Athlon vs Pentium III

Cameron Harr charr at
Mon Feb 19 22:54:01 PST 2001

I agree with David in general. Asus positioned their A7V as the "best" Athlon motherboard, but it is not
completely stable yet in my opinion. As far as the Thunderbird or not issue goes, I'm pretty sure all they make
now are Thunderbirds -- from 850 MHz and up. As to the performance of the two processors, I did some benchmarking
a while back with an Athlon 850 vs a PIII 850. The Athlon outperformed the pentium in every test except for 3-D
graphics and that is due to the fact the the PIII has a set of special instructions devoted to 3-D graphics which
speed them up as long the developer writes for them. I've attached a .doc with some of the results if you want to
look at them. I'm embarrased to say it's in Word format, but  StarOffice will open it.

David Grant wrote:

> Eric,
> 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
> CPU...
> Hope this is helpful...
>       ~David
> 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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