12/21/2000

Athlon and Duron info. Should I buy an Athlon or a Duron? Tough question. Here’s the first good analysis I’ve seen. And Anand has a review of the SiS 730 integrated Athlon/Duron chipset. This won’t be the chipset you choose for your PC, but it might end up in your Aunt Millie’s.

As for motherboards, I’ve read of some people having problems with the Asus A7V; that it’s a decent board once you get it set up, but that it’s very cranky. The number of search engine hits I get with the phrase “Asus A7V” and words like “conflict” and “configuration” lends some circumstantial evidence to this. This troubles me; Asus boards are normally as solid as they come. Yet like I’ve said before, every time I’ve bought something other than Asus I’ve regretted it.

If you’re here looking for help on your Asus A7V, one of Storage Review’s moderators pointed me to the defunct A7V Troubleshooting Board  — I looked there and found no shortage of advice.

I guess if I were going to buy something now — and I admit I’m half-tempted to pick up a Duron and board as a cheap upgrade for my aging K6-2/350 — I’d probably go with a Gigabyte GA-7ZX or GA-7ZX1. The former includes a single ISA slot and built-in Creative audio; the latter includes neither of those. It costs about $35 less than the Asus A7V, and benchmarks nearly as fast. And, for the price difference you can afford to more than make up the performance difference through brute force by buying a faster CPU.

Gigabyte and AMD have a great working relationship lately (AMD often uses Gigabyte boards in their testbed and demo systems), so I have few qualms about going with them.

If anyone out there has some first-hand experience with different current Athlon/Duron boards, I’d love to hear about it — and I’m sure my readers would too. The mail link’s to the left.

We’ll revisit the topic of AMD tomorrow. There’s a lot more to this.

Cloning Mac Hard Drives. I may have covered this before but it bears repeating. From the Finder, drag and drop the old drive icon onto the new drive. It’ll copy all files, including hidden files, to a folder inside the new drive. Open that folder, drag the files out, and you’ve got a perfect clone. I do this very frequently with the Macs I fix at work.
You can also use Apple’s Disk Copy to copy one drive to another, but I find it easier to just use the Finder.

Disk Copy is also capable of saving hard disk images to files, a la Drive Image or Ghost for the PC. So cloning of Macs is possible, though you don’t get the cool multicast facilities of Drive Image or Ghost. But for one-off cloning, Disk Copy works great. You don’t get an exact binary copy of the disk, however, so you’ll still want to rebuild the directory with DiskWarrior and then defragment afterward for absolute best performance.

Presidential questions. Here we go again. I hinted during my previous arguments that I didn’t think Gore necessarily had won the popular vote. Absentee ballots weren’t in, and many of the states that had declared an electoral winner still hadn’t reported 100% of their precincts. It seemed a longshot, but so did a lot of things about this election.

Here’s a story about the wide and varied vote counts (all still putting Gore ahead nationally, but by a margin of as little as 330,000 votes). A coworker sent me the text to another story on the same site that had claimed Bush won by 2 million votes by one total. Unfortunately that story seems to have disappeared.

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