Benjamin Hardy drycellbattery@yahoo.ca
Fri Feb 10 13:42:02 2006

Benjamin Hardy wrote:
> I was using an Athlon XP 2600+ not bad performance. I'm wondering what 
> advantage Intel processors provide. A boasted Intel feature would be 
> "hyper threading" or something like that (please correct me I'm 
> falling behind on computer technology,can't keep up). Supposedly this 
> allows the Pentium 4 to run like a dual processor, but does this run 
> properly in Linux? Would it be necessary to have APIC running on P4s? 
> There was some discussion on whether or not APIC deters performance on 
> DAWs, but nothing really concluded. I'm still wondering about that.
> Another issue not addressed and probably more imporant is what 
> motherboards/chipsets to get. VIA? nforce? Intel? I'm running an Abit 
> NF-7 S board with a nforce2 chipset. It runs alright, but I couldn't 
> get SATA to run properly, and the built in audio and ethernet didn't 
> work in Linux until their drivers were included in the 2.6 kernel. 
> Getting the right motherboard is probably the most difficult task when 
> building a Linux compatible system. Secondly, would a dual processor 
> board be more benefitial? You might want to be cautious about the new 
> dual core processors too.
> Roger Dannenberg wrote:
>> One reason to favor AMD over Intel is that AMD handles denormalized 
>> floats
>> much faster than Intel, based on my reading of specs but not on first 
>> hand
>> experience with AMD. I do have first hand experience with an Intel P4 
>> chip
>> and spent a day or two trying to figure out why my software fell out 
>> of real
>> time after some long exponential decays ran for awhile. The answer 
>> was that
>> when the envelope values approach zero, they become "denormals" and the
>> multiply operation takes 100's (or maybe it was thousands) of times 
>> longer.
>> There is a lot of information posted about this, including some 
>> performance
>> measurements. I didn't find a general solution to this problem except
>> perhaps to switch to AMD processors, which have the same problem but 
>> much
>> less so.
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