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Re: [vox-tech] amd64
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Re: [vox-tech] amd64

On Fri, Jan 16, 2004 at 02:46:50PM -0800, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> hey,
> has anybody built their own athlon64 / opteron machine yet?
> anyone running one?

Yeah, I've got 4 on campus (3 duals and a quad).  I've had no problems
with any of them.

> the prices are way cheaper than i imagined.  and one of my machines is
> in need of a mobo/cpu/ps upgrade soon.  :)

Yeah, the price/performance is pretty amazing, currently
available in laptops, shoebox size, desktops, and rackmounts.

> i'd like to know how building it went; anything new?  problems unique to
> the new hardware?
> also want to hear about your experiences running 64 bit linux.  any
> problems?

Things are going well, one came with redhat-9 which worked with new
problems, the leading contenders seem to be Fedora, RHEL, and SUSE.
Gentoo has a live cd.  I know debian has a project, not sure how mature
it is.  If my vague memory serves I believe freebsd-5.2 or similar has
opteron support.

In general the opteron has a substantial advantage in duals or quads,
but still holds it's own in a single cpu system.  The AMD64s can run
(and be competive) with a 32 bit OS, but has additional performance
advantages in 64 bit mode, the largest being double the registers.

For the security minded out there, the amd64 also supports additional
instructions to help prevent buffer overflows.  Intel has of course
announced similar, but AMD is already shipping.

In general the AMD64s tend to be lower performance (and clock speed)
then the intel competition (at the same perf level).

Keep in mind that the socket-754 AMD64 chips have a 64 bit memory
interface, and the socket 940 have a 128 bit memory interface.

My next home upgrade is looking like it will be an amd64 or opteron.
I'd be most worried about 3d drivers (if you want 3d) for a home machine.

Bill Broadley
Information Architect
Computational Science and Engineering
UC Davis
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