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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  • Zebo - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    could acehardware have a worse forum tech? that's like 1995 BBS.
  • JGunther - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Don't mean to be a pest, but every moment that botched review is online is depressing. I'm looking forward to the new review as well. So where is this thing?
  • tfranzese - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    About the Opteron vs. Xeon talk: Opteron scales better in SMP. Opteron is 8-way capable. And, I'd be willing to bet you Opteron will really stretch it's legs in 64-bit/64-bit once it's primetime, contrary to what I believe the Xeon will do - improve, but marginally.
  • Aileur - Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - link

  • Tabajara - Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - link

    I think that to call the reasoning of the author of this atticle as "nonsense" would actually be a compliment. Just take a look at the conclusion that someone thinking straight would get, using tha same info that is on the article:

    "In spite of the fact that this Xeon processor retails for $850 and the Athlon 3500+ retails for about $500 less, that this Xeon does not even exist in retail channels yet, that the AMD processor is clocked 1400MHz slower than the 3.6GHz Xeon and has 512 less kb of cache, IT STILL WINS MOST OF THE REAL WORLD TESTS!"

    Another important factor: the price and performance difference of the mobos used for each processor probably gives the P4 an edge. To use a NVIDIA NForce3 250 Reference Board against a SuperMicro Tumwater X6DA8-G2 is just not fair.

    Other caractheristic that makes this review resemble the ones done at the POS THG is that the synthetic benchmarcks seem to have been picked to benefit a CPU that has a higher clock and that excels at handling branching instructions (as chess based bechmarks, that have to calculate lots of possible moves). In other words, tests that show the best qualities of the P4.
  • Viditor - Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - link

    KK - "yeah the review is done just pushing it live as soon as i can"

    You da man Kris! Now may I suggest you turn off the damn computer and go enjoy what's left of your vacation!!!!

  • snorre - Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - link

    Kristopher: Read this:

    You should also test Crafty.
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - link

    Not really sure what the fuss is about the remote server? Its at Jason's place, SuperMicro gave it to him. You can email him about it if you like.

    Anyways, yeah the review is done just pushing it live as soon as i can. I think you will enjoy these benches much better.

    -JTR again but a different source - the AMD and Intel optimizations are highlighted as we compiled the code
    -One synthetic benchmark
    -Anything else i can think of in the next 20 min that is quick to test.

    anything we compiled was done using -o2 and unroll-loops.
  • snorre - Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - link

    Time's Up!
  • snorre - Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - link

    Correction, still about 20 minutes to go :P

    Prepare to be scrutinized, so this new review better be flawless ;-)

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