AMD Dual Core CPU's

Darryl Clarke smartssa at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 19:21:51 UTC 2006


On 30/01/06, Ed Fletcher <ed at fletcher.ca> wrote:
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> I'm looking at a new motherboard/cpu combination and I'm looking for
> info on how well the dual core cpu's from AMD work with Ubuntu Breezy.
>  Anyone running one of these?  Is there enough real benefit to having
> a dual core chip, given the extra cost?
>
> To keep the comparison fair, I'm looking at the same clock speed and
> cache size.  The price is almost double, but not quite.

Hi Ed,

I upgraded to a dual core (AMD X2 3800+) cpu about 2 months ago, and
everything worked fine with breezy. (I use a Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI
nForce4 Motherboard, with an nVidia PCI-E 6800GS card)

There are only two Breezy issues I found:

1. The kernels 2.6.12 (in each flavour of amd64-generic, amd64-k8 and
amd64-k8-smp) all suffered from a minor inconvenient timing bug.  
This affected games that relied on timers, as well as the occasional
keyboard input where you'd suddnely seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee a lot of
excessive letters when you didn't hold the key down.  The newer 2.6.15
kernels work perfect.

2.  The nVidia (7667) driver wasn't bad, but it doesn't support all
the features of my newer chipset in breezy.  The latest nVidia (8178)
seems to have a little more pep to it.

Unless you feel like finding backports (which I didn't), upgrade to
Dapper for these newer bits to perform better.

The benifit, I find, is entirely dependant on what you use it for.  I
run a lot of apps, and keep most of them open all the time.  If you do
anything taxing on a single cpu machine, it will only tax one cpu of
your dual core and leave your system very useful while it processes.

I compile sources at almost twice the speed that I used to, as long as
the compiler is set to use two cpus.

I use grip to rip my CDs, and after I enabled two CPU support in it, I
found encoding was twice as fast.  Not because it encodes one song
twice as fast, but because it encodes two songs at once. (too bad
ripping isn't ;))

I use acidrip to my DVDs, and it doesn't support two CPUs, but ripping
a DVD is very taxing on a system and mine is completly usable while
the process goes on.

I have intents to turn my tv-out into a dedicated mythtv "head" with a
remote.  This, I see, will be where dual core becomes a real
advantage.

One other advantage is that if a program goes rogue (eating 100% cpu)
normally this would be a hassle in trying to kill it, but with dual
core you can easily kill it. But, that's not necessarily worth the
price :)

--
~ Darryl  ~ smartssa at gmail.com
http://smartssa.com / http://darrylclarke.com




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