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Conclusion

AMD's Opteron 250 vs. Intel's Xeon 3.6 GHz in a Workstation Duel of the Elite
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AMD can consider itself lucky, because due to the dual channel memory controller that is part of each processor, the dual Opteron has a nice advantage, despite having a clock speed that is 1.2 GHz slower. When simply comparing AMD and Intel, the astute observer will also notice that the results for the Xeon Nocona are, to a large extent, due to the 875P-chipset, which we also included. The reason behind that is the memory controller, because even though the E7525, alias Tumwater, supports DDR2-400, these memory modules are worlds behind DDR400 in terms of the timing possible. The new memory thus currently only delivers theoretical advantages, which is why the increase in FSB to 200 MHz does not achieve much either in many cases: the Xeon clearly suffers from a lack of memory performance.

Moreover, AMD also benefits from the fact that every Opteron processor ideally has its own area of RAM. The theoretical total bandwidth amounts in this case to 12.8 GB/s, whereas the DDR2-400-interface of the E7525 can only deliver 6.4 GB/s, and this bandwidth is also missing from the two Xeon processors.

In the area of video, AMD clearly asserts itself, while Intel is marginally ahead in 3D. And even so, only if we include the 875P platform in the evaluation. If we only compare the Opteron 250 and the Xeon Nocona, including E7525, it is the Opteron that wins out by a small margin, in spite of significantly inferior graphics hardware. The test with Solidworks is, unfortunately, still outstanding, as their copy protection dongle thwarted our efforts. The results for the applications that you use should in any event be examined in detail, as all we can do here is collect and evaluate the results.

Intel, in turn, has medium-term advantages when it comes to PCI-Express components or graphics performance, as the latest expansion cards and the fastest OpenGL boards will be appearing especially for PCI Express. Meanwhile, things are still undecided regarding the "64 bit" factor, because benchmarks will only really make sense once 64 bit applications become available.

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