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# Dual Xeon or Amd?

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You think that a dual Xeon is better or a Dual Amd Mp?

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what for exactly....?
Well i would imagine that the xeon board and chips cost more then the AMD ones but the Xeon ones are faster if you buy the fastest they got that is.

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Are you a fool? The only thing a xeon has going for it is its huge cache, with, IMHO, depreciates performance due to cache lookups. Athlon MP is the way forward.

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If you want the fastest and most stable system of the two, go with the Xeon.

If you are on a budget, go with the Athlon MP.

LostLogic
www.lostlogic.com
Author, Multiplayer Game Programming
Author, Strategy Game Programming with Direct X 9 (Not yet released)

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As someone already said, the only thing Xeon''s have is a huge cache. The cache only adds a SLIGHT bit of performance, because cache lookups are about 1000 times faster than ram lookups. But, you still have the latency from read-ahead transfers from ram to cache in the first place. Xeon''s are way down in speed, considering the last time I looked, they only made P3 models of them. They make Athlon MP''s up to 2400, I believe, which roughly translates to 2,066MHz. Two of those together, with the 20 GHz cache throughput on them, and you''re blazingly fast, even with only 256k.

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wtf are you guys smoking?
quote:

The only thing a xeon has going for it is its huge cache, with, IMHO, depreciates performance due to cache lookups

Do you even know what a cache is? Shut up and stop spreading misinformation.

I love this part:
quote:

The cache only adds a SLIGHT bit of performance,

and here''s the punchline
quote:
because cache lookups are about 1000 times faster than ram lookups.

LOL!!! 1000 times faster is only a SLIGHT bit of perf!

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Well smartass why don''t you tell us the REAL story?

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Well can''t really compare performance as I have a dual Xeon 500 and my new dual athalon MP 2000, however I''ve had no trouble with the AMD setup and it''s certainly fast and a whole load cheaper than a Xeon solution. I think the main thing to watch out for, is make sure your cooling is good, my AMD machine has been running without reboot or powerdown for about 2 months with out incident , and it''s usually running at at least 50% CPU

hope this helps

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
As someone already said, the only thing Xeon's have is a huge cache. The cache only adds a SLIGHT bit of performance, because cache lookups are about 1000 times faster than ram lookups. But, you still have the latency from read-ahead transfers from ram to cache in the first place. Xeon's are way down in speed, considering the last time I looked, they only made P3 models of them. They make Athlon MP's up to 2400, I believe, which roughly translates to 2,066MHz. Two of those together, with the 20 GHz cache throughput on them, and you're blazingly fast, even with only 256k.

Xeon's are available in 2.8ghz speeds now along with the Hyper Threading technology (ie new architecture, 533mhz bus, etc).

I mentioned stability earlier because I am factoring in the historical data. Since AMD MPs are fairly new, they are what I consider less stable since there is less data to go by. Not to be a knock against AMD, they (MP chips) are just new is all.

Oh yeah, there is no need to call people stupid here. We are talking about processors after all, not your mother/wife/family/etc.

LostLogic
www.lostlogic.com
Author, Multiplayer Game Programming
Author, Strategy Game Programming with Direct X 9 (Not yet released)

[edited by - LostLogic on January 1, 2003 6:38:26 PM]

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quote:

Well smartass why don''t you tell us the REAL story?

Cache is a very good thing. More cache == faster CPU, especially on programs that are limited by the cache. That being said, intel''s p4 architecture has a lower IPC than the athlons do, but a higher clock speed.

To really figure out which one is faster, you must:
A) figure out how much money you''re going to spend, then figure out what processors of each you would buy.
B) Go read online reviews at www.tomshardware.com and www.anandtech.com. Make sure you look at the benchmarks that correspond to what you want to do. Going to do a lot of rendering? Check out the raytracing benchmarks. Going to do mp3 encoding? you get the idea
C) Determine which processor is faster for the things you want to do.
D) take some courses on microprocessor architecture(or do some online research at www.arstechnica.com, for example), and stop spewing out crap like depreciates performance due to cache lookups.

quote:

Oh yeah, there is no need to call people stupid here.

Yes there is. When people spew such blatently incorrect information, an admonishion is in order, because they are wasting everyone''s time, and confusing people who don''t know any better.

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cache doesn''t directly increase processor performance, but it can in situations where the data stored in the cache is actually what the processor needs.

quote:
Xeon''s are available in 2.8ghz speeds now along with the Hyper Threading technology (ie new architecture, 533mhz bus, etc).

this is somewhat misleading... from what I''ve seen, the actual performance of a processor is more directly related it to its base bus speed, 1/2 for athlon and 1/4 for intel, so the 2.8ghz @ 533 would reduce to about 700mhz @ 133.

compare this to an athlon mp running at 1.76ghz @ 266, and you get about 880mhz @ 133. I recently read a benchmark between standard c++ compilers and intel''s ''hyperthreading enabled'' compiler... sure, the intel was faster, on their compiler, but for everyday use, it was slower.

