Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: WMCCC Hardware

Author: Ernst A. Heinz

Date: 10:07:37 10/04/97

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On October 04, 1997 at 12:50:59, Bruce Moreland wrote:

>If you call DEC and try to order a machine, forget it.  They charge an
>infinite amount of money.
>But, there is another way.

Add DCG at URL = <> and a couple of other OEM
companies to this list. All official Alpha OEMs can be found on the
WWW page of Digital Semiconductor.

>I got this machine and spent a couple of days messing with it.  There
>was one big problem, which is that whenever I would boot my program it
>would go at some random speed, anywhere between half-speed and
>full-speed.  I could not get this problem to go away.

We have the same problem on several platforms. It seems related to the
mapping of virtual memory pages to physical addresses. I routinely
run DarkThought 3x to 5x to achieve fair startup speeds ...

For us, it does not go away with larger off-chip L3 caches. It seems
more or less dependent on the on-chip L1 *instruction* cache which is
directly-mapped on most state-of-the-art CPUs.

> Polywell sent me a 533mhz Alpha.  This machine has a 9gb SCSI drive
> (almost a thousand bucks extra), but other than that it is similar to
> the Enorex system.  It cost about $6000.

Right, the difference in costs between Alphas and high-end PCs seems
to get more and more negligible. Just wait for the first Alpha-21164PC
based systems to hit the market ...


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