K7

Hmm, what to say for the first thing in the new year? How about the K7
has me all gushy. The more I read on the details of the K7, the EV-6
protocol, and the fact that the Front Side Bus will run at 200 Mhz, the
harder my…..ahh, nevermind. Sure, it’ll be expensive when it comes
out, sure it’ll be touted as the best thing since gooey cheese covered
sliced bread, and sure, it be able to heat your house, but heck, it’ll
be twice as fast as Intel’s Katmai (replacement for the Xeon). The K7
will melt your optic nerve making your head splatter at how fast it can
rip through a 1 GB MP3 encoding session. The K7 will be able to handle
8MB of L2 cache, multiprocessor, and suck start a Harley all at the same
time, and still be running at 75% idle. The pimpmasters at AMD realize
that this is their chance to beat Intel at its own game. My lowly
K6-233 seems to wax nostalgic as it hums through Need for Speed or
Half-life.

Half-life. Another point entirely. For such an awesome single player
game, it really sucks at multiplayer. Check that, it down right blows
chunks. It works fine on a LAN at 100MBs, but designing a game for a
LAN shouldn’t be allowed to call itself multiplayer. I’ll give Valve
Soft. a point for aiming it at ISDN users, but the majority of people
out there have 33.6 modems still, maybe 56k (which might as well be 33.6
on average). Quake 1 & 2 rock at 33.6, with pings nearly as low as you
can get at 33.6; however id has the experience of years of tweaking its
code. Since Half-life uses the hybrid Quake 1 & 2 3-D engine, you’d
think Valve would have asked id for some pointers on low speed
multiplayer. It’s still fun, but not as fun as it could be otherwise.

I realized something about linux the other day, it really is faster. I
have a dual Pentium II with 192 MB of ram, and a 16 MB RAID array
controller for my machine at work, running NT 4 Sp4, because linux
doesn’t support the array controller, yet. My lowly K6-233 with 128 MB
of ram, and my Mylex BT-958 SCSI board can kick its butt under linux. I
started the same version of bladeenc encoding the same file, the NT box
finished first (of course), but within 30 seconds my linux box finished.
Shouldn’t the behemoth NT box run cirlces around my K6? I thought so.
If I force bladeenc to use only one processor though, it runs circles,
dresses up in drag and does the hula before my K6 finishes. Hmm, can
you say really bad multi-processor code in NT? I thought so.

And yes, my copy of BeOS R4 is still lounging in Chicago. I guess UPS
can’t handle 15″ of snow or something like that. The ISDN line is still
missing in action as well.

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