Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 18:48 UTC
AMD TomsHardware has an extensive benchmark of the AMD Opteron system, Extremetech has a long analysis of the CPU itself, while NewsForge reviews SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.0 on AMD Opteron hardware. Read more for the Mandrake press release about their 64-bit version of Linux for the Opteron.
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Very poor comparative benchmarking @ TomsHardware
by Kevin Rasmussen on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 19:49 UTC

This is a very poor comparison of CPU performance if I ever read one. But I am not surprised. Tom is not really competent for server hardware reviews.

And BTW the video is crap, donīt bother with it.

Very poor comparative benchmarking @ TomsHardware
by Anonymous coward on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 19:53 UTC

... This is a very poor comparison of CPU performance if I ever read one.

Completly agree.

A better review than tom's
by dax on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 19:58 UTC

For a better review, check out the one @ http://www.aceshardware.com

most of the servers aren't shipping or are crippled
by Michael on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 20:06 UTC

I called on two servers today and found out they are not shipping until summer.

So today is merely just another paperlaunch day, not anything of substance.

I must say I am surprised to see so many crippled server designs with 4 or 6 DIMM slots for both 64-bit CPUs (not each). It is just plain stupid to ship a server with anything less than the 8 DIMM slots per CPU that AMD supports. The whole point of Opteron is price/performance. Forcing people to utilize super expensive 2GB DIMMs to get reasonable memory capacity is just plain stupid. Why even build the machine if you are going to cripple its greatest advantage?

Nvidia's latest vaporchip, the nForce3, supports only 4 DIMMs. That is simply retarded for a 64-bit processor.

Anyhow, I hope we'll see some better designs over the next few months. Today's first batch seem pretty weak.

I don't think Apple on AMD is happening anytime soon
by Michael on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 20:10 UTC

On Monday, Jerry Sanders, Chairman of AMD, in top form, managed a single sentence that took in the whole industry:

"tomorrow AMD will change the world and I'm not Steve Jobs, so we're going to change the real world."

Tom gets his hands on all sorts of nice hardware
by mario on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 20:14 UTC

A dual opteron computer? Where the heck does Tom get this stuff? He must have contacts up high.

I found the review OK, actually. Instructive for sure, and the benchmarks seem to be quite interesting. However, I have misgivings on comparing a 64 bit CPU system to a 32 bit system. It's just not possible. There are things that the 64 bit system will be able to do while the 32 bit will never be able. And I didn't quite understand why were the FPU benchmarks included in the "server" section.

Tom's review was horrible.
by SchlingBlade on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 20:40 UTC

Windows XP? Last time I checked, that wasn't a server OS. It also has minimal driver support, doesn't support NUMA, etc. It's a worthless set of benchmarks, especially considering the test hardware was in a 1U chassis! Hardly a desktop machine.

Windows 2003 Server would have been a better OS to benchmark if one had to benchmark an MS OS.

Ace's Hardware has a pretty good review online. Anyone interested in seeing some real server app benchmarks should head over there.

Personally, it looks like AMD might have a winner here. Looking forward to the desktop chip release!

Re: most of the servers aren't shipping or are crippled
by Megol on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 21:04 UTC

> Nvidia's latest vaporchip, the nForce3, supports only 4 DIMMs. That is simply retarded for a 64-bit processor.

It's even worse: it doesn't support any memory at all.
The memory controller in an Opteron system is on the CPU not on the chipset.

Nice one Megol
by Maynard on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 21:40 UTC

The greatest advantage of the Opteron, Hypertransport does not seem to have been tested here too.

Basically, proper chipsets are coming. I found the hardware selection rather strange too.

Is it just me???
by Vic Berkshire on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 21:54 UTC

I got through about a dozen pages and there wasn't anything in TH's review worth reading. All I wanted to know was if the age of 64-bit computing was now a consumer thing and what I could expect about a workstation.

Show me f*-ing benchmarks and tell me if it spanked the Itanium or not and is worth thinking about as a workstation. That's what I'm interested in. Not graphics about die configuration and whatever. God. I gave up. Stopped reading.

Tom's hardware has finally either gone so commercial that they plan to bore us with dozens of pages that just commercialize the site or they just don't care that they are boring us by having to visit dozens of pages with two paragraphs of crap to get to the two or three pages we really want to read.

