Conclusions

Although 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.
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  • - Saturday, October 24, 2009 - link

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    Reply
  • dfxshadow - Friday, August 20, 2004 - link

    I will admit, i am an AMD fanboy, i was loyal to AMD since the k6-2 days. I ran AMD when intel was stomping us... Now we get a better product, and this, A review comparing a Desktop pc processor. with the very best that intel can pull off. and it only manages to win by a few.. Compare it to an opteron 250, i do belive the 250 will bench 2 or 3 times more than this new intel, It is good to see competition. But, is it really worth trying to glorify sub par technology. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - link

    TauCeti:

    EMT is some medical something. EM64T is the actual terminology.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • caliden - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - link

    Oh dear. I'm sorry to say that this review is so full of conceptual and methodological holes that I can almost hear generations of scientists, reviewers and geeks in general turning in their graves.

    Does anandtech have no peer review procedure? No one checks articles before they are published? It's such a shame, because this has made me think twice before accepting what I read here as objective fact.
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    Just wondering, is 270 comments (not counting this one) a record?
    Reply
  • dark0n3 - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    I see lots of pro-AMD comments here, but I think noone noticed one issue about this test that might make intel scores look worse than they really are.

    Because Xeon's pipelines are much longer than pipelines in A64/Opteron, their performance is more dependant of optimizations. And from my experience, gcc does not produce binaries that have comparable quality to binaries that any windows compiler produce. (and disabling all optimizations in some tests...) I wonder how results would look, if programs were compiled with intel's linux compiler instead. See performance delta on windows for reference [gcc vs icc]: http://www.aceshardware.com/read_news.jsp?id=75000... I'd expect same ratio to apply in unix benchmarks.
    Reply
  • TauCeti - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Hi Kristopher,

    "What the heck is an EMT64? "

    Because Intel changes terms for the AMD64 emulation mode every odd hour, YOUR test-system.os vendor ( SuSE 9.1 Pro) decided to stick to the EMT64 nomenclature.

    http://www.suse.com/us/private/products/suse_linux...

    Not that it matters a lot...
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    hifisoftware:

    What the heck is an EMT64?

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2163

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • hifisoftware - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Yep, pretty stupid idea for this review. I have an old bicycle, why not compare it to EMT64... Ohh wait here is another great idea for the review: "What tastes better, EMT64 vs LCD TV vs Scroll wheel from the mouse?".... I guess I could continue like this for a while.

    Man do you really have so much trouble figuring out what to review?
    Reply

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