Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Jun 2006 22:12 UTC
Intel Server makers are lining up a host of new and enhanced systems armed with Intel's new 'Woodcrest' Xeon processor, a chip built on a new architecture that promises better performance coupled with greater energy efficiency. Intel initially said the Xeon 5100 family - based on Intel's new Core microarchitecture - would be released in the third quarter. However, earlier this month the giant chip maker pushed up the date to June 26 in an attempt to take back momentum from rival AMD. Ars' Hannibal gives his view on the new processors.
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AMD vs Intel
by jimmystewpot on Tue 27th Jun 2006 10:17 UTC
jimmystewpot
Member since:
2006-01-19

There are several issues here that need to be raised, The current revision opteron processor noted as Rev E is not nearly as scalable as the up and coming Rev F which has additional HTX bandwidth which means that the opteron will be able to run all of it memory at full speed with HTX channels between all CPUs rather than just 3. I believe that you will finally start to see true 8 socket Opterons based servers reaching the market very shortly. The Intel XEON processors on Intel based chipsets which still rely on front side busses are heavily limited. There is also another issue that comes to mind, we run datacentres which have several thousand servers online we do not have 'gold support' etc with our servers because 4hour replacements are not something that we can deal with.. downtime = lost income. With the Intel based servers we have to maintain a much larger stock inventory because there are so many different models over the time, it maybe a 2.8ghz XEON but there are so many different models that many boards may not support the socket etc, With AMD however that problem is reduced conciderably. We also see that the woodcrest only scales to 2 way from what I have read, which really means that the 4 way space wont be touched until much later in the year which is how many of these chip producers actually make profits. The other benefit is that all the Opterons use the same core which means that it is cheaper to make. While intel use different cores for each of their procesors DP/MP etc based on the same thing but not identical. Intels processor may blow away the AMD processors for performance but for TCO the AMD offering suits our requirements much better.

Reply Score: 2

RE: AMD vs Intel
by xxmf on Tue 27th Jun 2006 11:03 in reply to "AMD vs Intel"
xxmf Member since:
2006-06-15

>Rev F which has additional HTX bandwidth

Please explain what you think HTX is?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: AMD vs Intel
by BFGoodrich on Tue 27th Jun 2006 12:56 in reply to "AMD vs Intel"
BFGoodrich Member since:
2005-06-30

Hypertransport is important in the 4-way and up server realm, but Intel cares more about 2P anyway and most idio... I mean most server admins were choosing the Intel solution over Opterons for onesy twosy servers because it is easier to go with the flow.

Intel has also designed this new chip with very good IPC, much better than current Opteron. On most workloads (ones that fit in cache) it will blow away the Opteron every time. The performance/watt is better than any Opteron at the moment. In fact the current Opteron chips only has a few niche areas where the new Woodcrest chip doesn't blow its doors off. (Mainly corner cases where the data isn't fitting nicely in a 4 MB cache and once again scalability past 2 sockets)

Intel is also working on their CSI Interconnect (possibly redundant?) technology and it will offer similar low-latency access to memory and scalability. In addition with their architectural changes, I don't see AMD trouncing Intel for a very long time. I hope that I am proved wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: AMD vs Intel
by xxmf on Tue 27th Jun 2006 15:48 in reply to "RE[2]: AMD vs Intel"
xxmf Member since:
2006-06-15

>Hypertransport is important in the 4-way and up server realm.

I doubt that it will ever make much penetration at 4 sockets+

1/ snoopy cc protocols

2/ 2x2 socket way cheaper than 1x4 socket (and clustering apps are abundant)

The only thing you can say is they do better than intel who don't have any non bus based offering until CSI.

Reply Parent Score: 2