Vic

I don't think Apple on AMD is happening anytime soon - Michael
by appleforever on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 22:32 UTC

Hah, I think you are right on that one!

Funny that AMD would diss on apple though. What's the point to pissing off a potential customer.

More likely AMD is worried about something from apple. But who knows.

I do think the apple/AMD comparison is interesting in this respect: AMD is losing hundreds of millions a quarter but hardly anybody questions their "future" while apple's is constantly questioned and it's making some money.

IBM 970
by Carlos on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 23:24 UTC


>More likely AMD is worried about something from apple. But who knows.

Mac Xserve's with IBM 970s? Assuming they are on the near horizon...

apple comment was funny
by Anonymous on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 23:58 UTC

i like apple AND i like amd.

too bad i won't see the two together...but ah well, i can appreciate both separately.

even if their leaders are a bit wacko, over the top.

re: Megol/nForce3
by Michael on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 00:11 UTC

The onboard memory controller of the Opteron can be disabled and a northbridge type system used instead.

There are precious few details of what Nvidia has done with their "one-chip" nForce3. It may be that the system that was discussed is limited to 4 DIMMs because of other design issues, not the capacity of the Opteron memory controller (which can handle 8 DIMMs).

My main point is that I hope more Opteron motherboards are available that support the full 8 DIMMs per processor. It may be that Nvidia's reference design does not and I am disappointed in that design choice.

nForce3, Opteron, Apple...
by Roy on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 00:42 UTC

The stuff I've read about the nForce3 Pro says that it is just a combined AGP bridge and southbridge. It doesn't have a memory controller and it doesn't have onboard video. Nvidia is targeting workstations with these chips. They are hoping that customers will use a Quadro (or at least a GeforceFX) with these chips.

check it out at...
http://www.bjorn3d.com/_preview.php?articleID=268

The choice of the number of DIMM slots is entirely up to the motherboard manufacturer. These Opterons have 2 DDR-SRAM channels. DDR-SRAM isn't considered very stable with >2 DIMMs per channel. So, for a 1P system you will have 2-4 DIMM slots (probably 4 generally). 2P systems will have 4-8 slots. Some manufacturers are providing 8 so that memory may be upgraded easily and uniformly. Other manufacturers are providing 6 slots (cheaper for MB makers) which is less than ideal.

Ace's Hardware had a REALLY good article about the Opteron. It is worth repeating (from that article) that NUMA kernel enhancements (in Windows 2003 Server and the upcoming Linux 2.6 kernel) should significantly improve performance for the Opteron (under both 32-bit and 64-bit code).

BTW, I don't think AMD is worried about Apple servers. Apple is a niche and will probably always be a niche (though they aren't going away either). IBM, on the other hand, could decide to do something with the 970 that could hurt Opteron (mid-end Linux servers).

RE: IBM 970
by AndrewG on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 01:56 UTC

I doubt the are worried about the 970 in their market. The Opteron is good because of its x86 support. That's the strenght of Opteron, providing a convenient upgrade path.

DIMM Slots
by Jeremy on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 05:45 UTC


Here's a server motherboard with 8 DIMM slots.

http://www.rioworks.com/HDAMA.htm

Why the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro ?
by Mark on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 06:15 UTC

I would have appreciated a benchmark with a videocard like the ATI Fire GL 8700 or the 3Dlabs Wildcat III 6110. What was the point of using a gamer's card for this kind of test ?

Re: Why the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro ?
by Wee Jin Goh on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 15:59 UTC

Would using another graphics card have made a difference? I don't think so. Most of the benchmarks run were CPU/Memory subsystem intensive anyway.

AGP?
by matthew on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 18:35 UTC

How did they run a Radeon 9700 Pro on the Newisys system, if it doesn't have an AGP port. The test setup clearly states that all systems run 9700 Pro as the video card. The Newisys has integrated Trident Blade graphics. Would that have made a diffrence in the rendering tests? I don't do rendering, so I don't know.

re: AGP
by matthew on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 18:46 UTC

By "they" I was referring to the Tom's Hardware review.

re: most of the servers aren't shipping or are crippled
by matthew on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 21:09 UTC

The launch was not a paper launch. The chips are availiable now, they have started shipping. It will take a month or so for the vendors to make available the systems using the Opterons.