Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron Battle Head to Head

Last response: in CPUs
Share
October 26, 2006 11:59:17 AM

Intel and AMD battle it out in the server market. Is Intel's new Woodcrest able to dethrone the mighty AMD Opteron? We compare two servers and get the facts for you.
October 26, 2006 12:51:51 PM

It was a fair article.
They need to include more "server" related items.

Database results, How do the platforms handle 4- GB NICs.
Etc.....

Sorry, I'm not dong video or sound encoding on my servers.
I'm just glad they did not include Call of Duty results.
Too bad they did not add new tests.
a b à CPUs
October 26, 2006 1:00:29 PM

Quote:
Good article, but its a moog point. New technology beats old technology. Big news there. :roll:


So Opteron beating Netburst grade chips was a moot point as well? New Technology beating old technology?

I don't think so.

We bench what's available at anytime. But just to be a pain... this benchmark benche's 8th Generation Cores from both AMD and Intel thus is more valid then the Netburst vs Opteron benches.
Related resources
October 26, 2006 1:28:59 PM

Actually I just noted something about the power ratings.
I just reviewed that and noted that about 44w-88w (or even higher) should be added to all of the power numbers of the Xeon.

The only way to judge a processor is in part of a system.

I know that power usage is of extreme importance in many datacenters.
The lower power usage of the Xeon initially had me very excited.

However, this is now not the case if you read the fine print.
Still the new chip is impressive.

Yeah, it may not be news about new architecture beating old, but it does not mean you cant atleast look since it is not always the case.


My issues with the article are lack of true server type of benchmarks and very misleading graphics for power usage.
October 26, 2006 1:51:24 PM

Quote:
Your a quick learner, exactly! A new technology processor is always going to be better than the old technology.


That is always going to be the case when benchmarking tech. In 07 when the new Opteron is released, it will be benched against whatever Intel has at the moment. Are you going to whine then?
October 26, 2006 2:04:42 PM

And as we have seen from Intel, new is not better.

P4 had a hard time ever beating the PIII.

Over time the P4 just became clocked so much faster and had extensions added it won, but in the long run the PIII architecture was shown to be superior and the C2D is based more upon that than the P4.
October 26, 2006 2:09:47 PM

Meh, I don't listen to whiny fanboys. Intel still has a bit of issues with power, but they've come a long way in fixing it. I was also wondering why they released the Dempsey, although i doubt many people would buy it if they could choose between both Opteron's or Woodcrest cores...

Either way, Server market is interesting, but not interesting enough for me to keep up with too much.
October 26, 2006 2:10:36 PM

2 questions left unanswered :

1. intel is faster in desktop apps.... but what do these have to do with server CPU's ? where are the server benchmarks ?

2. where is the socket F opterons ? they are (thoretically) available for 2-3 month now, they use lower voltage memory...
October 26, 2006 2:22:41 PM

Quote:
Actually I just noted something about the power ratings.

I just reviewed that and noted that about 44w-88w (or even higher) should be added to all of the power numbers of the Xeon.
? ? ? ? ? ?

The only way to judge a processor is in part of a system.

I know that power usage is of extreme importance in many datacenters.
The lower power usage of the Xeon initially had me very excited.

However, this is now not the case if you read the fine print.
Still the new chip is impressive.

Yeah, it may not be news about new architecture beating old, but it does not mean you cant atleast look since it is not always the case.


My issues with the article are lack of true server type of benchmarks and very misleading graphics for power usage.


Quote:
It must be noted that in the Intel systems, every FB-DIMM consumes nearly 11 W and has its own heat sink for cooling. At over 40 W, the RAM consumes a large amount of power and thus limits the benefits of the lower power usage of the Xeon Woodcrest CPUs.
October 26, 2006 2:24:24 PM

plus the Intel system had 16MB ATI graphics, while AMD's had 8MB ATI graphics...
October 26, 2006 2:25:28 PM

I would of liked to see the performance of two Xeon 6050's included too.
October 26, 2006 2:26:40 PM

That is likely because you don't work with data centers.

Each Server brought in must be tested for peak and average usage.
Cooling costs, Battery Backup costs (No, not little dinky things, the ones that are pickup-size or bigger with lots of them side by sdie.)

