Gigger Hertz

Pentium Pro-blems Redux

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A very sensible approach. While I'm looking for a new (BIG) case for my Dual Celery now, I wouldn't really spend the ca$h for a new Lian Li either (instead, Fujitsu Cordant cases look rather intriguing on the used market).

BTW, my Dual Celery (being my main workhorse these days) just got a DVD writer (LG GSA-4040B) - very nice. The system requirements state a PIII-700 minimum, but so far this box has been bored to death when reading/writing (OK, I only tried writing to a DVD-RAM so far, and that wasn't very fast, apparently because of the medium). Given I have a bunch of stuff I should really back up once (also because part of it only clutters up the hard drive w/o being particularly useful), I'd consider this a worthwile investment.

Well, in your case, the DVD writer is perfectly justified. You are able to obtain full use of it now, and you can easily transfer it to a new system/processor when you upgrade. You don't need to care as much on hardware that you can (and intend to) move to faster and newer systems.

A good example of Gigger Hertz's poor judgement is with the selection of video card. He selected probably the most expensive PCI card avaliable, when his system will not be able to extract any more performance out of it then what it could extract from a PCI Radeon 7000 or a Matrox Millenium/Matrox G200 PCI card. Both of these would have been a LOT cheaper on Ebay then the PCI Radeon 9200 he ended up buying. The radeon 9200 PCI is also pretty far from optimal in a new system as well, as the AGP bus was hacked together to deal with the greater need for graphics bandwidth in modern systems.

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This kind of spending is hardly justified no matter how hard you try to justify it. While I agree that upgrading hardware just because M$ comes out with a new bloated OS like XP is stupid, the fact is that past a point older systems simply aren't worth putting much money into. I have a few older systems that I've found by the curb and upgraded. A 200 MHz MMX is a fairly useful machine for web-surfing and most daily chores provided you're using Win98SE or Linux, and are not interested in running the latest games. That being said, my upgrade budget on these machines was very small. I purchased 200 MHz MMX processors on eBay for about $7. I maxed out the RAM (256 MB on one machine, 128 MB on most of the others) via bulk lots of EDO RAM also purchased cheaply on eBay (368 MB total in assorted sizes for $10 in one case). I used some spare drives left over from previous upgrades. All told, I doubt I put more than $30 in any one machine, and if I couldn't have done everything for that amount or less I probably wouldn't have bothered. Even with my main machine (1.568 GHz, 768 MB RAM, AOpen 440BX M/B) I've held off maxing out the RAM to 1 GB unless I can get 2 256 MB PC133 sticks for $10 or less. Any more simply doesn't justify the expenditure as it would make little performance difference. The point of all this is that to put $700 into a system this old, and especially to spend $410 on RAM instead of at least trying to get it off eBay much cheaper, makes absolutely no sense. You may wring every last ounce of performance out of that old system, but it can't hold a candle even to a four-year old PII-500 system with the same amount of RAM. Additionally, that EDO RAM is useless in any newer machine. At least if you had a board taking PC133 you probably could have reused it in a newer system.

Regarding OSes, in my opinion purchasing XP if you already own 2000 is a waste of money. XP seems to be a bloated version of 2000 with a lot of stupid, annoying features and of course PA, which I remain philosophically opposed to. So here I concur with you-to rush to get the latest OS, and then to need to upgrade your hardware to get it to run decently, usually makes no sense unless the new OS lets you do something the old one can't. In the case of XP, I never saw what the rush to upgrade was about other than to simply say you had it.

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Don't. Feed.

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What a cool thread!

OK, it ain't exactly Storage Review, but WTF? It's a lot of fun.

Hey? Where is the problem? Was it your $700 Gigahurtz? Yes? Then you are entitled to spend it any damn way you want. Let's play a game of 20 questions, shall we?

Which is more stupid?

1:

(a) Dropping $700 on a game of poker?

(B) Spending $700 on a Pentium Pro?

2:

(a) Spending $700 on large, brightly-coloured aerodynamic aids for your car that (i) probably goes faster without them, and (ii) never gets out of the city traffic anyway?

(B) Spending $700 on a Pentium Pro?

3:

(a) Spending $700 on a hand-tailored suit?

(B) Spending $700 on a Pentium Pro?

4:

(a) Donating $700 to the Republican Party?

(B) Spending $700 on a Pentium Pro?

5:

(a) Spending about $700 per year on an internet connection so that I can read tupid threads about spending $700 on a Pentium Pro?

(B) Spending $700 on a Pentium Pro?

WTF? I said "20 questions" but those 5 will do, I suppose. I guess my answers are (in order) a, a, a, a, and b - but your mileage may vary.

Was it stupid? Hell yeah.

But you are allowed to be stupid with your own money. If that was my own particular form of stupidity I'm not sure that I'd be brave enough to discuss it in public, but there you go. Hey - I know a guy that just spent more than (US) seven thousand dollars on an old car of no known performance, practicality, historical or resale value. Is he ten times crazier? Probably. But it's his money, so good luck to him.

