AMD's dual core Opteron & Athlon 64 X2 - Server/Desktop Performance Previewby Anand Lal Shimpi, Jason Clark & Ross Whitehead on April 21, 2005 9:25 AM EST
- Posted in
The Lineup - Opteron x75Prior to the dual core frenzy, multiprocessor servers and workstations were referred to by the number of processors that they had. A two-processor workstation would be called a 2-way workstation, and a four-processor server would be called a 4-way server.
Both AMD and Intel sell their server/workstation CPUs not only according to performance characteristics (clock speed, cache size, FSB frequency), but also according to the types of systems for which they were designed. For example, the Opteron 252 and Opteron 852 both run at 2.6GHz, but the 252 is for use in up to 2-way configurations, while the 852 is certified for use in 4- and 8-way configurations. The two chips are identical; it's just that one has been run through additional validation and costs a lot more. As you may remember, the first digit in the Opteron's model number denotes the sorts of configurations for which the CPU is validated. So, the 100 series is uniprocessor only, the 200 series works in up to 2-way configurations and the 800 series is certified for 4+ way configurations.
AMD's dual core server/workstation CPUs will still carry the Opteron brand, but they will feature higher model numbers; and while single core Opterons increased in model numbers by 2 points for each increase in clock speed, dual core Opterons will increase by 5s. With each "processor" being dual core, AMD will start referring to their Opterons by the number of sockets for which they are designed. For example, the Opteron 100 series will be designed for use in 1-socket systems, the Opteron 200 series will be designed for use in up to 2-socket systems and the Opteron 800 series will be designed for use in 4 or more socket systems.
There are three new members of the Opteron family - all dual core CPUs: the Opteron x65, Opteron x70 and Opteron x75.
There are a few things to take away from this table:
- The fastest dual core runs at 2.2GHz, two speed grades lower than the fastest single core CPU - not too shabby at all.
- The slowest dual core CPU is priced at the same level as the fastest single core CPU; in this case, $637.
- Unlike Intel, AMD's second core comes at a much higher price. Take a look at the 148 vs. 175. Both run at 2.2GHz, but the dual core chip is over 3.5x the price of the single core CPU.
The pricing structure at the 200 and 800 levels doesn't change much either - the stakes are simply higher.
While AMD will undoubtedly hate the comparison below, it's an interesting one nonetheless. How much are you paying for that second core on these new dual core Opterons? To find out, let's compare prices on a clock for clock basis:
AMD's margins on their dual core Opteron parts are huge. On average, the second core costs customers over 3x as much as the first core for any of these CPUs. As you will soon see, the performance benefits are definitely worth it, but know that AMD's pricing is not exactly designed to drive dual core into widespread adoption.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
Opteron - Monday, June 20, 2005 - link
mikeshoup - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - linkI think a better option for testing compiling speed would be to pass a -j argument to make when compiling FireFox, and tell it to run as many parallel operations as the processor can take threads. IE: -j2 for a dual core or ht cpu
fritz64 - Thursday, May 5, 2005 - linkI know what I will be getting after fall this year. Those numbers are impresive!
jvarszegi - Friday, April 29, 2005 - linkSo they're reproducible, but only in secret. And you knew, as usual, about mistakes you were making, but made them anyway to, um, make a valid comparison to something else that no one can verify. Nicely done. Whatever they're paying you, it's not enough.
Ross Whitehead - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - linkZebo -
You are correct you can not reproduce them, but we can and have 10's of times over the last year w/ different hardware. I do not believe that because you cannot reproduce them discounts their validity but it does require you have a small amount of trust in us.
We have detailed the interaction of the application with the database. With this description you should be able to draw conclusions as to whether it matches the profile of your applications and database servers. Keep in mind, when it comes to performance tuning the most command phrase is "it depends". This means that there are so many variables in a test, that unless all are carefully maintained the results will vary greatly. So, even if you could reproduce it I would not recommend a change to your application hardware until it was validated with your own application as the benchmark.
The owner of the benchmark is not AMD, or Intel, or anyone remotely related to PC hardware.
I think if you can get beyond the trust factor there is a lot to gain from the benchmarks and our tests.
Reginhild - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - linkWow, the new AMD dual cores blow away the "patched together" Intel dual cores!!
I can't see why anyone would choose the Intel dually over AMD unless all the AMDs are sold out.
Intel needs to get off their arse and design a true dual core chip instead of just slapping two "unconnected" processors on one chip. The fact that the processors have to communicate with each other by going outside the chip is what killed Intel in all the benchmarks.
Zebo - Thursday, April 28, 2005 - linkRoss,
How can I reproduce them when they are not available to me?
From your article:
" We cannot reveal the identity of the Corporation that provided us with the application because of non-disclosure agreements in place. As a result, we will not go into specifics of the application, but rather provide an overview of its database interaction so that you can grasp the profile of this application, and understand the results of the tests better (and how they relate to your database environment)."
Then don't include them. Benchmarking tools to which no one else has access is not scientific because it can't be reproduced so that anyone with a similar setup can verify the results.
I don't even know what they do. How are they imporatant to me? How will this translate to anything real world I need to do? How can I trust the mysterious company? Could be AMD for all I know.
MPE - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link#134
How can it be the best for the buck ? Unless you are seeing benchmarks from Anand that says so how could come to the conclusion?
At some tests the 3800+ was the worse performer while the X2 and PD where the best.
You are extrapolating logic from air.
Ross Whitehead - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - link#131
"no mystery unreproducable benchmarks like Anand's database stuff."
It is not clear what you mean by this statement. The database benchmarks are 100% reproducable and are real life apps not synthetic or academic calcs.
nserra - Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - linkYou are discussion price and it's not correct since intel goes from 2800 to 3200 and amd goes from 3500+ into 4000+ (i'm ignoring amd new model numbers, still based on older).
I complete disagree the AMD model numbers, the should be = to single core, the should just had the X2.
The TRUE X2 will be more performer than opteron, by 2% to 5%.