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Select CPU Xeon5220 or Opteron2427

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November 27, 2009 12:09:46 AM

Please must make a choice between one of the following two:

1) PC with 2 Xeon 5520 processors (8 cores)

2) PC with 2 Six-Core AMD Opteron 2427 (12 cores)


For each of above two cases please tell me best (non-money wasting) RAM sticks.
And a best (non-money-wasting) moatherboard and best heat sink for continuous CPU busy loads.

I need such motherboard and memory which will allow to take FULL utilization and benefit of the CPU specs, but at the same time would not offer extra use-less speed etc beyond the capability of the CPU (because it will be waste of money)

Best regards,
A.Ali

November 27, 2009 12:14:31 AM

Adding that, I will use that PC along with my small cluster ( as a complement or alternative) to test/run parallel MPI codes.
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November 29, 2009 8:20:43 PM

I recommend

-MOBO http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-CPU (2 of These) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-Heat Sink http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-Ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Buy ram up until you see no increase in performance. Start with 4gb
You may not even need to run the dual Xeon for what your doing. Post some more detail about what you will be running on this.
Good Luck
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November 29, 2009 8:22:48 PM

Make sure you dont bottleneck yourself with a shitty HDD
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November 29, 2009 10:34:15 PM

Thanks, pathasse!

My objective is to run parallel MPI PDE solver / linear solvers on that.
Xeon 54xx does not have QPI,,,, so why you suggest this.
You suggested RAM 800MHz; is not quite slow?
Please give example of both 'shitty' and ''non-shitty' HDD.
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November 29, 2009 10:45:23 PM

I did not see you ask for QPI sry. Your lookin to spend some more then IC
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a c 115 à CPUs
November 29, 2009 10:51:48 PM

amjadali, the Xeon 5400 series doesn't make much sense anymore. Go with the much faster 5500 series. The 5520 has 4 cores plus Hyperthreading. I'd go with Intel simply because you can upgrade to much faster CPUs if need be. If disk performance really is important, go with 15K SAS drives or Intel SSDs.
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November 29, 2009 10:54:17 PM

I guess my expertise on solvers is only in Ansys and Cosmos. Im a petty engineer. For Analyzing flow and linear calculations I have gotten by on a 2.4 xeon quad core with 8 gigs of ddr2. This all being set in a workstation atx MOBO.
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November 29, 2009 10:56:17 PM

I would also recomend the ssd that is always my week point
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a c 100 à CPUs
November 30, 2009 4:21:54 PM

amjadali said:
Thanks, pathasse!

My objective is to run parallel MPI PDE solver / linear solvers on that.
Xeon 54xx does not have QPI,,,, so why you suggest this.
You suggested RAM 800MHz; is not quite slow?
Please give example of both 'shitty' and ''non-shitty' HDD.


Ah, you're doing parallel number crunching with MPI on this machine. This means you're probably running Linux or some other *nix as your OS and you're most likely going to be running the machine at full load on all cores for a long time. I'd go for the dual Opteron 2427s in this case. Those extra four cores in the dual Opteron setup should allow it to be considerably faster than the dual Xeon setup in such parallel code. I wouldn't count on much extra Turbo Boost over the stock 2.26 GHz from the Xeons as they're going to be running flat-out for a long time and warm up, so the Xeon probably has only a 67 MHz clock speed advantage over the Opterons. The Xeons are a little faster clock-for-clock than the Opterons, but you can greatly affect how certain code runs on a certain CPU by fiddling with the optimizations of the program binaries and as a result, Opteron 23xx/24xx CPUs aren't that much slower clock-for-clock than Xeon 55xx CPUs when well-optimized (look at the Phoronix Benchmark Suite results for an idea on that.)

800 MHz RAM is the fastest grade of server DDR2 available and it's what the Opteron 24xxs use. That's a bit slower than DDR3-1066 that the Xeon E5520 uses, but unless your code is heavily memory I/O-bound, it should be fast enough. Comparison of DDR2 vs. DDR3 on the desktop equivalent of the current quad-core Opterons says that going from DDR2-800 to DDR3-1333 yields about 5% extra performance. I know that's not an apples-to-apples comparison as the E5520 has three DDR3-1066 channels and not two DDR2-800/DDR3-1333 channels of the Phenom II used in the tests, but I feel that the conclusion still is mostly applicable.

Pretty much any HDD should be okay for a number-crunching machine as most of them don't have a lot of HDD access. They generally load the data set into RAM periodically and then write results to disk periodically as the CPU completes stages of the calculations. Yours may be slightly different, but that is the behavior of all of the number-crunching programs I've used (CFD applications, numerical-solving applications, stats programs, molecular modeling programs.) Basically any hard drive that will hold your data set would be sufficient for that usage.
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November 30, 2009 4:49:57 PM

you said: 800 MHz RAM is the fastest grade of server DDR2 available and it's what the Opteron 24xxs use. That's a bit slower than DDR3-1066 that the Xeon E5520 uses, but unless your code is heavily memory I/O-bound, it should be fast enough.


