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Shortcomings Revealed in nForce4 SLI Redux

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-so-hot dept.

Graphics 93

EconolineCrush writes "Slashdot recently covered the launch of NVIDIA's nForce 4 SLI chipset for Intel processors, and although early reviews fawned over the chipset's performance, closer examination reveals several shortcomings that the initial wave of coverage failed to document. Problems with stability, drivers, and the chipset's oft-praised hardware-accelerated firewall and Gigabit Ethernet controller escaped the scrutiny of many reviews."

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Shortcomings of the reviewer (2, Insightful)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174700)

I respect his kung-foo, but his last line is off the wall.

These kinds of problems, which we readily acknowledge aren't total showstoppers, may pass muster for Athlon 64-based enthusiast systems. NVIDIA will probably find, however, that competing against Intel's chipsets requires a higher standard of competence.

As a serious gamer and one who has built several Athlon-based machines, I can't imagine for the life of me what he's talking about here. AMD's chips are the undisputed king of the hill when it comes to performance. His insinuation that as an AMD fanboy, I am unable to discern the lack of power of XYZ technology is a little irritating.

AMD is not the also-ran that it was back when Cyrix was kicking its ass. These days, AMD is the singlemost important chip maker on the planet, second only to Intel. Intel may have the edge when it comes to "cutting edge" technology, but AMD is like the Japanese, they take a good technology and make it better and faster and smaller.

So, again, WTF is he talking about? Is it just a dig at us real gamers out here who actually know a thing or two about gaming rigs?

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174745)

I respect your kung-foo, but this line:-

These days, AMD is the singlemost important chip maker on the planet, second only to Intel

is off the wall.

How can something be the singlemost important chip maker, yet still be second only to Intel?

Your kung-foo intrigues me.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

TrollingOnTheRiver (865867) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174748)

Indeed that comment makes it look as if nVidia is trying to make inroads into the gamers market, as if it werent already a major player.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174751)

AMD's chips are the undisputed king of the hill


Several major server manufacturers would probably disagree with you.


These days, AMD is the singlemost important chip maker on the planet, second only to Intel


What the hell does that sentence mean? You should say it is the 2nd most important chip manufacturer if that is what you mean. Please don't use marketing speak - it just makes you sound like an AMD-fanboy

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

domipheus (751857) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174765)

What has a server got to do with a gaming rig? Read up before you post, please.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1, Funny)

delirium_9 (26055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174763)

These days, AMD is the singlemost important chip maker on the planet, second only to Intel


Perhaps that would make them the second-most important chip maker on the planet then?

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (4, Insightful)

pegr (46683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174767)

I believe he was referring to Intel's market, not AMD's (and supporting chipset maker's) competence. To put another way, relatively minor issues in Intel's market will be perceived as bigger, and potentially more critical, issues than similar issues in AMD's space. I don't agree quite, but that's what I get out of it.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174775)

I don't see them at all as not being "Cutting Edge". The only thing I can really think of that can be then taking Intel's idea and making it better is the fact that it's an x86 processor.

Who reached 1GHz first?

Who had the first 64-bit chipset?

And on the other hand, which company is still just shoehorning more horsepower out of an old, dare I say, Legacy processor family?

If anything, AMD is the most important chipset manufacturer on the planet right now. Innovation is important. Repackaging old things with a couple of new features is not innovation.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174893)

Who reached 1GHz first?

Ah right. When it's AMD, clock frequency does matter after all.

Who had the first 64-bit chipset?

You mean INSTRUCTION SET?

Your last two comments are equally dense, but I can't be bothered explaining why.

AMD, Apple and Linux all have something in common - nice products, but really fucking stupid fanboys like you. Please shut up. Thanks.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

lateralus_1024 (583730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175927)

Ahh yes but....

Who was the first to have Rambus memory?

Who was the first to ink a deal with the Blue Men Group?

Who was the first to have CPU_ID on by default?

Who was the first to have a 300+ channel pipeline??

Who was the first to marvel at AMD's intergrated memory controller??

The tables are turned now Athlon fanboi!
Dual Core or bust!!!

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (5, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174802)

AMD certainly has the most interesting x86 technology out there. From a PC gamer's perspective, AMD probably is the most important chip maker out there. The jury's still out on businesses' opinions, however, the Opteron certainly smokes everything intel has except itanium2, which it also might smoke but I'm withholding judgement until I read better comparisons than I've seen to date.