When you have 500+ servers lined up and running and running side-by-side this is critical.

The point is not Intel vs AMD. The power usage of the 5100 is much better than the 5000. However, many data centers were switching to Optys because of the power savings. Those savings are much higher than what was shown in the graphics.

In regards to the 5100 series, the 5100s likely have the advantage over the Optys with 4Dimms and trail with 8Dimms.

If I were to take an average of 4 vs 8 dimms and assumed an average of 6dimms for my 500 servers I would be looking at 66w x 500 = 33,000 Watts.

This article is about Servers. Power Usage is all about Data Centers not single servers. The 33,000 Difference is extreme for cooling needs, battery backups, circuits, etc.....

Mind you this is not a critique of the 5100 since all it shows is that the 5100 system could be a little better or worse than the Opty depending on Config. The point is that it does not crush the Opty in Power as the charts would seem to show.

Before the 5100 I would not have considered a 5000 and in fact we switched to 100% optys. Now that 5100s are out, we would consider a move back. Howerver, much of the work we do is very memory and bus intensive. These tests do not cover that.

The information posted was useful, but it is clear that for the most part the testing was done from the perspective of a desktop system than a server system.
October 26, 2006 2:42:23 PM

It critique was not in the written text.
It was in the graphics.

The information was correctly included in the text of the article.
However, if I were to post a poll in a new thread of readers of that article that did not read this thread I wager the majority would think that a 5000 Xeon system would be more efficient than an Opty System.

Most people skim over text, look for pictures, and stop.
They do not analyze.

I don't think it was a means of being deceptive.
You measured the CPUs themselves in lieu of the systems.

I can see why this was done so PowerSupplies, Disk Drives and other items would not be included. Perhaps your method to just note was best.
Perhaps an * should have been in the graphic itself since the differential is not minor.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The other issue was with lack of testing the "system" as a whole in regard to real world use of the system.

Example - We have very large "VMware" systems with many OSes running at the same time putting large strains on Membory. We have (8) Gigabyte cards coming out of the systems.

For this type of usage, the Optys were far far superior in performance compared to the 5000s due to bus and memory controller related issues.
The areas in which the Opty excelled over the 5000 were never really tested and it is not seen if the 5100 closes the gaps in those areas.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Again, I do not consider it a bad article but "fair".
My "Fair" may be what others call "good" since I am more conservative in my ratings. I don't "Grade" inflate so everything is an "A" until knocked down. It starts at a "C" with me and if it meets expectations it stays there.
It only moves up or down by exceeding or failing to meet those.

My "fair" rating is based upon the fact it is was indeed well written, but fails to address most of the questions I would have in regards to data center servers in how I see them used.
October 26, 2006 2:46:39 PM

I would think that this article really only compares these two cpu's with no real emphasis on complete systems which might change things quite a bit. All we can really say is that the Woodcrest outperforms the Opteron, but thats only chipwise. Platform wise it may be the other way around.

Comparing chips, its a decent article, but not as informative if anyone is planning to buy a new server off of this information.
October 26, 2006 2:50:22 PM

That article had nothing to do with workstations or servers. Other than the Autodesk there were no real world applications tested that would be used in environments that workstations or servers are purchased for.

Servers: As mentioned previously, database and web performance? That's what these machines would probably be used for, not Lame or DivX. How about for grins we through in some virtualization bench's if they exist.

Workstations: You would never catch a CAD designer using a workstation with a 16MB video card.

The only thing that the article showed us was that Intel is good at the bench's they have been running since the Duo's were released. It's just my opinion, but I think showing these machines running app's that they are designed for or with configurations that would most commonly be used might help give a better representation of their real performance.
October 26, 2006 3:13:28 PM

There are many different types of 'servers' -- computation server,
file servers, etc. Since the article seems to gear toward the 'CPU'
power, I assume it's OK to ask for more computation related
benchmarks. The benchmarks did include linpack benchmark.
But obviously got it from Intel as it stated 'This software is Intel
optimized.' I'd love to see one that compiled from source using
a generic compiler (such as gcc) and not a hand-tuned version.
Architecture-wise, I just don't see how Intel's single (or double)
bus based structure can scale well when it comes to quad-core
and beyond. Please show us multi-threaded benchmarks to see
how well it scales up (say, in a dual dual-core system). Thanks
for your effort.
October 26, 2006 3:24:54 PM

When you have the opportunity to do so, I would be interested in seeing the following tested in comparison with these:

Opteron Socket F with ServerWorks chipset
Opteron Socket F with nForce 3600 Professional chipset

Some of the lower-level chips in each series as well to compare if the performance metrics scale based on processor speed or not.

