Cheap PCs from Wal-Mart

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Mon Jun 2 14:42:32 EDT 2003


> re. the points on floating point performance, these are valid.
> But I think we should note the new Nehemiah boards which are just out.
> Well worth looking at I think - I intend to get one soon, and I'll report
> back if/when I do.
> http://www.mini-itx.com/reviews/nehemiah/?page=10#s21

hmm.  for rhetorical purposes, let's compare the numbers from this article
to two high-end unis:

	dhry	whet	mmi	mmf	memi	memf
e800	1048	285	963	1588	194	208
e10k	1300	351	1193	1968	233	245
e10k-n	1591	366	2255	2285	664	389
p4	6809	9327	22170	13896	5050	5041	
ath	3319	8855	13011	12217	2912	3080

I think it's pretty clear that you need to expect much lower
performance from even the 'high-end' VIA chips.  if your code
more resembles dhrystone (mostly integer, cache friendly),
then you can mostly expect to scale with clock speed, and the 
VIA chips might be attractive on a speed/(heat*cost) basis.

for general clusters, where memory bandwidth and FP performance
and integrated gigabit are big advantages, VIA doesn't compete.

data is from the article above and
	http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030521/index.html

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