As for cutting edge tech, AMD wins hands down in the x86 world. They did a nice edge run around Intel's GHz GHz GHz mantra, and they're beginning to reap the rewards. The dual and multi-core chips coming soon should finish the job once they're out and in tester's hands. Intel's dual core will either burn eggs or perform sluggishly, and they're still regrouping from their P4 mistakes and trying to come up with a new tech. Their size and brand is the only thing keeping them alive at the moment IMNSHO.

If you want to see cutting edge technology, look towards things like the Power5 (that's not a G5 btw;) and the Cell processors. One's a multi-core powerhouse, the other, well, it's an interesting amalgam of a core with multiple DSP chips to speed things up. I'm looking forward to the PS3 and its capabilities. (There are others too, but these may be the most likely to be seen by average consumers in some form or another)

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

ignorant_newbie (104175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12176667)

>the Opteron certainly smokes everything intel
>has except itanium2, which it also might smoke
>but I'm withholding judgement until I read
>better comparisons than I've seen to date.

sorry, you wont be seeing any comparisons. the Itanium blows so hard that no one will buy any... so no one has them to review. Even HP, who did most of the dev work on itanium, is shipping opteron systems now.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12176849)

I probably should have gone ahead and mentioned that Itanium is pretty much dead due to HP dropping support. However, just because it's effectively dead doesn't mean it was worse (recall Alpha?).

I do recall seeing some benchmark results where Itanium2's performed exceedingly well, but I didn't have a chance to read through it, hence my holding back on commenting that it completely blows performance wise. It might actually do well under certain tasking, but for any normal person, AMD is the king of the hill.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (2, Insightful)

eric_brissette (778634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174805)

So, again, WTF is he talking about?

Well he's not talking about AMD at all, really. He's talking about the quality of nVidia's nF4 SLI chipset/drivers.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174825)

Actually - I have to disagree. I think IBM are by far a more important chip maker. They do completely different things to Intel, they come up with completely new ideas - AMD just try to make chips that compete well with Intel (which they do very well at the moment)... But IBM actually try to do something different. I mean, come on, why do you think the Power5 is devastating all the opposition in the server market?

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175023)

Please..... Power5 is dominating the market because most server apps are written already for the Power5 from ages ago. The optimized server apps development for Opteron and other x86-64 processors hasn't even started.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12176113)

Err... What opposition? I can't think of anyone that is still around that truly competes with the Power 5 class chips these days... Well maybe Itanium does, but who really buys Itanium based systems?

Though I think the difference here is consumer vs. bussiness (I couldn't think of better names for them). Intel mostly makes consuemr chips (Again Itanium is the exception), so does AMD (though Opteron doesn't really compete against Itanium or Power 5), IBM makes both (though consumer only through Apple systems). IBM though makes chips that are very very hard to compare to the other two.

In the consuemr market I think AMD does come out on top (Apple still being way way more niche than AMD hurts any direct comparison). So it's by far the most relivent to most consumers. IBM may be more inovative, but they have more room to play around with inovation than AMD does or Intel wants... They are the only company that doesn't have to toe the line...

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

kayak334 (798077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12176906)

I think IBM are...They do...AMD just try to make chips...But IBM actually try to do...

Ok. I'm sorry. I know this is nitpicky. I've been thinking about this for about a year, and I just have to say it. Someone PLEASE correct me if I am totally off here.

IBM "are" not anything. IBM *is*. AMD just *tries*, and IBM actually *tries* to do...

IBM, AMD, Intel, Microsoft, etc. are companies. These are SINGULAR ENTITIES. A group of people under a single umbrella is a singular entity. Just like "mankind is..." and not "mankind are..." You actually cannot even refer to a singular entity as "they" as you do as well. This reference is much more accepted, but is technically incorrect. IBM is an "it", just like any other company.

Someone...please, for the love of God, tell me if I'm wrong and tell me why. This has been bothering me for over a year. I know it's grammar nazi, and I apologize for that.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

BRTB (30272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178975)

[yes, off-topic, blah]

AFAIK, it's a cultural difference. Most of the plural-company references I see are from the UK... I can only surmise they prefer to think of companies as composed of a great many people, while we (I assume) Americans see them as one all-emcompassing behemoth entity.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#12182740)

i'm improving my ability to rewrite a post as i read it.
and yes, that is exceptionally annoying.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174828)

A chipset that was designed and put into production in a month. Who would have guessed it had problems?

