Conclusion

Seeing as we believe that most servers do not operate at CPU utilizations levels which approach saturation, Socket-F has done very well. It is able to keep up to Woodcrest for the first 3/5 of the Load Points and with less power. Many companies will add more servers/CPUs/etc. once they are running at over 60% CPU utilization, so we do feel that the first three Load Points are the most meaningful. Yes, Woodcrest is faster, but the FB-DIMMs do serve to hinder performance and performance/Watt in our testing.

It would appear the major difference between the Opteron 285 and 2218 is power consumption. 2218 is comparable on performance but uses significantly less power at the same time. Is this any indication about what we can expect from K8L? If K8L keeps the low power requirements but improves performance over AMD's current offerings, they should be in good shape later this year.

Some might wonder if a different - read Intel - motherboard for the Woodcrest system could have significantly altered the outcome of these tests. We do not think so. Although the Intel motherboards do tend to show slightly lower power consumption, it is not a significant difference. All things considered, the Opterons are holding their own and doing very well for an architecture which is 3.5 years old. Only companies that are routinely running their servers near capacity are likely to truly benefit from an upgrade at this point in time.

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  • minidad - Thursday, December 21, 2006 - link

    Hi,

    Anandtech has done a lot of hard work here, and should be commended for this, but the methodology appears flawed. The metric of comparison between the different systems is the % cpu utilization at 6 different load points. However, if you examine the Dell DVD Store cpu utilization graphs, the CPU utilization for each load point is different for different cpus except for the two heaviest load points. They should be the same at each load point for correct comparison. In other words, when the opteron 2218 is running at 65% cpu load in load point 3, the woodcrest is running at 50%. Since the load points for the different cpus are not comparable, the conclusions of the article are unfortunately not usable.


    Reply
  • Mantruch - Thursday, December 21, 2006 - link

    Woodcrests are faster? well, thats all i need to know Reply
  • Nighteye2 - Monday, December 18, 2006 - link

    Does that version of Windows server support NUMA? It could make a significant impact on results...
    Reply
  • BikeDude - Thursday, December 21, 2006 - link

    NUMA is supported on
    Windows Server 2003
    WinXP SP2
    and newer

    See reqs at:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dllproc/ba...">http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dllproc/ba...
    Reply
  • gouyou - Monday, December 18, 2006 - link

    I think it would be nice to have a test using a linux plateforme. I'm wondering if there is any performance gain for AMD using scheduling and memory management algorithms made with a NUMA set-up in mind. I guess that in some scenari we might see the opteron performance closer to the Intel one. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 18, 2006 - link

    The Dell test runs on Linux, while our forums benchmark runs on Windows Server 2003 x64. We will be providing additional benchmarks in the near future comparing Opteron and Xeon in other ways, so stay tuned. Reply
  • Spacecomber - Monday, December 18, 2006 - link

    Sorry if I overlooked where this was mentioned in the article, but are these comparable systems comparably priced? Reply
  • Nehemoth - Monday, December 18, 2006 - link

    Why you don't include information test for Terminal services, for example in out company with have plans to migrate from an old version of Citrix Metaframe to the Windows 2003 server terminal services.
    And don't care much about the power consumption (in out country the electricity bill is always high not matters what) but i do care much about the upgrade path, for example :
    (And taking in mind the HP solutions , DL365 opteron VS DL380G5)

    1-If i choose Opteron over Woodcrest will be easy or more cheap to buy more memory next year end?

    2-What about Quad Core, i know that i can buy woodcrest QC now but it will become conductible this upgrade concerning the bus of intel or should i see beyond to opteron QC (anyway for an upgrade for a system bought it in january 2007 shall be are less january 2008).

    These are the things that matters to me right now and i hope that AT answer those question sooner than later.


    Reply
  • Nehemoth - Monday, December 18, 2006 - link

    HP has curious quad core upgrade path
    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=36...">http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=36...
    Reply
  • mino - Monday, December 18, 2006 - link

    As for upgrage path, go AMD.

    While Woodcrest is usually a bit better than AMD, K8L will be better in allmost every aspect to Clovertown.

    Also I doubt 45nm Penryn-derived 4C Xeons will be compatible with current platforms.

    As of now I would go for some serious 16DIMM board with cheaper DC like 2214. And plan upgrade in Q407 or Q108 to K8L.
    Reply

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