Words of Thanks

A lot of people gave us assistance with this project, and we would of course like to thank them.
Damon Muzny, AMD US
Brett Jacobs, AMD US

Randy Chang, ASUS

Kelly Sasso, Crucial Technology

Matty Bakkeren, Intel Netherlands

Benchmark configuration

Here is the list of the different configurations. All servers have been flashed to the latest BIOS, and unless we add any specific comments to the contrary, the BIOS are set to default settings.

Opteron 2350 Server: ASUS KFSN4-DRE
Dual Opteron 2350 2GHz
Asus KFSN4DRE BIOS version 1001.02 (8/28/2007) - NVIDIA nForce Pro 2200 chipset
8GB (4x2GB) Crucial Registered DDR2-667 CL5 ECC
NIC: Broadcom BCM5721

Opteron Socket F 1207 Server: Tyan Transport TA26 - 2932
Dual Opteron 2222 3GHz / 2224SE 3.2GHz
Tyan Thunder n3600m (S2932) - NVIDIA nForce Pro 3600 chipset
8GB (4x2GB) Crucial Registered DDR2-667 CL5 ECC
NIC: nForce Pro 3600 integrated MAC with Marvell 88E1121 Gigabit Ethernet PHY

Xeon Server: Intel "Bensley platform" server
2x Xeon 5160 3GHz or 2x Xeon E5345 at 2.33GHz
Intel Server Board S5000PSL - Intel 5000P Chipset
8GB (4x2GB) Crucial Registered FB-DIMM DDR2-667 CL5 ECC
NIC: Dual Intel PRO/1000 Server NIC
BIOS note: Hardware prefetching disabled

Client Configuration: Dual Opteron 850
MSI K8T Master1-FAR
4x512MB Infineon PC2700 Registered, ECC
NIC: Broadcom 5705

SUSE Linux SLES 10 SP1 (Linux
MySQL 5.0.26 as shipped with SUSE SLES 10 SP1
Sun Hotspot Java JVM 1.5.0_08
3DSMax 9
Cinebench 9.5
WinRAR 3.62

ASUS KFSN4-DRE: Split Power Enabled

ASUS was the first to send us a board which supports AMD's split power plane. Split power plane or dual dynamic power management means that the memory controller and the core are fed from different power rails. According to AMD, this allows the memory controller to run at 1.8GHz instead of 1.6GHz, and provides a 7% boost in raw memory performance. The new quad-core Opteron processors should work in the older socket-F motherboards with a BIOS Update. These unified plane motherboards will be slightly slower (slightly lower clocked memory controller) and consume a bit more power though.

The ASUS KFSN4-DRE supports no less than 16 DIMMs in total, good for a maximum of 64GB of RAM (but at lower speeds than 667 MHz). To improve performance, ASUS has implemented a "dual link". The two processor sockets are connected by a pair (instead of one) of 16-bit coherent HyperTransport buses. According to ASUS, dual link and split power planes offer not only lower power but up to 14% higher performance. Unfortunately, it has not been disclosed in which application this 14% has been measured.

The SSE EB board is clearly made for a compact 1U server. The one x16 PCI-E slot can be used to plug in a riser card which allows you to use two x8 PCI-E slots. Using the NVIDIA nForce pro 2200, the board is able to provide four SATA ports which can support RAID levels 0,1,10 and 5. Luckily, for those of you thinking of using VMWare ESX on this board, a version with the LSI 1064 SAS controller and four SAS connectors will also be available. ASUS has made an excellent choice by using the Broadcom BCM5721 PCI-E for the Gigabit LAN interfaces.

ASUS left some space for an optional IPMI Module (ASMB3) for Out-of-Band and Remote Server Management. With two 667 MHz DIMMs in each node, the ASUS KFSN4-DRE ran all our benchmarks for many hours. The LINPAC benchmark in particular takes up to eight hours and proves that the board behaved very well in this configuration. We will investigate other DIMM configurations later.

AMD's Newest Quad-Core "Native Quad-Core"


View All Comments

  • kalyanakrishna - Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - link

    I don't deny people use MKL ... I dont agree that anyone targeting performance on AMD Opteron will use MKL. No one running HPL/Linpack for Top 500 submission would use MKL on Opteron. No one who wishes to test his Opteron for performance would use MKL to do so. No one wishing to have the fastest possible results from his Opteron will do so.

    Even ISV's now provide code that is optimized for Xeon and Opteron separately.
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - link

    Ok, point taken. Give us some time, and we'll follow up with new compilations of Linpack. Reply
  • kalyanakrishna - Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - link

    Thank you. Appreciate the effort. Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    and how offen do you read anandtechs Previews and reviews

    unlike when intels core 2 came out all the hipe was real, to bad for AMD this time

    this cpu is going to be good, problem is will it be able to compleat with Intels new cpu when it comes out

    i still useing an amd system if your wundering and so all the rest of my pcs apart from my server as i just thow in an old P4 mobo to just file sharein house (all second hand parts apart from the hdds)
  • phaxmohdem - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    I wonder if it would be feasible for AMD to take the Intel approach, and slap two of there new native quad cores together and release an octal core CPU in the near future. Or would they remain the multi-core purists they have become... Similarly I wonder if 2 65nm Barecelona cores could even fit under that heat spreader... or come in under an acceptable thermal envelope. Reply
  • Accord99 - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    It won't fit on Socket F:

  • fic2 - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    Page 8, 3DS Max 9 last paragraph:
    "Dual 3GHz Opteron 2222 is capable of generating about 29 frames per hour", but then
    "potential 3GHz Barcelona will be able to spit out ~35 frames per second". I think that is supposed to be ~35 frames per hour. Otherwise that is an extremely impressive speedup!
  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    No, it is "per second". We used a Octalcore 2THz Barcelona there.

    ... Thanks, fixed that one :-)
  • phaxmohdem - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    Got SuperPi times for that beast? ;) Reply
  • Roy2001 - Monday, September 10, 2007 - link

    Kentsfield has 2*143mm^2 dies. Barcelona is 280+ mm^2. Penry would be even smaller, 2*100 mm^2. So unless AMD can increase the frequency to 3.0+Ghz soon and price their new quad-core processors higher than Intel's, AMD would be still in red unless it oursouces Athlon 64 to TSMC. Reply

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