Clarification (3, Informative)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174846)

The reviewer seems to be contrasting the stability of the Nforce 4 chipset with the stability of the... lets say 925XE chipset, this isn't about processors. Intel produces realy rock solid boards lately, more stable than any 3rd party board even with the same chipset. (don't buy a Supermicro desktop board... trust me)

So... what he was saying is that an Intel user may be disapointed by the Nforce 4's shortcomings, but an AMD user is acustomed to this level of quality, still good just not the best.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

Remlik (654872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174862)

"These days, AMD is the singlemost important chip maker on the planet, second only to Intel."

Does not compute, systems overloading... /me dies

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#12182783)

Apple free since 1990!

how you can have a sig like this with comments that start at +1 is beyond me. you, sir, are amazing.
if only because i'm glad to see someone talking about apple who isn't drooling over their latest product at the time of writing.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (5, Informative)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174947)

I think you are misunderstanding. The reviewer is talking about Intel chipsets, not Intel processors. Because Intel doesn't make chipsets for AMD-CPU systems, there's no direct comparison. If there were, he's arguing, people would be less excited about NVIDIA's chipsets.

Incidentally:

These days, AMD is the singlemost important chip maker on the planet, second only to Intel.
It's hard to be both most important and second-most important at the same time. Yet this is apparently a feat both AMD and Intel have managed. I guess this is a byproduct of their research into quantum computers. ("Alright! We're on top! Oh shit, I just changed our importance by measuring it.")

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

spicyjeff (6305) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174972)

These days, AMD is the singlemost important chip maker on the planet, second only to Intel.

So, um... doesn't that make them the second most important?

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (4, Insightful)

jtshaw (398319) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174973)

He isn't talking about the processors....... he is talking about the CHIPSETS.

I've found the one short coming of AMD based solutions has always been the shoddy 3rd party chipsets and motherboards out there. I have a dual Opteron system on my desk and it has been wonderful. However, I have ran into many people running Via or nVidia chipsets on brand-x motherboards that have had awful hardware difficulties.

I'm inclided to blame the mainboard manufactures more so then the chipset manufactures because companies like Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte never seam to have trouble putting out solid mainboards based on nVidia and Via chipsets.... but the fact of the matter is there seam to be a lot of other manufactures that build absolutely terrible mainboards for AMD processors.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

BaudKarma (868193) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175119)

Big corporations are pretty conservative when they buy their computer systems, and they're still overwhelmingly Intel based. If you're building systems for the corporate market, your first considerations are going to be stabability and reliability. Performance is way down the list.

An AMD fanboi, on the other hand, won't blink if you tell him that he'll need to reflash the BIOS and download the latest chipset drivers to make a certain board work. I know I didn't. It was all sleek and shiny and was sitting there in the store like a puppy in the window of a pet shop, saying "Buy me! Buy me!". I didn't mind that it wasn't paper-trained yet.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

PseudoLogic (863516) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175270)

These days, AMD is the singlemost important chip maker on the planet, second only to Intel.

If you want your comments to be taken seriously, and not come across as an AMD fanboy, don't use sentences like these that don't make any sense. If AMD is the singlemost important chip on the planet, it's not second to anybody.

Disclaimer: I'm an AMD fanboy, I have never used an Intel product in my life.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175278)

His insinuation that as an AMD fanboy, I am unable to discern the lack of power of XYZ technology is a little irritating.

The chipset and the technology doesn't lack power. That's not the point. The point is that they weren't as reliable as they should have been.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175399)

What the Tech Report is saying, is that since they had some driver issues with a reference MB, on most likely Beta drivers, their not going to be competitive in the Intel Market.

First off. everybody knows that if you have an Intel procesor, you should use an Intel chipset for the highest level of stability. I mean when the processor manufacturer makes a chipset for their own processor, it better be as stable as possible. Intel tends to focus on stability rather than performance because they are more interested in the business market rather than the enthusiast market, and the business market wants stability.

Nvidia on the other hand, focuses on performace. Every chipset that they've ever made was focused on this. It just so happens that in the AMD market, their chipset is regarderd to also be the most stable of the major AMD chipsets.

I've owned nothing but Nforce since it was announced. Both my Nforce and Nforce2 boards were as stable as anything I've found on the Intel side. Problem wise, the only thing they ever had issues with was the sound and IDE drivers (where they actually warn you their beta) and frankly, even those drivers were a cut above their competition.

