The stupid thing is, Intel designed the P4's to be good at one thing, over and above everything else; multimedia, and graphics rendering.....and the damn things are worse than useless at both! In those far-off days, CPUs tended to carry as much of the load for graphics rendering as the video chips themselves did.
Mind you, it is ancient architecture by now, no doubt about that. On top of that, the chipsets Intel were turning out at that time, well; they were peculiar, to say the least. Intel more or less said 'Sod it' to VESA standards, chucked the rule-book out the window, and built them the way they thought a rendering engine should work. The 'Brookedale'-cored, 82854 'Extreme' graphics adapter (which I'm lumbered with) was sent out by manufacturers with just a single megabyte of shared graphics RAM enabled; you had to dig around in the BIOS to enable the full 8 MB it was supposed to use. In Dell's case, 9 times out of 10, that invariably meant a BIOS upgrade as well, because the factory-installed image wouldn't support that extra graphics RAM (which is 'borrowed' from system RAM, in any case...)
Needless to say, they've had plenty of compatibility problems, and criticism over the years! The concept never caught on, and there's still a lot of the things kicking around out there.....
You might find this to be interesting, or of some use.....
Except you can ignore the section about drivers, at least as far as Linux is concerned. And I tend to agree with pcpunk about 'test-driving'; it's the only way to find out how well they'll run with your specific hardware.
Edited by Mike_Walsh, 20 June 2016 - 11:27 AM.
Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1
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Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub
Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.