[rescue] Sun systems

nate at portents.com nate at portents.com
Wed Oct 10 13:41:54 CDT 2007

> Though, there exist graphics cards that pull more power than my entire
> desktop computer, and plenty of "enthusiasts" that are convinced that
> they need two of them to drive 300000000000fps at their 60fps eyeballs.
> That's about the only way a person could get a rig greedy enough to pull
> anything approaching a kilowatt[0].

Personally I game at 1600x1200 on a 21" LCD, and a single mid-range (i.e.
$300) video card serves me just fine and I like my setup a lot.

Now there are valid reasons for SLI and Crossfire, and that would be
higher resolutions, which personally I think goes quickly into the domain
of diminishing returns.  Namely, 30" LCDs at 2560x1600 or the Matrox
TripleHead2Go device with three 1280x1024 monitors attached (which it then
presents to the video card it's hooked up to as a single 3840x1024
device).  In those cases you're pushing 4,096,000 and 3,932,160 pixels
respectively, and frankly you can't get good framerates (especially while
doing full screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering) without SLI or

I just can't justify spending that kind of money, but I'm sure a small
percentage of people don't mind spending lots of money like that, and for
them, SLI and Crossfire make sense.

> You can get an insane amount of computing power per watt these days if
> you don't play video games, don't need 15kRPM disks, and can tolerate
> IA32 crap.

Yeah, times are good for consumers.  AMD is getting desperate, and they've
released two AM2 socket chips right now that are incredible bangs for the

The AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (2.6GHz) 'Black Edition' is only $129 and is
fully unlocked like the FX series is, so you can simply go into the BIOS
and set the CPU to FSB ratio to whatever you like and test away, finding
whatever sweet spot above 2.6Ghz that works (without having to fiddle with
moving the actual FSB speed and lowering the DRAM controller's ratio as
you'd have to in most overclocking situations).

And the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ (3.2GHz) at $209 is a great value for
anyone not interested in overclocking.  It's a serious amount of CPU bang
for the buck.

Meanwhile AMD's quadcore Barcelona architecture is out, but only in Socket
F right now, and only in speeds ranging from 1.7Ghz to 1.9Ghz, so useful
for servers, but not desktops, which is why they've dropped prices like
crazy on the 5000+ 'Black Edition' and 6400+ for AM2.  (Bang for the buck
in quad core goes to the Intel Q6600 for $272 which at stepping G0 has no
trouble overclocking to 3Ghz on air by simply moving the FSB to 1333 from

- Nate

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