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Old 09-10-2001, 08:44 AM   #1
Pojken Purken
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Dual P4 motherboards?

Does anyone know of a motherboard supporting dual Pentium 4. It's soon time for my new project :-) It should be the 478 socket and RDRAM of course...

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PP
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Old 09-10-2001, 09:32 AM   #2
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Well, the P4 in the vanilla form (both the S423 or S478) isn't dual-processor capable. You'll have to get the Xeon to go dual CPU, and that will be extremely expensive. And the boards for the Xeons (i860) is mighty expensive also. You'd be better off going Dual Athlon MP when they start to arrive in reseller channels.

Or go dual Tualatin 512KB, the 1.4GHz one is due early 2002.

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Old 09-10-2001, 11:48 AM   #3
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Thanks for your answer but it seems mighty strange that the PIII's are capable of working in pairs but NOT the P4. I thought it depended on the chipset. What am I missing here?
/PP
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Old 09-10-2001, 11:53 AM   #4
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The processor must be able to communicate with the other processor and have features for cache coherency and things like that. So it's not enough if the chipset is SMP capable, the CPUs must be so also. The SMP ability was never introduced in the normal desktop P4, and is only available in the Xeon. So you're out of luck when it comes to P4 SMP.

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Old 09-10-2001, 11:57 AM   #5
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Damn, you're quick to answer my questions. I like that :-)) Ok, so my dreams of a dual P4 just slipped away... seems very stupid of Intel to actually remove options that were available on an older CPU. Even though it hurts I'll look into your AMD alternative... thanks.
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Old 09-10-2001, 11:58 AM   #6
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Speaking of Athlon MP ... does it have SSE?
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Old 09-10-2001, 12:05 PM   #7
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Athlon MP has got SuperDuper Extended Mega Ultra 3DNow! (Enhanced 3DNow! is the real name I think), which gives the same functionality as SSE. I think that programs coded for SSE will work on the Athlon MP since it's SSE compatible.

Why should it hurt to go AMD? Two Athlon MP's and a Dual Athlon board for the same price as one Xeon and an i860 board. Sound nice to me at least.

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Old 09-10-2001, 12:13 PM   #8
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I've been thinking along the same lines. Athlon MPs are definitely rather cheap and when more dual motherboards arrive they could seriously impact on Intel's share of high-end users!

Also, I saw a comparison the other day where an Athlon 1.3GHz delivered the same real world performance as a dual Xeon 1.7GHz. The guy ran stopwatch tests in real world apps and the Athlon was one second slower in tests that took 25 seconds. Very impressive if you ask me!

Oh yeah, it was quite a bit cheaper too!!!
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Old 09-10-2001, 12:26 PM   #9
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Go to aceshardware, they made tests comparing Dual Athlon MP's with Dual Xeons, and the Athlons were victorious in the end.

The Morgan-core Durons are also MP (and SSE) capable, meaning two of them (say 1GHz) and a somewhat cheap MP board (although you'll probably want the Tyan with on-board SCSI ) with good OC'ing capabilities will make a very competitive system. Probably cheaper than a Dual Tualatin 512KB, but with somewhat less performance.

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Old 09-10-2001, 04:23 PM   #10
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If (when?) I go dual it'll be with good processors (Athlon MP or Tualatin, not Duron). I want everything such a system can give .

I've still to see a dual Athlon board that I like. I know the Tyan delivers buttkicking performance, but I don't really like it... I'm hoping to see something from manufacturers like ASUS soon. I don't really want the onboard SCSI either - I've got a SCSI card, but I would REALLY like a UltraATA/100 (or UltraATA/133) RAID controller onboard .

Also, there ought to be other chipset players with dual AMD capable chipsets soon.

I'm looking at the AcesHardware thing right now ... looks nice
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Old 09-10-2001, 04:38 PM   #11
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I haven't heard anything about a dual-Athlon chipset from any other manufacturer than AMD, but I'd be surprised if VIA didn't have something up their sleeve.