Both 4GB and 8GB RAM configurations

Virtualization benchmarks:
- VMWare Workstation
- VMWare Server
- Microsoft VirtualServer

Database benchmarks:
- Web server (MySQL, MS SQL)
- Application server (MySQL, MS SQL, Pervasive.SQL)

The article was well written, and I appreciate seeing a server-centric review on THG. Props. :) 
October 26, 2006 3:51:31 PM

Well, I think this isn't really aimed at the people buying servers. It's more of an informative article that's meant for the desktop/workstation crowd. Most of the people buying servers don't read this type of article, and just buy whatever CDW/Insight/etc. sells them from HP/Dell/IBM/etc.

The people buying servers don't really care about these specs. They care about things like TCO, heat in data centers (which power consumption affects, but this wasn't a major point in the article), warranty information, support contracts, etc. So, I think this was an article just for us tech enthusiasts who want to know just to know.
October 26, 2006 3:57:53 PM

Quote:
Good article, but its a moog point. New technology beats old technology. Big news there. :roll:

LameNoobMike, go to your dumb forum for trollz and take your BS with you.
October 26, 2006 4:03:13 PM

Quote:

Virtualization benchmarks:
- VMWare Workstation
- VMWare Server
- Microsoft VirtualServer


I would also like to see more virtualization benchmarks. Virtualization is a big thing now with companies offering a lot of advantages.
October 26, 2006 4:06:13 PM

But if you looked at server Vendors recently both Sell both XEON and Opty lines of servers. The "support contracts" and TCO features of the servers would be about the same.

And yes, the folks buying these boxes do care about the stats.
How many of load-balanced server Xs do I need for my server farm for service Y. How many services can I host of Platform Z?

Sorry to say, but these questions are asked.

Now if you have a 20-use company with a box in the corner with a file shared and a USB printer hanging off it then no, these questions are not asked. But then again what you need is any old desktop PC with a Raid-1 Sata-II setup.
October 26, 2006 5:07:24 PM

Not many people who work with "servers" care about DivX encoding speed. Individuals might care, but they don't buy servers or workstations, now do they?

What I'd like to see is some compiling times, not mp3 encoding. Show me how long it takes to build X or OpenOffice, then I might find benchmarks useful. Show me compiling using x86-64 versus EMT64, these are real world differences. Hell, how about some CFD? Run some FE code and get back to me.

I'm glad for the Linpack test and the memory bandwidth tests, but the rest was useless.
October 26, 2006 5:57:22 PM

Well, I work in IT for a health care organization with over 30,000 employees. We have thousands of servers. We have standard builds that we use, and I highly doubt the people who make the purchasing decisions are looking at the THG reviews. Obviously smaller outfits would be more "agile" and able to respond more quickly to emerging technologies. But, for my industry, we're not going to read some THG review and instantly decide to start buying strictly AMD-based servers.

So, my point was and is: this is more for enthusiasts and possibly for enthusiasts who work for small companies.
October 26, 2006 6:05:25 PM

Sorry to hear that your IT department is not capable of making informed decisions.

I only work for very large organizations, some global in nature.
Yes, there are IT standards.
Those standards are based upon technical analysis.

Our servers only go into "Data Centers" and not behind people's desks.

A server does not go into the "Data Centers" without power and lan analysis.

There are often capacity guidelines so we know we can add 10 of model X or 5 or model Y.

I certainly hope nobodies life is lost when your server room goes down because of power-overloads or the fact that a critical server has coffee spilled upon it by a secretary.
October 26, 2006 6:09:35 PM

"The Woodcrest platform performed very well, exceeding our initial expectations."

Who was suprised by that?? Not me.
October 26, 2006 6:35:26 PM

Or me.

