FROM THE SHOP - DIARY 1/13/99
First, a brief introduction... "From
the Shop" articles come from experiences in an actual computer repair
shop: Dux Computer Works. Dux (pronounced "ducks") is a "mom
'n pop" business on "Main Street, U.S.A." in a rather obscure
town--that's the way I like it--in Maine. My wife, Claudia, is the "Mom" and,
of course, I am the "Pop." We have been doing pretty much
the same thing since 1987: fixing, upgrading, and building computers;
building networks; installing software, etc. Claudia, who works here
part-time, does the bookkeeping, printer cleaning, cable and ribbon sales,
etc. I fix 'em. The shop, shares the bottom floor of a house--which
is almost as old as dirt--with Roy's Barber Shop, the best barber shop in
AMD K6-2 Processors with 66 Mhz FSBs. AMD
has been shipping 300 and 333 Mhz K6-2's with 66 Mhz Front Side Buses (FSBs)
for about a month. These processors are not certified to operate with
PC-100 memory at 100 Mhz). A decided step backwards, I would say. They
are marked, for example, as follows:
The problem is that someone who is not aware
of this fact may order a 300 Mhz or 333 Mhz K6-2 processor, assuming it has
a 100 Mhz or 95 Mhz FSB, respectively, and receive one with 66 Mhz FSB (and
install it as a 100 Mhz FSB unit). I received one last week with
a Super7 board which I ordered for a customer. Although it passed preliminary
testing before I realized what I had, I am sending it back to my distributor.
I'm on K6-2's... how does a 333Mhz CPU, with a 95 Mhz FSB, stack-up against
a 300 Mhz CPU with a 100 Mhz FSB (not the one mentioned above)? It
doesn't. With exception of a slightly faster Floating Point Unit
WinMark, the 333 Mhz CPU is actually (insignificantly) slower than the 300
Mhz CPU. So, why pay more for it?
By the way, the Epox EP-51MVP3E-M (ATX)
and EP-58MVP3C-M Super7
motherboards now support the 333 Mhz K6-2 with a 95 Mhz FSB jumper setting. I
don't know why they bothered.
At the beginning of this month AMD cut the
prices on their popular K6-2 processors. Most noticeable, was the 400
Mhz chip which has dropped more than $100 the last couple of weeks. So,
I bought one. I've been running it since last Friday. To answer
a question from a few readers, both of the Epox Super7 boards, mentioned
above, run just fine at 400/100 Mhz. I've had the CPU on the EP-51....
longer than the EP-58--I wish Epox would shorten there motherboard model
numbers--and it is rock solid. I did a Windows install on the EP-58...
without a problem. Before moving up to the 400 Mhz unit, be sure your
BIOS is up-to-date.
Look for reviews on the HP 8100/8110i CD-RW
drive, ATI Play98 video adapter, the ATI-TV board, the HP DeskJet 895Cse,
and the long promised article on how to network two Win95/98 computers in
the next few days, shop work permitting.
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Test Computer: AMD 300/333 Mhz
K6-2 (100/95 Mhz FSB) processors, Epox EP-51MVP3E-M motherboard, 1 MB cache',
64 MB PC100 memory, Western Digital AC36400, 6.4 GB, 9.5 ms, EIDE
UDMA hard disk, Windows 98 OEM with FAT32 file system (defragged), AOpen
CD-936E/AKU 36X CD-ROM, Aopen FM56-ITU FAX/MODEM, Acer ALN320 network adapter,
ATI Rage II video adapter with 4 MB, Windows 98, and the HighPoint
BusMaster IDE driver. The bench marks were run with WinBench
98 (I have WinBench 99 on order).
WinBench is a registered trademark or trademark
and WinMark is a trademark of Ziff-Davis Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.