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Old 01-12-2009, 06:51 PM   #1
enyawix
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AMD Phenom™ X4 Quad-Core


I am thinking about building a system to replace my ageing amd3500. Any one have a quad-core phenom? If so what distro are you running? Is the system stable?
 
Old 01-12-2009, 06:57 PM   #2
Quakeboy02
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I'm running a Phenom 9750 on an ECS 7050M-M; which is probably as cheap as you can get. It's reliable except for the occasional cold start freeze, which I blame on the motherboard. Lots of people will probably tell you to just get a dual with a faster clock, and they're probably right. But, this seems to fit my particular needs well, as there is still plenty of horsepower left when I have two of the cores maxed out.
 
Old 01-12-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
jbuckley2004
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I'm running a Phenome 9600 on a gigabyte MB with 2 gigs of memory, using Fedora 10 (64x86).

Stability has been a problem, but I suspect strongly that it's just the video driver (the default - it's a known problem) that I'm using with the on-board (ATI) video. Most of the time it's fine, but seems to have problems on occasion when the display is put to sleep.

I didn't have that problem with Mandriva 2009, running KDE 4.1, but that was a 32 bit OS.
 
Old 01-12-2009, 11:25 PM   #4
enyawix
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jbuckley2004 would you be willing to disable power management for a little bit to see if that is the issue? What gigabyte MB are you using?
 
Old 01-13-2009, 06:03 AM   #5
jbuckley2004
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It's the gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H board, enyawix.

I've disabled the power management in the past, but couldn't come to any conclusion. The problem is "mitigated" when the display is left on (screen saver running), but iirc, would still "black out" shortly after reboot on occasion. That's why I tend to suspect the video driver. The randomness makes it hard to diagnose.

It hasn't occurred often enough to make me do something about it, yet.
 
Old 01-13-2009, 08:04 AM   #6
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02 View Post
this seems to fit my particular needs well, as there is still plenty of horsepower left when I have two of the cores maxed out.
Wouldn't that mean it doesn't fit your needs well?

I think that is the reason for selecting a faster dual core for home use instead of a more expensive quad core.

For example, I'll compare my own typical computer use at work to my typical computer use at home:

At work: My four core system is usually running a big software rebuild with four copies of the compiler running in parallel, each using almost all of one core and almost 2GB of my 8GB of ram. Disk I/O, even with caching and buffering, prevents any one compile from reaching 100% of one CPU. While I wait, I post to online forums. There is just about enough CPU power and memory left over from the compiles to allow that. A faster (but less than twice as fast per core) dual core system would make the whole thing take much longer to complete.

At home: My faster (per core) dual core system often has a single threaded process maxing out one core, while the other core is much more than enough for servicing all the overhead of the network interface and timer and mouse, etc. plus surfing the net. (My 8GB of ram is largely wasted, but it didn't cost much and having it doesn't hurt anything). If I had two more cores they would contribute nothing. If the speed per core were lower (no matter how many extra cores came with that) I'd be waiting longer for whatever it is I'm waiting for.

If you have two cores working and two idle (as you seem to have described) you're in that same typical home computer workload. The extra two cores contribute nothing. If the first two cores had been faster, whatever the computer is doing would be done sooner.
 
Old 01-13-2009, 08:13 AM   #7
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
If you have two cores working and two idle (as you seem to have described) you're in that same typical home computer workload. The extra two cores contribute nothing. If the first two cores had been faster, whatever the computer is doing would be done sooner.
One would think so, but it's not generally the case. In effect, I still have a dual processor machine available to me at nearly 100%, even when I've loaded my PC down with a compile, VBox, and chess analysis or whatever. I was with your camp for quite a long time. But, I've found, for my situation, the quad is a really good fit. It's possible that a faster dual would be just as good or better, but the deal I got on the mobo/CPU kit pretty much negated any potential benefits of scouting around for an even better deal on a dual. In addition, it appears that Linux's uses of multiple processors is better than I had thought it would be - for my situation.
 
  


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