Processor technology choice

Rocky McGaugh rocky at
Sat Sep 6 12:23:25 EDT 2003

Opteron prices are on par with the Xeon's.

I see no reason for anyone, anywhere to ever buy Athlon MP's ever
again. The processor core is almost identical to the Opterons except 
that the Opterons have the 64-bit extensions. The opterons get a great
benefit from the Hypertransport bus. They have great memory bandwidth 
and interprocess latency.

Debain for amd64 is still under development. I occasionaly talk with
the guys who are doing the port, and I dont think it is quite ready
for prime-time yet. If you really know what you are doing, you can 
probably make it work, but it is not going to be trivial.

Debian would be great on Xeon/Athlon/Itainium2 though.

the Opteron's will give you a bit less potential raw FLOPS, but you will
most likely achieve a greater effiency from those processors (versus Xeon) 
due to the faster memory bus.

The best way is to test your code on each

Rocky McGaugh
Atipa Technologies
rocky at
rmcgaugh at
1-785-841-9513 x3110
perl -e 'print unpack(u, ".=W=W+F%T:7\!A+F-O;0H`");'

On Sat, 6 Sep 2003, José M. Pérez Sánchez wrote:

> Hi people:
> We are planning to install a small cluster (around 12 processors).
> We mainly are going to do pattern recognition, and will run
> applications using artificial neural-network and genetic algorithms.
> We want to put around 6 dual processor machines running GNU/Linux with
> OpenMosix, and MPI on top of it. One server with SCSI storage and the 
> rest of the nodes will be diskless. 
> The main design uncertainty we have is what processor technology to use.
> Our choices are Intel Xeon, AMD Athlon XP/MP and Opteron. We are
> particularly interested in Opteron even if we have to put a couple of
> nodes less. My questions are:
> - Will we have some computing power gain using Opteron with the same
>   budget?
> - What about long term maintenance cost, for how long will be 32 bit
>   technology components generally available at normal price, now that we
>   have Opteron and Itanium?
> - Most vendors say it's better to buy Intel (I personally think AMD are
>   equivalent and cheaper), are they just trying to sell the most
>   expensive? Any known real trouble with cooling for AMDs, or just bad
>   case design?
> - We plan to use Debian, anyone with experience on it for 64 bit platforms.
> Thanks in advance,
> Jose M. Pérez.
> Madrid. Spain.
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