I was truly surprised and amazed at what Intel did with Conroe.
I suspected lots of Hype.
But their engineers pulled it off.
The new Xeon is just a product of that.

AMD likely has its work cut out for it.

We will need to get some systems in for load testing for the things we do.
(VMWare Server is a biggy - so we can collapse about 10+ idling servers into 1 physical box.)

A little over a year ago we ceased order Intel's unless a clueless vendor refused to certify anythng but Intel. (Yeah, there were a few dense smaller software providers.)
October 26, 2006 6:51:56 PM

If a dweebie Science/Engineering type were trying to build a very high-end workstation, would these “Server” processors provide any performance benefit over the latest “Workstation/Gaming” ones? Apps are Matlab, Maple, Solidworks, Xilinx ISE, etc.
a b à CPUs
October 26, 2006 7:21:35 PM

Quote:
There are many different types of 'servers' -- computation server,
file servers, etc. Since the article seems to gear toward the 'CPU'
power, I assume it's OK to ask for more computation related
benchmarks. The benchmarks did include linpack benchmark.
But obviously got it from Intel as it stated 'This software is Intel
optimized.' I'd love to see one that compiled from source using
a generic compiler (such as gcc) and not a hand-tuned version.
Architecture-wise, I just don't see how Intel's single (or double)
bus based structure can scale well when it comes to quad-core
and beyond. Please show us multi-threaded benchmarks to see
how well it scales up (say, in a dual dual-core system). Thanks
for your effort.


Ummm, if Intel releases Compilled versions of software to take advantage of their architecture then by all means they should be the versions tested.

Because..

A. It's the version that people buying these Intel servers will be running in the real world.

B. Not Intel's fault that AMD are not emphasizing optimised compilled versions for their processors.

Would you pit an IBM Power PC running software compilled in it's own native mode vs a x86 PC running software in emulation mode compilled for a Power PC? No.
October 26, 2006 7:25:08 PM

Well, here is the thing for all the people compairing these benchmarks. These are for the laymen, IE the people not running Exchange Stress tests, or Citrix stress tests. OR sending 1k queries to a SQL DB..

I found the test very interesting, considering that fact that 1) Intel 5160 destroys the Opteron. Destroy meaning, that it is FASTER and Cheaper to run. (power)...

What we see here, is that a CPU, runs cooler, and is faster. For I am sure AMD has some cpu's not released to public, that can run faster, but not neccessarly cooler. Vice versus for run cooler, but prob not faster..

The killer here, is that - The same MB used, (Supermicro).. YOu can swap out the 5160, and go Quad core.. NEXT MONTH,,, that to me is a superior deal..

AND to finish off.... People with the benchmarks; lol.. you kill me.. If you go into ANY data center TODAY, for a company, looked at 10 servers, and just picked 10 random, servers, they are probably using only 10% of their processing power at any given moment.

To effectively benchmark any server, you would need a killer App to test. ANd server based apps, geared for the enterprise, to server >500 users.
1. would utilize a Number of hard drives >30. (unless you bootleg).
2. need a number of subordinate systems, to preform the tests...

Judging how long a divix conversion runs= SAME SYSTEM, same specs, obvious differene!!!
October 26, 2006 7:55:03 PM

I can say for sure that the Socket F Opterons ARE available, I just built a dual Opteron 2214 Server yesterday (and I'm not even with a big time Server builder company.) If I can get ahold of a socket F motherboard from Tyan, populate it with dual Opteron Socket F's.. drop on a couple Cooljag Socket F blowers and 8gigs of ram... any of you can.

Its not in computer stores, No one with a small or medium sized store will carry these yet. You have to ask someone who works with the suppliers and can call them up to order them.

I think Toms hardware is either getting way too lazy or people just are not trusting them with new stuff anymore. I did hear they were very Intel slanted in reviews, juding from how they portrayed things so far doesn't dispel that rumor in my mind.

Just like them reviewing video cards that are already discontinued... Toms Hardware, bringing you Yesterday's Hardware news Today.
a b à CPUs
October 26, 2006 8:13:43 PM

Quote:
I can say for sure that the Socket F Opterons ARE available, I just built a dual Opteron 2214 Server yesterday (and I'm not even with a big time Server builder company.) If I can get ahold of a socket F motherboard from Tyan, populate it with dual Opteron Socket F's.. drop on a couple Cooljag Socket F blowers and 8gigs of ram... any of you can.

