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Re: newbie questions for amd64

On Mon, Nov 17, 2003 at 09:16:25AM -0700, Harcort Fenton Mudd wrote:
> 2. What is the difference between the athlon-64 and opteron cpu's
> 2a. Any opinions about which is the better cpu for scientific
> (electronic structure) applications?

Well, I've had a change to play with a bunch of opterons, and an athlon 64.

The Athlon 64 3200+ is a 2.0GHz Opteron with only a single memory channel, running non-registered memory at DDR3200. It's only capable of 1-way operation.

An Opteron 146 is a 2.0GHz Opteron with dual channel memory, requiring registered PC2700 memory (ECC is optional). The Opteron is capable of 2-way SMP/NUMA operation if you shell out for a 24x series processor.

I've played with an Athlon 64 in a Asus K8V motherboard (VIA K8T800 chipset), and an Opteron 246 on an Asus SK8N motherboard (NVidia nForce3 chipset). Both are really fast, although I have a feeling that the latencies on the Kingston PC3200 Reg/ECC memory are holding back the 246 processor. From a general performance perspective, they seemed very similar in speed.

AGP support on non-AMD chipset boards seems to be lacking under linux right now. It looks like neither the VIA K8T800 or NVidia nForce3 AGPs are supported from the 2.6 kernel ATM.

Both plaforms are really solid and fast.


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