PS: If you actually want to extract some performance from your PPro system, Gigahertz, then you better get real about your storage system though. That 7200 RPM ATA drive ain't got nothing like the horsepower you'll get from a half-decent 15K SCSI drive, even an old second-hand one. But then I guess performance isn't really the object of the exercise anyway.

PPS: Hi to all my old friends here: Frank, Honold, Your Majesty, and co.

Tannin

PPPS: Has anyone seen Tea lately? If you run into her, ask her to give me a call please. She seems to have gone missing somewhere.

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looks like they've cast out 5-STABLE until 5.4-RELEASE at a minimum now

I don't see where they specifically state a version number regarding that, so stop blowing smoke up my ass. That's a false argument.

It's also moot, since it looks like QNX might be the way to go now anyway.

Learn some manners. No wonder we resort to ad hominem attacks -- because you're being an ignorant asshole!

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...

You've been seduced by the computer industries marketing lies to its consumers. Most peoples' needs were met with 400 MHz Pentium II or 500 MHz Pentium III system. There is no reason a non-professional needs the power in a Pentium 4, let alone the Pentium Extreme. I know better, and know that I can be happy with two 266 MHz/1MB Pentium Pros. All I do is MS Office-type work and listen to MP3s sometimes. I am not a gamer and I do not simulate nuclear explosions. The same things applies to suckers buying Apple's new dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5s. Who on Earth thought that any user needed two IBM mainframe chips in their Mac? No one, they were just selling what they had led consumers to believe they needed. Yeah, like I need a Corvette to get to work every day.

...

Oh, thank you. With your permission now granted to me, I can continue on with this thread. Please.

You claim that your box equals that of a theoretical PPro 666Mhz, yet you spent $700 to upgrade it. I thought you said most peoples' needs were met with 400Mhz Pentium II systems... ??

Oh, and again with your arrogance in the quoted post. Seeing a pattern? ARE YOU EVEN READING THIS?

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Hi Tannin, long time no see. :) Still got a 0% failure rate with them Samsungs...?

Re: one of my earlier posts, the point I was trying to make that I got a considerable performance increase by going from an i440LX to an i440BX. Now the i440FX (which I assume the OP has, dunno because he seems write-only) with its EDO/FPM DRAM is certainly not faster than the LX with SDRAM, I'd rather guess it's quite a bit slower given the SiSoft Sandra memory bench ref values. [1] So assuming the memory INTERFACE (/BANDWIDTH) is the bottleneck, using an insane AMOUNT of memory will not help there.

What I found to be astonishing is how dependent Windows NT 5.x's I/O appears to be on memory performance. That simple chipset change dropped the net disk I/O time during a Mozilla launch from 6 to a bit over 3 seconds, with the trusty Cheetah 36ES scaling just fine. (Would be interesting to know what the minimum time is that the drive manages. I'd guess 1.5 to 2 seconds. NE1 got an 18 gig Cheetah 36ES w/ a NTFS5 partition and Moz 1.5 on it...?)

_________

Notes:

[1] 102 and 110 MB/s ALU/FPU or somesuch. Dual Cely on LX, 2-2-2-8, single cycle command mode OFF (due to instability): 174/174. Dual Cely on BX@66.8, 2-2-2-8, memory access wait state OFF: 256/261 MB/s. No idea what one might be able to squeeze out of a super-tweaked VIA 694X or SiS 635T...

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That simple chipset change dropped the net disk I/O time during a Mozilla launch from 6 to a bit over 3 seconds,

Or at least I thought so. Now I told Windows' search function to go through virtually all my data to empty the cache twice, with a Moz 1.5 launch afterwards each time. Once with the # of cache segments set to 16, then to 8. 9.4 seconds for 16 segments, 10 seconds for 8. Since I was using the latter setting before, the net load time only dropped by ~1.25 s, which means loading itself is about 1/4th faster (and not almost twice as fast). That's more in line with the increase of 1/3 observed on a Mozilla reload (7 s --> 5.25 s). Still, I have no idea which component of the lizard might have been in cache with a freshly loaded Windows.

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Does anyone else remember Trinton Azaleth from before the old forums were lost?

Congratulations are in order, because, unless I am mistaken Gigger Hertz, your 'redux' of what was obviously a disastrous thread has brought StorageReview's all-time greatest troll back out of hiding.

I hope this is a joke by one of the older forum members that remember those days.

If it is a joke I'm ROFL because it is the greatest, funniest reference I've seen in any thread in a while. I haven't thought of that guy in ages. Whoever's responsible please stand up and take credit otherwise I'm going to be scared he's actually going to come back....

Do well.

Jonathan.

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Tannin maybe you are responsible? A little flashback humour?

Wasn't it Trinton who managed to suck the whole forum into a giant, ridiculously annoying theological debate? Those were the days of real trolls Gigger Hertz.

Do well.

