Performance: Opteron 150 v.s. Athlon 64 x2 4400+ for LAMP server?


P

Peter

Hi

I'm thinking about building a LAMP server. It will mainly run a CMS
and a wiki for two sites, and it will run a 64 bit Linux, possibly
Ubuntu.

I'm thinking of either an
* AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.3GHz 1 MB or an
* AMD Opteron 150 2,2 GHz

Both are about the same price and clock frequency

The Athlon gives me obviously two cores, each with 512k of dedicated
L2 cache
The Opteron gives me one core but 1 MB L2 cache

Question: In the real world - what alternative would give me the best
performance?
 
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U

User

Peter said:
Hi

I'm thinking about building a LAMP server. It will mainly run a CMS
and a wiki for two sites, and it will run a 64 bit Linux, possibly
Ubuntu.

I'm thinking of either an
* AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.3GHz 1 MB or an
* AMD Opteron 150 2,2 GHz

Both are about the same price and clock frequency

The Athlon gives me obviously two cores, each with 512k of dedicated
L2 cache
The Opteron gives me one core but 1 MB L2 cache

Question: In the real world - what alternative would give me the best
performance?

You must already have the socket 939 motherboard? If so consider an
opteron 165 for around $6 more, dual core and 1MB L2 per core. At 1.8GHz
stock you won't notice the speed difference and if your board allows you
to overclock then so much the better. Read the newegg reviews:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103588
If you don't have a motherboard yet consider the more modern socket AM2.
Components such as memory, etc. generally cost less for AM2.
 
P

Peter

Many thanks!
You must already have the socket 939 motherboard?
No, considering AM2
If so consider an
opteron 165 for around $6 more, dual core and 1MB L2 per core. At 1.8GHz
stock you won't notice the speed difference and if your board allows you
to overclock then so much the better. Read the newegg reviews:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103588
That seems like a nice choice - so, in reality you can basically
overclock to +/- 3 GHz rendering official clock frequency ratings a
mere baseline value :). I'll try it!
And given that, more L2 cache is always better, I agree
If you don't have a motherboard yet consider the more modern socket AM2.
Components such as memory, etc. generally cost less for AM2.
OK, I'll do that.

To what extent will I be able to utilize the two cores in a LAMP
environment would you think?
Did anyone try virtualization here?
 
G

General Schvantzkoph

Many thanks!

No, considering AM2

That seems like a nice choice - so, in reality you can basically
overclock to +/- 3 GHz rendering official clock frequency ratings a mere
baseline value :). I'll try it! And given that, more L2 cache is always
better, I agree

OK, I'll do that.

To what extent will I be able to utilize the two cores in a LAMP
environment would you think?
Did anyone try virtualization here?

AMD Processors don't have much margin, if you want to overclock you
should use Intel. The Core2 processors have a lot of headroom. The Core2
processors are also 30% faster then AMD processors on a clock for clock
basis. My recommendation would be a 6750 which is priced at $212 on
Newegg. I'm running my 6800 at 3GHz with stock cooling. It's been running
24/7 since last November without a problem.
 
W

Wes Newell

AMD Processors don't have much margin, if you want to overclock you
should use Intel. The Core2 processors have a lot of headroom. The Core2
processors are also 30% faster then AMD processors on a clock for clock
basis. My recommendation would be a 6750 which is priced at $212 on
Newegg. I'm running my 6800 at 3GHz with stock cooling. It's been running
24/7 since last November without a problem.

AMD holds the top 11 spots in the price/performance index, and 14 out of
the top 16. the top spot is held by AMD X2 3800+, and there isn't a core
2 duo chip in the bunch. All AMD X2 cpu's top all the core 2 duo chips
except one. The E4300 beats only the X2 6000+ in this chart. As for
overclocking, the AMD X2 3800+ will overclock close to 50% if not do it.
And running your 6800 at 3GHz isn't much of an overclock since it's
default speed is 2.93 GHz to start if I'm not mistaken and sells for about
$900. And I don't know where you came up with that 30% faster per clock,
but that's just pure BS.
 
P

Peter

AMD holds the top 11 spots in the price/performance index, and 14 out of
the top 16. the top spot is held by AMD X2 3800+, and there isn't a core
2 duo chip in the bunch. All AMD X2 cpu's top all the core 2 duo chips
except one.

That's pretty impressive !

