I was given some computers from a computer store that will be closing soon (mentioned in another forum). Between those machines, some parts I already had and a case I picked up today at the flea market mall I have built a system with a Slot A Athlon 650, 384MB RAM, 40GB HD, floppy, CD-ROM running Win2k. I also have an HP ePC (P3-850, 256MB, 20 GB HD, Win2K) and the Athlon wipes the floor with it, despite running at approximately 75% of the clock speed. This was also the case when both systems had 256MB.
I know that Socket A Athlons can do a good job keeping up with Pentium 4 systems, but this is the first working Slot A motherboard I have owned so I wasn't expecting the performance difference. Is this supposed to be the case?
AMD has gotten off of the MHz Myth bandwagon and started designing their processors at lower speeds, but with shorter pipelines. The problems with the P4, is that they have to have the CPU running at an insane speed to clear the pipeline out fast enough so it doesn't make a noticable hiccup. My 1.7GHz Sempron (I think the Semprons are like the Celerons of the AMD.) Wipes up a 2.6GHz P4. I mean, It's all that AND a bag of chips. That's why I love AMD. Also, I was able to pickup my Sempron for $80 and accompanying board for 30, Whereas, to get the same performance with a P4 2.6, I would have to spend 50 on the boards, AND 150 on the CPU. That is local prices BTW.
AMD has always held a soft spot in my heart. My K6-2 450 that I had for a year, Wiped up my friends high-end PII 600MHz
i have an AMD 1800xp and i must say im more than happy with it, and before that i had a duron 800, and that chip was running farcry!! that game says minimum of 1ghz, and this ran nice. video cards also play a big factor in it but still i have another computer with a p3 866 mhz and it gets killed by my amd stuff old and new. only problem i have with amd is the heat, it runs sooo much hotter than my intel stuff that i have to upgrade the heatsink and fan on every thing i have, where as my intel i can turn the fans off half the time. but the performance difference can speak for that!
I actually had an AMD system catch fire once upon a time. Since then, I have been kinda weird about AMD...
Later AMD motherboards have sensors to turn the machine off if the temperature reached a certain level. Without that it taked about 2 seconds to toast an AMD Socket A chip. Hopefully the Athlon64/Opteron chips have some sort of speed throttling if the fan fails.
I know that the one in this hodgepodge system does not have that shutdown feature, but it does have an extra exhaust fan right above the CPU just in case.
I also have three other AMD systems - 2 Athlon 1000s, and a Sempron 2200. All of these have the temperature monitoring feature.
My Bedroom, which contains my AMD system (Sempron 2800), gets to about 89 Deg F. in the summertime. my machine will shut off if it gets too hot. Almost immediatly. Kinda scares me b/c i keep thinking I killed it. about 5 min later, im good to go. But at that time, I just switch to my ibook and head downstairs. It is a lot cooler downstairs. Another feature on my board, is that it montitors the board even while it is off, and if it detects that the system is too hot to even turn on, it flashes BOTH the power LED and the HDD LED at that same time 1.5x a sec. That tells me the system is too over heated. It will continue to do that until the system cools down, then it only flashes the HD light to tell me all is go.
Newer systems have these features mainly, b/c it is cheaper to put the lead into the CPU, than it is to go through the RMA with the manufacturer b/c a user got it too hot and ran the thing into the ground.
I have made modifacations to my case and added a few more fans in the right places plus cut metal away behind the fans to drop noise plus slow the fans down. the cpu stays at 48c under a load, and i cant hear the computer running, so im fine with that. i have tried so many things to see what works the best and before this i ran the machine with out its cover just to keep it cold. i didnt like that idea, so i reversed the direction of the power supply fan and put a 90mm fan in the top of the machine to exaust that air. its ugly as all hell but there is a hole in the side of the machine with a 120mm fan directly ontop of the cpu bringing air inside the case. a 120mm fan in the front to bring air in, and an 80mm fan in the rear to bring air our from the cpu. they are all running off the 5v lines from the power supply, and runs stable for weeks like that. im very happy with this. it takes time but you can get what you want i guess heh. there are some cases out there that do alot of things better than what i did, but they also cost a lot more than this. mine was just an old full tower atx case that i didnt mind taking a metal nibbler to cut holes in it!
-Edit and oh yea, ive fried my share of XP's ive seen them actually blow metal off the die before!!
Ahh.. XPs! I ran one that a customer basicly gave us and we couldn't resell without a heatsink because it didn't work right and was out of warrenty. I used a normal heatsink/fan combo, then I took it off after I told it to start rendering some 3D. About 30 seconds later the thing went crazy and caught on fire.
You took the heatsink off while it was rendering 3D?!?
I don't know if I will get banned for saying this but "Dumbass!"
said out loud what some of us were thinking....
The K6-2 series runs ridiculously hot. Back when they were popular, I worked at a computer store that sold some custom-built machines, and on more than one occasion we had to give people who bought one of our K6-2-based systems a P3-based machine instead, all because they didn't have air conditioning at home and the machine would overheat.
I had hooked up a switch to the jumpers that when it froze due to heat, i just shut it off, flipped the switch which bridged the appropriete pins, and underclocked it. That way, i could continue working. I didn't mind it too much. Ah well... I now got a 2.0GHz Sempron now and my friend has the K6-2. 'cept it has a massive heat sink on it now. It works ok for him
I have 2 computers next to me by my desk. An athlon xp1800 that has been my staple computer for about 4 years now. 4 years for me is a LONG time. I also have a pentium 4 2.8 ghz machine next to it that I don't use much.
I just haven't had the time to migrate all my data to the p4 system.
But to this day, the xp1800 still works great and pretty much does everything I need to do with it.
Only thing it doesn't do well is play the newest and latest games.
But for general stuff, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and say my p4 2.8ghz system.
i have a ATI AGP radeon 9000 64mb card thats just about maxed out for today's games on the xp1800.. ive had it overclocked before but i didnt notice much of a difference so i just kicked it back down. i wont upgrade to anything better untill it wont run for me heh, but when that time comes im still going amd. 2.2ghz intel for my laptop is great but not as good as my amd still.
Don't forget the cache setup. Intel typically has a larger cache to make up for clearing the pipeline and keeping data close to the CPU. I've lately wondered what a nice Athlon 64 could do with 2mb+ of cache. Remember that every time the system misses the cache it has to stop and wait for a RAM access to get more data, ie, major slowdown. If you look at some of the later Alpha systems they support *8mb per CPU* of cache! That means that a lot of the OS and application can remain in cache and run full speed most of the time. Time spent waiting on RAM is empty CPU cycles. If you only get a cache hit 17% of the time you only run at full speed 17% of the time. Otherwise you run at RAM speed, thus DDR and dual channel DDR are so popular. Short pipelines and a great cache setup would compliment dual channel DDR very well.