Kyle van HardOCP heeft in samenwerking met Anand, Tom en een ventje van Intel een interessante vergelijkingstest gedaan tussen de 1,13GHz PIII's die door Intel werden geleverd aan AnandTech, HardOCP en Tom's Hardware Guide. Van deze drie processors bleken de exemplaren van HardOCP en THG ernstige stabiliteitsproblemen te vertonen.
Nadat de processors dankzij het gezamenlijke werk van de drie hardware helden tot elkaar waren gebracht, kon worden vastgesteld dat het inderdaad niet goed staat gesteld met de stabiliteit van de 1,13GHz Pentium III. Geen enkele processor slaagde erin om de Linux kernel compilation test op 1,13GHz te voltooien. De overige benchmarks werden alleen door de processor van AnandTech met succes doorstaan:
Are there some issues with Intel's 1.13GHz part? I don't know about all of them, but from the ones I have seen and gotten to play with, none of them seem to act the same so it would seem that something is odd at best. Are they "flawed"? I am not going to go as far as to say that, but I don't think I would want the [H]ard|OCP server which runs Redhat Linux to have two PIII 1.13s stuck in it. The fact that all three CPUs failed the Linux compile would be a big red flag in my book and it seemed to be in the Intel engineer's also. He happened to keep his comments to a minimum. [break] Tom heeft op pagina 2 en 3 van zijn 1,1GHz Thunderbird review meer informatie gepost over de reactie van Intel op de bevindingen van HardOCP. Volgens Intel draaiden de processors van HardOCP en THG buiten spec en was de koeling niet voldoende. Dit kon echter niet bevestigd worden door de thermometer van Kyle, die bij alle processors een erg gezonde temperatuur van 37C liet registreren: [/break] It turned out that the kernel compilation failed on all three Pentium III 1.13 GHz samples in Kyle's lab, right in front of the eyes of Intel's engineer. My CPU happened to be the flakiest of the three, as it failed in other tests on different platforms as well.
I actually had to force a response out of Intel's PR-department, which initially seemed to prefer burying this issue rather than talking to me. These are the messages I received in a telephone conference with Howard High, George Alfs and Gary the engineer:
- Intel is concerned about the issues Kyle and I were seeing with the Pentium III 1.13 GHz and their engineers are trying to duplicate our findings.
- So far Intel could not find any software that would fail on a Pentium III at 1.13 GHz, provided it runs 'within spec'.
- Other platforms besides Intel's specially modified VC820 motherboard are most likely a bad choice for use with the 1.13 GHz Pentium III, unless they were specially approved.
- Intel was indeed able to duplicate the failures Kyle and I had found when, as they put it, the CPU ran 'out of spec'. When I asked to give a bit more detail to this expression Intel admitted that the cooling solution supplied with the test samples were not good enough to ensure that the Pentium III 1.13 GHz is running at less than the allowed 62 degrees centigrade. My comment stating that it was neither hot in Kyle's or my lab and that we are both more than well capable of ensuring effective processor cooling was answered with the statement that the cooling solutions used in the 1.13 GHz OEM-boxes are rather massive indeed. After I told Kyle of Intel's strange remarks he tested the temperature of the CPUs and measured 37 degrees centigrade. I guess there's not much to add ...
- Intel still refrained from really admitting that my sample is faulty. The fact that my sample was the only one of the three that failed on Kyle's BX-platform was disregarded as a test that was conducted on an unsupported platform.