I spend all day working on computer systems, and I''ve had my fair share of experience with both intel and athlon systems, and I can honestly say that the athlons seem to be better suited for server type applications.

also, another big factor is that amd focuses on integer optimizations within their processors, while intel has better floating point speeds. that might affect which would better suit your needs.

-sardak

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quote:
Original post by sjelkjd
More cache == faster CPU

Actually you have yet to post any real facts, and are the spreader of misinformation. More cache is certainly != faster CPU.

quote:
Original post by sjelkjd
Yes there is. When people spew such blatently incorrect information, an admonishion is in order, because they are wasting everyone's time, and confusing people who don't know any better.

Agreed. Stop posting sjelkjd. Live by the sword, die by it.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
As someone already said, the only thing Xeon's have is a huge cache. The cache only adds a SLIGHT bit of performance, because cache lookups are about 1000 times faster than ram lookups.

This is true to a minute extent, but for game developer's or anyone who is buying a workstation the bigger cache will definitely improve performance by a large margin.

[edited by - mindwarp on January 1, 2003 10:56:24 PM]

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cache doesn''t directly increase processor performance? yeah right ... if you didn''t take into account that the average cache hit ratio for most modern processors exceeds 97% ... IF you made a benchmark in which every single piece of data was used exactly once, and only once, cache would still get better performance with cache, because of the way cache reading and memory bursting work. A SDRAM stick takes longer to start a memory read cycle than to continue it ... so reading a whole 32 bytes into a cache line, and then getting each byte as needed is still better than asking for the first 32 bits strait from ram, then the next 32 bits ... etc ...

that said ... the ideal (cost / performance) size of cache depends a LOT on processor archtechture, and also on usage patterns. The Xeon''s with extremely large caches are only shown to provide much benifit to 3D rendering and Database / Webserver applications ... where a data set is repeatedly accessed many time, and it''s usage needs do not fit within the normal P4s cache (512KB).

If you are looking to outfit a workstation or server on a budget, the AMD is a far better choice ... last time I checked it was about 60% better price / performance wise for most uses ... but still, if you are building a cost-is-no-object workstation for someone who makes more than a hundred thousand dollards a year ... then the twice the price Xeon setup starts to look ok. As already said, the AMD runs hotter, so be prepared to spring for a good case. It takes more power, so use a good power supply, and there are not nearly as many good dual athlon motherboards in the channel (there is only 1 current chipset, the AMD 760 MPX) ...

If you are making a 3D workstation on a budget ... with dual processors, I highly recommend a 3DLabs video card (perhaps the fairly new Wildcat VP, or the last generation 32MB Oxygen) They are one of the only sub $1000 cards that supports mutliple rendering spaces, AND multithreaded drivers ... so they are do benifit from dual proc setups. Good Luck ... and once again BUY A HIGH QUALITY POWER SUPPLY AND MEMORY ... quality issues with either of those will kill stability #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites quote: Original post by sardak cache doesn't directly increase processor performance, but it can in situations where the data stored in the cache is actually what the processor needs. [quote]Xeon's are available in 2.8ghz speeds now along with the Hyper Threading technology (ie new architecture, 533mhz bus, etc). quote: this is somewhat misleading... from what I've seen, the actual performance of a processor is more directly related it to its base bus speed, 1/2 for athlon and 1/4 for intel, so the 2.8ghz @ 533 would reduce to about 700mhz @ 133. compare this to an athlon mp running at 1.76ghz @ 266, and you get about 880mhz @ 133. I recently read a benchmark between standard c++ compilers and intel's 'hyperthreading enabled' compiler... sure, the intel was faster, on their compiler, but for everyday use, it was slower. I spend all day working on computer systems, and I've had my fair share of experience with both intel and athlon systems, and I can honestly say that the athlons seem to be better suited for server type applications. also, another big factor is that amd focuses on integer optimizations within their processors, while intel has better floating point speeds. that might affect which would better suit your needs. -sardak I haven't used Athlon MPs so I can't compare personally. I do use a cluster of 600 dual Xeon machines though in my development and I can say they are plenty fast. [edited by - LostLogic on January 1, 2003 12:36:49 AM] #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites for the money... MP is faster. But Xeon is faster if money is not a factor. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites errr i mean "better". There is a huge difference between how "fast" the processor is, and how well it handles data. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Go out and buy 2 xp2800''s, mod them, and give them to me, then go by the tyan tiger ($500) motherboard and get yourself 2 athlon mp''s

I would go with AMD due to personal experience. My dad''s Dual 2.2ghz Xeon computer isn''t that fast.

And if you are on a tight budget, its obvious to go for a dual mp computer...

<- Digital Explosions ->
"Discipline is my sword, faith is my shield
do not dive into uncertainty, and you may live to reap the rewards" - (Unreal Championship)

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quote:
Original post by Mindwarp
Actually you have yet to post any real facts, and are the spreader of misinformation. More cache is certainly != faster CPU.

