Linux and EM64T; Intel's 64-bit Suggestionby Kristopher Kubicki on August 9, 2004 12:05 AM EST
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ConclusionsAlthough the Athlon 64 3500+ and the Xeon 3.6GHz EM64T processors were not necessarily designed to compete against each other, we found that comparing the two CPUs was more appropriate than anticipated, particularly in the light of Intel's newest move to bring EM64T to the Pentium 4 line. Once we obtain a sample of the Pentium 4 3.6F, we expect our benchmarks to produce very similar results to the 3.6 Xeon tested for this review.
Without a doubt, the 3.6GHz Xeon trounces over the Athlon 64 3500+ in math-intensive synthetic benchmarks. Again, not that it is really a comparison between the two chips yet anyway, but perhaps something of a marker of things to come. However, real world benchmarks, with the exception of John the Ripper is where AMD came ahead instead. Even though John uses several different optimizations to generate hashes, in every case, the Athlon chip found itself at least 40% behind. Much of this is likely attributed to the additional math tweaking in the Prescott family core, and the lack of optimizations at compile time.
That's not to say that the Xeon CPU necessarily deserves excessive praise just yet. At time of publication, our Xeon processor retails for $850 and the Athlon 3500+ retails for about $500 less. The 3.6F processor the Xeon represents does not even exist in retail channels yet. Also, keep in mind that the AMD processor is clocked 1400MHz slower than the 3.6GHz Xeon. With only a few exceptions, synthetically the 3.6GHz Xeon outperformed our Athlon 64 3500+, whether or not the cost and thermal issues between these two processors are justifiable.
We will benchmark some SMP 3.6GHz Xeons against a pair of Opterons in the near future, so check back regularly for new benchmarks!
Update: We have addressed the issue with the -02 compile options in TSCP, the miscopy from previous benchmarks of the MySQL benchmark, and various other issues here and there in the testing of this processor. Expect a follow up article as soon as possible with an Opteron.