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Dual-Core Duel: AMD Beats Intel

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Hardware

Ready for the era of dual-core? You now have a choice of dual-core processors; and based on PC World tests, the winner is clearly AMD's new Athlon 64 X2, which handily outdistanced a dual-core Intel system we tested last month.

Our tests indicate that with both AMD's and Intel's dual-core chips you'll obtain the biggest performance benefit when you work with multiple applications at once or when you use multithreaded software, designed to recognize more than one processor.

Dual-core chips build in two processing cores, in effect giving you two CPUs in a single piece of silicon. You also get two L2 memory caches, one for each core; the 2.4-GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+ chip that we tested, for example, had 1MB of L2 cache per core. The 64-bit Athlon 64 X2 chips ship in June, joining currently available dual-core Opteron server and workstation CPUs. Systems should soon be available from vendors such as Acer, Alienware, HP, and Lenovo.

PCs with the new chips, which will come in several variations, should be available now. Also, you should be able to upgrade your existing Athlon 64 PC to the new chips with just a BIOS change, whereas to convert an Intel unit to dual-core you'll need to purchase a new motherboard.

Speed Boost

We tested a reference system provided by AMD that ran Windows XP Pro. It came configured with 1GB of 400-MHz DDR memory; a 10,000-rpm, 74GB hard disk; and an NVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics card with 256MB of DDR3 RAM. (The Intel system we previously tested came with comparable hardware.)

The AMD machine was the second-fastest we've ever tested, with a 116 mark on WorldBench 5, easily surpassing the 95 posted by the 3.2-GHz dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition 840 reference system that we looked at earlier (see the accompanying chart).

The unit showed its prowess on the multitasking portion of WorldBench 5. Its time of 6 minutes, 44 seconds was an impressive 3 minutes, 42 seconds faster than the average of two Athlon 64 FX-55 systems, and about 3 minutes faster than the dual-core Pentium EE 840 reference PC's time.

If you want one of these powerful beasts, you'll have to pay dearly for it: AMD's 4800+ chips alone are priced at $1001 each in quantities of 1000, while Intel's 3.2-GHz Pentium EE 840 chips currently sell for $995. Entry-level Athlon X2 chips will cost only about half that much, however, so you can still get the benefits of 64-bit technology and dual-core processing without breaking the bank.

Full Story.

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today's howtos and leftovers

OSS Leftovers

  • Using Open Source Software in a SecDevOps Environment
    On 21 June 2018 the Open Source Software3 Institute is hosting a discussion that should be of high interest to enterprise technologists in the DC/Northern Virginia, Maryland area. From their invite: Come hear from our panelists about how the worlds of Open Source Software and the Secure Development / Operations (SecDevOps) intersect and strengthen one another. SecDevOps seeks to embed security in the development process as deeply as DevOps has done with operations, and Open Source Software is a major factor in Security, Development, and Operations. Tickets are free, but you need to register soon because seating is limited.
  • TenFourFox FPR8b1 available
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  • GNU dbm 1.15
    GDBM tries to detect inconsistencies in input database files as early as possible. When an inconcistency is detected, a helpful diagnostics is returned and the database is marked as needing recovery. From this moment on, any GDBM function trying to access the database will immediately return error code (instead of eventually segfaulting as previous versions did). In order to reconstruct the database and return it to healthy state, the gdbm_recover function should be used.

Server: GNU/Linux Dominance in Supercomputers, Windows Dominance in Downtime

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    Some users are complaining that O365 is "completely unusable" with others are reporting a noticeable slowdown, whinging that it's taking 30 minutes to send and receive emails.