Ok, turn off the L2 cache on your cpu. Run benchmarks. Watch performance plummet.

Seriously, you have convinced me you''re a troll.

One more thing to point out. If you''re looking for dev workstations, athlons own the P4s at compile speed.

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an ignorant yet useful method of thinking of it is like this:

if you will be pushing the ram... an intel should be better. if not... an amd should be better.

graphic design stuff = intel
programming stuff = amd

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When it comes right down to it you likely won''t have any noticable speed difference between the 2.

Noticable as in it would adversly effect what it is you are trying to do in an apparent manner.

I''m an Intel fan personally... but hell if cash is at all an issue go with the Dual AMDs... like I said you wont notice the difference anyways.

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I take it this is for home/small project use.

Stick with MP's

Else fork out the money and get your self a rack mounted quad box, throw some Xeons in there and some RAIDed SCSI's and about 8 gig of RAM and you my friend will have a system that not only is fail safe but will provide all the computing power you will need.

But if you don't have $28k then the Tyan Tiger with dual MP's for under a$1k is the way to go for price/performance.

By the way, I don't care how fast your CPU is if it is processing alot of stored data, if you have a crappy 5000rpm IDE HD than you will end up with a poorly performing machine be it a 1GHz or 3Ghz cpu. You need all the periferals to be high performing as well, i.e. RAID, fast RAM, etc...

[edited by - DeltaVee on January 3, 2003 10:30:02 AM]

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@ people who post offending replies:

if you guys want to fight and offend others please leave and fight it out in IRC

this forum is certainly not thought to be place for this kind of conversation

concerning the topic: i never had problems with amds
i use them for more then 3-4 years now

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quote:
Original post by Basiror
@ people who post offending replies:

You have a different notion of offensive than I do. I find misinformation peddled as truth offensive, and I will point it out, as harshly as deserves, when it is spewed about(as it so often is).

This happens so often in these forums, and it is really disgusting. Some idiot who knows almost nothing posts about a topic, and when he is corrected, 15 other posters jump on the guy who corrects them. You''d rather hear polite bullshit than the harsh truth? That''s just sickening.

Just look at the crap spewing out in this thread. Not one of these statements is correct.

quote:
The only thing a xeon has going for it is its huge cache, with, IMHO, depreciates performance due to cache lookups

quote:

this is somewhat misleading... from what I''ve seen, the actual performance of a processor is more directly related it to its base bus speed, 1/2 for athlon and 1/4 for intel, so the 2.8ghz @ 533 would reduce to about 700mhz @ 133.

quote:

also, another big factor is that amd focuses on integer optimizations within their processors, while intel has better floating point speeds. that might affect which would better suit your needs.

quote:

More cache is certainly != faster CPU.

quote:

When it comes right down to it you likely won''t have any noticable speed difference between the 2.

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And since you state that more cache == faster cpu, a 486 with 1 meg cache must be faster than a p4 2.8ghz right?

[edited by - mindwarp on January 3, 2003 5:59:36 PM]

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The Xeon''s cache are ECC''ed, that was the big difference between them and Pentiums and Pentium II''s. I think all modern processors have ECC''ed caches now though, I know fast PII''s & PIII''s do. I imagine P4''s & Athlon''s do as well.

I think we''ve beat to death that the cache increases the performance of the CPU, but obivously does not affect the clock. It is accurate to say that the cache makes the CPU faster, with the mild assumption that the faster means greater performance. It is a longer stretch to interpret faster as the clock rate, which would make the statement inaccurate.

The AMD 486Dx4 with the large cache was faster than the Pentium 60 (but not the P90) for non-IO intensive task (took longer to load, but ran faster once it did).

quote:

this is somewhat misleading... from what I''ve seen, the actual performance of a processor is more directly related it to its base bus speed, 1/2 for athlon and 1/4 for intel, so the 2.8ghz @ 533 would reduce to about 700mhz @ 133.

The principle is correct, but I think the 1/2 & 1/4 are not accurate. The unnamed parameter that accounts for the 1/2 and 1/4 is the length of the pipeline of the respective processors. The Pentium 4 has a longer pipeline than previous Intel chips or Athlon''s so it takes it longer to get work done. This is why Athlon''s are now given a "performance rating" of say 2GHz, despite the fact that it is clocked at, say, 1.8GHz. It''s suppose to be comparible to a P4 2GHz. I''d also recommend a visit to tomshardware.de to see reliable performance information in these regards.

The Athlon''s held significantly greater floating-point performance than PIII''s did, and even more so with thier 3DNow extentions. A PIII using ISSE is comparable to an Athlon _not using 3DNow. The AthlonXP & P4 are more closely matched in floating-point performance.

If you compare the "performance rating" the chips should be close in performance. If you compare Performance/\$, AMD is clearly superior. If you compare Performance/Watt, Intel is clearly the winner.