Its not in computer stores, No one with a small or medium sized store will carry these yet. You have to ask someone who works with the suppliers and can call them up to order them.

I think Toms hardware is either getting way too lazy or people just are not trusting them with new stuff anymore. I did hear they were very Intel slanted in reviews, juding from how they portrayed things so far doesn't dispel that rumor in my mind.

Just like them reviewing video cards that are already discontinued... Toms Hardware, bringing you Yesterday's Hardware news Today.


Hey Kid,

Socket F Opteron wouldn't have changed the outcome. Jesus Christ man.. you guys are like sore losers. See this is why choosing a company over another is bad. It makes people turn into aluminium helmet wearing conspiracy/FUd spreading nutjobs.

Core 2 > K8
Woodcrest > Opteron

Doesn't matter who's reviewing it, EVERY other site have found the same results.

Deal with it Mmmkay!
October 26, 2006 8:29:56 PM

Quote:
I can say for sure that the Socket F Opterons ARE available, I just built a dual Opteron 2214 Server yesterday (and I'm not even with a big time Server builder company.) If I can get ahold of a socket F motherboard from Tyan, populate it with dual Opteron Socket F's.. drop on a couple Cooljag Socket F blowers and 8gigs of ram... any of you can.

Its not in computer stores, No one with a small or medium sized store will carry these yet. You have to ask someone who works with the suppliers and can call them up to order them.

I think Toms hardware is either getting way too lazy or people just are not trusting them with new stuff anymore. I did hear they were very Intel slanted in reviews, juding from how they portrayed things so far doesn't dispel that rumor in my mind.

Just like them reviewing video cards that are already discontinued... Toms Hardware, bringing you Yesterday's Hardware news Today.


Hey Kid,

Socket F Opteron wouldn't have changed the outcome. Jesus Christ man.. you guys are like sore losers. See this is why choosing a company over another is bad. It makes people turn into aluminium helmet wearing conspiracy/FUd spreading nutjobs.

Core 2 > K8
Woodcrest > Opteron

Doesn't matter who's reviewing it, EVERY other site have found the same results.

Deal with it Mmmkay!


LOL-
October 26, 2006 8:30:35 PM

Then pop the CPU into a gaming MB with Dual SLI and something more than a 16meg video card.

That would be a cool article.
But that was not this article.
October 26, 2006 8:44:16 PM

@ElMoIsEviL: How can you be sure it wouldn't have changed anything?

thraxarious might be a fanboy, or not, but he states a relevant point. Why aren't Toms Hardware comparing the top of the line, which would be the socket F?
Who knows there might have been made a small adjustment in the switch, that makes a diffrence.

Quote:
See this is why choosing a company over another is bad. It makes people turn into aluminium helmet wearing conspiracy/FUd spreading nutjobs.

But who is spreading the hate? The one who finds an obvius fault, in one of Toms Hardwares tests, or the one who dismiss it by calling the other guy a fanboy?
October 26, 2006 8:47:10 PM

Quote:
Good article, but its a moog point. New technology beats old technology. Big news there. :roll:


Let's reword this a bit...

Better technology beats already great technology. Newer/older this is a common, illogical argument used when one doesn't like to lose.
Right, however, I don't care that much; these are server chips and Quad Core (still initially expensive server chips) will follow and these are both too far from my PC case. K8 is really great like you say; got terribly hit by C2D but still holding tight.
Talking about technologies; it will be funny next year when Intel releases the single core Core2s as they will probably go head to head at least with the 805 :lol: 
October 26, 2006 8:49:07 PM

You need to examine the article a little more closely.

In regards to power, the CPU uses less power, but the memory chips required use far more power that totally off-set the lower power usage of the Chip. So there is no power savings vs AMD. You can't take components in isolation. This is why the author was careful to point this out in text and why I wished he had anotated the graphics since many people are not careful to fully read the article and just glance at the graphics.

If as you say all CPUs are running at 10%, then the fact the chip is faster is meaningless.

