Linux Brings It Out In The Open
In my further testing sessions I reached the following concluions:
- My 1.13 GHz Pentium III sample was unable to pass any benchmark runs on any platform besides Intel's special VC820 motherboard.
- On Intel's VC820 platform Sysmark 2000 crashed consistently. I was unable to finish even one run of Sysmark with this CPU and I certainly tried about 20 times. As soon as I plugged a Pentium III 1 GHz into the system the benchmark would run all the way through.
- The most consistent error I got however was with my timed Linux kernel compilation. Even on the VC820 the Pentium III 1.13 GHz was utterly unable to finish the compilation even once. All other CPUs I used finished the compilation without the slightest flaw.
- Interestingly, stress tests as Prime95 or CPUburn under Windows98 would not get my 1.13 GHz processor to fail on the VC820.
Armed with this knowledge I finally felt confident to send my sample to Kyle Bennett. Kyle had told me that an Intel engineer was supposed to visit his lab to oversee his testing. Later it turned out that this engineer was not specifically sent to Kyle, but happened to be in the area, so that he could easily visit Kyle's lab. Since Kyle was rather unfamiliar with Linux I copied one of my Linux test hard drives and put it into the shipment as well. I wanted to know if the other two 1.13 GHz processors would be able to pass this test.
Well, if you have read
Intel still hadn't felt any need to get in touch with me. Instead of that, Intel acted even worse. Last Monday, on August 21, Intel had released details about their upcoming Pentium 4 processor. In a crazy act of retaliation against my article about the faulty Pentium III 1.13 GHz processor, an Intel official had decided to suddenly take Tom's Hardware out of the loop. Almost any other hardware website reported about the Pentium 4 architecture except of us, because we had never received the information.