Frankly, and this is my opinion, The Tech report has is out for Nvidia. Period. You read anything about Nvidia on their site and they will find a problem with it. Meanwhile they think ATI and Intel are the second coming.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12177601)

Not making any personal judgements here, but with the way that Intel gets roasted by most reviewers, it is good that someone is willing to see the positive things about there products.

Same goes for ATI, a lot of the bias agenst them is based on old information perpetuated by fanboys.

If the sites content does not work for you... don't read it, I am sure there are people out there not looking to be "converted" who want to read reviews. (not mine to say if they are right or wrong.)

P.S. On the other side it could be said that there is a void of criticism for Nvidia on the web...

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12179165)

"First off. everybody knows that if you have an Intel processor, you should use an Intel chipset for the highest level of stability. I mean when the processor manufacturer makes a chipset for their own processor, it better be as stable as possible."

I have to agree with you and frankly I think AMD is making a mistake by not making AMD chipsets and even motherboards.
I think they would do better in the server/corporate market if they produced motherboards like Intel.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175995)

"AMD is like the Japanese"

Jesus, Americans are such fucking twats.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12178308)

Arg... This is what I call Michael Moore-itis.

He is one of the biggest most abrasive idiots on the planet, and he is out there championing all the important reforms our country despratly needs... But he is such a jerk that he actualy turns people away from these causes and embarasses the hell out of the rest of the Democrats to the point that they have to tip toe around everything or else be compared to that big bag of gass.

Funny how it doesn't work the same for Republicans...

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12177318)

What he's saying is that AMD enthusiests will often put up with poor stability in exchange for better performance. I think he's referring to the general overclockers that put up with minor glitches to get those extra few frames per second.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12177463)

I like to think that IBM is the most important chipmaker seeing as they have over half of the top 500 supercomputers running their chips AND Macs run them AND they are helping to make the cell AND do't forget that PowerPC might be a little better than x86 etc.

Re:Shortcomings of the reviewer (1)

mako1138 (837520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12182943)

Ironically, the Tech Report is usually characterized as pro-AMD.

isn't this always the case? (3, Insightful)

bman08 (239376) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174761)

Early reviews are always like this. Except in rare cases when something is undeniably awful, being in on a 'sneak peak' makes a person feel like an insider... part of the team. I think that, previuosly mentioned perks of being a hardware reviewer aside; this feeling alone accounts for a lot of over positive reviews.

The same is true of anything. I saw a pre screening of Samuel Jackson in shaft and LOVED it. Why? I don't know now.

Re:isn't this always the case? (3, Insightful)

Tinfoil (109794) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174794)

Except early reviews shouldn't be like this. Reviews should be detailed and get into everything. It doesn't look like the ethernet bug was terribly difficult to reproduce or only occured under a rare and exotic set of conditions.

Charlie Demerjian is right in his latest rant [theinquirer.net] . Too many reviewers are under the spell of PR dweebs.

Embedded hardware reviewers? (1)

cfromg (872848) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175019)

[...]being in on a 'sneak peak' makes a person feel like an insider... part of the team. [...] this feeling alone accounts for a lot of over positive reviews.

Sounds like a familiar concept to me.

Another excellent review from the Tech Report (4, Interesting)

DJ-Dodger (169589) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174776)

Their brand of in-depth, hard-hitting coverage is probably why Intel conveniently passed them over [techreport.com] for the first round of Dual Core reviews; can't have any bad press at release time.

Re:Another excellent review from the Tech Report (4, Insightful)

sgant (178166) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174841)

You're being sarcastic, right?

This is hardly front page Slashdot news here. Let's see, "motherboard chipmaker needs to fix some non-showstopping bugs with bios updates." yawn.

Everything mentioned in that article is minor. His summation is even minor:

We're pleased to see that NVIDIA has finally fixed the long-standing bug that caused its disk controller to hit a performance wall at 128 transactions per second, but the fix was a long time in coming. More notably, the ActiveArmor GigE implementation seems to have some strange problems still. We're encouraged by the fact that NVIDIA could demonstrate a fix for some of these problems with a new driver, but we're concerned about the current state of the Ethernet driver available to the public for AMD-based nForce4 boards that have been on the market for months now. These kinds of problems, which we readily acknowledge aren't total showstoppers, may pass muster for Athlon 64-based enthusiast systems. NVIDIA will probably find, however, that competing against Intel's chipsets requires a higher standard of competence.

OK...they fixed a bug and one of the Ethernet ports is "strange".

