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Linux Kernel Set To Finally Retire AMD 3DNow!

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  • #11
    It always seems like a strange comment to me: "3DNow! built upon MMX instruction set to offer faster performance for vector processing of floating point data. But 3DNow! ultimately didn't see too much adoption amid Intel's successful SSE introduction." In the context of free software/Linux.

    I used 3dnow! enabled Linux from when I first got a K6-2 CPU, which was an upgrade from a 486 class overclocked AMD [email protected] with 50MHz VLB. 3dnow! support was integrated everywhere it made sense throughout the Linux stack, it's why the kernel code exists. That few commercial Microsoft Windows programs made use of it is neither here nor there.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by s_j_newbury View Post

      I have to admit I was concerned reading the headline since I have machines still in use with 3dnow! (build-time) enabled in userspace: Phenom2 and Athlon X2.

      The Phenom2 system is my router/NAS and it has no need of replacement. Performance and power efficiency is more than sufficient for the tasks it performs.
      No it is not. At this point, and with energy prices skyrocketing, it makes no sense to use such an old and power hungry system for that role. The money you are going to save just on electricity alone can pay for even a new budget system.....

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      • #13
        Originally posted by s_j_newbury View Post

        I have to admit I was concerned reading the headline since I have machines still in use with 3dnow! (build-time) enabled in userspace: Phenom2 and Athlon X2.

        The Phenom2 system is my router/NAS and it has no need of replacement. Performance and power efficiency is more than sufficient for the tasks it performs.
        You Phenom2 is also highly unlikely to be using 3dnow instructions since they were already into legacy-mode by the time Phenoms were around and SSE4a is still supported.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by TemplarGR View Post

          No it is not. At this point, and with energy prices skyrocketing, it makes no sense to use such an old and power hungry system for that role. The money you are going to save just on electricity alone can pay for even a new budget system.....
          That might be true if money is your only concern. Whoever wants to limit the waste he produces will use its tools till they can't be repaired. Buying something new and throwing away what still works causes more energy consumption and pollution.

          My home NAS has 30 - 35W idle (old Phenom2 quad core) but it can deliver > 100 MB/s filetransfers with full disk encription on raid 5. I have a Raspi3 that i tested to replace it, but its NAS capabilities are weak ~ 10MB/s without raid and encription. Thats to slow if you really need a NAS, not to speak of multiple people using it at the same time.
          Last edited by Anux; 13 December 2021, 09:51 AM.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by willmore View Post
            So we add features with hundreds of KLOC, but we remove a small chunk of well tested code because...progress?

            At least they didn't remove support for these processors entirely.
            There's a difference between useful new features and effectively useless code for long since obsolete hardware.
            "Why should I want to make anything up? Life's bad enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it."

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            • #16
              I have fond memories of the AMD K6-2 CPU, I assembled my first computer from unused parts (those were considered trash). I remember I put them together and installed an old version of Slackware, it barely worked to play music with XMMS.

              Good old times.

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              • #17
                Ah yes, my 2nd x86 PC was also a K6-2-400 with 1MB L2 cache that was put on the Motherboard with those little bug like chips and a Matrox 3D card. It did vairly well with Win 95/98 at LAN partys and my friends with high end Intel/Nvidia didn't have much more performance but surely higher costs.
                I don't remember it having problems with MP3 playback, did you have the 233 MHz version?

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by Anux View Post
                  Ah yes, my 2nd x86 PC was also a K6-2-400 with 1MB L2 cache that was put on the Motherboard with those little bug like chips and a Matrox 3D card. It did vairly well with Win 95/98 at LAN partys and my friends with high end Intel/Nvidia didn't have much more performance but surely higher costs.
                  I don't remember it having problems with MP3 playback, did you have the 233 MHz version?
                  I had mp3 playback working fine on the aforementioned 5x86. I used a custom compiled mpg123. It couldn't much else at the same time though, I think I remember it used somewhat over 50% CPU utilization! The K6-2 was also my 2nd x86, my previous computers were all Acorns 8-bit and ARM.

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                  • #19
                    My decorative AMD K6-2 350 Mhz is crieing on the desk table . I actually am wondering now why I put the 350 mhz at all in a case. If I remember correctly the 350 was a pain and had only troubles while the 400 ran like a charme. Could be wrong thow, I dont remember correctly.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by s_j_newbury View Post

                      I had mp3 playback working fine on the aforementioned 5x86. I used a custom compiled mpg123. It couldn't much else at the same time though, I think I remember it used somewhat over 50% CPU utilization! The K6-2 was also my 2nd x86, my previous computers were all Acorns 8-bit and ARM.
                      MP3 playback on Pentium (1) class CPUs was a delicate job. I remember a P1 "mobile" CPU in an early laptop that could play only mono MP3s at 100% utilisation with the ocasional cack in sound.
                      Imagine the impact of something like MMX, 3DNow and SSE back in those days.

                      A K6-2 could even play back a DVD if it got some assistance from the graphics card.

                      Originally posted by ntropy View Post
                      My decorative AMD K6-2 350 Mhz is crieing on the desk table . I actually am wondering now why I put the 350 mhz at all in a case. If I remember correctly the 350 was a pain and had only troubles while the 400 ran like a charme. Could be wrong thow, I dont remember correctly.
                      Probably a faulty chip or defekt RAM. The dies where exactly the same just different clocks.

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