LFS on PII 233 with no fan in heatsink

Alan Grimes alangrimes at starpower.net
Wed Feb 5 16:24:48 PST 2003

[CPU burnout horror stories]

Yeah, I hate this too. My Athlon 800 has always been a bitch to cool. 

My new (and currently OS-less) dual Athlon 1.2ghz was selected because
it's power/mm^2 is relatively low. I then strapped on the biggest
heat-sinks I could find. 

The underlying issues are these: 

1. The x86 architecture. In squeezing this CISC architecture very
complex circuitry is required to kludge in OOE and other advanced
features. (the pipeline on an athlon is 10 stages while a Dec Alpha is
only 6). 

2. The megahertz race. CPUs are clocked absurdly high relative to the
BUS they sit on. I usually go by a "4x bus speed" rule of thumb.. (much
of that power you're burning is going to waste).

To put things in perspective: 

The 486/150 (AMD 5x86 133) I'm writing this on, even in its overclocked
condition, can run with passive cooling. I had to add a fan to the
built-in heatsink to compensate for the extra MHZ. 

An Ideal chip would be a PC version of the 21364! It could be produced 
for the price of a P3 and would utterly 0wn the benchmarks... 

Currently the best power-saving CPU is the VIA C3 which is a combination
of the IDT winchip and the old Cyrix M3 cpu... 

[if rcn.com doesn't work, try erols.com ]
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