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PHENOM II 965 vs. I7 930 for scientific computing, which one?

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June 25, 2010 8:25:08 PM

Hello,

I'm setting up a small cluster for scientific computing and would like to know your opinions on what would be the best choise: AMD Phenom 965 or Intel i7 930?

AMD classically has been considered better for my kind of application (floating point operations dominate by far) but on the other hand most of the compilers are Intel. But again, AMD is 30% cheaper which would translate in more nodes in the computer.

help?!?

many thx
paula
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June 25, 2010 8:44:39 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

Intel is the best in gaming but like I see u don't want the right for this and in that case AMD is much better for price/performance.

Bear in mind that AMD components are more cheap too and have more proof life that Intel..

Which I prefer? I would go with AMD since is much better in price/performance relation and much better in the specific file that u need.
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June 25, 2010 9:21:24 PM

If you are doing scientific computing, I would like to point your attention at this. I don't know how intense of computing you need, but this is something good to be aware of.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Watch the video to fully understand. It amazed me when I saw it.

If you do end up using 1 or 2 of these cards, then it is your choice on which processor to use because a dual channel motherboard should be able to provide enough ram, but if you use 3 or more, may i suggest the intel because of the motherboards allowing triple channel ram allowing you to have more, as you need an extra 4Gb of ram for each of thee cards added. The video will cover this.
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June 25, 2010 10:37:07 PM

I7 has on average (from what I've seen) a 20% GFLOPS advantage clock4clock. However they are nowhere near Tesla's 933 GFLOPS. :) 
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June 26, 2010 10:38:38 AM

AMD also has a hexacore processor for $200. I'm not going to do your homework but look for benchies. There has to be something inre to your specific needs on it.
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Best solution

June 26, 2010 12:31:33 PM

JulianSidewind said:
If you are doing scientific computing, I would like to point your attention at this. I don't know how intense of computing you need, but this is something good to be aware of.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Watch the video to fully understand. It amazed me when I saw it.

If you do end up using 1 or 2 of these cards, then it is your choice on which processor to use because a dual channel motherboard should be able to provide enough ram, but if you use 3 or more, may i suggest the intel because of the motherboards allowing triple channel ram allowing you to have more, as you need an extra 4Gb of ram for each of thee cards added. The video will cover this.


Indeed, a HPC graphics card is superior to a CPU in raw calculating power. Take a look at Nvidia's Tesla and ATI's FirePro lines, these are better in some cases.

But may I recommend the AMD Phenom II X6-1090T or X6-1055T? These are 6-core CPU's that outperform the Intel 930 and even 950/970 in threaded workloads (which as far as I know most scientific software pieces are). Massive processing power per dollar.

As for your question:

AMD 1090T/1055T:
+ Equally expensive with more cores, so more cores for the same budget
+ Higher performance per dollar
+ Motherboards are *excellent* in price to feature ratio
+ Better future upgrade paths

- Less calculating performance per core (although the difference is marginal compared to the advantage of extra cores)
- Motherboards can only use dual channel memory. Not a big disadvantage, but take it into account

Intel:
+ Higher performance per core
+ Triple channel memory

- Motherboards have features that are as good or even better than AMD's, but their price is so high they are absolutely inferior to AMD's chipsets.
- No new generation of 1366 CPU's.

So my ranking would be:

1) AMD 6-cores
2) AMD quad cores
3) Intel quad cores
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June 27, 2010 2:06:30 PM

many thanks for all replies. i'll check out the cost of the AMD 6-cores here.

we thought about the GPUs too, but it would need a considerable amount of change in the codes we use (as far as i understood) and we're not ready to do that yet...

cheers,
p.
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July 14, 2010 11:44:28 AM

Best answer selected by prtc.
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