Introduction

Over a year and half has passed since AMD announced their K8 architecture to the world, and what has changed? Well, "a heck of a lot" is the answer. The Opteron has proven itself as a worthy competitor to the infamous Intel Xeon line-up of processors, and Intel has been following AMD for a change, something no one could have predicted a few years ago. Dual-core processors are on the horizon; AMD demonstrated theirs with Hewlett Packard just a few weeks ago, and Intel demonstrated theirs at the Intel Developers Conference in September, 2004.

So, we've seen AMD compete on both the desktop and server market, but does this transgress into a victory in corporate America? Well, it has certainly piqued their interest enough for Intel to comment about it in a recent news.com article. Itanium hasn't been quite the success that Intel was hoping for, but that doesn't mean that AMD has the server market by the reigns quite yet, not even close. AMD still has an uphill battle to fight, with Intel owning over 80% of the PC processor market, and AMD owning about 15% as of August 2004. To AMD's credit, they have signed a few of the first-tier customers like HP, IBM and Sun, and last November, AMD has announced their new manufacturing plant in Dresden to keep up with demand.

One thing for certain is that neither of the processor giants are sitting around taking their success lightly. Well aware that AMD is knocking on the door, Intel has finally released the new Nocona line of Xeons, which follow in the 64bit footsteps of AMD with EM64T. AMD has released their latest Opteron clock increase with the new 250 line of processors, which is a 2.4 GHz Opteron for those who prefer the clock speed version.

Nocona - New Life into the Xeon Line-up
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  • karlreading - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    #31
    whilst i agree with what you are saying in principle, perhaps a polite email to the author(s) of any article(s) pointing out the mistake(s). Would this not be more appropriate? I personally find that when one person points out such mistakes on a public forum, another 10 people throw in 2 pence worth and before you know it everybody starts to pick holes and loses site of the actual topic - like i have now so i'll shut up!!! :)
    Reply
  • Jason Clark - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    In regards to the motherboard questions, we used a Thunder K8W board, I'll ensure the article reflects that. We did some testing on Numa, and as of yet see any difference at all in numbers.

    Cheers
    Reply
  • Jason Clark - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Since the broke wind pun seems to bring about so much attention.. I've changed the wording :).

    Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    @karlreading,

    I may be wrong, but I'd like to think those who write these articles actually appreciate polite corrections to grammar & wording missteps. I mostly don't bother unless the mistake either leads one to a conclusion other than what was intended, or if the mistake is potentially embarassing as is the case for 'broke wind'. Most websites contain such constant and gross errors of this kind that they are unreadable, but AT maintains a pretty high standard as all serious publications, electronic or printed, should. In most cases where folks have pointed out a mistake in an article, the AT staff has seen fit to correct it.

    No one has suggested that the article is less valid because "slightly suspect use of wording".

    All that said, for all I know the author(s) may have intended the wording used, or may have decided they like the unintended wording even if it is a bit 'suspect'.
    Reply
  • CrystalBay - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Nice read JC, nice replies #6 and #10... Reply
  • karlreading - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Can i just say, i wish all you moaning gits who are ripping the guys grammer and use of words apart could just pipe down. The guys have done a sterling job with this review and if i'd done some hardcore benchmarking session then id prolly be so tierd that i would be a bit fuzzy with my write up. Your just like the stupid kids in class that have to put there hands up and shout " miss, you spelt that wrong!! ". what does it achieve, not a lot, thats what!!!
    Lets try to appreciate the article for its content and commend Jason and Ross for delivering us with a good comparitive benchmark set rather than sit there nit picking about a slightly suspect use of wording!!!
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Also, if in fact the board used on the Opteron was the Thunder K8W, I'd like to ask a further question:

    Did you enable cross-processor memory interleaving? (sorry, I forget what it's called in the BIOS) In this mode, memory access is interleaved across both memory banks, effectively yielding a shared 256-bit memory bus which increases performance for UMA operating systems.

    I think Windows 2003 also supports a form of NUMA, so if you *disable* the cross-processor interleaving (and get a couple of other settings right as well), then Windows will try to keep threads and data local to the processor executing them, which should increase performance in some situations. There's a bunch more terminology to this, about how the BIOS passes a configuration table to the OS which tells it which memory is local to which processor, and what other conditions have to be met in the BIOS settings (something about background ECC scrubbing if I recall correctly).

    I have to admit that I've only setup 1 Dual-Opteron Windows 2003 Server (on a Thunder K8S Pro), and I didn't completely understand all the ramifications of the above, so I just enabled the cross-processor memory interleaving (which thus disabled any NUMA support). I figured that was probably the safe bet.

    If AT could investigate this and shed some light on it, it would be most interesting.

    Dave
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    @Mino and Jason Clark,

    The Tyan K8W board was specified in the article; but there are two very different K8W's. The Tiger K8W is a workstation board with a single bank of memory slots; the second CPU does ALL memory access via HT. The Thunder K8W is high-end workstation & server board with memory slots for both CPUs; the only difference between it and a 'server only' board is the Thunder K8W has an AGP 3.0 tunnel and slot where a 'server only' board like the Thunder K8S Pro does not.

    I'm guessing that the Thunder K8W was used for the test, but Mino thought only of the Tiger K8W.

    Perhaps clarification should be made?
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    I opened the comments page just to see if anyone had already commented on this, and I see Viditor beat me to it, but still..

    "When AMD first broke wind with the K8 announcement..."

    Yikes. I'm really sure that isn't the phrasing you were looking for. No, this is some sort of Beavis & Butthead "heheheheh he said 'wind' hehehehe" thing; AFAIK "break wind" means one thing and one thing only, and it just can't be used the way you tried to.
    Reply
  • daveshel - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    "So, we've seen AMD compete on both the desktop and server market, but does this transgress into a victory in corporate America?"

    Trans- something, I guess.
    Reply

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