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FX 8150 Virtualization VS Others

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June 16, 2012 11:18:32 PM

I am going to be building a machine that will be used for virtualization. I am not sure which virtualization solution I will use but it will most likely be KVM. I have searched but most of the benchmarks are bare system vs virtualized.

I am looking primarily at the four CPUs (primarily the FX 8150) below but am open to any CPU within the $150-225 range.

AMD FX 8150
AMD Phenom II X6

Intel Core i5 3570K
Intel Core i5 2500


Which CPU should I use for this build and why? Also, I am open to spending a bit more if you provide a good reason. Please let me know if additional info is needed.

More about : 8150 virtualization

a b à CPUs
June 17, 2012 7:15:17 AM

FX 8150 - it loves Visualization, 8 threads running on 8 separate integer cores :)  and u can't beat it for the price/performance ratio it offers for these kind of jobs.

As for the exact reasons why, just google around a bit, there has been lot of talk about this already:) 

PS:- If u can wait till Nov-Dec, get the FX 8350, shud provide atleast a 20% more performance/watt than the current fx 8150:) 
June 17, 2012 4:35:25 PM

$hawn said:
FX 8150 - it loves Visualization, 8 threads running on 8 separate integer cores :)  and u can't beat it for the price/performance ratio it offers for these kind of jobs.

As for the exact reasons why, just google around a bit, there has been lot of talk about this already:) 

PS:- If u can wait till Nov-Dec, get the FX 8350, shud provide atleast a 20% more performance/watt than the current fx 8150:) 


I'll assume you meant virtualization instead of visualization :)  Can you provide some of the reasons?

I've seen this:
http://www.knowbytes.com/home/articles/processors/intel...
and this:
http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1110210-AR-1110212AR...


I am not sure why I didn't think of this but some Operton processors may be an option for me as well.
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a b à CPUs
June 20, 2012 3:48:46 AM

xxxopenxxx said:
I'll assume you meant virtualization instead of visualization :)  Can you provide some of the reasons?


lol, yea....a typo...sorry :) 

Anyway its hard to explain, but because the FX has 8 separate cores, it becomes much more easier to assign workloads from different virtual machines.
Say for example, u have to run 7 VM's at once.

In case of the FX, u can happily assign one machine per core, the last 8th core is for the host OS.

On the i5, which has only 4C/4T, the matter gets a bit complicated. 2 VM's have to share one core. Basically this is achieved using CPU time slicing.
Even if each i5 core is 40% faster than an FX core, each VM gets less than half this speed, and hence the VM's run slower. There is also wastage of processor time as it saves one VM's state and registers, and switches to the next. This is called context switching.

So end of the day, the FX rocks at virtualization:)  Server chips should be almost the same as desktop chips except for the fact that they consume less power, and are significantly more expensive:) 

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a c 96 à CPUs
June 20, 2012 4:38:24 AM
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xxxopenxxx said:
I am going to be building a machine that will be used for virtualization. I am not sure which virtualization solution I will use but it will most likely be KVM. I have searched but most of the benchmarks are bare system vs virtualized.

I am looking primarily at the four CPUs (primarily the FX 8150) below but am open to any CPU within the $150-225 range.

AMD FX 8150
AMD Phenom II X6

Intel Core i5 3570K
Intel Core i5 2500


Which CPU should I use for this build and why? Also, I am open to spending a bit more if you provide a good reason. Please let me know if additional info is needed.


I would look at the Opteron 4200 series units. The SR56x0/SP5100 chipsets used in those CPUs' motherboards have the IOMMU enabled which is an asset in running a VM. They also can support a lot more RAM than a desktop CPU can. The Opteron 4200s aren't all that expensive- between around $100 and $300 for most of them- but the boards they come in are certainly pricier than average desktop boards at $200-300 for a single-socket board and $300-400 for a dual-socket unit. You are getting a much nicer board than a typical desktop board for that money, though.

If you are looking at doing some very heavy-duty virtualization, look at a dual or quad Opteron 6200 setup. Those CPUs start around $270, the ones you'd likely want for virtualization cost around $550-800, but they support up to 384 GB of RAM per CPU and each CPU can have up to 16 cores. You can also stuff four CPUs on one board. You can run a LOT of VMs on such a setup.
a c 184 à CPUs
June 20, 2012 5:04:57 AM

^+1
Perfect suggestions! Not to bother you, but do you know how well they do in Folding @ home?
a c 96 à CPUs
June 21, 2012 1:56:58 AM

amuffin said:
^+1
Perfect suggestions! Not to bother you, but do you know how well they do in Folding @ home?


Long story short, don't bother with folding on AMD CPUs unless you can have at least two 12-core Opterons. FAH is HEAVILY biased towards Intel CPUs as it uses Intel's compiler, and the only way to get decent scores on AMD hardware is to have a huge amount of cores and brute force your way through the bigadv WUs. The only data point I have is my single 12-core 2.40 GHz Opteron 6234 gives between 15k and 30k ppd depending on the WU. An 8-core Opteron 4200 will be in the neighborhood of 1/2 to 2/3 of that score, two of them should give about 50% more than what my single 6234 yields. What it takes to really do well in FAH is being able to run the 16 thread bigadv WUs, which will take roughly two 12-core Opteron 6200s and yield somewhere around 75k ppd. Two 8-core ones or one 16-core unit will run the bigadv WUs but won't be fast enough to complete it in time to get a bonus (because FAH is biased against AMD CPUs.) If you really want to do well, get yourself four 16-core Opteron 6200s and you will be in the several hundred thousand ppd range as the bonus is highly nonlinear, heavily favoring returning WUs earlier.
June 22, 2012 11:08:44 PM

Best answer selected by xxxopenxxx.
September 24, 2012 5:17:57 AM

I was thinking of a similar setup :) 

Which did you end up getting, what was its overall cost, and were you happy with it?
November 19, 2012 9:33:15 PM

I'm also interested in hearing how you made out and what you selected. I'm looking to build a Linux box running Virtualbox and having the ability in an emergency to throw one of my special purpose VMs (or more) on it.

I don't want to go full on Opteron with all the tons of RAM. I'm thinking that the 8350 looks pretty good, and I'll find the MB that can handle the most RAM.
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