[Techtalk] Buying a machine without Windows

Almut Behrens almut_behrens at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 30 08:09:33 EST 2001

On Mon, Oct 29, 2001 at 10:08:43PM -0500, David Merrill wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 29, 2001 at 03:03:10PM -0800, Nicole Zimmerman wrote:
> > 
> > > That's a good point.  I'd love to hear people's experience with
> > > the newest AMD processors for Linux.  
> > 
> > I use an AMD Athlon 850 and my husband has an Athlon 1.1 GHz and we have
> > had no problems with them in linux. I use the hardware sensors on my
> > motherboard with some neato linux software to monitor temp and voltage.
> I have a nice new Compaq Presario, with an Athlon 1.1 GHz. Got it
> for a steal from CompUSA because they lost the documentation and the
> software. Microsoft software, so no loss to me! It was on sale for
> half price, and even though I wasn't shopping for a new computer, I put
> it under my arm and took it home on the subway. :-)

Always trying to make my tiny contributions to preventing monopolism,
over time I've built up quite an AMD bastion at home with various
CPUs from K6-300 to Athlon-900. Only one Intel P3 (not considering
the prehistoric stuff no longer in use). I haven't experienced any
incompatibility issues whatsoever, and performance is great.

Also, at work, we have several Athlons (700-1200 MHz), without any
major problems so far -- except one, which seems to be a crucial issue
with Athlons: we've had 3 (!) of them die due to overheating, and in
every instance the motherboard (Asus A7V) had to be replaced too :((
(and in one case even the power supply).  Admittedly, this was in
summer, when room temperatures were something around 33°C/91°F (you know,
the architects of our building figured there would be no need for air
conditioning... poor us, but at least *we* survived :)

So, my advice: always keep them cool, in particular if something is
generating high CPU load over a longer period of time. This is quite in
contrast to the older AMDs (K6[-2] 300-450 MHz). With those, you could
easily get away without any CPU fan at all, when mounting a somewhat
enlarged passive heat sink. Don't ever try that with Athlons!

> I also have a SBLive audio card, which is very well supported in
> Linux, with newer kernels that has gotten even better. I highly
> recommend it. IIRC they reworked the driver in 2.4.8 but had some bugs
> that were fixed in 2.4.9, but check Kernel Traffic for those releases
> if you need to know for sure. My memory is not always reliable.

Does actually anybody have experience with getting the S/PDIF digital
interface to work with these cards (under linux, of course)?
Quite a while back, not too long after the card initially came out, I
gave it a try, but... :(  I then gave the card away, and haven't tried
it again since.  I've seen some promising mentions on the net recently
(e.g. http://rockfish.net/sblive/faq.shtml), yet, I'd just like to hear
some real life success stories, before I get myself another one :)

- Almut

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