Intel EMT64 Xeon vs AMD Opteron

Astrodog astrodog at
Fri Feb 4 19:38:45 PST 2005

On Fri, 4 Feb 2005 11:37:08 +0100 (CET), Claus Guttesen
<cguttesen at> wrote:
> > Cost wise, AMD Opteron 246 is roughly the same cost
> > as a 3.0Ghz Xeon ... But
> > how do they compare performance wise; specifically
> > related to FreeBSD?
> We have a dual xeon (nocona) @ 3.2 GHz and a dual
> opteron @ 2 GHz, both with 4 GB RAM and running the
> amd64-port. My impression is that the opteron performs
> *slightly* better than it's Intel-cousin.
> regards
> Claus
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 From what I understand, EM64T is essentally an extention to x86, so
it will understand the AMD64 instructions, much the same way an
Athlon64 does. Opteron, once again, from what I've read on the topic
is "Actual" 64-bit, not an emulated version. Generally, I find Opteron
to be the best "Bang for your Buck", though what motherboard, and what
features you need there may also play a role there. AMD, so far, has
implied that the dual core opterons will be Socket 940, If that pans
out, the 940-based solution will be significantly more expandable,
since there's little to no chance of Intel continuing to use their
current Xeon socket when their Dual Core offerings come out, and I
suspect it would be technically impossible, given the Memory
Controller issues that its bound to create. Since AMD put the memory
controller on-die, they can resolve this issue in the core, and not
involve the chipsets of the motherboard itself.
 Remember, Hyperthreading isn't dual core, its kinda like adding
another "Lane" to the processing pipeline of a single processor, so
that when something stalls, other things can still happen.
 Hypertransport, on the other hand is AMD's method of connecting SMP
CPUs to eachother, memory, and devices on the motherboard.

Sorry about the Hypertransport/Hyperthreading thing, but there seems
to be a great deal of confusion about what each are, and what's
good/bad about them, and they relate to the AMD/Intel decsion you're
making pretty explicitly.

Personally, I say go with the Opteron. Worst case, performance and
reliability are the same, and you're supporting the underdog. Best
case, it blows your socks off, and in a year, you can go dual core.
Either way, you can't loose.

---- Harrison Grundy

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