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  • TrogdorJW - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - link

    41 - Oh, I know that. I've used Netware networks and I've used Windows Server networks. (I've administered both.) The Netware servers were less powerful machines, and yet they still tended to be faster, and NDS was so much less of a pain in the ass.... I used to live next door to Novell HQ, and I have lots of friends that work there, so it was always rather disappointing to see all the big corporations being sucked (*suck*ed) in by the MS marketing. These days, I work for a large corporation that went with Windows server for everything. It works, but I'm amazed at how slow a lot of operations are. Bah. Reply
  • Cygni - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - link

    Heres the link to the article:
  • Cygni - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - link

    Mikeymasta's post is pure comedy. He’s apparently unaware that effectively 100% of Win DB work is done in a 32bit environment, unaware that Nocona is targeted directly at this Wintel server market, unaware that much DB work is done on NT/2k/2k3 based systems, and even unaware that anandtech HAS ALREADY DONE A Nocona Vs. Hammer for DB in 64bit Linux article. Heck, the kid doesnt even know that misleading is one word.

    I dont care how many trillions of linux based computers he claims to be the admin of, or how many billions of jillions of hits he gets per nanosecond, hes still an idiot to the nth power. Hes the "gayest", if you will.
  • johnsonx - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - link


    NDS runs great on Windows servers; indeed most of Novell's product line runs on both NetWare and Windows Server, and alot of it runs on Linux too (much more now of course that Novell bought SUSE, plus NetWare 7 will be a customized Linux kernel so it'll ALL eventually be Linux). Even if you've GOT to run Windows, a network of Windows Servers running NDS, GroupWise, & ZENWorks will be a much happier network (with happier users and admins) than one running AD, Exchange and SMS.
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link

    #39 - Unless you are doing something much more complex than running a file server and domain controller (and firewall), I still say NetWare is tough to beat. I would also take Novell's Directory Services over Microsoft's Active Directory in a heartbeat. Ah, well - too late for that. Yet another instance of the superior Microsoft Marketing Machince winning out. :p Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link


    Just because you are all geeked up about BSD doesn't mean the real world is. In the real world, a large majority of servers run Windows, like or not. Myself, I'm still geeked up about Novell NetWare, but I don't delude myself into thinking that everyone else is. Before you chuckle keep in mind that there are most likely more NetWare servers running out there in the real world of corporate IT than Linux servers.

  • Jason Clark - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link

    Mikey, the tests are absolutely not misleading, contrary to your belief ALOT of the IT organizations use windows and are not interested in BSD, or BSD based benchmarks. We're talking about an opterating system that has at least 80% of the market here, people are interested in how it currently peforms with the latest hardware.

    Since there is no RELEASED version of 64 bit windows yet, we have to wait for permission to run some benchmarks. We are working on it. As for linux benchmarks, visit the linux section.

  • mikeymasta - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link

    This has to be one of the gayest mis leading benchmarks I have ever seen, comparing server grade 64 bit CPUs on a 32bit operating system.
    As far as I am concerned Anandtech is still for average tech folks and you are seriously miss leading people and giving them opinions about these 64bit CPUs in a flawed test enviroment.
    Get FreeBSD or Linux 64 bit based OS's and do something real. convert your db system over to MySQL if you have to.

    Maybe I am being a bit harsh but you can't just do these kind of misleading kind of tests.
    As an admin/developer running many *nix based machines that get millions of hits a day this is just annoying article to read
    Your not helping anyone!
  • gchcker - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link

    just wondering
    do server boards use the 1000 ht bus that is available to desktops for amd?
    if they do are they being used on these benchmarks?
  • Pumpkinierre - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    For once I agree with Viditor- good article Jason and Ross. And I agree with karlreading on the phrasing and spelling. Only the petty get caught up with the detail. You guys are flat out with the new technology and we appreciate your sacrifice. Put the "broke wind" metaphor back in. Either in the vulgar sense or as I think you intended in the esoteric sense, it is good.
  • karlreading - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    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!!! :)
  • 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.

