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Athlon MP's

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Anonymous
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January 18, 2002 7:28:28 PM

I am getting ready to put together a personal workstation and am interested on info for the AMD Athlon MP 1900. I will be using the Asus A7M266-D With the new MPX chipset. I have seen the benchmarks for the most part and I know it's fast, what I am interested in is stability and compatibility issues. I run Win2k for my OS and will likely have a secondary HD with Linux. I can upgrade to WinXP if required but wouldn't choose to unless required. Anybody out there with experience with the new hardware would be much appreciated. My RAM will be DDR PC2100 CL2 Registered ECC, two 512MB Sticks.

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January 18, 2002 7:50:16 PM

Only current compatibility issue is the USB ports. The AMD760MPX southbridge has a slight glitch in the USB handling; Asus and a few other companies decided to ship boards without waiting for the fix.

Asus has worked around this by not putting USB ports on the motherboard and instead including a freebie USB 2.0 card. So there's no real compatibility issue on that point, just you'll have one less PCI slot if you want to use USB.

Oh, and you'll be forced to have USB 2.0 ports instead of 1.x ports in that case. Oh the pain. :wink:

<i>If a server crashes in a server farm and no one pings it, does it still cost four figures to fix?
Anonymous
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January 18, 2002 7:59:43 PM

Thanks, I was unaware of that issue. I currently have only 1 USB device and it is anything but necesary. However the loss of a PCI slot is a factor considering the 64bit slots taking up space. I mean come on? What am I gonna do with a 64 bit PCI slot, I can't afford an OC3 connection. Do you happen to know when the scheduled fix is? I assume it will have to be a silicon revision from AMD. I think I will wait for that bug to go away before I purchase the Main board.

If Mr. Turing could see us now!
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January 18, 2002 8:33:43 PM

AMD says they'll have it fixed this quarter; they'll have to release a new AMD768 southbridge, since that's the component that's screwing USB. Once that happens, the board manufacturers will start using that southbridge's USB and stop shipping the freebie USB cards.

As for 64-bit slots, they can still be used for 32-bit cards. 64-bit, 33MHz slots are fully backwards compatible; 64-bit, 66MHz slots (the 760MPX's slots) are not. The critical factor is that 64-bit, 66MHz slots can only use 3.3V PCI cards (either 32-bit or 64-bit). The technical details of this are described <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1414&p=3" target="_new">here</A>.

Keep in mind that if you go sticking a 33MHz PCI card in one of the 760MPX's 66MHz slots, you'll cut the link bandwidth between Northbridge and Southbridge by half.

Your other option is to go with a Tyan Tiger 760MPX board, which IIRC has six PCI slots vs. the five on the Asus. Or, since you're not that concerned about 64-bit PCI, you could use a Tiger 760MP board, which is fully backwards-compatible with 32-bit PCI.

I kind of know how you feel on this point; the "freebie" USB card is kind of an unclean solution, especially when a real fix is coming down the pipes so soon.

<i>If a server crashes in a server farm and no one pings it, does it still cost four figures to fix?
Anonymous
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January 18, 2002 8:47:24 PM

Thanks! I was not aware at all that the 64 bit PCI slots were backwards compatable, I assumed different slot meant diferent pin layout. Just goes to show, never assume. I want the MPX Chipset as it supports the new Athlon MP's. I considered waiting for the new .13 micron Thoroughbred MP, however it is delayed and comes to closely to the 64 bit X86 Clawhammer. I can aford to wait until the new southbridge is released however.

If Mr. Turing could see us now!
January 19, 2002 10:17:17 AM

I've been running a Tyan Tiger MP with 2-1600+ MP's without any stability problems. But i don't have anything usb hooked up to it right now.

"Intel people buy their computers to learn. AMD people build theirs because they already have."
Anonymous
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January 19, 2002 4:24:24 PM

What kind of performance do you get from them? I have seen the benchmarks but what about realworld stuff. I assume you are running Win2k or XP.

If Mr. Turing could see us now!
January 20, 2002 7:34:04 PM

i've been hearing gigabyte is supposed to send their own version out to the world. i heard with onboard raid/lan/usb 2/sound. the raid would be really nice feature, i could do away with this pci controller and just use the raid for extra ide (have 4 drives + cdrw, dvdrom, soon dvd burner). been waiting out on a nice dual setup, haven't seen anything that i would want to drop the money into though. hopefully soon.

[insert philosophical statement here]
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