With all of the attention on dual core processors lately, it has been real easy to overlook the one application that might benefit more from multiple cores than any other; Linux. OK, so technically Linux isn't an application, but the kernel has supported SMP for nine years almost to the date. The road to SMP has not been an easy one for Linux, but in the last nine years, and particularly since 1999, Linux has received quite the attention as a 2-8 processor core operating system. If you need a reference, just look at how many Linux machines hold SPEC benchmark records in web serving and number crunching.

But does any of this translate to great desktop performance for dual core processors? We are going to look at that question today while also determining whether Intel or AMD is the better suited contender for the Linux desktop. We have some slightly non-traditional (but very replicable) tests we plan on running today that should demonstrate the strengths of each processor family as well as the difference between some similar Windows tests that we have performed in the past on similar configurations. Ultimately, we would love to see a Linux configuration perform the same task as a Windows machine but faster.

Just to recap, the scope of today's exploration will be to determine which configuration offers the best performance per buck on Linux, and whether or not any of these configurations out perform similar Windows machines running similar benchmarks. It becomes real easy to lose the scope of the analysis otherwise. We obtained some reasonably priced dual core Intel and AMD processors for our benchmarks today, and we will also throw in some benchmarks of newer single core chips to give some point of reference.

The Test


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  • juhl - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    I see that "Norton AntiVirus 2004" is listed with "No Suggestions yet" in the "Linux Application" column. I'd like to make a suggestion : ClamAV - ClamAV is a very capable free virus scanner that runs on Linux - check it out at Reply
  • Hacp - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    He clearly stated that this test was based on the best bang for the buck. For all of you who wanted to see tests with higher end processors, you should have stopped reading the article and waited for one that met your needs. Don't complain and ask for stuff that the article was not designed to inform us about. Reply
  • fishbits - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    Why bother to test the 840 D and draw no conclusions about it? And can you at least fix the price you quote in the one-sided swipe at the X2? I've given up on your explaining why the price of the 840 isn't also "paying through the nose," but at least fix the obvious error either in the text or the price list above it.

    "we have left a lot of not-so-subtle hints as to our feelings concerning performance between the two"
    Ah, you were talking about Windows and Linux there. Fits for CPUs too in this case.
  • semo - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    listen up

    everyone who needs the anandtech next gen console articles just email me. i printed them out to read in the bus/train and i can make some scans.
  • Avalon - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    You guys need to remember that this is Linux, so for everyone out there hollering that this article contradicts all the others out there that you read, all the others out there that you did read were most likely Windows based. Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    I agree that including only the X2 4200+ is a mistake. For ages, we saw benchmarks of new AMD cpus vs every Intel proc in the field, regardless of price. Kubicki shows up and insists on culling all AMD cpus from the lineup except one priced similarly(or even priced lower than) the Intel offerings in the test. I remember his initial, and rather controversial, article in which he did Linux benchmarks with a 3.6 ghz P4 vs a A64 3500+ Newcastle. Stupid! Where's the 4400+ and 4800+? If you don't have the hardware, DON'T DO THE REVIEW. If AMD has superior processors out at a much higher price, that's because AMD has better chips right now, and they damn well ought to be included in the review as well. Throw in an 840EE if you're so inclined.

    FURTHERMORE, where are the single-app tests and dual-app tests? All we have are contrived multitasking tests. This is about 1/3rd of the entire content of Anandtech's initial X2 review in a Windows environment. The Pentium Ds don't look so great when you put them into a scenario in which it's running one or two apps alone. Funny how Kubicki neglected to run any such tests in this article.

    This article has too little hardware, and too few tests. Thumbs down.
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    Where do you see that? It should be 3.3.4

  • allanw - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    gcc3.4.5? That doesn't even exist! :) Reply
  • xtknight - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    #39 - I meant why? Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, July 1, 2005 - link

    xtknight: Yes.


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