But that last statement seems to throw the entire review out of whack. So what he's basically saying is: "The minor Athlon fanbois may not mind this junk...but us Intel Professionals know it's crap and will stick with Intel".

Re:Another excellent review from the Tech Report (1)

mako1138 (837520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12182968)

The problem with the Ethernet is that it's an advertised feature that doesn't work. Sure, it's relatively minor, but you want the product you buy to work as advertised.

A question... (4, Insightful)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174782)

What the hell does the incompetence of an nVidia chipset have to do with the performance and reliability of an AMD processor? You can simply not us the nForce 4 boards--how does this give the reviewer the right to bash AMD? Or is he just an Intel fanboy?

Re:A question... (1, Funny)

Mornelithe (83633) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175365)

Or is he just an Intel fanboy?

Congratulations, you just earned your cookie for today. :)

Re:A question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12177630)

You don't need a "right" to bash a company... and if this article is any indication you don't need an educated opinion either

Re:A question... (1)

mako1138 (837520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12182989)

Ironically, people usually accuse the Tech Report of having a pro-AMD bias.

Shocked... (5, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174797)

I'm shocked... shocked!... that hardware review sites would make a half-assed job of their review just in order to be the first to publish.

Whatever next!?!?

Whats next you ask? (1)

Beatbyte (163694) | more than 9 years ago | (#12177220)

Automobile enthusiast magazines give positive reviews to advertising auto makers! that's what's next!!!

I wonder why (4, Insightful)

ProfitElijah (144514) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174809)

I wonder why they escaped the attentions of the early reviewers. Perhaps because the shortcomings weren't included on the press release the early reviewers regurgitated.

Yea, go... (1, Funny)

jon855 (803537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174813)

Go Intel, Go Intel, Go Intel

[Someone in the green suit taps me on my shoulder]

Go AMD, Go AMD, Go AMD

Re:Yea, go... (2, Funny)

youngerpants (255314) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174839)

Having watched Hackers last night, I feel now would be the correct opportunity to mention that...


"RISC technology is going to change the world"

Re:Yea, go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174872)

It did. The RISC technology which Intel acquired when it bought strongarm, as Acorn RISC machines started to meet their demise, and schools around the UK started to question their investment in expensive Strongarm-based RiscPCs running RiscOS have powered dishwashers and washing machines for years! (and XScale are Strongarm-based, but we'll conveniently psas that one over).

Re:Yea, go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174926)

It did in a way. It's in your phone and just about every electrical item with complex logic right now.

Re:Yea, go... (0)

quarkscat (697644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174945)

As another ardent fan of Angelina Jolie, I have to point out that that laptop had a "P6 processor"
and a "PCI bus".

Re:Yea, go... (1)

rpozz (249652) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174966)

ARM, POWER and SPARC are all RISC architectures. x86 architecture is the only remaining CISC architecture implemented in modern CPUs today (I think).

The only reason x86 is so popular is for compatibility reasons. IBM has shown RISC can perform at least as well.

Re:Yea, go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12175083)

Todays general-purpose CPUs cannot be classified as RISC or CISC anymore, because these terms were coined in pre-superscalar days.

Also, x86 chips today do not execute x86 instructions directly - they translate them to 'microoperations' - which are, more or less, RISC instruction set.

The distinction is barely existent now.

Re:Yea, go... (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175151)

Todays general-purpose CPUs cannot be classified as RISC or CISC anymore, because these terms were coined in pre-superscalar days.

Having gone over this with my microprocessor proffesor, I have wondered if we should call the x86 'CRISC'. It makes some wierd kindasense when you think about it. Course, would the operators then be 'CRISCO's? (Complex Reduced Instruction Set Computer Operators/Owners)

Yes but, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12175915)

Dude thats how its always been.

Each tick of the clock runs one of these micro instructions which eventually does your fetch-decode-execute cycle for a full instruction.

With pipelining, RISC can do the entire fetch-decode-execute every tick: 1 full instuction every clock cycle.

With CISC it can take dozens of microinstructions (clock cycles) to do a full instruction so it is less efficient.

Although saying that you can usually do more with the more complex CISC instructions.

Re:Yea, go... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12175237)

It also has a killer refresh rate!

mirror (3, Informative)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174818)

Here [networkmirror.com]

Re:mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12176622)

so whats the deal you just post mirrors to everything on slashdot, even when its hosted on a server like techreport thats likely never to go down?

are we just karma whoring? or how much are you really making off the adds?

if you want to contribute to /. do so, don't whore and try to make a buck

Re:mirror (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12179110)

Karma whoring? I don't think so. Why don't you read my posting history for yourself before deciding?

