800. I could have gotten some B&W G3s or various G4s, but I didn't want to buy just one thing and cash was much tigher than anybody was going to allow on those. THe cheapest bids went for $40 for the B&Ws at the end of the round. The G4s started going for over $100. My limit ofr the day was supposed to be $50. Oh well, there's always next year.

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Nice haul!My work's IT de

Nice haul!

My work's IT department did another big purge over the last three weeks, and once again gave me access to the goodies before they went off to the recyclers.

5 Compaq PIII 450, 6 GB / 96 MB, plus a pile of ram from their PII bretheren.
A pair of Compaq PII 233MHz small desktops that I thought were 400MHz before I lugged them home >:-0
1 small form-factor Compaq PIII 550, 6 GB / 96 MB
Some 64 and 32 MB PowerMac dimms for my 8600, etc
A few 17" monitors, a few hard drives - all 13 GB or less, and a few other odds and ends. My basement lab is standing-room only at the moment. Oh, and a neat Hameg oscilloscope.
The most obscure thing is a *scsi* PCMCIA/compact flash reader for PC / Mac.

This is part of what's funding my purchase several posts up.

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