Prestonias? You might wonder if we’re growing some sort of exotic plant, but rest assured it is simply the code-name for Intel’s 0.13-micron Pentium 4 Xeon CPU. And yes, you assumed correctly we got a couple of 2.2GHz CPUs just in and are waiting for the other parts to arrive so we can start looking at the performance. So what will we be using with these CPUs? The other parts are similar to those we’ve been using with our Tiger MP based workstation we’ve been working on for a while.
And naturally there’s a reason for all of that, as we’ll be comparing, once again, the performance of Intel’s new SMP platform to that of AMD’s SMP solution. Naturally ‘Hyper-Threading’ will be a feature we’ll take a good closer look at, although not many applications will be able to profit from that as of yet. But there’s more, we’ll be looking at one of the newer i860 motherboards that has on-board RIMMs rather than using a MEC (Memory Extension Card). Iwill has been so kind to send us a sample of their upcoming DP400 motherboard and that sure looks to be a very fast and capable motherboard.
Fig 1. Intel's 0.13-micron Pentium 4 Xeon CPUs, code name 'Prestonia', these are Engineering Samples and not production CPUs.
For those that don’t recall what we have been using with the Tiger MP, as it has been a while since we mentioned it, we’re talking Ultra160 15.000-RPM harddisks, GBs of memory and very fast workstation class videocards here. But wait, we’ve actually got a little surprise in store for all the workstation enthusiasts, either home users or professional, we’ll be evaluating ATi’s latest workstation card, the Fire GL 8800. Some of you may have forgotten that ATi purchased the Fire GL name and product line from Diamond about two years ago and they seem to have finally gotten a new product added to the portfolio.
But there’s more, we’ve been working on a ‘troubleshooting’ guide for Tiger MP as we’ve tested that motherboard with just about any piece of hardware we could find in our labs (and that’s a lot, trust me, truckloads full of parts here) and we’re finalizing that article to be posted in the next few weeks. Expect to see some long awaited answers to questions about Tyan’s ‘budget’ workstation motherboard, questions Tyan either didn’t bother answering or they simply didn’t know. Be sure to read through that article if you’re a happy, or unhappy, user of the Tyan Tiger MP.
That about wraps it up for today, I hope to have some more news tomorrow as we start working on the Prestonia review as well as some other product reviews and articles that have been in the works for a while.