Gigger Hertz

Pentium Pro-blems

Recommended Posts

If you want a newer processor to look at as the child of you PPro, look no further than the P3.

Or Celeron Mendocino. 128 kB full-speed, on-die L2 cache. Some later PII mobiles as well IIRC- 256 kB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
256 MB is sufficient for office tasks.

Yeah, if that's all you're doing, maybe. I find 256 MB to be quite slow on my system doing office tasks. Forget encoding MP3 in the background while watching WMV and chatting.

I've always found NT4 faster than 95, even with only 32 MB RAM.  NT is just a better OS by far.

I agree with you here, but I should point out that perhaps NT is better/faster than 95 because it supports SMP. That's how it might get away with running faster than 95 in 32 MB RAM.

I don't know.  You tell us!  Also please tell what that RAM will cost.  And whether your chipset will work with that much RAM.

Yes, the chipset will. Intel's site says so -- it's just IBM's doc that contradicts Intel's. And the RAM will cost $68 for 256 MB chips, so 1 GB will cost roughly $300 after taxes and shipping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, you'd rather spend $300 on RAM than $500 for a new system with 1GB RAM (without the monitor)?

Encoding mp3's and watching WMV's takes hardly any RAM at all. Those tasks stress the CPU more than the RAM. I just compressed a lame file and watched a video, and my memory usage went up by a grand total of about 15 megs. My IM client takes up a whopping 3 megs too. Meanwhile, since my processor is much faster than yours, the (1:30 long) MP3 was done encoding in about 10 seconds, where a 200mhz PPro would have taken well over a minute for the same task.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would rather drive a Saturn Ion that gets almost 40mpgand tops out at 120 MPH than a Corvette that gets about 10mpg and can race at 200 MPH.

Get the facts straight. My 96 conv. Corvette gets 18mpg driving around town and 27mpg on the highway. My old 94 Vette got 19mpg in town and 32mpg on the highway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, you'd rather spend $300 on RAM than $500 for a new system with 1GB RAM (without the monitor)?

PPro's are a kitch thing. I have a Vectra XU 6/200 dualy in my office. There were also riser cards made so that you could plug a PPro into a LX, BX, or GX SLOT1 board. Gotta love them.

If I were GH, I wouldn't take the risk of spending $300 on RAM which may/may not work in a system unless I find a vendor with an extremely liberal return policy. PPro's with 512MB can be found at Beoing surplus nowadays for $75, so it seems a bit extreme. If this were a legacy system in a DC somewhere that had been there for 7 years running a single app, I would procure more RAM (rather than move a lecacy app to a new box... which often causes problems due to lack of docs and such). But it's not. It runs office, plays music, sends e-mail, and AIM's.

So GH,

What would make you happier, more ram... or fifteen $20 lapdances?

Thank you for your time,

Frank Russo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would rather drive a Saturn Ion that gets almost 40mpgand tops out at 120 MPH than a Corvette that gets about 10mpg and can race at 200 MPH.

Get the facts straight. My 96 conv. Corvette gets 18mpg driving around town and 27mpg on the highway. My old 94 Vette got 19mpg in town and 32mpg on the highway.

Go 200MPH and tell me what kind of gas mileage you get!

Just kiddin,

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly, thank you blakerwry (et al.) for defending me and others against Gigger Hertz' insulting rants.

Secondly, I am typing this on a Pentium-M laptop with 256MB of RAM, and currently no page file (although I would enable it if I were doing anything more serious than surfing the web or typing... which I don't, because I have a real workstation for video editing, gaming, programming, etc.). Oh, and I still have 58MB free. You want high IPC, Gigger Hertz? Have you read about the Pentium-M? High efficiency per watt AND per cycle. So if high IPC ratios get you hot and bothered, go buy yourself a shiny new Centrino laptop. And, as much as I dislike Microsoft, and would love to bash them, Windows XP runs just fine with no secondary-storage pagefile, provided it's not running memory-hungry applications (obviously).

Thirdly, I only suggested disabling the page file in order to diagnose whether it was your storage sub-system that was causing a bottleneck. I didn't think it was likely, but hey, for the two minutes it would take you to try it (since I assume your amazing system boots up in under 30 seconds, of course, it being second only to God in processing power), you might turn up something worthwhile that you haven't thought of.

