Xeon Quad Core (Was: Server Freezing Solid)

Roland Smith rsmith at xs4all.nl
Mon Nov 24 12:08:30 PST 2008

On Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 11:37:25AM -0800, Chris Maness wrote:
> Wojciech Puchar wrote:
> >> Since a Xeon Quad Core is a 64bit processor, would it work ok with 
> >> FreeBSD? Or would the adm64 release be better for that chip?
> >
> > don't be suggested by "amd" in port name. it's for AMD64-compatible 
> > processor, for example your xeon
> Sorry, I wasn't very clear.  I am currently running FreeBSD 7.0 the 
> regular i386 release.  I would prefer to keep it that way if migration 
> to the 64bit release would mean rebuilding from scratch 

You'll have to remove and re-install all ports to make them 64-bits as well.

> (there is 
> probably an easier way to convert an i386 release to a amd64 release).

Not really. You could do a cross-build to another partition, but you'd
have to have one available.
> Another poster seemed to indicate that the i386 release would run just 
> fine on a quad core chip.

It should.

> Would there be a major performance gain with amd64 over that of the i386 
> build on a Xeon Quad Core?

It will depend on your workload. If your machines were strapped fo
address space on i386, switching to amd64 (with enough RAM) will help.

In "long" (64-bit) mode, amd64 compatible CPUs have more registers
available, so that will speed up things. On the other hand, pointers and
longs are 64-bit numbers instead of 32-bit, which will make the code
somewhat larger. Run some benchmarks that are relevant for you on i386
and re-run them after you've switched to amd64 to know for sure.

I've been running amd64 since 5.4 on both Athlon64 and recently Core 2
Quad without problems.

R.F.Smith                                   http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/
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