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SubjectRe: What Athlon chipset is most stable in Linux?
On Tue, 13 Nov 2001, Martin Eriksson wrote:

> I'm hearing rumours about my University wanting to set up a cluster with AMD
> Athlon XP+DDR computers, so I wonder what chipset is most stable under
> Linux?
>
> I assume it's the AMD DDR chipset, but I want to be pretty sure.
>
> Btw, do compilators currently optimize for the third floating-point unit in
> Athlon XP processors?

Well, here's my little anecdote:

We bought 33 1.4 GHz AMD Athlons (non-XP) with the slightly deprecated VIA
KT266 Chipset (Spacewalker AK31 motherboards.. not exactly the Lexus of
the M/B world but oh well)..

Anyway, after trying various (2.4) kernel versions, both with and without
the new VM, both with and without Alan's magik, I can say that the only
way we got 99% uptime on these systems (as opposed to like the 70% uptime
I was getting from random kernel oopses) was to turn any Athlon and/or
Pentium optimizations off when compiling the kernel. With any form of
compilation for a CPU >386, the kernel would crash on at least 2 of the
boxes per day. The oops stack trace seemed to always indicate a crash
when in the paging code.. so it was a virtual memory problem? (I can only
speculate and I haven't bothered to investigate much further). I am not
sure if I encountered some unknown bug in my motherboard that needs some
yet undiscovered workaround or what. All I can say is stay away from the
KT266 chipset (however the newer KT266A seems to work fine based on what I
have seen and am told) if you can. But then again I may be crazy and/or
there may be workarounds or bios fixes for my problem, if it was really
kernel-related. (I suspect it was, but haven't bothered to figure out
exactly how to reproduce it so as to submit a patch.. the systems would
crash randomly and invesitigating it futher seemed onerous).

-Calin

>
> _____________________________________________________
> | Martin Eriksson <nitrax@giron.wox.org>
> | MSc CSE student, department of Computing Science
> | Umeå University, Sweden
>
>
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