Dual Celerons: should I even bother?

Discussion of all forms of processors, from AMD to Intel to VIA.

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Postposted on Tue Jan 15, 2002 9:20 pm

I've got a pair of Celeron 366s (both of which will do 550MHz, though one of them needs 2.1V) sitting in slotkets on a shelf; they're leftovers from my mangled Freeway Design FW-6280BXDR/155.

At any rate, I've felt somewhat obligated to find a motherboard for them. I hate to see unused hardware, particularly when I went to such lengths to get them in the first place (well, the second one, anyway).

With the slotkets (MSI 6905-somethings), I should be able to run them in just about any Slot 1 board. Alternately, I could try to dig up an old BP6 or maybe an MSI 694D Pro2 (which is, if I remember correctly, supposed to be able to run dual PPGA Celerons).

Barring some miraculous bargain, I'd be spending at least $100, maybe as much as $170; I have enough extra parts around that the motherboard would be the only significant expense.

Thus this topic: should I even bother?

(I realize that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for someone else to decide whether or not this would be worth doing for me, but I'm mostly interested in opinions right now.)


Derek Andersen
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Postposted on Tue Jan 15, 2002 9:33 pm

Go for it. My Celeries whine that they want SMP every morning. They'll drive you nuts unless you make them SMP or a webserver.
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Postposted on Tue Jan 15, 2002 9:59 pm

search around for better prices it seems that those u said were a little high. cuz for under $100 it would b worth it IMO
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Postposted on Tue Jan 15, 2002 11:21 pm

Unfortunately, I'm finding out that dual Slot 1 motherboards are either incredibly hard to find or rather excitingly expensive (witness the $400+ Supermicro everything-but-the-kitchen-sink 'boards). Dual Socket 370 motherboards seem to be more common, but most of them won't run dual Celerons.

The upper bound I quoted is the apparent average price for a Supermicro P6DBE; the lower bound is where MSI 694Ds (which seems to be the only Via 694x motherboard that supports dual Celerons) and the occasional BP6 seem to reside. I haven't really seen anything lower (well, excepting a few 440LX boards, but since part of the point of doing this would be to run the Celerons on a 100MHz FSB, there wouldn't be much point in buying one...).

I'm currently leaning towards a BP6; I've heard that it's not exactly a problem-free motherboard, but I'm trying to avoid a Via chipset (which, unfortunately, is what the MSI 'board uses...). Anyway, I figure I can get one for ~$120, which wouldn't hurt too much.


Derek Andersen
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Postposted on Wed Jan 16, 2002 12:16 am

As BP6 owner I can tell that it is an unstable POS. In it's day, it was a very fast POS, but still a POS just the same. I assume that if you're putting together a box of spare parts you'll use it for RC5 and SETI@home. If that's the case, you'll find it will need a reboot every couple of days. To me, that's unacceptable.

I'd probably spring for the MSI. Yeah, it's a buggy Via chipset, but I think it run pretty well if there is not a lot of intensive IO and you choose your PCI cards wisely.

You could always go nuts and get an Asus P2B-D. That would make a damn fine workstation if you didn't need massive CPU power. Of course, it would cost you.
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Postposted on Wed Jan 16, 2002 10:09 am

Ive never had any problems with my Bp6, what kind are you having?
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Postposted on Wed Jan 16, 2002 1:25 pm

Wow, you must have the only stable BP6 in the world. Mine isn't terribly bad after much tweaking, but it still won't run SETI or RC5 for much over a week without locking up.
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Postposted on Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:16 pm

My BP6 has been rock solid since it's creation.

It is the beauty of the ability of mutlitasking that SMP really shines.
The NeanderThal with a keyboard,... Adam LongWalker ;)
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Postposted on Wed Jan 16, 2002 3:26 pm

I built and tested dozens of PC configurations around seven or eight different BP6's, and've seen it all.

Some BP6's were great (100% rocksolid stable to this day), while others were never ran right from the beginning (FYI, while some were rev 1.0 and others were 1.1, that never seemed to make any difference).

I learned a couple tricks (to making BP6's run properly) you guys might find interesting:

Never use a GeForce, it draws too much current. The GF2 might be ok (it has a smaller die size and draws less current) but I don't know, as I've never cared to test it.

Don't overclock FSB beyond 100mhz! Well, unless you've got some kind of cryogenically cooled crap going on that we don't know about. Just be grateful your Celerons will make that leap that far! (BTW, lowering latency is far more effective for increasing performance than jacking bus speeds, so make sure you're using good ram, and have tweaked your BIOS *properly*)

And forget Prime95, if you're still even using that; I've seen it repeatedly fail to find instability that would later bring down Q3 (usually at a bad time, like in the middle of serious multiplayer deathmatch...). The best tool I could find (back in the day!) for testing BP6's was dual sessions of Unreal (in software rendering mode), each restricted to one of the processors (FYI, this requires a simle trick where you install unreal twice and rename the .exe, this'll fool the game into letting itself be run more than once at the same time).

BTW, I still have a never-used BP6 (it's one I got from Abit as a replacement for a dead one I sent back); I'd be glad to part with it for eighty bucks plus seven bucks or so for shipping.
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Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2002 2:43 am

I had a buggy BP6. Anything 'stressful' would cause a lockup. The forums on BP6.com were full of fixes.

You could solder one extra capacitor onto the board for a semi fix (which I did) - or replace a voltage regulator, about 16 of the big capacitors, fiddle around connecting wires and drilling holes in the board for a 'proper' fix.

The 'semi' worked for me though - the only thing that made it crash was my dodgy PCI Winmodem (which I binned)
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Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2002 8:52 am

Ok here's another good question, Dual PII 266s should I even bother?
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Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2002 1:39 pm

ANApex:
If you have everything needed, other than the MoBo, go for it. Otherwise, no.

Also, on the SuperMicro P6-DBE/DGE series: no Promise for you! I have been unable to get it to boot if any Promise IDE or IDE-RAID controller is present. It will POST, but when it comes time to detect an O/S, it hangs.
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Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2002 1:46 pm

I have the motherboard and one processor so I guess it wouldn't be worth it then.
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