However, The fact the CPU is faster is not meaningless to me since we use Virtualization Technology to allow us to place those 10 low use boxes onto a single box.

Other systems are so over loaded they are placed behind layer-4 switches and allow multiple servers to handle requests.

Anyone who has worked in a datacenter knows that servers multiply like bunnies which makes real estate quite valuable. As they multiply they but a huge load on your power systems.

If we were to compare the XEON 5000 vs the XEON 5100 we have a huge win. There is a large power cut. This will allow me to place more servers in the datacenter w/o needing to increase my electrical capacity. Since the architecture is the same, the performance compared to the 5000 will be the same or better depending on where the constraint was located.

When comparing a XEON 5000 System vs an Opty System I will similar power usage. (Slightly Less in a 4 Dimm setup and slightly more in an 8 dimm setup) Also as you wisely noted, many server functions are not CPU bound but BUS bound and push the memory controllers hard. How do these react? Which system gives me more?
October 26, 2006 9:02:32 PM

Quote:
Good article, but its a moog point. New technology beats old technology. Big news there. :roll:

LameNoobMike, go to your dumb forum for trollz and take your BS with you.

+1

I know lets stop reviewing everything new since its obvious its gonna be better :roll:

Nice to see a comparison between the three (better than comparing it to AMD's new opteron which doesnt even exist), i thought it was a pretty well written article and fair.

Benchmarks for servers need to be updated though. Video encoding isn't a typical server application. Maybe draft up a huge oracle database and compare query times on a set of querys.
Oh yeah, and drop the win2k3 :o  that's shocking stuff :p 
October 26, 2006 9:08:33 PM

Quote:
I did hear they were very Intel slanted in reviews, juding from how they portrayed things so far doesn't dispel that rumor in my mind.


Retarded statement of the day.

Take a look at the cpu charts. The E6300 isnt even on there yet! It also took them ages to get the E6400 on there. They are the 2 best processors to come out of the core 2 arch. The two that destroy AMD's "value sector" as people are calling it.

Intel slanted, i think not.
October 26, 2006 9:14:04 PM

Quote:

Hey Kid,

Socket F Opteron wouldn't have changed the outcome. Jesus Christ man.. you guys are like sore losers. See this is why choosing a company over another is bad. It makes people turn into aluminium helmet wearing conspiracy/FUd spreading nutjobs.

Core 2 > K8
Woodcrest > Opteron

Doesn't matter who's reviewing it, EVERY other site have found the same results.

Deal with it Mmmkay!


I'm sorry, I am not any fanboy, as our company deals in Core2duo, Athlon, Opteron, Xeons, etc.. I learned a long time ago that if you chain yourself to any one thing you end up looking and sounding like a complete ass.

In the past, Athlon was one of the best choices for servers. I have customers come to me pricing them and asking to have me build them. In their cases, they have already done the research to place them in racks. they don't just go "LOL XEON KICKS OPTY BUTT!" If Opteron is what their research says to go buy, fine. They're looking at more than just one performance metric.

As we saw in the article the Opteron's memory bandwidth does outperform Xeon. If a company is using something that is VERY memory intensive (ie VMware servers?) the Opteron Socket F's might be the one for them. A lot of the time I am not given the information as I cannot be told what the systems are for. NDAs are really sticky things to violate.

The right tool for the right job. Toms hardware SHOULD be comparing Socket F opterons to the new Xeons as they are in the same release time frame. not something from over a year ago. That is my point. Releasing an article that talks about the old opterons at this stage when they are available is more FUD. I hate FUD from any source, Intel or AMD.
a b à CPUs
October 26, 2006 9:26:42 PM

Quote:

Hey Kid,

Socket F Opteron wouldn't have changed the outcome. Jesus Christ man.. you guys are like sore losers. See this is why choosing a company over another is bad. It makes people turn into aluminium helmet wearing conspiracy/FUd spreading nutjobs.

Core 2 > K8
Woodcrest > Opteron

Doesn't matter who's reviewing it, EVERY other site have found the same results.

Deal with it Mmmkay!


I'm sorry, I am not any fanboy, as our company deals in Core2duo, Athlon, Opteron, Xeons, etc.. I learned a long time ago that if you chain yourself to any one thing you end up looking and sounding like a complete ass.