Jonathan.

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Hi all :)

Nope, it wasn't me, Jonathan. My theory is that it's one of Flagreen's aliases. B)

No longer a 0% failure rate, sgrossklass. Last time I counted them up, it was, over the three year warranty period, a total of 7 drives out of over 2000. Since then another six months or so has gone by and at a guess we have sold another hundred or two. I don't recall any more failures but there may have been one (I'll have to check with Kristi).

Up until about then, we used to send vastly more Seagates and WDs away for RMA, but not any more, as we no longer have any significant number of non-Samsung drives in service still under warranty. BTW, I have a great deal of sympathy for the view that brand reliability is more to do with handling by the distribution chain than the actual manufacturer's qualities, but we can comprehensively rule that out as our Samsungs and our WD drives come from the exact same source and always have.

Also by the way, I have noticed that the reliability of the refurbished Seagate and WD drives we used to get back is truly terrible. Back in the old days - say in 2GB and 4GB days - refurbs used to be just fine. Not any more. (I can't comment on refurb Samsung drives: weve only had 7 replacements and they were all new drives anyway.)

On your memory performance theory, that maks good sense. I just upgraded one of my W2K boxes from an XP 2400 to a 2500 (bigger cache but slower clockspeed). It is clearly faster doing stiuff like load Moz though, which I ascribe to the faster memory clock. If you cast your mind back to the difference between the old Thunderbird A vs Thunderbird C - 100MHz vs 133MHz - it all fits.

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but those are just the ones your customers take back to you, right?  wouldn't some of them call samsung themselves?

Samsung would just tell them to RMA them through the supplier ... which is Tannin in this case.

BTW. Hi Tannin :D

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For the love of God, would you people please leave Giger Hertz alone. He did nothing wrong. As he said it is a pet project of his. Pentium Pro is probably the best intel has ever made and he is attacked for staying faithfull to the best...? Now just think about that.....

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For the love of God, would you people please leave Giger Hertz alone.  He did nothing wrong. As he said it is a pet project of his. Pentium Pro is probably the best intel has ever made and he is attacked for staying faithfull to the best...? Now just think about that.....

i think we'd rather just think about the fact that you have 2 posts, and both of them are in this thread defending him. how coincidental.

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For the love of God, would you people please leave Giger Hertz alone.  He did nothing wrong. As he said it is a pet project of his. Pentium Pro is probably the best intel has ever made and he is attacked for staying faithfull to the best...? Now just think about that.....

Do you have any objective proof that the pentium pro is the best processor intel have made?

If so please provide the evidence.

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Do you have any objective proof that the pentium pro is the best processor intel have made?

If so please provide the evidence.

Science and engineering is also about gut feel not just evidence. Everyone knows that the Pentium 2 and Pentium 3 is really just the Pentium PRO in different clothing. Lots of places still use Pentium Pro computers. It might surprise you just how many do. Maybe they all do not want to take chances on something not proven?, yes. Maybe they want to get something out of their investment?, yes. A Pentium Pro might not be great for everybody, but it IS NOT BAD like some of you say.

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Fellas, this thread is just plum crazy. Maybe someone is having a big laugh at our expense?

Like I said, don't feed 'em...

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Nobody said that PPros are "bad". The main points we're trying to stress are:

  • a) the system probably didn't deserve $700 worth of upgrades, and
  • B) Gigger Hertz makes troll-like posts full of nonsense that he defends bitterly

If you have a Pentium-Pro system out there, it is probably performing its intended tasks just fine. Nothing wrong with that. But if you want to upgrade, you'd be better-served by spending your money on a new system. Period.

(BTW, not only would spending $700 on a new box get you a much faster computer, but then you'd have TWO computers to play with!)

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Everyone knows that the Pentium 2 and Pentium 3 is really just the Pentium PRO in different clothing.

Yes, that is true, but we are not talking about those incarnations of the P6 core. We are talking about the pentium pro.

Lots of places still use Pentium Pro computers. It might surprise you just how many do.

Of course they do. Lots of places use old mainframes, pentiums and other equipment most people consider obsolete. They continue to use them because it is very expensive to replace a machine that does a partular job satisfactorily with a new machine that would do the same job just as well. It doesn't prove that Pentium Pro's are better then newer computers, it simply suggests that the job they are doing doesn't need to be replaced with a faster machine.

Maybe they all do not want to take chances on something not proven?, yes. Maybe they want to get something out of their investment?, yes.

The choice companies make by keeping their old pentium pro servers and not replacing them with new ones is one based on economics, not by CPU choice. This does not prove that the Pentium Pro are better/worse then other intel CPUs.

A Pentium Pro might not be great for everybody, but it IS NOT BAD like some of you say.

The pentium pro isn't a bad processor, (I would love one for my gateway server) but it certainly appears to me that the Pentium Pro isn't meeting Giger Hertz needs. Of course, at the end of the day, it is his money, and he is free to spend it how he wants.

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