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  1. #1
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    Dual Opterons or Single Dual Core A64?

    I am purchasing a server soon and need some opinions on if I should choose between a Dual Single Core Opterons or a Single Dual Core Opteron/A64 Processor?
    So basically
    2 Dual 246 Opterons (Single Core) Vs. 1 Dual Core A64 X2 3800+?
    The reason why I asked is I want to know if Dual Opterons are really worth the performance over a Single Dual Core. I've read that they are similar in performance. I can save so much money if this is so.

  2. #2
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    I guess it depends on your needs and on the price difference. Opterons, designed for servers, pass more tests before shipping than desktop processors. Also, they use registered memory which is more reliable. Aside of this, the CPU itself doesn't differ much from the desktop Athlon. However, the server itself might differ quite a lot, depending on what chipset/mainboard is used (which can once again make a significant difference regarding reliability). The same might apply to other components of the server, so at least part of the price difference comes from this. Just like with the Xeon vs the P3 and the P4, it's not so much the internal processor design that's that much different but rather the QA going into the CPU and the whole environment, i.e. a mainboard designed for a server CPU will be in most cases better designed, outfitted with higher quality components and tested more thoroughly.

    That said, if you want more than a 2-way setup or RAM over 4 GB (depending on the server provider, 2 GB), there is no other choice than going Opteron.

    p.s. I found you an article with a pretty comprehensive comparison of the two processor families: http://www.devx.com/amd/Article/27340

  3. Go for the opteron. I have a 64 3200 for personal use and would much rather have gone with opterons.

  4. #4
    I have a 64 3200 for personal use and would much rather have gone with opterons.
    Is that a Dual Core A64 you have? As there is a very big difference... we run quite a few Dual Opterons, as well as a few Dual Core A64s. Performance is quite similar on both, what makes a difference is the amount of heat created with the A64s is a lot less than Dual Opterons. Also, the lower end Dual Core A64s only have 512k cache/core, while Opterons have 1Mb cache/core. If budget is not an object then I would go with the Dual Opterons...
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the great informative replies.
    It seems like Dual Opterons are the way to go for Servers. Like the above post said it uses Registered ECC memory and are made for servers. It is a 2U I am getting. I think the performance will be worth it.

  6. Yea its the dual core. I bought it to run game servers on. From my exp. i found that it dose out preform the opterons if you running a few reasorce hogging programs. (ie game servers) if i run 4-5 HL mod game servers on it it out preforms the dual opterons, any more and the preformance starts to drop. However with the money i spent on that i could have got a dual opteron 242 witch would allow me to run 10+ HL servers on it.
    Heh, hope that makes sense
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  7. Originally posted by best4service
    Thanks for the great informative replies.
    It seems like Dual Opterons are the way to go for Servers. Like the above post said it uses Registered ECC memory and are made for servers. It is a 2U I am getting. I think the performance will be worth it.
    Yea i would only go for the A64 if you wanted a PC on crack
    You also should consider what programs you will be running. Alot of programs only utilize 1 CPU.
    So for example lets say you are running 1 application on you server thats a major resource hog that utilizes only 1 cpu. a A64 3800 would out preform a Quad Opteron for the simple fact you could have 1000 CPU's but it would just use 1.
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  8. #8
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    I think they both similar because both has dual core (dual cpu and dual core are the same - 2 cpu's in one server)...

  9. Dont let dual core full you, its not the same as dual cpu's
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  10. #10
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    Yes that is what I wanted to find out. If Dual Core performance is real close to dual processors.

  11. again it realy all depends on the programs your server will be running.
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  12. #12
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    You can get the A64 X2 with 2x1 MB Cache. I bet that will perform almost identical to a Dual Opteron of similar spec. But, it may not be much cheaper than the Opterons.
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  13. #13
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    I will using the server for heavy video hosting and busy heavy site traffic with MySQL and php.

  14. #14
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    ThrottleHosting please stop spreading misinformation if you aren't interested in talking facts, thank you.

    1) The AMD 64 3200+ is a single core CPU clocked at 2 GHz. The cheapest dual core CPU from AMD is the AMD 64 X2 3800+ running each core at 2 GHz. This means if you really have a 3200+, you are using a single core CPU and believing it's a dual core one. It's very easy to find out what type of CPU you have because the dual core CPUs all have the "X2" on the box and on the label.

    2) Unless you use Windows, you will definitely be able to make use of more than one CPU (or CPU core), no matter what kind of application(s) you run. Your "Alot of programs only utilize 1 CPU" statement has no real validity when talking about servers, it will be valid mostly if you run a Windows desktop mainly for gaming, internet surfing and similar things, and mostly only one of them at a time.