In the past, Athlon was one of the best choices for servers. I have customers come to me pricing them and asking to have me build them. In their cases, they have already done the research to place them in racks. they don't just go "LOL XEON KICKS OPTY BUTT!" If Opteron is what their research says to go buy, fine. They're looking at more than just one performance metric.

As we saw in the article the Opteron's memory bandwidth does outperform Xeon. If a company is using something that is VERY memory intensive (ie VMware servers?) the Opteron Socket F's might be the one for them. A lot of the time I am not given the information as I cannot be told what the systems are for. NDAs are really sticky things to violate.

The right tool for the right job. Toms hardware SHOULD be comparing Socket F opterons to the new Xeons as they are in the same release time frame. not something from over a year ago. That is my point. Releasing an article that talks about the old opterons at this stage when they are available is more FUD. I hate FUD from any source, Intel or AMD.

VMWare performs better on C2D then on an Athlon64 FX-62... it's the same with Woodcrest vs. Opteron.

Memory bandwidth advantage or not. Intel's VT Technology is so far superior to AMD's offering. K8L should change this by introducing a Shared Caching mechanism.
October 26, 2006 9:41:03 PM

Quote:
I did hear they were very Intel slanted in reviews, juding from how they portrayed things so far doesn't dispel that rumor in my mind.


Retarded statement of the day.

Take a look at the cpu charts. The E6300 isnt even on there yet! It also took them ages to get the E6400 on there. They are the 2 best processors to come out of the core 2 arch. The two that destroy AMD's "value sector" as people are calling it.

Intel slanted, i think not.

Retarded would be saying "Toms authors side with intel to slam AMD any chance they get." I had heard this rumor, though thought it a bit far fetched. Though with a review that is designed to convey how intel Xeons do better than opterons but are using an older generation of them sounds slanted, or sloppy.

I don't know. I check in with Tom's every so often and have been for a few years. In the past it seemed new hardware always would show up there first. new samples that were not even available to system builders would be put into a glimpse at Tom's...

Now It just seems I have my hands on hardware thats out before toms even thinks of reviewing it. Whats the deal? Not enough people? partners no longer letting them see new hardware? General mallaise?
October 26, 2006 9:43:18 PM

Could you link to any test of virtualization technologies?
VT VS Pacifica?
I personally haven't seen a single test of Pacifica, i think i recall something concerning VT (VS SW virtualization), but i don't have a link..
And how is a shared caching going to help with that?
October 26, 2006 9:45:45 PM

Hey Guys,

I wanted to thank you all for the feedback and input...A lot of valid points here, and they won't go overlooked.

As many have mentioned perhaps it would have been nice to have some more server-related benchmarks, although our emphasis was mostly to give you guys a feel of what the CPU's are capable of, not necessarily solely server-related applications. However, it is still a valid point and it has been noted.

Also, a few of you have stated that newer technology is always better. I find that a very baseless arguement, and although it may be true in many instances, its not correct to generalize, especailly not in our case.

For those of you who think we are Intel biased, lets just say stay tuned for AMD's response.

Thanks again and keep the excellent feedback coming!

Cheers,

Sina
October 26, 2006 10:42:05 PM

Yes,

I thought the tests should have been more like 4-way blade servers doing database and vmWare work. I still don't know which system is best for this. The tests where 2-way using desktop applications. (correct me if I am wrong)
October 27, 2006 12:02:37 AM

I'm sorry but this is a sad example of a review. If Tom's wasn't able or didn't care to get a Socket F Opteron, ok - but they should have said so. But the article shows that the authors clearly don't even know that Socket F Opterons were released in the middle of August 2006! Sun, HP, IBM, Dell all offer Socket F Opteron based machines, but Tom's tests the previous generation and doesn't mention that fact or care about it.

Furthermore, the authors obviously have not seen any AMD server CPU roadmaps for a long time. I quote from the article:

"In mid-2007 AMD is expected to answer Intel's new threat with a line of faster Opterons utilizing the new Socket F, as well as support for DDR2 memory. Whether or not this will be enough to regain the performance lead has yet to be seen, but with no major architectural changes, it is expected that Intel will still retain the overall better performance per watt status."

