opteron VS Itanium 2

Richard Walsh rbw at ahpcrc.org
Wed Oct 29 10:11:19 EST 2003

On Tue Oct 28 19:26:25 2003, Gabriele Butti wrote:

>To sum up, the question is: is the Itanium2 worth the price difference
>or is the Opteron the best choice?

 The SpecFP2000 performance difference between the best I2 and best
 Opteron seems to be about 600 spec points or 40% (~1400 versus ~2000).
 The 1.5 GHz I2 with the 6MB cache is very expensive with a recent 
 estimate here for dual processor nodes with the >>smaller<< cache at over 
 $12,000 per node when Myrinet interconnect costs and other incidentals
 are included.  A dual Opteron 246 at 2.0 GHz with the same interconnect 
 and incidentals included was about $4,250.  Top of the line Pentium 4 
 duals again with same interconnect and incidentals about $750 less
 at $3,500. 

 For bandwidth/memory intensive codes, I think the Opteron is a clear
 winner in a dual processor configuration because of its dual channel
 to memory design.  Stream triad bandwidth during SMP operation is
 ~50% more than a one processor test.  Both the dual Pentium 4 and Itanium 
 2 share their memory bus and split (with some loss) the bandwidth in 
 dual mode. 

 In a single processor configuration the conclusion is less clear.  Itanium's 
 spec numbers are very impressive, but still not high enough to win on price 
 performance.  The new Pentium 4 3.2 GHz Extremem Edition with its 4x200 FSB 
 has very good SpecFP2000 numbers out performing the Opteron by about 100 spec 
 points and may be the best price performance choice in a single processor 

 But of course the above logic means nothing with a benchmark of >>your<<
 application and specific vendor quotes in >>your<< hands.


# Richard Walsh
# Project Manager, Cluster Computing, Computational
#                  Chemistry and Finance
# netASPx, Inc.
# 1200 Washington Ave. So.
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#         rbw at ahpcrc.org
# Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit. 
#                                  - Seneca 

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