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Linux Journal: Review of AMD's Duron Processor

Oct 21, 2000, 20:07 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Don Marti)

"I have seen the future of desktop Linux systems, and its name is Duron. A lot of economy-minded Linux hobbyists became AMD K6 fans back when Intel's offerings were either pricey Pentium II or wimpy early Celeron. AMD is still cranking out perfectly respectable K6-2s and -3s that will do very nicely for most of today's applications. But, software gets bigger about as fast as users get less patient, so the Duron looks ready to step into K6's role as the CPU of choice for people who need responsiveness more than extreme processor power. That is, most users. A CPU that's too fast is a waste of money, so you're better off sticking with the economy CPU and spending your money on the other components."

"A 600MHz Duron costs somewhere around $60-$70 (US) right now, and this is cheaper than the Intel Celeron. And clock-for-clock, Duron beats Celeron. So if you need an "Intel Inside" sticker for some reason, buy that separately instead of paying the extra 20 bucks to get the CPU that comes with it. Basically, a Duron is an AMD Athlon with a couple of minuses and one plus. It has less cache than the higher-priced Athlon and is not available at the fastest clock speeds. But, Duron comes in the "Socket A" form factor, which just seems sturdier than slot CPUs and is lower to the board, allowing for smaller cases."

"Despite the glitches, I can recommend this machine for almost everyone, and especially for people who have to keep track of an office full of them. Duron is a good CPU, all the other components are top-quality, and ASL has experience in the Linux desktop business. Order one of ASL's Duron boxes with your company's choice of free software--they'll do custom loads for you--but be sure to ask them to hold the proprietary X server. Otherwise, what's the point?"

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