Words of Thanks

A lot of people gave us assistance with this project, and we like to thank them of course.

Waseem Ahmad, Intel US
Matty Bakkeren, Intel Netherlands
Trevor E. Lawless, Intel US

Chhandomay Mandal, Sun US
Luojia Chen, Sun US
Peter A. Wilson, Sun US

Peter Zaitsev, Elite MySQL Guru

Damon Muzny, AMD US

Steve Olson, Sybase US

Erwin Vanluchene, HP Belgium

Ilona van Poppel, MSI Netherlands
Ruudt Swanen, MSI Netherlands

Alexander Goodrich, Assembler Guru
Bert Devriese, Developer of MySQL & PHP benchmark
Dieter Saeys, Gentoo/Linux support
Brecht Kets, Development of Improved Bench program
Tijl Deneut, Solaris, PostGreSQL and MySQL support

I also like to thank Lode De Geyter, manager of the University College of West-Flanders. Further information about our server research is available on our website.

Benchmark Configuration

We used Solaris 10 for the Sun T2000, as the only supported OS for the T2000 right now is Solaris 10 3/05 HW2 (and upwards). The T1 is fully binary compatibility with the existing SPARC binaries but needs this version of Solaris.

Below is a picture of our Server lab at the University College of West-Flanders. You can see Bert and Dieter standing next to our brand new rack of the server research lab.

From top to bottom, we have the Supermicro SuperServer 6014P-32, the MSI K2-102A2M, the Sun T2000, our own PIII based Linux gateway and firewall, and at the bottom, the Promise JBOD300s and the HP DL585. Yes, we still have a lot of benchmarking to do. The other Intel based machines are in towers, so you won't find them in our rack.

All benchmarking is monitored: CPU load, network and disk I/O are watched using CPU graph, top, vmstat and prstat. This way we can determine whether or not the CPU or another component is the bottleneck.

Our web server tests are performed on Apache2 2.0.55, including the mod_deflate module for gzip compression, PHP4.4.1 and Mysql 5.0.21.

Hardware Configurations

Here is the list of the different server configurations:

Sun T2000:

Sun UltraSparc T1 1 GHz, 8 cores, 32 threads
Sun Solaris 10

32 GB (16x2048 MB) Crucial DDR-2 533
NIC: 1 Gb Intel RC82540EM - Intel E1000 driver.

You can find much more information about the T1 CPU in our previous article.

Intel Server 1:
Dual Intel Xeon "Woodcrest" 3 GHz Shared 4 MB L2 cache, 1333 MHz FSB (4 cores total)

Blackford Chipset
64 bit Gentoo Kernel 2.6.15-gentoo-r7

Intel Server Board S5000
4 GB (4x1024 MB) Micron FB-DIMM Registered DDR2-533 CAS 4, ECC enabled
NIC: Dual Intel PRO/1000 Server NIC
2x Western Digital Raptor 36 GB SATA

Intel Server 2:
Dual Intel Xeon "Irwindale" 3.6 GHz 2 MB L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB - Lindenhurst
64 bit Gentoo Kernel 2.6.15-gentoo-r7

Intel Server Board SE7520AF2
8 GB (8x1024 MB) Micron Registered DDR2-400 CAS 3, ECC enabled
NIC: Dual Intel PRO/1000 Server NIC (Intel 82546GB controller)
2x Western Digital Raptor 36 GB SATA

Opteron Server 1: Dual Opteron 275 2.2 GHz 2x1MB L2 cache (4 cores total)
64 bit Gentoo Kernel 2.6.15-gentoo-r7
Solaris x86 10

MSI K8N Master2-FAR
4 GB: 4x1GB MB Crucial DDR-400 (3-3-3-6)
NIC: Broadcom BCM5721 (PCI-E)
2x Western Digital Raptor 36 GB SATA

Opteron Server 2: MSI K2-102A2M

ServerWorksHT2000 Chipset
64 bit Gentoo Kernel 2.6.15-gentoo-r7
4 GB: 4x1GB MB Crucial DDR-400 (3-3-3-6)
NIC: Broadcom BCM5721 (PCI-E)
2x Western Digital Raptor 36 GB SATA

Opteron Server 3: HP DL385

Solaris x86 10
AMD 81xx chipset
64 bit Gentoo Kernel 2.6.15-gentoo-r7
4 GB: 4x1GB MB Crucial DDR-400 (3-3-3-6)
NIC: Broadcom BCM5721 (PCI-E)
2x Seagate Cheetah 36 GB - 15000 rpm - SCSI 320 MB/s

Client Configuration: Dual Opteron 850
MSI K8T Master1-FAR
4x512 MB Infineon Registered DDR-333, ECC
NIC: Broadcom 5705

Common Software
64 bit Gentoo Kernel 2.6.15-gentoo-r7
Apache2 2.0.55 + mod_deflate module for gzip compression.