Thats what the point: CFD/PDE solvers memery bound. So it is the issue for me!

still you are with 2 Opteron 2427 (12 cores) with 800Mhz? if yes suggest motherboard? tyan is not good one as the compatible one only support 667MHz.
thanks.
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Best solution

a c 100 à CPUs
December 1, 2009 12:07:20 AM

amjadali said:


Thats what the point: CFD/PDE solvers memery bound. So it is the issue for me!

still you are with 2 Opteron 2427 (12 cores) with 800Mhz? if yes suggest motherboard? tyan is not good one as the compatible one only support 667MHz.
thanks.


If your application is memory I/O-bound, then you'd be better off with the Xeons. Each Xeon E5520 with its three channels of DDR3-1066 has roughly twice the memory bandwidth as an Opteron 2427 with its two channels of DDR2-800 (25.6 GB/sec vs 12.8 GB/sec.) Both have considerably more effective memory bandwidth than your current Xeon quad-core unit does, but the Xeons would be a better option if you are at all worried about memory bandwidth.
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December 1, 2009 4:09:56 AM

Thats fine.

than your current Xeon quad-core unit does,---------

Which Xeon quad core you assumed I have??

Can you please tell me memory bandwidth of Xeon3220?

Thanks a lot.
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a c 100 à CPUs
December 1, 2009 10:54:31 PM

amjadali said:
Thats fine.

than your current Xeon quad-core unit does,---------

Which Xeon quad core you assumed I have??


The Xeon X3220, since it's the only quad-core Xeon that runs at 2.40 GHz and you said you have a quad-core Xeon running at 2.40 GHz.

Quote:
Can you please tell me memory bandwidth of Xeon3220?

Thanks a lot.


The Xeon X3220 has a 1066 MHz effective FSB, good for a maximum of 8.53 GB/sec of bandwidth. However, that bandwidth needs to be shared not only between the CPU cores and RAM but also between the two pairs of CPU cores on the two dies in the CPU, so you probably won't be using all of that bandwidth just for RAM accesses.
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December 2, 2009 2:38:52 AM

Thanks a lot.

Can you please suggest some motherboard for Xeon E5520. May be other than Intel but it should me able to use max features of CPU. What about Inte S5520Sc and S5520HC.

How can we find ou Bandwadith of a given CPU (speed , FSB or QPI etc)
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a c 100 à CPUs
December 2, 2009 11:14:54 PM

amjadali said:
Thanks a lot.

Can you please suggest some motherboard for Xeon E5520. May be other than Intel but it should me able to use max features of CPU. What about Inte S5520Sc and S5520HC.


You'd do much better in asking somebody else that question. I am not as familiar with the specific motherboards as I would want to be to make a specific recommendation. Generally speaking, Intel generally makes decent server boards and so does Tyan and Supermicro. I have heard some good things and some bad things about Gigabyte, MSI, and ASUS's server boards, so I won't say much about them. I have built older dual Xeon machines with Intel and Supermicro boards and they've been fine, in fact, my current dual Xeon file server runs on a circa 2002 Intel SE7501CW2 motherboard and it works flawlessly.

Quote:
How can we find ou Bandwadith of a given CPU (speed , FSB or QPI etc)


You have to multiply the number of data transfers per second times the number of bytes sent per transfer.

1. AMD and Intel Pentium/K5 and later front-side bus: Multiply the effective FSB speed (400-1600 MHz) by 8 bytes. Your Xeon X3220 has an effective FSB speed of 1066 MHz, so multiplying that by 8 bytes gives you 8533 MB/sec.

2. AMD HyperTransport and Intel QPI: multiply the number of transfers per second by 2 bytes. The Opteron 2400 series runs their HT links at 4.8 GT/sec, giving 9.6 GB/sec in bandwidth. The QPI link in the Xeon E5502/5504/5506s run at 4.8 GT/sec, also yielding 9.6 GB/sec in bandwidth.

3. RAM: multiply the RAM's effective speed in MHz by 8 bytes. DDR3-1066 would thus give 8533 MB/sec (1066 MHz * 8 bytes.) Remember that is a per-channel bandwidth, so multiply that number by the number of channels the CPU can use- one for AMD socket 754 units and CPUs older than the later P4 Northwoods, two for all Opterons made to date and most other CPUs made in the past five years, three for LGA1366 CPUs, and four for the upcoming Socket G34 Opterons.
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