Over a month ago a motherboard of my 4 years old desktop died right in the middle of the important work. I had to make a decision whether I should repair it or buy a new PC. At that moment I've already faced a lack of performance and knew that a simple upgrade will not help much. But I had no intentions to spend money for purchasing completely new PC. So I decided to buy new powerful CPU, a corresponding motherboard, and a lot of fast RAM.
The most powerful desktop CPUs are Intel nowadays. But it these CPU are not cheap and actually I prefer AMD because they usually provide suitable solutions for a reasonable price. And right at the moment new AMD FX CPUs sales started. "A new 8-core processor is what I need" - I thought at that moment and immediately bought new motherboard - ASUS M5A97 PRO (that is quite cheap in comparison with other AM3+ motherboards and allows to install up to 32 Gb of RAM) and 2x4 Gb of 1866 Mhz RAM is quite enough at the moment - the fastest RAM supported without over-clocking.
The issue was that FX series were not available in Russia. Even now you can't find top CPU of this series - FX-8150 here. So I had to buy it in Tallin during my trip to Oslo and pay 260 Euro for it. It was quite painful due to I've read a lot of reviews since I bought a motherboard and I already knew that I could get an Intel based desktop for less money and with the same performance. 8 cores turned out to be 4 x 2-core clusters which are poorly supported by the current software.
Even after purchasing this precious FX-8150 I wasn't able to use it for 2 weeks and had to waste another 25 Euro to buy the cheapest AM3 CPU to use it for 10 minuets to flash BIOS because the motherboard would not accept FX with the old BIOS. Unfortunately purchasing new Sempron 145 was the cheapest solution of thes trivial issue (dont hesitate to contact me if you would like to buy Sempron 145 with the warranty for 18 Euro ;-)...
Yesterday I've finally flashed the BIOS and today I've installed fresh openSUSE 12.1. Note that Windows 7 kept showing BSOD to me after I've lost a moment to failsafe boot it (it was installed with the old hardware) and openSUSE had just some minor issues in exact situation.
So here is the picture I was so eager to see for the 4 weeks:
First tests with the real tasks showed reported flaws in the manner of OS to handle this CPU - it use each core as a regular core, not as a part of a cluster. So I have to wait for patches to take the maximum performance out of all of this cores.
Unfortunately there are more expenditures ahead - a North Bridge is 56 degrees hot. It means I have to buy more powerful power supply...