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
(www.intel.com)

Chhandomay Mandal, Sun US
Luojia Chen, Sun US
Peter A. Wilson, Sun US
(www.sun.com)

Peter Zaitsev, Elite MySQL Guru
(www.mysql.com)

Damon Muzny, AMD US
(www.amd.com)

Steve Olson, Sybase US
(www.sybase.com)

Erwin Vanluchene, HP Belgium
(www.hp.be)

Ilona van Poppel, MSI Netherlands
Ruudt Swanen, MSI Netherlands
(www.msi-computer.nl)

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.
PHP4.4.1
Mysql5.0.21

The New Intel Platform Theoretical Performance
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91 Comments

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  • snorre - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    Anandtech is going down the drain, there are no doubts left about it IMHO.

    "Woodcrest" may be a nice improvement for Intel, but comparing it to clearly crippled (both software and hardware wise) Opteron systems is pretty lame by any standard.

    Remember: Fool us once shame on us, fool us twice shame on YOU!

    This is your third strike in my book, so now your officially out in THG hell.

    I hope you wake up and smell the coffee soon...
    Reply
  • Slappi - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    Exactly.

    I just can't believe what I am seeing here.

    This site was once THE HARDWARE SITE for me and I always recommended it to others.

    If Intel has a better chip hey that's great! But.... what is with the OBVIOUS underhanded reporting against AMD and for INTEL that has been going on here for the past few months?


    It is so blatant here that I am starting to wonder of Intel's new chips are a lot of smoke and mirrors. If it is such a great chip it should speak for itself, not with all this closed testing and crippled AMD machines. Makes me wonder.


    You would think after reading all the Anand Intel press that the new CPUs could cure cancer and cook dinner.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    i can give 2 pages full of rather strange figures and compares about this review. but i hope you'll bring the readers the windows benches fast and compare with other published benches so everybody can see that the linux optimization can shift wherever you want.

    you use workstaion/budget motherboard against the intel server board. use a sun galaxy or hp proliant.

    the specint and specfp are not correct, even intel gives way other numbers

    some benches are done with one socket others with 2 socket. why?

    mysql benches are optimized for two cores thats very clear.. the perfromance drop on opteron is much more the the one on woodcrest. knowing the architecture of the opteron this should be the other way round. the opteron is lacking here due to the motherboard

    you can extrapolate it in a different way showing different results, again you use 2 different opterons and use thsi difference to calculate 3.0, both setups are workstation and therefore performance is wrong. some benches you even talk and calculate 2 systems but not showing on the graphs.

    your conclusion: is rather funny. you state that the wooodcrest is the best performing server on a platform that has maybe 2% worlwide support with benches that can not be compared to other publication. no linnear powerconsuption with other servers because no exual hardware setup and most systems use 2gb/cpu thats a +28w consumption for the woodcrest.

    as stated from line 1 give some real world benches where people can compare with other posted results.
    Reply
  • zsdersw - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    quote:

    you use workstaion/budget motherboard against the intel server board. use a sun galaxy or hp proliant.


    The MSI K8N Master2-FAR board is a server motherboard. So are the boards in the other two Opteron servers.
    Reply
  • MrKaz - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    I don’t know if you all already have realized but that is what it will look like the 4x4 boards.

    And that’s NOT a server board, ONLY ONE of the processors is accessing directly to the memory and that must IMPACT the performance.

    http://www.msi.com.tw/images/product_img/mbd_img/9...">http://www.msi.com.tw/images/product_img/mbd_img/9...
    Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    Anyone that calls that MSI mobo a "server board" is a freakin retard.

    As for this "review" it has to be the worst on Anandtech in at least 6 months.
    Reply
  • zsdersw - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Anyone that calls that MSI mobo a "server board" is a freakin retard.


    I guess MSI themselves must be retards then. Look where it's listed: http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/server/svr/...">http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/server/svr/...
    Reply
  • ashyanbhog - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    for those who think MSI board must be good because they list it on their server pages,

    Just look at the memeory banks

    MSI has a single bank, forcing the 2nd CPU to share the memory channel, reducing memory bandwidth to both CPUs, and increasing memory latencies. They are discarding NUMA capabailities to keep the price at around 250$

    http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/server/svr/...">http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/server/svr/...

    Now check Tyan k8we and Supermicro h8dci boards linked below. Notice that they all carry two seperate memory banks, giving each processor its own dedicated bank. This doubles the available memory bandwidth and keeps lantencies low.

    http://www.tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8we.html">http://www.tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8we.html

    http://www.supermicro.com/Aplus/motherboard/Optero...">http://www.supermicro.com/Aplus/motherboard/Optero...

    Iwill D8kn is another similar board that I can recall. They all recommend that you put atleast on card in each bank in a two processor setup to utilize the extra bandwidth.

    But adding this extra bank comes at a cost, all the above boards are priced around $500 mark. Its common knowledge in the AMD community that one needs get the boards with seperate memory banks if on is looking for a high performance machine.

    If you still have doubt, check the review on GamePC, linked below. Notice that the Tyan TIGER k8we, (with single memory channel to both CPUs like the MSI board) is beaten in every benchmark by Tyan THUNDER k8we (which has dedicated memory channels for both CPUs)
    Reply
  • BasMSI - Friday, June 9, 2006 - link

    MSI lists them as Workstation boards, not server boards.

    http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/server/svr/...">>>See link<<

    They should have used the K8D-Master series, those are server boards and do have NUMA.
    Reply
  • zsdersw - Friday, June 9, 2006 - link

    It's under the "Server and Rackmount" section of their website. Reply

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