Lastly, I am truly sorry for trying to help you, Gigger Hertz. If you didn't want my advice or others', most likely because you are confident that you do in fact know more than everybody else, perhaps you should have reconsidered posting this thread. Unless you just wanted to "brag" about your beloved dual-Pentium-Pro system. Regardless, even if I was completely wrong in my suggestions or comments, I don't think a response like yours was warranted at all. Please learn some manners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Post-Lastly:

And who posts to STORAGEREVEW.com without at least mentioning the brand and model of their hard drive when reciting their system specs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Two Pentium Pro, 200 MHz/1 MB cache oc'ed to 266 MHz
  • 512 MB 5v 168-pin 60ns EDO RAM
  • 100 GB 7200 RPM IDE hard drive
  • 32 MB ATi Radeon PCI video card
  • Windows XP Pro Service Pack 1

Here are some upgrade suggestions that hopefully fall within the given guidelines of having fun with a hobby system.

1. Drop in a pair of Intel PPro 333 MHz Overdrive CPUs. I just upgraded four old PPro systems at a client site that needed to retain the old software builds on those systems but wanted a speed boost. We paid about $50/each for brand new retail boxes listed on eBay.

2. Drop in a nice ultra fast/wide (or faster) PCI SCSI card and some 9 or 18 GB 10K SCSI disk from eBay. Use a RAID card and stripe a pair of disks for even more speed. You can keep the ATA disk for data storage if you need lots of cheap storage space, but boot the system from the faster SCSI system.

3. Consider downgrading from XP to Windows 2000, which I find in general to be much faster and more responsive than XP.

Cheers,

-Nathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't going to post to this thread anymore, after the heated post I made a few hours ago. (I do apologize to everyone for that.) But I must second geekstud's observation that Windows 2000's GUI (along with most other things) runs much more smoothly on lower-powered systems, such as my ghetto fileserver (a Celeron 466 with 256MB of RAM and onboard 4MB ATi GPU).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wasn't going to post to this thread anymore, after the heated post I made a few hours ago.  (I do apologize to everyone for that.)
I think this happens to everyone at one time or another. I always feel like a jerk after, well, being one. I wasn't involved in this thread, but thanks for apologizing anyway.

For anyone, just a matter of asking yourself if it's worth it to make a snide remark. (Not that I am attacking you, I am just saying this in general and your post happened to be here at the right time)

Er, regarding the RAM purchase, some motherboard vendors seem to state that the maximum memory that their board supports is the maximum possible at the time, i.e., if the largest module is 64MB and you have, say, 8 SIMM slots, that would be 512MB. Other than chipset and BIOS limitations, I would think that larger modules will work in most cases, if they use the same basic technology, have the same number of chips, etc.

A laptop that I recently purchased is rated at supporting at most 2GB, though the chipset supports 4GB. It has two SODIMM slots, and 1GB DDR400 modules were probably not available at the time of testing (they don't seem particularly easy to come by even now).

Still, I wouldn't take the risk unless you have money to burn. An investment in SIMMS is not going to be a lasting one, even by computer hardware standards. :(

But I must second geekstud's observation that Windows 2000's GUI (along with most other things) runs much more smoothly on lower-powered systems, such as my ghetto fileserver (a Celeron 466 with 256MB of RAM and onboard 4MB ATi GPU).

Windows 95 is smoother still. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wasn't going to post to this thread anymore, after the heated post I made a few hours ago.  (I do apologize to everyone for that.)  But I must second geekstud's observation that Windows 2000's GUI (along with most other things) runs much more smoothly on lower-powered systems, such as my ghetto fileserver (a Celeron 466 with 256MB of RAM and onboard 4MB ATi GPU).

May I suggest giving Linux/Samba a try?

Thank you for your time,

Frank Russo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The PII Overdrive was quite an interesting chip, virtually a PII Xeon w/ 512K L2 in (66 MHz, socket 8) disguise.

Indeed, all but the first mPIIs had 256K of on-die L2 cache, 4-way associative. The Mendocino Celerons' CPUID hints that the roots of this CPU lie with the mPII (while the old cacheless Covington Celerons are not much more than PII Deschutes cores).

BTW, mpg must be the worst non-SI unit ever. Try to convert THAT to l/(100 km) with no pocket calculator and encyclopedia handy. Doesn't a gallon even differ between the UK and the US?

$300 for more RAM for a PPro, ? That hobby is a tad on the expensive side. If I had that much spare money, I'd probably get a new, faster hard drive and a docking station for my notebook and either a decent printer, scanner or combo drive/DVD writer for the deathktop. The largest sum I ever spent on something for an oldie system was some EUR 65 for two 128 meg 72-pin FPM ECC SIMMs (for the trusty old GA-586DX I used to have; now they're rotting away in a rarely used GA-586HX).