The New Intel Platform Theoretical Performance


View All Comments

  • JohanAnandtech - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    The test you link is running apachebench while testing how fast STATIC html can be sent. Our LAMP test has to run PHP, access the MYSQL database, make calculations on that data ... this called DYNAMIC content.

    If you do not understand why a static HTML page can be served many times faster than a complex one with dynamic content, well...

    You are basically saying that a test is wrong because it doesn't give the same results as another test which tests with different software, different dataset. Duh.
  • BasMSI - Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - link

    I noticed Johan.

    But still, it's stupid to use and publish benchmark results from a test that can't handle/test the systems at their max.
    Come on, get real, it's like testing a Lada and a Ferrari on a track that can't do more then 100KM/H and then state, look how well the Lada keeps up with the Ferrari.

    Also, what's wrong with static HTML tests?
    I see no harm in those, many websites are still static.
    And you used them before to show how fast the Opterons where, so why not again?
    Now we have absolutly nothing to compare or verify....so bogus test-results.
  • BrechtKets - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link


    If you don't know how to setup a server, then stay away from trying to do such.

    Maybe you should check the author of the aces hardware article.

    Also not that those tests were done with apachebench en the tests now have been done with httperf and and autobench...
  • FreakyD - Friday, June 9, 2006 - link

    Dell has released some new servers with the new Intel Woodcrest platform. The pricing is less than for the older Netburst architecture servers... It looks like we'll have a price war on our hands, and of course AMD will end up losing that battle since Intel has lower production costs with higher volume.

    Also interesting to note, the 3.0Ghz Woodcrest Intel processor that was quite competitive in this review is the lowest end processor on the new Dell servers. Their highest end one is a 3.73 Ghz part. AMD's highest end dual core server processor is currently 2.6 Ghz. So there's additional performance gains for Intel vs AMD in a highest end server processor shootout.

    I'm disappointed that AMD hasn't done more since they released the K8 architecture. AMD has also been slow to release their new server platform with Pacifica enhancements.

    It's too bad that Dell has taken so long to begin using AMD in servers. They've held the performance lead for quite some time. With technology and market leaders changing so fast, they should have been faster to adjust their product lineup.
  • duploxxx - Friday, June 9, 2006 - link

    duh my dear friend.... the dell servers you are pointing to can be checked where? link?
    you are mixing woodcrest that is at max 3000mhz and the dempsey 3.73 both on the same platform. dempsey is still no match for the woodcrest and opterons, so thats normal that the price tag is that low...... and its already dead before it is even launched

    check this review, the dempsey is still wiped out on 90% of all the benches by an old architecture and certainly if you would check the power consumption/performance chart.

    the proc cost of intel is certainly not lower than the amd ones... looking at the die size the woodcrest and conroe are bigger

    @anand, those type of benches would be nice on a woodcrest, if you fail to give them now by "any reason" they will be available in the near future by other reviewers. so its always better to be the first :)
  • FreakyD - Friday, June 9, 2006 - link

    Ahh, my mistake, thanks for the correction so nobody else gets the wrong idea. Once again I'm confused by Intel's naming and numbering scheme to not know exactly what's being sold. Reply
  • Aileur - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    This is a sad sad display. And i dont mean the review, i mean everybody bashing this article and each other like their lives depended on it.
    Its a cpu review on a hardware site, try to put it into perspective.

    You read it, you draw your own conclusions if you want to, you go on with your life.
  • ashyanbhog - Friday, June 9, 2006 - link

    Sure our lives dont depend on it,

    but Anandtech was a site you could rely onto get unbiased reviews. I have configured specs for atleast 25 machines based on Anandtech reports. Whenever somebody asked which CPU or someother part was better, I would suggest that they search for its review on Anandtech.

    Even in the IDF conroe demo, Anandtech failed to identify some parts of the Intel setup that could have impacted performance, it was only after readers expressed their displeasure that Anandtech did a second review with the updates that should have actually been part of the Intel setup preview

    If this new found low of Anandtech continues, I'll have to choose a different site to base my decisions on.

    Also remember, Intel has previously used and continues to use Anandtech review of its processors in its analysts meet and at other places. As somebody pointed out, even a $0.15 swing in Intel share prices alters its valuation by one billion dollar!!! Intel could buy a handful of review reports by favoring advertising budgets for a fraction of that money.

    Anandtech made my life a little easier by giving unbiased reviews, looks like I'll have to get back to comparing results from a few reviews as I used to do before I discovered Anandtech
  • Slappi - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    The Message is Clear.......

    ....Anand is getting paid by the big Intel.

    Seriously.... you guys should at least TRY to hide your bias.

    I mean months of setting up and you miss a known error that falsely reports extremely low dual OP. numbers?!?

    Woodcrest ROCKS?~?~?

    Something tells me that is gonna come back to bite you one day in the near future.
  • AnandThenMan - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    well ya gotta love this statement:

    "In one word: Woodcrest rocks!"

    That's two words LOL

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