How much am I making off the ads? Well, although it is none of your business, to date, we've earned enough to pay for about 3 hours of the server's monthly fee.

The feedback we've been receiving has been overwhelmingly positive, but thank you for yours as well.

I Told You So :) (1)

SoloFlyer2 (872483) | more than 9 years ago | (#12174860)

As i said in the previous article, this is just a case of nVidia trying to make something run fast as hell regardless of stability.

Im not too worried though, as im sure that nVidia will either fix these issues with new drivers, or failing that rev 2 of the board.

mobd up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174905)

theo8ists -

Sweet dashboard Jesus!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174916)

nVidia graphics cards have ethernet ports and firewalls now???

I, for one, don't understand that. nVidia hasn't figured out how to do graphics properly yet, why are they expanding?

miNus 2, Troll) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174941)

Minus 3, T8oll) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12174994)

Re:Minus 3, T8oll) (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12177257)

BRB

Just like the AMD version (5, Insightful)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175014)

'Paid reviewers skip the unflattering parts' - SHOCKING!!!!

The first review bunch of every hardware item is PAID ADVERTISING. Well, at least close to it. To get the product for such review requires signing of NDA and cooperation of the manufacturer. Trashing a product in such launch review ensures that you won't get the next shiny thing to review. Yes, some hardware reviewers are corrupt. Shocking.

The 'active armor' firewall has never worked right on the AMD64 NF4 either. Also on AMD64 NForce4 the gigabit ethernet has it's own problems - for example, many MMOs simply disconnect you (you go linkdead) if you have the Hardware Checksum Offload feature of the LAN chip in use.

And unsurprisingly when you compare ANY other chipset to the rock solid Intel chipsets, they look unstable. NF4 isn't the worst of the bunch, but it can't be helped. Last STABLE (rock stable) chipset on AMD platforms was AMD760. Yes, it was lacking features, but it WORKED. After that it's VIA this, nVidia that, SIS this - all suck more or less. Thankfully the suckiness has gone down over the years, and today I can say that KT800 VIA on AMD64 is usable. Still not perfect, but works. NForce 4 has bunch of quirks and unfinished drivers, but it's probably the best PCIe-based chipset so far.

Re:Just like the AMD version (1)

Picticon (728866) | more than 9 years ago | (#12176600)

I had one of the first nForce 4 / AMD64 boards. For weeks I couldn't figure out why I kept getting disconnected from Dark Age of Camelot. DAoC is a rock stable program. Their servers are 100%. I have 7 other computers running DAoC through the same network connection that perform flawlessly. It had to be something with the computer. After dozens of tweaks, rebuilds, driver reinstalls... It came down to the onboard network hardware and/or drivers. I ended up buying a cheap network card. The disconnects have almost stopped. But ocassionally DAoC will still crash or disconnect. I wouldn't recommend nForce 4 to anyone at this point.

Re:Just like the AMD version (1)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 9 years ago | (#12176713)

Just turn off any hardware-assisted things on the NF4 LAN options. The culprit is 'Checksum Offload' - offloading some packet checksum calculation from CPU/drivers to the hardware. Turn that off and the LDs stop.

Re:Just like the AMD version (1)

egoots (557276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12177517)

I agree with you. I have NForce-4 / AMD combo. I couldnt figure out why Pegasus mail kept getting hung up when send mail via SMTP. It turns out that the Checksum Offload advanced feature on the ethernet controller was the culprit!

Re:Just like the AMD version (1)

hirschma (187820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12177305)

I've got a few beefs with Nvidia chipsets for AMD, too, mostly on the RAID side. This is from my testing with a tier 1 motherboard, an MSI K8N.

Problems that I've had with the Nforce3 chipset:

* Their storage enhancements just don't work with Win2000 at all, practically speaking. Had to go with XP, not something I was thrilled about.

* Their RAID thingy drops disks at random, for no reason. This has happened with both PATA and SATA, and with different brands of drives.

* Their management utilities are really, really bad.

* Ethernet eats up too much CPU, period.

This is with latest drivers, latest BIOS. The earlier BIOS and drivers were just horrid.

I expected more from Nvidia. It also serves me right for cheaping out and going with onboard RAID, although configuring bootable RAID with Windows is a non-starter AFAIK.

