Intel Xeon 3.6 (Nocona) vs. AMD Opteron 250 - Database Testby Jason Clark & Ross Whitehead on September 13, 2004 12:05 AM EST
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- IT Computing
Nocona - New Life into the Xeon Line-upWhen AMD first broke news of their K8 announcement, Intel basically denounced AMD's move, stating that it was premature and the world wasn't ready for it. OK, so Intel was half right on the software side of things. The Windows world is still punting along at 32bits, while the Unix gang have embraced 64bit computing like a new flavor of coffee at Starbucks. Microsoft has promised that we'll have 64bit versions of Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server sometime next year. Microsoft is also readying 64bit versions of SQL Server and the .NET framework.
Although the 64bit landscape is currently bleak for Windows users, that didn't stop Intel from conceding that AMD was stealing some thunder from their server line-up. In February 2004, Intel announced their first processor that runs 32bit and 64bit applications (Nocona), and their naming schema for AMD's x86-64, EM64T. The Nocona processor is essentially a re-badged Pentium F Prescott processor with validated multiprocessor support. If you're interested in the nitty-gritty on the architecture of the Nocona, read our extensive article covering the Prescott architecture written in February 2004. The highlights of the new Nocona processor are a front side bus jump to 800MHz and an increase of the entry level processors, L2 cache to 1MB.
Along with Nocona comes Intel's new chipsets, E7525 Tumwater, which is targeted at the workstation market with PCI-Express x16 graphics, and the E7520/7320 Lindenhurst, which are targeted at the server market. We have both chipsets in the lab, but obviously used the E7520 Lindenhurst server chipset for this comparison.