Introduction

With all of the attention on dual core processors lately, it has been real easy to overlook the one application that might benefit more from multiple cores than any other; Linux. OK, so technically Linux isn't an application, but the kernel has supported SMP for nine years almost to the date. The road to SMP has not been an easy one for Linux, but in the last nine years, and particularly since 1999, Linux has received quite the attention as a 2-8 processor core operating system. If you need a reference, just look at how many Linux machines hold SPEC benchmark records in web serving and number crunching.

But does any of this translate to great desktop performance for dual core processors? We are going to look at that question today while also determining whether Intel or AMD is the better suited contender for the Linux desktop. We have some slightly non-traditional (but very replicable) tests we plan on running today that should demonstrate the strengths of each processor family as well as the difference between some similar Windows tests that we have performed in the past on similar configurations. Ultimately, we would love to see a Linux configuration perform the same task as a Windows machine but faster.

Just to recap, the scope of today's exploration will be to determine which configuration offers the best performance per buck on Linux, and whether or not any of these configurations out perform similar Windows machines running similar benchmarks. It becomes real easy to lose the scope of the analysis otherwise. We obtained some reasonably priced dual core Intel and AMD processors for our benchmarks today, and we will also throw in some benchmarks of newer single core chips to give some point of reference.

The Test
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  • ProviaFan - Friday, July 01, 2005 - link

    On the OS and Kernel rows in the table on the Hardware page, the contents are reversed... :) Reply
  • blackbrrd - Friday, July 01, 2005 - link

    I tried putting together a Pentium D820 and an Amd 64 x2 4200+ in a norwegian webshop (cpu+motherboard+1gb ram) and they came out about equally priced Reply
  • Questar - Friday, July 01, 2005 - link

    Wouldn't the buffer underruns on the DVD burning tests be caused by disk contention and not CPU load? Reply
  • The DvD - Friday, July 01, 2005 - link

    Interesting review. Nice work, Kristopher.

    btw, shouldn't there be a j=3 graph for the 4200+ in the compiling multitasting benchmark?
    Reply
  • Frallan - Friday, July 01, 2005 - link

    Interesting... AMD does not show Intel the door in this one. However it would be very interesting to se total costs of system and the 4400+ as well.

    Gratz Intel!
    Reply
  • Viditor - Friday, July 01, 2005 - link

    I must say that this review very much surprises me! The Pentium D looks much stronger than it has in any of the other reviews...congrats to Intel on this one. Reply
  • Tiamat - Friday, July 01, 2005 - link

    The "siamese" penguin image gave me a nice laugh Reply
  • Viditor - Friday, July 01, 2005 - link

    I will NOT say first post!

    One question so far...were the default memory settings on the AMD setup 1T or 2T?
    Reply
  • shane3in1 - Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - link

    I was wondering the same thing. Reply

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