The VIA Pro266T should be dual-Tualatin capable (I believe the chipset is a derivative from the Pro133, which was dual-CPU capable), and should bring DDR into the equation also. And since VIA recently revealed they have a southbridge that supports ATA/133, that should be in reach also. As for ATA/133 RAID, I haven't heard anything, but it should be fairly easy for Promise and the likes to update their core logic to support it.

I don't know what Intel has planned for dual-Tualatin setups, but it seems they will rely on ServerWorks to provide chipsets for that, at least for now. We might have to wait for the i870 even, to get an Intel-based dual-Tualatin capable chipset.
The possibility of someone doing what ACorp did, to tinker with the i815 B-step and create a dual-Tualatin board is of course most welcome, but then we're limited to normal SDRAM.

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Old 09-10-2001, 04:44 PM   #12
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[DREAM MODE = ON]
I'm sorta hoping that nVIDIA will ambush everyone with a TwinBank dual Tualatin capable chipset . Four DIMM sockets, two FC-PGA2 sockets, onboard Promise ATA/133 RAID ...
[DREAM MODE = OFF]

<sigh> ...

BTW, Intel can also rely on ServerWorks keeping such a solution a pricey one! :eek:
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Old 09-10-2001, 04:53 PM   #13
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Serverworks chipsets are indeed expensive, thus making them unaccessible for the enthusiast market, which Intel doesn't want using the Tualatin 512KB.
They are however, nice in a technical sense, I even think they have dual-channel SDRAM on some of their S370 ones also. Not sure though.

As far as nVidia releasing a Tualatin TwinBank'er, dream-mode IS necessary. They aren't after the server-chipset market (yet), which the Tualatin is for in the long run (the desktop PIII's are bye-bye on december 7th). So if we'll see any nVidia chipset for an Intel product (other than the one in the XBox), it's going to be for the P4.

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Old 09-10-2001, 05:27 PM   #14
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Basically, chances of getting a state-of-the-art dual Intel system seem either slim or expensive - and that SUX bigtime.

However, the AMD platform seems to become better by the day with new chipsets becoming better and better.

At the same time Intel looks like they're stepping backwards (at least from the power user point of view) and following roadmaps that promises no great product combos for some time into the future. I'm not saying that Intel doesn't make good products, 'cause they do, I'm only pointing out that AMD seems to be on top right now...

I think Intel is underestimating the power user market. Maybe it isn't big and maybe we don't get the newest toys right away, but often power users are the ones deciding whether the COMPANY should be getting one system or another.

If Intel loses the power users and the power users find that the AMD platform is every bit as stable as they like then Intel will start losing shares in the other market segments as well.

Either Intel is too short-sighted to realize this or they have some well-guarded masterplan that can turn the tables. The latter seems somewhat unlikely, though, now that AMD Palominos are beating up Intel Foster Xeons left and right.
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Old 09-10-2001, 06:18 PM   #15
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Well, if you look at the market for the 512KB Tualatins, servers, Intel could care less if power-users will be able to use it. Companies that want slim (1U), low-power servers with good performance don't mind taking the extra hit of the ServerWorks chipset, and since the dual AMD systems still are very new (and power hungry), I doubt the great mass will take to it at this stage.

The SMP market for quasi-desktop systems (workstations and so forth) is filled by the Xeon. With it's good performance, and Intel's good reputation (remember, even SGI made workstations with the PIII Xeon), they'll get a big chunk of that market also. This solution is also too expensive for the power-user, but again Intel could care less, since the systems aren't intended for that market.

The Athlon MP's may be slapping around the 1.7GHz Xeons, but remember that Intel's hyperpipelined construction scales in clockfrequency much easier than the older shorter pipelined Athlon core. Intel is already up and running with it's .13micron production lines while AMD is behind in that area (first products out in H1 2002, maybe Q1, but with SOI also, which is good). Intel will also introduce the SMT (Jackson) technology in Xeons in Q2 2002, which will mean a quite significant performance increase. So I would say that Intel are prepared to go head-to-head with AMD in the workstation-market, and that they'll do well. Intel aren't dummies, as I feel many reviewers have sort of labelled them recently. Their planning is probably more thought through than we know.

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