The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Thinking about computermachines

Posted By on January 28, 2008

So, I've been doing a bit of reading in prep for my anticipated new machine which I'm hopefully building at the beginning of April or so.

I suppose I should mention that I am a big fan of multiprocessor/multicore machines, because I do a lot of different things at the same time, and parallelism is king. This, the release of AMD's Phenom has me a little interested, because now both AMD and Intel have quad-core offerings.

So, I looked at the benchmarks, and the sad thing is that AMD's current high-end seems to be hitting the performance of about Intel's low end for the same price point. One would think that the native memory controller would help AMD, but I can't help but wonder if the whopping huge caches Intel is putting in is offsetting their memory controller hub.

The ATI Radeon HD cards look nice.. but the “ATI released specs for open source drivers” are reported to be pretty rough right now. I guess I expected a lot more stuff more quickly.

This was more of a ramble than anything – if folks have any ideas as to interesting hardware I should look at, let me know. In the end, I think I'm going to likely go with a dual-core CPU in a board which will take a quad-core at a later date. After all, it will end up being something like 1/3rd the price, but will still give me a huge performance over my current machine (Dual CPU Athlon MP running @ 1.0GHz).

Main motivating factors for upgrade:

  • Ability to have more RAM (current limit is basically 2GB – I currently have 1.5GB, I'd like to have 4GB)
  • Virtualization registers (for virtualization, duh)
  • 64 bit support

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