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

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

  • johnsonx - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link


    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'.
  • 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!!!
  • 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.

  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • RyanVM - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    #9, why would they be in any rush whatsoever to do that when DDR2 is slower and more expensive clock for clock? Besides, with their on-die memory controller, memory performance is far from a limiting factor for K8 systems (look how little difference there is in performance between single channel and dual channel memory for K8 systems). Reply
  • karlreading - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Hmm, seems that the nocona has certainly helped xeons save face against K8. with iAMD64 and 800Mhz FSB they do look much healthier compared to prestona Xeon, raising the perfromance bar and giving the intel fans ( and Dell!! LOL ) the 64 bit option that they always deserved, rather than the expensive, unpopular niche itanic . Considering the implication of having the two CPU's fighting each other for memory bandwidth, something on netburst parts cant get enougth of, the xeons keep pace superbly and it makes one wonder what they would be capable of if each nocona had its own dedicated memory banks and controller!!! Heres one AMD fan hoping opterons @ 2.6Ghz ( opteron 260??) come out quick to keep the chipzilla sweating!!! Reply
  • Viditor - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Excellent first (32bit) look, Jason and Ross! Well written, Many thanks!
    I look forward to the next edition as well.
  • Jason Clark - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Mino, actually AMD sent the tyan and 250's together :) So, they must have some faith in the board since they knew exactly the purpose of it. Aside from that the 250 managed to scale very very well, so I doubt that the board is any issue what so ever... The 64 bit article will be based around 64 bit windows.. not linux. Linux stuff is handled by kris in the linux section.

  • mino - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    by "BEST compiler around" I off course meant by performance, read ability to use the hardware given most efficiently (in case of x86-64 it doesn'nt have to be stable, stability will come by time, these chips will be there for long time).

    Just a little expl. ;0
  • mino - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    hmm, Jason:

    Please could You explain why with Nocona You do consider it "obviously used the E7520 Lindenhurst server chipset" and with Opteron it is allright to use purely Workstation chipset/board ???

    I know there should just minor difference betwen K8W and K8S Pro , but this "minor" rise in K8 performance might have changet this very narrow race !!

    Other than That I'm waiting for 64-bit comparison, PLEASE do include 32bit results in there then. I would preffer 32bit Nocona optimized code vs 64bit Nocona optimized vs 32bit K7 optimized(runs better than K8 optim.) vs AMD-64 optimized(compiled with BEST compiler around-even if it will be only beta compiler used) code on Opteron. This should be done on linux with systems compiled from scratch for this test. I know This is much of work, but there are people around that can make such a system up and running in 3 to 4 hours.(one is sitting near me:). So, IF You need help, call some friends of yours. Since such an comparison would be ONE and the BEST ONE around this pitty planet.

    good luck,
  • jrphoenix - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    #12... Very funny.... I had to go back and read it again. I guess they did fart out the specs, LMAO!!! Reply
  • Jason Clark - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    A 3.2 prestonia vs. 3.2 nocona could be interesting though, I'll see what we can do there. Reply
  • Jason Clark - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    We are in planning a 64bit db test, and web test. Not to worry. These types of articles that use real world tests, take time :) Reply
  • Cusqueno - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    I believe the authors meant "piqued their interest" instead of "peaked their interest". I don't think this is a reference to climbing mountains. Reply
  • appu - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    #10, I agree with you. I think before doing an AMD vs. Intel shootout a Prestonia vs. Nocona was more in order. Reply
  • Marlin1975 - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Another thing I did not see, maybe missed it?, was the 3.6Ghz P4/Xeon is MORE a paper launch then anything as I can't seem to find it anywhere. The higgest Xeon I see in real quanity is the 3.4Ghz.
    So is it fair to compare a almost impossiable and even higher priced CPU to one that is easy to find and cheaper?
  • vmajor - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Ah, so AMD farted out the specs?

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

    That's one way to grab attention...

