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Title: Pentium Pro performance under NEXTSTEP
Entry Number:
Creation Date: March 28, 1996
Last Updated:
March 28, 1996

Pentium Pro, Performance, PCI


I have heard that there are performance problems with Pentium Pro systems do to the "Orion" chipset. Is NEXTSTEP effected by this problem.


Some Pentium Pro systems have extremely poor PCI bandwidth. This directly translates to reduced video performance under NEXTSTEP. Machines built with the latest Intel chipset probably will not exhibit this problem.

Some customers have reported poor performance of NEXTSTEP on some Pentium Pro systems. The NeXT SQA department has performed some benchmark tests and determined that these problems are most likely the result of the PCI bandwidth problem with the first version of Intel's "Orion" support chip set. An Intel prototype system with the "B0" stepping of the Orion chipset performs as expected (i.e. really, really fast) under NEXTSTEP.

The following is an excerpt from an Intel press release:
"The Orion chipset, known internally as 82450, is one of a number of auxiliary chips that supplies the Pentium Pro microprocessor. An uncorrected chipset could limit the amount of so-called I/O bus traffic, or data transfer, that a computer handles to as low as five megabytes per second, instead of the regular 25 to 55 megabytes, said Intel spokesman Howard High."

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