When it comes to responsiveness of Win2k vs. XP, I have found that a major handbrake for older systems is the zip folder integration. Removing all references to zipfldr.dll from the registry gets the XP-ish Windows Explorer as fast as the thing normally should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, the Pentium Pro's is indeed more efficient than the Pentium4. If you could clock a Pro to 3 GHz, or a P4 down to 266 MHz, you would find that the Pro easily trounces the P4 in every way imagineable.

The same is true of Pentiums and Pentium MMX processors. In fact, the same is true even of 486 CPUs and AMD's 586's processors. However, even first generation Pentium II's are too old for that to really matter, a 1GZ Celeron blows all of them away.

Regarding the Intel's HX chipset(from another poster), it indeed was a very good performing chipset, with EDO, it easily outperformed all sdram boards prior to Super 7, and still many of the super seven boards. It was a great chipset.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How much RAM do you have? What do you do with your system? 512 MB is not enough RAM to run Windows without a swap file. If you have, say, 4 GB you might be able to, but anything less is suicidal if you do any real work on your system.

bullshit. 512mb would be enough for most people, 1gb for almost all.

i've been doing 'real work' (video encoding, simultaneous virtual machine emulation, etc) on my systems with 1gb of ram and no page file for over a year.

Ditto.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some of us care more about efficiency than speed, sir. I would rather drive a Saturn Ion that gets almost 40mpgand tops out at 120 MPH than a Corvette that gets about 10mpg and can race at 200 MPH.

that is a completely invalid comparison.

the fact that the ppro could be a more efficient overall cpu than a p4 is a total piece of trivia. try developing an analogy where you drive a car with a max speed of 5mph and you'll get closer to the truth.

Not to mention the fact that a Corvette gets close to 30MPG, which is more than my friggen four Cylinder 2500CC pickup gets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How much RAM do you have? What do you do with your system? 512 MB is not enough RAM to run Windows without a swap file. If you have, say, 4 GB you might be able to, but anything less is suicidal if you do any real work on your system.

bullshit. 512mb would be enough for most people, 1gb for almost all.

i've been doing 'real work' (video encoding, simultaneous virtual machine emulation, etc) on my systems with 1gb of ram and no page file for over a year.

512 MB is the bare minimum that any user should be running Windows XP with. Don't forget, Windows XP is just Windows NT 5.1, and we all remember what kind of memory hog Windows NT was back in its day. On my box XP crawled with 128 MB RAM. Why do you think I am looking at going to 1 GB RAM in my dual Pro box? The thing is too slow and there is more potential in those 266 MHz Pros to unlock.

The bare minimum would be 128, though I have seen systems with only 64 - very very sluggish with only 64, but it will run, which suggests this is the bare minimum. 256MB is the minimum I would recommend, and is certainly plenty for most people, , good enough for novice power users, but that is well above any bare minimum. 512 is getting into the real power user spectrum. Anything above 1GB for a desktop is a waste. If you are running software that could benifit from more than 1GB, you aren't using a desktop, but a workstation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So....

Have we concluded that 1GB will not improve the situation?? :)

Unless there is a specific windows-only app, I would run Linux on that machine.

But again, the point here is it's a *project* box.

I have some version of Linux running on my ol' Micron POWERSERVER (W00t!) P90.

It started as RedHat 6/6.1... but I tinker with it :D Runs *much* better than it ever did with NT or Win2k.

(It's the defective P90 that can't multiply correctly plus I paid over $6000 for the thing so I'm keeping it. LOL! But I've forgotten how to demo that little hiccup. )

Samba has really come a long way. I thought it was a great product when v. 2 came out. Now it's just amazing.

Just remember:

"It's your project, you can buy if you want to...." "buy if you want to..."

DogEared

8^D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, the Pentium Pro's is indeed more efficient than the Pentium4. If you could clock a Pro to 3 GHz, or a P4 down to 266 MHz, you would find that the Pro easily trounces the P4 in every way imagineable.

The same is true of Pentiums and Pentium MMX processors. In fact, the same is true even of 486 CPUs and AMD's 586's processors. However, even first generation Pentium II's are too old for that to really matter, a 1GZ Celeron blows all of them away.

Regarding the Intel's HX chipset(from another poster), it indeed was a very good performing chipset, with EDO, it easily outperformed all sdram boards prior to Super 7, and still many of the super seven boards. It was a great chipset.

