Since the excuse to not compare Athlon 64s to Intel Pentium based processors has always been "you can't compare apples to oranges," we found ourselves fairly entertained to come into the possession of a 3.6GHz EM64T Xeon processor. Intel's EM64T is Intel's true x86_64 initiative. This 3.6GHz Xeon processor is actually the exact same CPU in as the LGA775 Pentium 4F we will see in just a few weeks. We are offering a preview of an unreleased processor on 64-bit Linux systems. Now, we have Intel and AMD 64-bit x86 processors, 64-bit Linux operating systems and a few days to get some benchmarking done.

We are going to run the benchmarks for this review slightly different than we have in the past. We want to make our numbers easily replicable for those who have the necessary components, but we also want to show the fullest capabilities of the hardware that we have. Many of our previous benchmarks are not multithread (POV-Ray) or do not scale well. Unfortunately, this forces us to use a lot of synthetic benchmarks; but we feel the overall results are accurate and reflective of the hardware used.

The delicate bit for this review was using the SuSE 9.1 Pro (x86_64) installation rather than compiling it from scratch (à la Gentoo). This was done to preserve the ability to replicate our benchmarks easily. Fedora Core 2 refused to install on the IA32e machine because there was no recognized AMD CPU.

 Performance Test Configuration
Processor(s): Athlon 64 3500+ (130nm, 2.2GHz, 512KB L2 Cache)
Intel Xeon 3.6GHz (90nm, 1MB L2 Cache)
RAM: 2 x 512MB PC-3500 CL2 (400MHz)
2 x 512MB PC2-3200 CL3 (400MHz) Registered
Memory Timings: Default
Hard Drives Seagate 120GB 7200RPM IDE (8Mb buffer)
Operating System(s): SuSE 9.1 Professional (64 bit)
Linux 2.6.4-52-default
Linux 2.6.4-52-smp
Compiler: GCC 3.3.3
Motherboards: NVIDIA NForce3 250 Reference Board
SuperMicro Tumwater X6DA8-G2 (Only 1 CPU)

As there may have been a little confusion from the last review, the DDR PC-3500 only runs at 400MHz. The Infineon Registered RDIMMs used on the Xeon runs at slightly high latencies. All memory runs in dual channel configurations. We removed 1 CPU for the tests in this benchmark, but since HyperThreading was enabled, we used the SMP kernel. During the second half of the benchmarks, SMP was disabled and the tests were re-run under the single CPU generic kernel. These are both 64-bit CPUs, and so, all benchmarks are run on 64-bit OSes with 64-bit binaries wherever possible.

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  • syadnom - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link

    i'm have been a loyal anandtecher for quite a long time, if i keep seeing reviews of this caliber, i'm going to have to delete my bookmark.
  • syadnom - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link

    wow, WTF were you guys thinking!?!

    in our next review, we'd like to show your how an AthlonFX53 compares to a 2.8Ghz Celeron

    ........."as you can see, the Celeron just cannot keep up with the AMD monster, looks like intel is really going to have to pick up the pace or AMD could rule the frickin' world with this new behemoth"


    really though, a Xeon3.6 vs. a A643500, WTF, where is the Opt 150? how about showing apples to apples, this is like comparing apples to bannanas.
  • kellymjones4 - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link

    This review was bizarre. Why compare a $345 CPU to a top of the line Xeon? An Opteron 150 is less than $700 from many retailers. What's next, Opteron vs. Celeron???
  • Avalon - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link

    lol Shimm.
    "Xeon processor retails for $850 and the Athlon 3500+ retails for about $500 less". $500 less than the Xeon, not $500 :)
    I agree, weird article to put up, and very weird benchmarks.
  • mkruer - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link


    To reiterate what other people have been saying, your methodology is flawed. What you need to do is choose 3 processors from AMD and Intel (same class preferably) and run them both in an 32-bit environment and then 64-bit to see what the gain, if any, really is. For all we know the 64-bit scores for the Nocona might be even lower then the 32-bit brethren. If so this also points to the fact that most of the applications you tested are more megahertz dependant the 64-bit dependant, and not a good judgment of the how good Intel’s 64-bit implementation is. If the AMD is 64-bt scores higher then it does in 32-bit then this says that AMD did a good job and gets a boost, however if Intel’s chip falls compared to the 32 test this shows that Intel implementation is not good.
  • Shimmishim - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link

    for real though, did intel pay you off for this review???

    and you state that a 3500+ retails for less than $500... why don't you try less than $400 at most online vendors...

    and you'll do a review later (opteron vs. xeon)??? why don't you do in the first place instead of being a lazy bum and trying to save face for intel...
  • Shimmishim - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link

    what in the world are you doing?

    is AT's review's getting worse and worse???

    this by far has to be the worst review ever... comparable to those found at tom's...

    kris... what in the world were you on when you did this review???
  • Zebo - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link


    In other news: "intel's offers 10M for"
  • Locutus4657 - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link

    Is it just me or is a Server/Workstation CPU v. Desktop CPU comparision anything but apples to apples? Perhapse apples to pears at best? Could please re-run every test with the correct hardware? While I'm in a mood to rant, why the heck is your site no longer storing passwords when posting comments to articles?
  • murdmath - Monday, August 9, 2004 - link

    Why are you running a Server chip (ie Xeon) against a Desktop chip (ie Athon 64)? Get an Opteron 150 and do it right.

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