An Obituary for an AMD Athlon AXDA1800DUT3C
September 22 2014 //
It sounds funny—right? An obituary to a computer processor (CPU), without context, seems awkward; and just a little too far left of your nerd-ville comfort level. After all, what is an Athlon ADXDA18!&90./asd98… anyway? This story won’t go into too much of the technical side of what an Athlon DXDA1800DUT3C is, however, it will provide the details to what it has done in sculpting a part of who I am.
It was this computer—powered by the AMD Athlon CPU—that got me interested in computer hardware. This little symphony of silicon, metals, switch’s, transistors, capacitors, and micro processors was the gateway drug for me into the hyper-competition fueled world of overclocking, spilling over into my everyday journey through electronics, IT, and digital stuff. I identify as IT Person, and this computer was a big step in the journey of who I have become.
I recently pulled this dust filled and neglected computer case from a desk cupboard in my Dad’s basement after it finally let go. The power supply likely went and thus taking out everything in it’s wake. My father is now happily on a MacBook Air, and this pile of stationary archaic computing relic is no longer a thought in his working memory.
I am tasked with decommissioning this old boy today.
This Athlon AXDA1800DUT3C began life as a simple tool for me. A tool for communicating messages on a digital platform. A tool for me to build shit HTML & CSS web pages. A tool that introduced me to overclocking, and computer hardware in general. A tool for communicating with that computer hardware world outside of London Ontario over the internet. This computer worked hard; like any hammer or drill does in the realm of building a house. This computer worked hard in building a lot of what I have become.
This Athlon AXDA1800DUT3C ended life as a forgotten, seldom used, derelict piece of technology that simply succumb to the laws of physics…and dust. But even in its last days, this Athlon based computer was a functioning tool. This is the computer I introduced my Dad to the internet on after my Mom died a few years ago. A tool that allowed him to bank in the 21st century for the first time. A tool that allowed my dad to send me an e-mail to tell his communication controlling cell-phone-less son to call him.
This computer spent it’s life communicating; rather, this computer spent it’s life allowing others to communicate.
Effectively, that is what the internet does. It affords its users an increasing ability to communicate messages on a digital platform with highly advanced, and equally archaic, machines. I brought this beast of a machine home in 2003 from a then, offensively bright yellow Master’s Computers store up on the North end of Richmond St. in downtown London Ontario.
I had no idea what a processor was other then a line on a specification sheet. A higher number meant better…yeah? I mean, I knew it was one of a couple parts that had higher numbers that pushed their price tag up, but other than that, a computer was a black box. A technological device that I have a basic understanding of, how it works, etc…but don’t actually know what is physically going on to make it happen. It was indeed a highly advanced machine, and one that sparked my interest.
The doors this computer opened into my curiosity of computer hardware allow me to rip through these specifications with an intimate understanding of every single line. It is a walk down an ancient memory lane, but one I remember fondly. Not only do I understand what this processor’s specifications mean, but I can recite microarchitectures specifications between this one, and the current CPU’s in the computer you are reading this obituary on.
- PU part number AXDA1800DUT3C (Thoroughbred)
- Frequency 1800+ (rated) / 1533 MHz (real)
- Bus speed 266 MHz
- Clock multiplier 11.5
- Socket A (Socket 462)
- Microarchitecture K7
- Processor core Thoroughbred (Model 8)
- Manufacturing process 0.13 micron / 130nm
- The number of cores 1
- The number of threads 1
To put things into perspective, this computer is ancient. Any free phone on KoodoMobile.com right now has a faster processor that runs infinitely more efficiently, has as much RAM as this computer’s 1GB, and has 3 times as many CPU cores. On top of pure specs, modern cell phone processors have onboard video encoding, imaging, built in graphics processing, and so much more.
In short. The computer being decommissioned here today isn’t even close to the computer that most people’s parents carry around with them in their pocket, that runs on a battery, that lasts for days. Yeah.
Until recently, this computer served it’s communication purposes for my father, as well as it did for me back in 2003. Back then it was advanced and cutting edge. Now, it would be considered archaic. The irony is that it is still a highly advanced machine. A black box to 99% of the people reading this. It’s just slower.
To be truthfully honest, this computer was always slow. Not slow, but limited in it’s abilities to overclock, thus making it slow in the overclocking world. It was the wrong machine for what a computer turned into for me. But it was on this computer that I learned about overclocking, as I searched the internet on my old Dell pre-built for how to setup the BIOS of the beast you see before you.
There are only 2 USB ports, and I had to add in a network card due to a lack of an onboard ethernet connection on the motherboard. Typical computers these days have 8-14 USB ports in total. USB devices back when this motherboard came off the production line in China were few and far in-between. Yup. That’s right kids. There was a time when USB devices weren’t ubiquitous.
The Asus A7S333 motherboard that acted as head of operations for this computer over the last 10+ years is fairly typical for computer motherboards of it’s time—and current time. In fact, look into the tower computer you have at work, and this computer will likely look very similar to the unconcerning eye.
It was this motherboards lack of ability to overclock, that forced me to regret my purchase. At the time of buying this computer, I had no idea what overclocking was. Within 6 months, I built a completely separate computer from this one, simply for overclocking and tinkering with. This machine continued to be my steady machine for a couple of years, before being sent to pasture at my parents house were it played out the rest of it’s miserable days checking Hotmail accounts and doing online banking.
This computer was a honest tool for a lot of years. Aside from a fan needing replacing here and there, this computer never got upgraded, or repaired. It just always worked. This Athlon AXDA1800DUT3C / Asus A7S333 based computer is no longer with us, but it’s legacy still plays a strong role in my day to day life.
RIP little AMD computer. You, at one point in your life, meant the world to me. Thank-you for your service.
The Rice Howard Howler
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