Sorry, but that just is not true. The Pentium had real gains per cycle over the 486, and the Pentium Pro had gains per cycle over the Pentium, even when it got MMX. When Intel started fiddling with the Pro core, however, each revision did slightly less work per clock than its predecessor. While from the 286-686 days were all about adding muscle to the processor, increasing performance/cycle, some time after the release of the Pentium Pro Intel shifted focus from adding useful features and turned to increasing clock speed. By the end of the 686 lifecycle Intel's focus had shifted so much toward higher clockrates that the 786, AKA Pentium4, was built specifically for high clockrates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How much RAM do you have? What do you do with your system? 512 MB is not enough RAM to run Windows without a swap file. If you have, say, 4 GB you might be able to, but anything less is suicidal if you do any real work on your system.

bullshit. 512mb would be enough for most people, 1gb for almost all.

i've been doing 'real work' (video encoding, simultaneous virtual machine emulation, etc) on my systems with 1gb of ram and no page file for over a year.

512 MB is the bare minimum that any user should be running Windows XP with. Don't forget, Windows XP is just Windows NT 5.1, and we all remember what kind of memory hog Windows NT was back in its day. On my box XP crawled with 128 MB RAM. Why do you think I am looking at going to 1 GB RAM in my dual Pro box? The thing is too slow and there is more potential in those 266 MHz Pros to unlock.

The bare minimum would be 128, though I have seen systems with only 64 - very very sluggish with only 64, but it will run, which suggests this is the bare minimum. 256MB is the minimum I would recommend, and is certainly plenty for most people, , good enough for novice power users, but that is well above any bare minimum. 512 is getting into the real power user spectrum. Anything above 1GB for a desktop is a waste. If you are running software that could benifit from more than 1GB, you aren't using a desktop, but a workstation.

Maybe some of us would like workstationability even though we don't need it all of the time. I will not be happy until I know I have the fastest system available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

While from the 286-686 days were all about adding muscle to the processor, increasing performance/cycle, some time after the release of the Pentium Pro Intel shifted focus from adding useful features and turned to increasing clock speed.

...

While correct to some extent, you are not presenting the whole picture. In the 286-486 days, the x86 architecture was so far behind its RISC counterparts that it was laughable. When building the P5, Intel incorporated some of these ideas. The P6 included even more, and pretty much pulled even with other state-of-the-art processors of the time, atleast architecturally. By the time Intel needed a "new" processor, it had run out of significant features to add. Intel's only real recourse was to start playing the clockspeed game.

The problem with your arguments is that the real world doesn't care about performance/cycle, they care either about total performance or performance/$. The pentium pro wins neither today(and only won one in it's prime).

-JoeTD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comparing Seti running on these systems....

Seti-Efficiency

multiplier.gif

So for FLOPS

PIII-Tualatin 512MB

P-M

PII/III 1MB/2MB

and the Itanium's are all more efficient than the P-Pro 512MB's

and in fact if you ran a P-Pro at 1GHz on a memory bus of 133MHz then both the P-Pro and P-III Tualatin (which is what 1.3GHz PIII are) both crunch a unit in the same time (give or take a minute or two)

Sound like you have a lot of fun out of your system but you probably just hitting the limits of WinXP on a slow system. You could try getting some second hand memory to see if it works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I run XP with 256 megs of ram right now, and it does just fine. I know very few people who could actually use a gig of ram in their desktop, regardless of what windows OS they're running. I wouldn't want to run 2000/XP with less than 128, and 256 would be better all around, but you certainly don't need more than 512 for the vast majority of desktops--especially office ones.

I have a PII-400 with 512 mb or ram on an Intel 440BX motherboard (Deschutes core, I believe), Seagate Barracuda IV hard drive, W2K server running IIS/SMTP/FTP/Active Directory/Terminal Services/php + mysql, and the bottleneck is the CPU. For what the machine does, it's fine (even a bit overkill), but the bottleneck for a system with dual 266's is definetly going to be the processors and the bus on the motherboard. You're also going to be limited by the ATA standard the motherboard was manufactured to--for example, my 440BX is only running at ATA33 (supposedly 66 works on that board, but I've never had any luck getting it to work). My RAM never seems to get above about ~150 mb's in normal usage, indicating that a lack of memory isn't the reason it's slow.

One nice thing about the 440bx is that it's stable as hell. :D I've had the box running for three months straight with no reboot before, and only booted because I had to move it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would rather drive a Saturn Ion that gets almost 40mpgand tops out at 120 MPH than a Corvette that gets about 10mpg and can race at 200 MPH.

Get the facts straight. My 96 conv. Corvette gets 18mpg driving around town and 27mpg on the highway. My old 94 Vette got 19mpg in town and 32mpg on the highway.

Lets remember that its far easier to pick up chicks in a 96 vette than it is with a pentium pro ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now