On the other hand, my VIA A64 chipset board, under Linux, has been a dream in all respects. So has an AMD chipset board. Won't be going with Nvidia pretty much ever again.

jh

Re:Just like the AMD version (1)

orbitalia (470425) | more than 9 years ago | (#12177753)

The reason the Hardware Checksum Offload doesnt work is that the hardware calculates the Checksum incorrectly. I warned about this many many months ago, but couldn't find a way to contact Nvidia.

To see this in action just download Ethereal and you will see that the Checksums are incorrect.

Re:Just like the AMD version (1)

ashayh (636057) | more than 9 years ago | (#12177933)

I really dont understand what people mean by 'stable'.

One of my several AMD based computers, an AthlonXP 2500+ runs Linux... and has uptimes of 20+ days.

Another XP 2500 I had earlier ran WinXP for weeks at a stretch. And my new A64 3000 does the same.

The only reason I turn my PC's off is to sleep without the sounds of the fans for a change. And btw all my computers are OC'd from stock speed, but not by much.

I suspect people complain about stability because they can't use their PC's.

Re:Just like the AMD version (1)

Cyno (85911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12180215)

The NForce2 chipset in my Shuttle PC is "rock stable".

I never have network, performance or stability problems. And rarely have problems with the sound. But I use Linux, so my drivers might not be all there. Haven't updated them in a while, too. There's no need. It just works.

Re:Just like the AMD version (1)

ricky-road-flats (770129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12185571)

...compare ANY other chipset to the rock solid Intel chipsets, they look unstable. Last STABLE (rock stable) chipset on AMD platforms was AMD760. Yes, it was lacking features, but it WORKED.

Amen, brother. Almost as if the people who design and build the CPUs have the best chance at making other complex chips working well with them.

I've gone into small companies to try and solve their stability problem, to find Via (especially), SiS or ALi chipsets sitting there. Replace one with an Intel/AMD-based chipset motherboard, with the same RAM, storage devices, GFX card, NIC, etc - and voila - a stable machine. Do it to the rest, job done.

I got promoted to the point where I could mandate our (large comapny) hardware, and since then there has been a *vast* improvement in uptime of the average desktop.

It's a real shame for AMD, as the CPUs they make are powerful and cheap and use less power, but they don't make chipsets any more, so I don't risk it.

AMD fanboys I know *always* blame crashes, reboots and BSODs on Windows, and will *not* accept that the fact my box (running the same Windows) never crashes at our LAN parties is that it has an Intel chipset. I seem to have a happier time of it in Linux, too.

NVidia also sucks for AMD (1)

Ptur (866963) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175114)

Being the 'proud' owner of a NVIDIA nForce4 board for AMD, I can only say that the sloppy drivers and support of NVIDIA irritate AMD owners A LOT (just google around or visit some forums like the one of NVIDIA themselves). Even early adopters hate it when hardware gets thrown on the market without proper and stable drivers... Peter

Re:NVidia also sucks for AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12176096)

Tell me about it.
I recently upgraded my PC and, as part of the upgrade, replaced the board/CPU with an Nforce4/Athlon64 combo. Turning on the hardware firewall made the machine wonderfully secure; I couldn't even access the hardware firewall's own settings. Needless to say I uninstalled the entire complement of driver support for the firewall and went back to the vanilla ethernet driver.
I managed to get two days use out of the system before finding out that my shiny new (Leadtek) 6600GT was broken and had to be returned. Not had a great deal of luck with this system so far. :)

nForce4 for Intel != nFroce4 for AMD (4, Informative)

Visaris (553352) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175179)

Just because this article mentions that the nForce4 for intel CPUs is unstable and has issues doesn't imply anything about the AMD nForce4 chipset. There are many major server vendors (Tyan comes to mind first) that are using the nVidia chipset. These vendors don't just slap anything into their motherboards you know. A lot of validation and testing going into every part they use. I am very happy with the stability and speed of Tyan's boards. If Tyan says it's good enough for them, then it is probably good enough for me. I don't see why people would even say somthing like: "The nVidia shipset sucks on Intel, I guess it's ok for AMD because people in that market are used to crap!" It just doesn't work that way. The Intel and AMD nVidia chipsets are very different.

nForce AMD (4, Interesting)

Barny (103770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175479)

Anyone who jumped on the 939 bandwagon at the start of its release will see this for what it is, teething problems.

