Cheap PCs from Wal-Mart

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Mon Jun 2 19:15:12 EDT 2003


> > 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 wonder what the specific details was for the aove p4/ath cpus.

it's not interesting or relevant.  for the record, by "high-end",
I meant "highest end currently available".  that is, P4, FSB800,
i875, 2-3 GHz.  the highest-end Athlon is significantly lower-end 
(single ddr400 I think, PR3200).

> For the $$$ difference betwen a p4/amd and c3 ...  it seems

sure, high-end desktops are more expensive than integrated
appliance boards, no surprise there.  the point is that they're 
also dramatically faster.  being much faster means you can't just
ignore how slow the VIA chips are, at least not in this context
(compute clusters).  remember that speed advantages are often
*multiplicative*, so you might get 4x speedup from CPU, 7x from dram,
2x from disk, 8x from gigabit for a total of 448x!  guaranteed
not to exceed, of course, but the principle is sound...

> like a non-issue for performance of spending the extra $50 - $100
> for better performance in the above benchmark numbers

AMD is lagging in uniprocessors, no question, no surprise.
it's astonishing that a non-fly-by-night company could simply
forget to deal with that little issue of motherboards.
afaikt, there are hundreds, possibly thousands of shops worldwide
who could produce a basic 6-layer motherboard without breaking a sweat...


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