[Beowulf] Athlon64 / Opteron test
joe.griffin at mscsoftware.com
Fri May 14 11:25:12 EDT 2004
Originally this thread was about the choice of Athlon vs. Opteron.
But the comparison between Opteron/Intel was brought up.
I wish to state that the best choice is highly dependent
on YOUR application. I test various CFD and FEM
engineering applications. I have not only seen differences
when comparing different application programs, but also
when comparing different uses of the same program (say if a
person changes a job from statics to dynamics). The biggest question
should be how YOUR application is used.
Below is a web site comparing IA32, IA64 (linux and HPUX), Opteron
and an IBM P655 running AIX. The site should only be used to
compare hardare platforms when running our software. I am sure
that Fluent, LSTC/Dyna, Star-CD have similar sites. I recomend
finding out about the software that you will be using.
MSC.Nastran Hardware comparison:
Robert G. Brown wrote:
>>In order to do the test, we have no doubt about the OS: Red Hat
>>Enterprise 3, but we are a bit confused about the harware of choice:
>>As far as we know, Opteron has two main differences:
>> - A wider memory interface (128 bit in front of 64)
>> - A larger L2 cache memory (1 Mb)
>>Which is the most mature solution: AMD Opteron or Intel Itanium?
>Did you mean mature or moribund;-)?
>I'm only half kidding. Itanium is dead as a doornail as technology goes
>-- overpriced, underperforming, incompatible. Intel is migrating to a
>(more or less) Opteron compatible 64 bit processor as fast as they can
>get there, as Major Software Companies (MSC) have announced that they
>aren't going to do major ports to new chips with new machine languages
>and compilers anymore if they can possibly avoid it. If Intel dropped
>the price of an Itanium to slightly LESS than that of an Opteron, I
>think they'd still have trouble maintaining a market, because Opterons
>are relatively easy to port to and will in principle run i386 code
>(badly, of course) native. Sometimes. I haven't had a lot of luck with
>it, of course, because you can't mix i386 code and 64 bit DLLs and we
>installed a 64 bit version of the OS from the start, but theoretically
>it will work.
>The good news is that Opterons are surprisingly fast for MY applications
>for their relatively pokey CPU clocks, and some benchmarks show that
>they can be really quite fast indeed for memory intensive applications
>relative to e.g. an Athlon or P4 clock. They also run much cooler than
>regular Athlons (again for my application). I draw ballpark of 185
>watts loaded (dual CPU Opteron) vs 230 Watts or so loaded (dual CPU
>Athlon) running more or less the same code.
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