    3) "Dont let dual core full you, its not the same as dual cpu's" - yes, this is true, but exactly the other way around than you think. A dual core CPU is namely superior to two single core CPUs: due to shorter lines transfers to and from the cores are slightly faster, and thanks to the design not only the CPU uses less energy and produces less heat, but also the mainboard design is significantly less complex.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by best4service
    I will using the server for heavy video hosting and busy heavy site traffic with MySQL and php.
    You should definitely invest into a hardware SCSI RAID with 15'000 rpm hard drives (RAID 5 and upwards), without it you'll have an extreme bottleneck and you won't be able to get much out of any dual setup (not even a single one).

  16. #16
    So is having a SCSI more important than the processor?
    Omar

  17. #17
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    What is important and what not is dependent on what you want to use your hardware for. But speaking in general terms, going from IDE to SATA to SCSI are qualitative steps, like going from P4 to Xeon to Opteron. Whereas going from e.g. an Opteron 242 to an Opteron 246 or a 2.4 GHz Xeon to a 3.06 GHz Xeon is a quantitative step, and as such shows any real difference only in specific situations.

  18. #18
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    I guess some people don't understand the whole difference between Dual Core and Dual CPU's.

    The previous person stated Dual Core would be faster, but that is only under certain conditions. For the most part Dual CPU actually will be faster due to the Dual Front Side Bus not offered by a Dual Core CPU.

    A Dual Core CPU still operates all on one FSB where as a Dual CPU System still operates on Dual FSB and full Dual Channels on the Moterhboard. Overall if you are running MySQL, etc... you will see faster performance from a Dual CPU system than a Dual Core System.

    EDIT: I would recommend a Dual Opteron System with the ability to Upgrade to Dual Core Later.

  19. #19
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    Quoting from http://multicore.amd.com/WhitePapers...WhitePaper.pdf :

    AMD scrapped the front-side bus (FSB) architecture favored by the competition and instead used a more innovative design called Direct Connect Architecture, which helps reduce the real challenges and bottlenecks of system architectures at the processor level.

    While the AMD64 architecture offers real performance benefits for single-core processors, its inherent benefits and elegant design are magnified when applied to multicore processors. AMD Direct Connect Architecture helps eliminate bottlenecks and reduce latency in a flexible design that is unmatched in the industry

  20. #20
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    yes, I've read it. And I've also seen the underlying technology which still is much like the FSB system.

    I've also seen the benchmarks, will have to look them up.

  21. #21
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    Since the AMD K7 and K8 design has an own pipeline from the system to every CPU in a multi-CPU environment, I guess a dual CPU system might be faster than a dual core CPU, provided there is a lot of data swapped in and out of the CPU. OTOH I'm not sure how much it can matter whether one or two CPUs share the same 800-1000 MHz speed lane between CPUs and the rest of the system when they all access the same PC3200 memory which has enough bandwidth to feed only one single 800 MHz HyperTransport line anyway.

    Just for clarification, the whole question exists only for AMD systems. Regarding Intel "dual-core" designs, those are most probably never slower than a dual CPU setup because with the Intel multi-CPU setup you always have to share the very same bandwidth for all CPUs together, i.e. the more CPUs in the system the slower a CPU's connection to the rest of the system.

  22. #22
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    The benchmarks I was reviewing, and I'm still digging for (cusses self for failing to bookmark information again) were webserver based. I.E. they benched Apache, MySQL, etc... as per a hosting enviroment so the MySQL benchmarks were average 2MB to 50MB databases.

    The performance gain was not major, but Dual CPU did outperform Dual Core. But, the best of all is what I had recommended and that is to go with a Dual CPU system upgradable to Dual Core Dual CPU.

    The gain or decrease on of a Dual Opteron vrs Dual Core Athlon 64 may not be much either way depending on the Applications, but the ability to have the Dual Core Capable Board and later upgrade to a Dual Core Dual CPU enviroment would show massive speed improvement.

  23. #23
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    Ramborc and l stevens, Thansk for the great information

    Ramborc for me to go SCSI is extremely expensive and I believe impossible. The server has 1.5 Terabytes of space. They are all SATA Drives. I am using this until I grow out of it. The sites are not exactly "busy" at this point but I expect it to boom when I launch. So I plan to buy another server if I go outgrow it. One for mysql and PHP and use the other one for pure downloading of files.

    Now one concern I have is are Dual 246 Opterons over kill for pure video hosting?
    Server has 2GB ECC Memory
    6x250GB SATA Drive.

    By the way I am using a 64Bit version of Centos. I really hope this one server would handle such a task as I really don't have a budget for a second one.

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