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The Register: The 2.2GHz P4 on Linux and Win-XP

Jan 22, 2002, 12:01 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thomas C. Greene)

[ Thanks to Jason Greenwood for this link. ]

"Whether Intel's new 0.13-micron Northwood P4 is a good buy for Linux or Windows users I won't be able to say until I compare it to a similar high-end system by AMD later this week; but for now I can definitely say that, paired with the 850 mobo and 512M RDRAM, it's fast on both operating systems, if not spectacularly reliable.

On re-boots, regardless of which OS I'd been using at the time, and on cold startups into both the Windows and Linux HDDs installed singly, I've experienced intermittent boot failures. There's no error message, no POST panic. The thing just sits there quietly with a blank screen every now and again. A subsequent cold boot usually meets with success; but on a few occasions it's happened twice on successive attempts, though never more than that. All CMOS parameters are set to Intel's defaults. I'm not using SCSI, RAID, USB or any BIOS-dependent boot device like a PCI disk adapter, so this is a bit of a puzzler, and a bit of a disappointment.

Because Intel provides special chipset drivers and something called an Application Accelerator for Windows users, I was curious to see if Linux would exploit the Northwood's considerable horsepower as well as Windows. The Linux kernel does by nature make better use of the CPU than Windows; the question for me was whether the 'system' -- that is, the CPU, chipset and system memory -- might work together better on Windows as a result of Intel's extra software engineering on its behalf."

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