To Hell With The Horse

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Not Worth The Wait Any More

If you buy the right TBird, you can get 1.4-1.5Ghz now.

Given what AMD has said, Palomino is starting to look like something coming out around Labor Day (production 3Q ’00, and I’ve never seen a new processor launched during the middle of the summer).

Probably max speed of the horse? Maybe 1.8Ghz or a bit more.

Is it worth waiting another five months for another 300-400Mhz?

I doubt it. Keep in mind that not only are you waiting five extra months, that means five less months before its replacement comes out.

One Possible Exception

I’m really wondering about these Palominos for “servers and workstations.” They’re supposed to be out before the “desktop” Palomino. They’ll probably be rated at lower speeds than the 1.5Ghz+ now being promised for the desktop.

For those of you salivating over dual Athlon processors, it looks like you’ll get your chance when summer comes, but I’d sure like to know what good it does more than a handful of you running a handful of applications.

I suspect we’re going to see some of these MP-intentioned processors in the gray market in a few months. They might prove to be really good overclockers in a few months, then again, depending on the problems AMD is having, maybe not. Something to hope for, not something to count on.

Don’t Pay Full Price

We know the 1.3-1.33Ghz chips are AXIAs. We know there’s AXIAs out there from 1Ghz up. Don’t reward AMD for not getting Palomino out in a reasonable period of time. Look for an AXIA at a lower speed grade (and lower price). The lower price will help you pay for the world-class cooling you’re going to need for it.

Odds are they aren’t going to be around at those lower speed grades long now that the 1.3/1.33Ghz chips are on sale. So start looking, and save yourself $50-70. That should be enough to pay for the world-class cooling you’re going to need for it.

Waiting for price reductions doesn’t make sense, since once you get down a couple notches, a price cut is only going to mean a $10-20 reduction unless the CPU market really goes to hell.

If you still want a Palomino and/or paying $200 is too much for you, and you need something now, buy a Duron to tide you over.

100Mhz or 133Mhz?

Buy 133Mhz. Not because they’re somehow better, but because you’ll avoid the multiplier problems plaguing some high-speed 100Mhz TBird owners (and I’ll bet some DDR boards will have the same). The price difference is now only about $10.

DDR?

I’m awfully close to saying to hell with that, too. If the KT133A boards are still quirky, imagine what the Via DDR boards are going to be like. I’m guessing we’ll see the first late April, and God knows what problems we’re going to have with them.

Even after we figure out memory interweaving, we’re looking at an improvement of maybe 12% over PC133, plus or minus a few points for any given activity.

We’ve always thought Palomino + DDR together made sense. Separately, not so good.

If you’re in no big rush, sure, wait, but if you can’t wait three or more months to scratch that itch, go to DDR in the next go-round next year.

A Premature Plateau

We figured all the pieces of the Palomino/DDR puzzle would be in place by now. None of them are. If Intel showed any signs of life, AMD would be heading into the Valley of Deep Doo-Doo. But if the Blue Men were to give an honest portrayal of Intel right now, they’d be demonstrating rigor mortis.

So AMD will get away with it, because what they do have on the table is still better than anything on Intel’s menu.

Tualatin?

Figure June. Figure a hefty price tag for the processor. New mobo. No signs of Coppermine-X. Intel doesn’t dare push this one to the max, because then Willy starts looking bad in comparison.

However, with an FSB of 133Mhz, you aren’t going to get much of an overclock out of it. High price, limited overclockability? Uhh, uhh.

Willy?

We have some interesting results from a Willy overclocker we’ll put up over the weekend, but it just can’t hack it against the Athlon for most activities, and that’s not going to change until 2002, and maybe not even then.

Do I Detect A Slight Inkling of Disgust, Edward?

Oh yeah.:)

I’m tired of vaporware, and those who promote it. I’m tired of people not delivering the goods when they say they’re going to deliver the goods (wouldn’t mind so much if they took the time to get it right, but I’m not holding my breath on that). I’m tired of reading company statements like a lawyer, looking for any loophole the company could crawl through later.

In short, I’m tired of waiting for a horse, and getting horses**t instead. At least for today, anyway. 🙂

Disgusted or not, though, it does look like we’ve hit a plateau for a while, and while the plateau may not be quite the elevation we would like, it’s still pretty high, and nothing better (outside of that one exception) looks to be coming down the pike any time soon.

Email Ed


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