Incorrect in all regards. Socket F and DDR2 have been introduced in August 2006. A new generation of Opterons is expected for 4Q2006 (65nm), and the next generation after that (Barcelona) is expected for mid-2007 with loads of architectural changes (K8L). Doing a little research takes time, yes, but it helps sometimes.

Another nice example of refusing to think is the following bit from the article (page 3):

"Also, the fact that cache uses less power than an integrated memory controller is a plus in a market where power consumption is a significant factor."

What? Could it be that if you integrate the memory controller in the CPU, you don't need one in the northbridge? The power spent in one place is the power saved in another place. I have never heard that a large cache in the CPU would make the memory controller in the northbridge obsolete. Holy cow.
October 27, 2006 12:38:05 AM

People on this forum are stating that the power consumption is misleading because they state that the Intel-based system will consume an add'l 11 W per FB-DIMM. Looking at your power consumption curves, it appears as if you're showing full system power consumption, not just CPU consumption. That would imply that at least for 4 GB systems, the 5160 does have a clear power advantage over the Opty. But I can't tell whether we're being shown a full system-power number (e.g. at the wall), or a CPU-power number (how would you get that number, anyway?). A little clarification might go a long way.

Thanks.
October 27, 2006 2:37:23 AM

Quote:
Well, I think this isn't really aimed at the people buying servers. It's more of an informative article that's meant for the desktop/workstation crowd. Most of the people buying servers don't read this type of article, and just buy whatever CDW/Insight/etc. sells them from HP/Dell/IBM/etc....


Begging your pardon, but I am a person who buys servers. Part of an intelligent hardware purchasing decision, is determining what hardware fits your given requirements, and finding a suitable system within the budgets you are allocated (which in smaller businesses tends to mean building your own machines/buying custom-built machines from distributors). Not many small businesses can afford to pay 2-5 times the cost of a machine to get the "Basic" service contracts from IBM/HP/Dell. They run a small internal IT department who build/service systems, and run the network.

In addition, anybody worth their salt in IT who does purchasing should know the hardware/technology scene, which means reading technical news sites (inclusive of the reviews posted on) such as Tom's Hardware, TechRepublic, The Register, The Inquirer, Hexus amongst many, many others.

We run a very IT-heavy infrastructure on a limited budget, but we are running between 3 and 6 dual-Opteron servers (244's or 265's), old dual PIII 1GHz servers and 1U P4 servers in each of our 4 sites (supporting 50+ users).

In addition, some of the more technically inclined readers may run their own servers at home (and use them for different purposes, be it file serving/security/application server/testing machine/etc).
October 27, 2006 4:14:08 AM

Quote:
Sorry to hear that your IT department is not capable of making informed decisions.

I only work for very large organizations, some global in nature.
Yes, there are IT standards.
Those standards are based upon technical analysis.

Our servers only go into "Data Centers" and not behind people's desks.

A server does not go into the "Data Centers" without power and lan analysis.

There are often capacity guidelines so we know we can add 10 of model X or 5 or model Y.

I certainly hope nobodies life is lost when your server room goes down because of power-overloads or the fact that a critical server has coffee spilled upon it by a secretary.

It's OK if you like to do drugs, but please, don't do crack then come post on the forumz :lol:  .

Anyway, where did you come up with all of the assumptions? Yes, of course our servers go in data centers! We don't jump every time AMD releases a more efficient CPU than Intel and vice versa, but we're not insane.

In terms of capacity planning, the server engineering team tends to just buy servers with as many CPUs in them as we need for hosting whatever application/db/whatever we are hosting. Or, for less intensive applications, we have servers w/ 8 CPUs and 16gb of RAM that host virtual servers.

There are no secretaries to spill coffee on the servers. The IT building I work in is highly secure (like bullet-proof glass, security officers and keycards to gain entrance to the building secure). But, thanks for playing a game of "let's make shit up"!
October 27, 2006 4:21:45 AM

Point taken. I wasn't really thinking about scenarios with smaller organizations when I wrote that.
October 27, 2006 4:35:21 AM

Quote:
Good article, but its a moog point.


Are these processors for synthesizers?
!