  • Jalf - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    #8: Well, why should they? It looks like even Intel are starting to realize that performance doesn't equal MHz. They have much easier and more effective ways to improve their performance than to strive for 4GHz Reply
  • gherald - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Well well well... a couple of inconclusive 32bit benchmarks.

    What this article shows that we didn't already know or didn't expect:

    - Nothing.

    What this article shows that we already knew:

    - The Xeon shared FSB is a significant limiting factor.

    What this article shows that we did expect:

    - The Nocona performs similarly to the Opteron 250 in 32bits.

    What this article did not cover:

    - 64BIT vs. 32BIT !
    - How do 2xNocona and 2xPrestonia compare at EQUAL clockspeeds? (i.e. exactly how does the decreased cache and longer pipeline affect numbers)
    - How does a 1xNocona compare to an equally clocked Prescott and Northwood? (i.e is it just about equal to the Prescott, as one might expect?)

    What this article neglected to mention:

    - How did the Nocona's use of DDR2 affect the benchmarks, if at all?
    - More importantly, how does it affect price vs. performance ? DDR2 is still twice as expensive and offers virtually no performance improvement, right? So assuming the 3.6 Nocona sells at a similar price to the Opteron 250, you still have to factor in the increased memory costs and when packing in 4GB, as with these test systems, it is no mean consideration!

    To #9: AMD is in no hurry to do this, what with DDR2 costing twice as much and offering no tangible benefits as of yet.
  • fergiboy - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    It is interesting to note that the Intel platform runs on DDR2. AMD is going to have to tweak its processor to release DDR2 support due to the on die memory controller. Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    There will be versions of Prescott that will have more cache. The question is, will it ever reach 4.0ghz without melt down hahaha. Reply
  • hirschma - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    I'm not sure how cache effects database performance - I'd guess not very much, but I honestly don't know. If my guess is right, AMD is on track to scale right by Intel very shortly. Reply
  • Denial - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Nice article Jason, and please keep the server based benchmarks coming. It's refreshing to see numbers from a reputable source, and though the actual results here may not influence many purchases, it at least gets the "Opteron is a viable option" point across.

    The slight difference between the top of the line Opteron and Xeon is so slim that the choice of a platform would obviously come down to other more relevant factors. The scores are also so close that it if another application were used the Xeon could come out ahead.

    The only real way to know if there is any meaningful performance difference between Xeon and Opteron systems would be to benchmark the application you will be using on systems from your vendors of choice. If the difference is less than 10%, more than likely the TCO, support, organizational standards, and more often than not a good sales team will drive the choice of which systems will be purchased. Unfortunately for AnandTech, they'd have to test the systems as they come from the manufacturers, storage and all, for the benchmarks to be useful to a large organization. There can be a very noticeable difference in performance from an HP, IBM and SUN server all using the same processor.

    The interesting data will come when we have 64 bit benchmarks using these CPU's. Win64 with 8-32GB of RAM and 64 bit versions of MS SQL, DB2, Oracle, etc., will be much more informative and useful.

  • DrMrLordX - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Might be nice, knightcrow. I haven't seen those used in many(if any) hardware benchmark reviews, though. At least they made mention of the 2% deviation they got with benchmark results.

    I don't think anybody's really surprised here. I would, however, like to hear from AMDjihad. He's ever-so-insightful.
  • knitecrow - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    Something caught my eye:

    "The difference in performance between the Opteron 250 and the Nocona 3.6 is approximately 2%, which is also our tolerance for deviation between test runs."

    I know its an unfair charge to level against this site, as everyone does it, but why aren't there any error bars?

    In my freshman physics class they really made the point that graphs with out error bars are useless.... and the work was rubbish.

    Just by looking at the graph I can't tell the variance or the margin of error. Wouldn't it be helpful if we had the information?

    Anyway, just a thought.
  • saechaka - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    the message is clear the beat must go on Reply
  • MAME - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    AMD > Intel once again Reply
  • Shadowmage - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    The Opteron applies extreme beats yet again! :D Reply

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