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AMD Athlon + AMD 751/756 Chipset UNUSABLE in Linux [Debian]

[ Thanks to Ken Hendrickson for this
report: ]

I have found the Athlon + AMD 751/756 Chipset to be
UNUSABLE in Linux. Apparently, I am not the
only one
.

The specific
page for this CPU/Motherboard combo
indicates that it works for
Mandrake and SuSE. I found that it doesn’t work at
all with either Debian Potato or Woody. (I would have submitted a
comment to the page pointed to above, but they required me to
provide a valid email address and I refused to do that. I wonder
how many other sites have incomplete information due to their
anti-privacy policies. Note that the site that would not accept my
comments without a spam target, www.LinHardware.com, is
Ziff-Davis.)

Details:

  • Motherboard Gigabyte GA-71XE
    CPU AMD Athlon 750 MHz
    Memory Type Two CAS-2 128 MB DIMMs
    Memory Slots All combinations (1&2, 1&3, 2&3) tried.
  • Windows 98 and Windows NT were installed. Only a few blue
    screens were noted. (Nothing out of the ordinary.)
  • Debian Potato was installed. System had severe problems
    with virtual memory and page swapping
    .
  • The kernel was recompiled with MTRR support. A SuSE page
    indicates that this is necessary for the Athlon/K7. Using the
    new kernel with MTRR support did not help.
  • In an attempt to make the system usable, it was underclocked.
    The front-side bus was clocked down to 90 MHz, and the CPU was thus
    clocked down to 675 MHz. Underclocking didn’t
    help
    . The system continued to be instable under
    Linux.
  • Only 12 MB was recognized without a special LILO append
    line
    to force the 256 MB to be used.
  • Debian System was upgraded to Woody. System continued to have
    severe problems with virtual memory and page swapping. The
    Debian package management system database was corrupted several
    times
    . I finally gave up after the kernel panicked
    over corruption in the ext2 root filesystem
    .
  • In my 9+ years of using Linux (since Oct ’91), I have never
    seen so many kernel panics.

Conclusions:

  • The Athlon CPU & AMD 751/756 Chipset motherboard
    combination SHOULD NOT BE USED for Linux
    .