Athlon vs Pentium III

David Grant davidgrant at
Mon Feb 19 17:43:56 PST 2001


A couple of items worth noting.  The is no option as of yet to go with a
dual Athlon configuration.  There are still issues with the 760MP chipset.
Tyan has a beta board ( code name: "Lions" ) but until the chipset issues
are ironed out, it's a moot point.

More points to ponder: Generally speaking,  floating point performance is
superior with Athlons.

Also, from a price/performance standpoint, a 1.2 GHz Athlon CPU wholesales
for bout $200.00.  Compared this to PIII 1GHz CPU for approx. $480.00 per

Hope this is helpful...


David A. Grant,  V.P. Cluster Technologies
GSH Intelligent Integrated Systems
95 Fairmount St. Fitchburg Ma 01450
Phone 603.898.9717       Fax 603.898.9719
Email: davidg at      Web:
"Providing High Performance Computing Solutions for Over a Decade"

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Hoyt" <Eric.Hoyt at>
To: <beowulf at>
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2001 6:04 PM
Subject: Athlon vs Pentium III

> Hi,
> I'm in the initial phase of putting together a 24 node cluster.  The
> specifics of what it will be used for aren't fully developed (ie what
> applications will be run), but its main purpose will be optical
> simulations.  One issue I am faced with is the choice in CPU.  I know the
> response to "What hardware should I choose?" is always application
> specific, so I'm just looking for general pointers and any issues people
> may have encountered that they would be willing to share.
> Anyway, here is what it has been narrowed down to: I can put together a
> cluster of 24 Thunderbird 850s, or 12 dual PIIIs at 1GHz (24 total
> CPUs) for around the same amount.  Both setups have 256MB of memory per
> CPU.  What do you consider when making a decision like this? What
> scenarios favor Athlons, and what scenarios favor PIIIs?  Also, I have
> heard advice to go with classic Athlons instead of Thunderbirds, due to
> 512k off die vs 256k on die cache issues.  Again, what would make you lean
> one way or the other?
> Again, I know that the ultimate decision will depend on what we'll be
> running, but any general tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Eric Hoyt
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