This is not a fault of nVidia chipsets (they are very good imho) and its not a fault of intel chips (again, very good, just showing their age a bit now).

The stabillity problem smells heavily of the same sort of goings on gigabyte had with their initial flagship nf3-250 board, the k8nsnxp. Between bad temp sniffing (minor read error causeing the cpu fan to shut down because it thought the cpu was 20C below what it really was) and a huge problem getting the dual channel memory working, these boards were shunned. After much patching of bios' code they are rock stable and burning up memory benchmarks.

Lets give these things 3 months on the market to get the bugs out then see what they can do :)

NO!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

PHanT0 (148738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175616)

My new baby has no flaw! She's ... she's ... She's flawless. Like a virgin diamond in a filed of wheat! Like that freshly installed kernel posting dmesg on a snow white day! Like princess leia before she was mack'n on her brother.

Big deal (1)

glenrm (640773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175619)

What a non-story. SLI is very cool tech, and if you get an early build of just about anything you are going to be updating the BIOS, heck I bought an Intel 865 motherboard and it was shipped with a Rev. 12 BIOS had to update it to Rev. 19 or 20 just to get it to work with the RAM I had. Sounds like ATYT FUD to me (not that NVDA doesn't FUD also)...

I reviewed one of these nForce machines (3, Informative)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 9 years ago | (#12175934)

I reviewed the new HP xw9300 for a print magazine. Didn't find any stability problems, though I tested it mostly against 3D apps like Maya. Not too many network tests. I ran it in production for a while and it was great. In fact it's still here sitting next to my desk.

We did request SLI, but HP sent a single card system because they told us SLI wasn't quite ready.

I have another system on my review schedule from another vendor, and when we suggested they ship us an SLI system, they backed off.

Looks like SLI isn't quite ready for prime time.

mo3 up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12176377)

fuck? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12176912)

Thes3 early On slashdot.org troubl3. It Something cool Talk to one of the *BSD has lost more

How's nForce3/4 under Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12177029)

I'm going to be in the market to upgrade a Linux machine within the next month or so (this machine is still running an old Via KT133a chipset). I'd like to go Athlon64. nForce 3/4 factor prominently in this space. How well does Linux work with these? Is nForce support under Linux a nightmare of proprietary closed-source drivers?

So, let me get this straight... (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178292)

A chipset barely on the market for three months, sporting two brand-new technologies, is hounded for non-showstopper bugs that have already been fixed, or are scheduled to be fixed shortly.

And yet, Intel doesn't get hounded because THEIR latest chipset saw a recall [theregister.co.uk] in the first two months of release?

Sure, Intel is more stable, if you don't live on planet Earth. NOBODY is perfect.

Oh, and I'd like to dispell another long-standing rumor, that 3rd-party chipset makers cause the A64 platform to be "unstable". This may have been somewhat true in the distant past, but is no longer the case. Both Nvidia and Via make excellent chipsets and solid drivers.

The reason such rumors get perpetuated is a lot of people are cheapskates...they go with AMD looking to spend as little as possible, and skimp on components. Anyone who has EVER bought an ECS, Elitegroup, PCCHIPS et-al mainboard, or spent 50 bucks or less on the most important component in their system, and then had the audacity to complain about stability...I'm looking at YOU.

These problems did not 'escape scrutiny' (1)

fullofangst (724732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12178643)

As highlighted by Charlie over at the Inquirer, many hardware site reviewers receive certain 'incentives' from hardware manufacturers to NOT publicise these issues.

BS (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 9 years ago | (#12181422)

I've been an AMD user ever since the release of Athlon XP.

I have never built a computer that didn't have an NVDIA chipset in it. I've owned NForce, NForce2, and NForce3 250GB systems, and I've built NForce4 systems.

NForce, NForce2, and NForce3 250GB rock. No compatibility or stability issues, great drivers, and good performance. Excellent all-around.

NForce4 blows. I've had compatibility problems with all four systems (two with ASUS boards, one with an MSI board, and one with a DFI board), and the drivers are immature. Not to mention the fact that NF4 runs *freaking hot*.

The Via K8T890 chipset doesn't interest me a whole lot, but the ATI Radeon Xpress chipset looks good.

AMD users are *not* less interested in stability. I won't build a system that doesn't pass 48-hours of Prime95 and 48-hours of Memtest86+. If a system fails, the parts go back - and I get parts that work.

My current DFI NForce3 system has 110 days of straight uptime under its belt (it's a media PC). I'd call that stable.
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