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I've been considering a possible upgrade now for quite a while,
but wanted to wait until just the right time to do so. The
purpose of an upgrade of course to get more performance out of
the system.

I got a freebie loaner upgrade recently from a K6-200 to a
K62-350. I had to clock the chip to 300 for reliable operation
however. After that, I noticed my hard drives were running at
half the speed as they did previously. (5M/s instead of 10M/s)
That is with identical hdparm settings and no DMA.

I got Andre's latest IDE patches and applied, etc. and got my
disks back to speed (VIA MVP3 chipset), but not to the speed I
would have expected. Nonetheless it is much much better now, and
a definite improvement over the last board/CPU I was using.

After the problems I experienced though, I wondered just how many
problems would I be in for if I bought a brand new Athlon 800
system? Would it run like a P100 due to lack of Linux hardware
support? After reading stuff on lkml here, I'm starting to think
that such an upgrade would be a waste of money until maybe 2.4.10
or so.

So the question is basically: Is the upgrade worthwhile? Is
2.2.x or 2.4.x compatible with Athlon CPU's or are there problems
at all still? What about Athlon motherboards and chipset
hardware? Can I expect the IDE chipset to work? Applying IDE
patches is ok, but I just want to know that I'm going to get more
than 10M/s out of the drives, and not fry them. Those are my
main concerns, but I'd just like to know what the average
developer thinks of the idea of forking out cash for a highend
system right now and wether or not it is worth it yet.

If not, I'd rather wait until things are integrated with the
kernel proper and working. If it *IS* ready now, what sort of
Athlon hardware is recommended for a developmental machine?


Mike A. Harris - Linux advocate - Open source advocate
Computer Consultant - Capslock Consulting
Copyright 2000 all rights reserved

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