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AMD vs Intel Virtualization: KVM VPS

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March 7, 2014 5:21:58 AM

Hello,

I would like to know what would be better for virtualiziation? We are thinking about either Intel Xeon E3-1240v2 or v3 OR AMD Opterons with 8 Cores. The Xeons have 8 Threads while the Opterons have 8 real Cores. I guess that makes the AMDs better for Virtualiziation? We are talking about VPS' which will be all running Linux based on KVM Virtualization.

Why do the most VPS provider use Intel than?

Another advantage would be that the Opterons support more than 32 GB RAM if I am correct. That makes them more attractive as well. Is that true?

Than my last question would be, why only Opterons are used in AMD servers? Isn't it recommended to use AMD FX-XXXX? Is it compareable to Intel where the "i" CPUs are Desktop CPUs while the Xeons are Server CPUs? So it is for AMD that the Opterons are = Server and the FX are Desktops?


Thanks for any answer, appreciate it.
a c 93 à CPUs
March 7, 2014 5:28:06 AM

You should be looking more into the ISA instead of the number of cores.
Instruction set is what can truly have the greater impact.
Search which VM- instructions set each CPU line supports do some research on them and see the pro and cons.

If you need more than 32GB of ram you would need a higher-end CPU.

Yes pretty much, I wont recommend going with ANY FX processors as a (enterprise) server.(surely a home-server would be more than fine).

Pretty much it is there product-line.
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a b à CPUs
March 7, 2014 6:08:37 AM

The reason why FX chips aren't used in servers is because they consume so much power and that is for a chip that is supposed to be operating 24/7.
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a c 93 à CPUs
March 7, 2014 6:10:46 AM

That is not the only reason, if it was and they saw improvement of having more cores, they wouldn't care about power-consumption.
Power-consumption is far from the ultimate reason why it isn't used for servers.
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a b à CPUs
March 7, 2014 6:15:09 AM

What is the ultimate reason then?
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March 7, 2014 6:18:51 AM

i hope you (the OP) won't find this offensive, as it's not meant to. but there's little point in someone asking the above questions then going to look into what virtualization instructions the two cpus will support because it will be greek to you, so it's way, way stranger for someone to suggest it as a solution that to ask the question in the first place.

you are, however, asking a performance-related question on a hardware review site, and i'm sure everyone understands bar charts. there are many fine core vs fx, xeon vs opteron articles here, and anything we might add would not hold a candle to kind of depth this site brings to performance tests.

considering your level of experience, perhaps setting up linux kvm virtualization, and the maintenance and administration of the resulting environments may be well outside of your capabilities, and i would suggest employing someone who has a handle on things.
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a c 188 à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b å Intel
March 7, 2014 12:29:35 PM

Nik213 said:
Hello,

I would like to know what would be better for virtualiziation? We are thinking about either Intel Xeon E3-1240v2 or v3 OR AMD Opterons with 8 Cores. The Xeons have 8 Threads while the Opterons have 8 real Cores. I guess that makes the AMDs better for Virtualiziation? We are talking about VPS' which will be all running Linux based on KVM Virtualization.

Why do the most VPS provider use Intel than?

Another advantage would be that the Opterons support more than 32 GB RAM if I am correct. That makes them more attractive as well. Is that true?

Than my last question would be, why only Opterons are used in AMD servers? Isn't it recommended to use AMD FX-XXXX? Is it compareable to Intel where the "i" CPUs are Desktop CPUs while the Xeons are Server CPUs? So it is for AMD that the Opterons are = Server and the FX are Desktops?


Thanks for any answer, appreciate it.


Each logical processor (enumerated by the OS in task manager, top, etc...) is an interface to the front-end portion of a CPU core. Each Intel i7 core has two frontends which are coupled to one dedicated (and very powerful) backend. Each AMD FX series core has one front end coupled to a smaller backend (with approximately half of the per-clock capabilities of an Intel counterpart), and shares some backend resources with another core on the same module.

For the purposes of most user-mode applications it doesn't matter how these are arranged. However, for the purposes virtualization the frontend-backend arrangement needs to be considered. In the case of a double front-end, the machine state needs to be fully duplicated between the two frontends otherwise there exists a level of functional interdependence between the state of each logical processor. If it is fully duplicated, it is possible to have both frontends working on separate machine partitions (either separate virtual machines, or a virtual machine and the host). If it is not fully duplicated, all front ends need to be working on the same machine partition, either a single virtual machine or the host. Fortunately, Intel's implementation of SMT (Hyperthreading) fully duplicates all the necessary hardware needed to represent the machine state. Ergo, there's no difference functionally between a 4 core Intel microprocessor with Hyperthreading that exposes 8 logical processors, and an 8 core AMD microprocessor that exists as four cluster modules and also exposes 8 logical processors. Integer performance is nearly identical between them in a clock-for-clock battle using highly threaded software. The only constraint is that when a virtualmachine is provided with multiple virtual CPUs, all logical processors acting as those virtual CPUs must enter the virtual machine state at the same time (called co-scheduling).

Intel's Xeon microprocessors are cut from the same silicon as their consumer i3/i5/i7 series microprocessors. They are separated based on quality metrics and market position post-fabrication.

AMD's Opteron microprocessors work the same way. Same chip, stricter testing requirements. In fact, AMD's new 12 and 16 core Opteron microprocessors are nothing more than a pair of FX-6000 series and FX-8000 series chips glued together inside of the same package running at a reduced clock rate.

Consumer CPUs are often sold with certain features disabled that are desirable in enterprise markets. Few (if any) consumer chips are capable of running in multi-socket environments which are prolific in data-centers where real-estate is quite expensive.

Intel currently enjoys a very healthy performance per watt advantage over AMD and that gap seems to be widening, not closing. This may not seem to be a big deal to most consumers who play demanding video games for a couple of hours a day at most, but in a data center a properly loaded box can run at load all day long. Over the lifespan of a server, the AC cost adds up considerably. AC inside of a high end datacenter can get considerably expensive if it's backed by diesel generators and UPS. A 50 watt per socket reduction works out to 200 watts per 4 socket server deployed and if enough servers are deployed the savings will add up.

I hope that this answered your question.
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