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I7 3970x vs dual-3770k vs dual-Xeon

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January 4, 2013 4:16:02 PM

Hi,

I recently built a system with dual AMD 6272's and have realized that since my custom application is built with windows architecture and will run on Windows 7 Pro, the AMD setup is not ideal. I would need to likely optimize the code to take full advantage and running it in Windows as oppose to Linux might be the real root problem. (inputs/comments on this are welcome)

That being said, I'm likely opting to change the chip set.

Here's where I am now:

We want a fast chip (s) with lots of cores for when the application is running in parallel.
As of now, the application is also heavily database dependent and does lots of I/O.

I'm trying to create a benchmark of sorts but with # of cores, clock speed and MB cache, I'm trying to come up with a fair comparison.

Do I opt for:

i7 3970X (likely will overclock to 4.0) so 12 threads * 4.0 = 48 with 15mb cache (middle $$$)
i7 3770K (dual) so 8 threads * 2 chips * 3.5 ghz (OC?) = 56 with 8mb cache (least $$$)
Xeon 2630 -dual so 12 threads * 2 chips * 2.3 (no OC) = 55.2 with 15mb cache (most $$$)


The Xeon seems like the best, although it's quite a bit more expensive. Perhaps some lesser Xeon's?
January 4, 2013 4:52:22 PM

I'm a little confused on what you are referring to the i7-3770K as dual. Are you meaning dual processors in a single system? The i7-3770K is single processor single socket support only. Same with the i7-3970K

If you're looking at running database applications, you need to be looking ideally into a Xeon or Opteron based solution. That was you can add multiple processors if needed for the greatest number of cores for processing performance efficiency.

May I ask, why is it that you say the AMD option is not optimized for Windows? AMD Opteron processors and Intel Xeon processors within Windows 7 Pro will function the same way really. When you look at benchmark comparisons the Xeon processors are going to offer a slight advantage in speed clock-for-clock, but you can purchase AMD Opterons for much cheaper and have many more physical cores for that same price or less.

If you are dealing wit a very heavy database load and lots of I/O, then you should also be considering your storage subsystem performance and needs just as much as you are considering your processor choice. Throwing an ungodly number of processor cores at your machine is going to have very minimal affect perhaps if all you are doing is running everything from a standard 7,200 RPM SATA hard drive. Your storage subsystem is the primary bottleneck of every computer system, so the faster you can make that the faster your entire computer will operate.
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January 4, 2013 5:38:00 PM

Asus just told me they have board that support dual 3770's? Is this false?

Quote:
May I ask, why is it that you say the AMD option is not optimized for Windows? AMD Opteron processors and Intel Xeon processors within Windows 7 Pro will function the same way really. When you look at benchmark comparisons the Xeon processors are going to offer a slight advantage in speed clock-for-clock, but you can purchase AMD Opterons for much cheaper and have many more physical cores for that same price or less.


I'm told otherwise, if an application is built using Visual Studio with no other adjustments made for AMD, should it run ok?

Quote:
If you are dealing wit a very heavy database load and lots of I/O, then you should also be considering your storage subsystem performance and needs just as much as you are considering your processor choice. Throwing an ungodly number of processor cores at your machine is going to have very minimal affect perhaps if all you are doing is running everything from a standard 7,200 RPM SATA hard drive. Your storage subsystem is the primary bottleneck of every computer system, so the faster you can make that the faster your entire computer will operate.


We have 2 * OCZ SSD's drives in RAID 0
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January 4, 2013 5:55:28 PM

ASUS must be mixing up the chipset and model that they are referencing to you. The Core i7-3770K is based on the LGA1155 socket which can only be single socket even on the server chipsets. LGA2011 socket processors can come in dual and quad-socket motherboard configurations, but I'm pretty sure that only Xeon processors can be used in dual-socket and quad-socket motherboards as the standard desktop line Core i7 processors are not capable of running multiple processors on the same physical board.

Personally I'm not an expert at coding so you may have to have reference from someone else regarding the Visual Studio with AMD, but I do not see any reason why there would be any difference. They are both x86 processors and 64-bit capable, so there shouldn't really need to be any sort of specific tuning done to make it "work" on an AMD compared to an Intel processor. Now, that being said, some programs can be customized to take advantage of certain integrated technologies in one or the other processors to achieve greater performance or efficiency.

Two SSDs in RAID 0 will give you much better throughput, though just so long as you keep in mind this configuration offers no data protection. I know from experience that onboard RAID 0 configurations with SSDs can sometimes be less than reliable so I wouldn't recommend doing this unless it is alright if all data on your system can be lost.
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January 4, 2013 6:36:05 PM

Quote:
Two SSDs in RAID 0 will give you much better throughput, though just so long as you keep in mind this configuration offers no data protection. I know from experience that onboard RAID 0 configurations with SSDs can sometimes be less than reliable so I wouldn't recommend doing this unless it is alright if all data on your system can be lost.


Although not convenient, the data is not critical so if RAID 0 is faster than RAID 1, I think I'm better off with RAID 0.

As for AMD, just spoke to them and they told me a patch exists for windows O/S (7 or server) kb 2645594 that will fully take advantage of all the cores.
I'm hoping that solves our problems.

One thing though, in using passmark benchmark, the RAM performed terribly but not with errors.

Any way to test/benchmark RAM speeds besides passmark?

In terms of Intel vs AMD dependent code, does anyone have some ideas on this?
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January 4, 2013 11:06:47 PM

Keep in mind if you are using AMD Opteron processors you are probably using DDR3 1333 ECC Registered RAM, which will perform slower than non-ECC DDR3 memory on an enthusiast system which can overclock the RAM. ECC checks all data passed into memory for errors, so this means slower performance. You can turn off ECC on many systems which will help a bit with performance, but that's just a standard aspect to ECC memory.
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January 4, 2013 11:16:14 PM

Dual i7 3770k is the best way to go, Overclockable with 8 cores and 12 threads but how you ganna put them together? Dual Xeon is better if it's $2000+ for a single cpu
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January 5, 2013 12:48:20 AM

choucove said:
Keep in mind if you are using AMD Opteron processors you are probably using DDR3 1333 ECC Registered RAM, which will perform slower than non-ECC DDR3 memory on an enthusiast system which can overclock the RAM. ECC checks all data passed into memory for errors, so this means slower performance. You can turn off ECC on many systems which will help a bit with performance, but that's just a standard aspect to ECC memory.


I am using that RAM: KVR13LR9D8/4HC

Performance is terrible, latency of 130ns from passmark and MaxxMem

I thought ECC RAM would be +/- 10% for RAM performance.
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