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  Daily Column, June 28th 
  Jun 28, 2001, 10:00am EDT 
 
By: Dan Mepham

Good morning, folks! I trust youíre all well. This is my first Daily Column, although Iíll be doing them periodically every now and then to make sure youíre all up to speed, even when Sander is busy.

First off, as Sander touched upon yesterday, Hardware Analysis now has an official Genome@home team. You can find some basic information on the team and on Genome here, and Iíd like to invite everyone to join on, and help out science and the team. Iíll also be preparing a Genome FAQ for new members, just to help people get everything set up and running correctly, and to answer any questions that may arise. Iíve also rounded up some hardware, and Iíll be running some testing on the client to help determine what makes it tick. Does it like larger caches? More memory bandwidth? Does it scale better on Athlons or Pentium IIIs? And so on. Thatís going to involve a lot of time in benchmarking (since a unit takes a good few hours), so itíll be a while before I have all the necessary data for that one.

Iíd also like to briefly mention something else. A few days ago it was brought to my attention that Abit has posted a BIOS update on its website for the BX133-RAID motherboard, claiming support for Tualatin processors. This is good news for two reasons. Primarily, some BX board owners may have an upgrade path after all. Not all BX boards, certainly. Some older boards donít even support VRM 8.4 (Coppermine), let alone VRM 8.5, however itís encouraging that at least some late-model BX boards (particularly Socket-370 BX boards) may still be upgradable. Secondly, for an overclocker, pairing a Tualatin at 1.4 GHz with an overclocked BX board would make for an incredibly speedy system, one that Iíd bet would give even the fastest Athlon or Pentium 4 a good run for its money (particularly a 512 KB Tualatin). Certainly not a system for everyone, but it could be good fun for a few people out there with BX boards. Anyone here planning to give it a shot?

Iíve been toying with a Chaintech motherboard in-house for the last couple days, and I hope to have a review up sometime next week for you. Donít expect wonders, though. I havenít had any real problems with the board at all, but at the same time, thereís really nothing special about it. You could probably find something more exciting to spend your money on. Stay tuned.

Lastly, if youíre interested in a short bit of morning reading, Dean Kent has posted his monthly Industry Update at Real World Tech. They typically make for an interesting read.

Dan Mepham

 

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