[rc5] Pentium vs. Pentium Pro (renamed)

Albert Garrido Albert.Garrido at nextel.com
Thu Jul 3 15:01:00 EDT 1997

Speaking from experience, there's a few possible snags here.
K6's don't work on all Pentium Motherboards.  It's also very difficult to figure
out which combinations of chips and boards will work properly.  So far I'e been
unable to get them to work on Intel Tucson and Marl (TC and ML advanced series
motherboards).  Basically, I won't go near anything that's equipped with a
non-Intel motherboard for a corporate environment.  I've had defective Opti and
Via boards by the dozen, and have had relatively few problems with genuine Intel
motherboards.  I would settle for an Asus or an Acer Open (Aopen, for a personal
machine, but in a business settings?  No chance.  Something about a motherboard
with easy-to-get-over-drive-the-chip settings worries me.  I don't want users
messing with that. Me?  If I want to drive a Pentium 133 at 83Mhz, sure.  If it
blows up, the only person I inconvenience, is me. 

I'm still skittish on the new M2's and the K6 support issue.  I know that AMD
has put together a reference design motherboard and they are planning on
shipping it out rather far and wide.  I would be very interesting in picking one
of these up as opposed to wrangling with a clone motherboard with flakey
support.  Manufacturers?  Listen up, get me a solid reliable motherboard with
good K6, Pentium-MMX and M2 support, and you've got my business, make it with
IrDa and Ultra DMA, and a massive 512K SRAM cache, and make it stable w/ ECC,
and I'll buy it.  ATX or baby AT doesn't matter.  Yes, motherboards make a
difference, why go out and buy a 200MHZ Pentium for your crappy intel-based
430VX chipset when it's just gonna throw a million waitstates in it.  There are
some nice boards from ASUS that while I would run them at home, over-driven; I
would NEVER recommend them for a business.  

About the Performance of Pentium Pro and the Pentium 2.  The Pentium Pro is
still Intel's "top of the line" chip, as much as they push the Pentium 2 as
being perfect, there are few servers equipped with it, and many won't be until
they ship standard 4-way motherboards in volume.  We have a few Natoma based
pentium II 2-way boards, and their operation is slightly unstable.  In terms of
raw power, a pentium II chip will outperform a Pentium Pro chip until the point
where the cache on the Pentium II has to refresh, as the load gets heavier the
Pentium Pro's output remains stable while the Pentium II slows down
considerably.  It's NOT a bad chip, regardless of what the press says, but I
wouldn't want a server running with them.  There is also another problem with
the Pentium II chips I've noticed, the motherboards are very large, and
physically heavy to hold the chip cartridge, it's a BIG package, and I'm
concerened about the physical stress and torsional loading about a vertically
motherboard mounted for months at a time.  It's a minor issue but it bothers me,
those boards are not cheap.  

Oh yes, one last trivia question, you can overdrive a Pentium Pro, it's
difficult but some of the boards can do it.  It's almost impossible to overdrive
a Pentium II, they hid a lot of the relevant statisitics and made it rather
difficult to do.  Considering the cost, I wouldn't want to try it, either.
$833 for a 233Mhz P-II, 
$1240 for a 266Mhz P-II

Pentium Pro-200 w/ 512k cache=$1190

Take your pick.
From:   root <marcus at dfwmm.net>[:]
Sent:   Thursday, July 03, 1997 11:31 AM
To:     rc5 at llamas.net
Subject:        Re: [rc5] Pentium vs. Pentium Pro (renamed)

Brian Hechinger wrote:
> but how much better are they??  obviously they are much better than a Pentium,
> but what if i only want to run 32-bit stuff, how does a Pentium-II stack up
> against a PPro of the same clock rate??

I have not seen many PII benchmarks, but for now, I bet on the Ppro.
>From what I _have_ read, the pentium mmx is obsolescent at least.
The new chips from AMD and Cyrix outperform it every which way. The
ppro outperforms the p/mmx everywhere but 16 bit code. The PII is in
a race with the K6 and M2 in all the benchmarks. So whatever you _do_
buy, _don't_ buy a p/mmx because something else beats it everywhere.
If you like your motherboard and want to stick with Socket 7, go with
the k6 or m2. If you want to spend the bucks for intel's new and
improved(?) slot form factor, go PII.
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