Now, what would be the best way of utilizing the two cores in a LAMP
environment? Using a single instance of OS hoping for it to use the
two cores efficiently or somehow with virtualization run two instances
of the OS on the same hardware? Would anyone have a clue? Experiences
to share? :)

Best Regards
Peter
 
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G

General Schvantzkoph

AMD holds the top 11 spots in the price/performance index, and 14 out of
the top 16. the top spot is held by AMD X2 3800+, and there isn't a core
2 duo chip in the bunch. All AMD X2 cpu's top all the core 2 duo chips
except one. The E4300 beats only the X2 6000+ in this chart. As for
overclocking, the AMD X2 3800+ will overclock close to 50% if not do it.
And running your 6800 at 3GHz isn't much of an overclock since it's
default speed is 2.93 GHz to start if I'm not mistaken and sells for
about $900. And I don't know where you came up with that 30% faster per
clock, but that's just pure BS.

I've benchmarked GCC compiles, Xilinx place and routes, and NCVerilog
simulations. The Core2 is minimally 30% faster then the Athlon 64 X2 on a
clock for clock basis, on NCVerilog it's twice as fast. These are real
applications not bullshit synthetic benchmarks or graphics heavy games.
 
U

User

Peter said:
That's pretty impressive !

Now, what would be the best way of utilizing the two cores in a LAMP
environment? Using a single instance of OS hoping for it to use the
two cores efficiently or somehow with virtualization run two instances
of the OS on the same hardware? Would anyone have a clue? Experiences
to share? :)

Best Regards
Peter
I know nothing about LAMP but maybe you could find out here:
http://www.google.com/search?q="dual+core"+"lamp+server"
 
W

Wes Newell

I've benchmarked GCC compiles, Xilinx place and routes, and NCVerilog
simulations. The Core2 is minimally 30% faster then the Athlon 64 X2 on a
clock for clock basis, on NCVerilog it's twice as fast. These are real
applications not bullshit synthetic benchmarks or graphics heavy games.

I went through about 10 of the benchmarks on tomsharware and none of them
came even close to 30% faster. You can go through the charts here. C2D and
X2 both at 3000MHz.

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=921&model2=872&chart=435
 
W

Wes Newell

That's pretty impressive !

Now, what would be the best way of utilizing the two cores in a LAMP
environment? Using a single instance of OS hoping for it to use the
two cores efficiently or somehow with virtualization run two instances
of the OS on the same hardware? Would anyone have a clue? Experiences
to share? :)

Best Regards
Peter

Funny, I'd never heard (or don't recall) anyone using LAMP before. I'm
basically running the same thing here plus a few more servers in this box.
The linux kernel handles the use of the dual cores. Nothing in LAMP
stresses the cpu much that I'm aware of. OTOH, when my mythtv server is
commercial flagging (running mythcommflag) up to for HDTV programs it's
recording at the same time, both cores go close to 100% load. For those
that don't know, LAMP is an acronym for Linux, Apache, Mysql, and PHP.
 
G

General Schvantzkoph

I went through about 10 of the benchmarks on tomsharware and none of
them came even close to 30% faster. You can go through the charts here.
C2D and X2 both at 3000MHz.

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu_2007.html?
modelx=33&model1=921&model2=872&chart=435

I just reran some tests. I did a GCC make with -j 1 and -j 2, and
NCVerilog with recordvars on and recordvars off (recordvars saves
simulation state so it does a lot of IO). The two processors are an X2
4400+ (2.2GHz, 1M caches) and an E6700 overclocked to 3Ghz (4M shared
cache). I've normalized the clocks so the ratios are 1 for 1. The
smallest difference is on a single threaded GCC, 12%, the largest is
NCVerilog with recordvars off, 61%.


X2 Core2
Cache 2x1M 4M
Clock 2.2 3

Times in seconds,
Make J 2 24.44 15.32
Make J 1 44.71 29.24
NCVer, trn 190.88 96.21
NCVer, no 31.93 14.51

Clock Normal 1.36 1

Normalized times in seconds,
Make J 2 17.92 15.32
Make J 1 32.78 29.24
NCVer, trn 139.97 96.21
NCVer, no 23.41 14.51

Ratios vs Core2
Make J 2 0.85 1
Make J 1 0.89 1
NCVer, trn 0.68 1
NCVer, no 0.61 1

Ratios vs X2
Make J 2 1 1.169
Make J 1 1 1.121
NCVer, trn 1 1.454
NCVer, no 1 1.613
 
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P

Peter

I just reran some tests.

Interesting!

Core2 seems faster; how much of that can be attributed to the larger
L2 cache would you think?

Another interesting thing is that - in this particular test - they
both utilize the two cores quite efficiently; at the same level one
would expect from a more traditional SMP system. Most applications
appears not take advantage of this, though - which makes the whole
multiple core proposition much weaker. At the moment, it seems as if
the only way to make full use of several cores is to run a
virtualization platform, allowing several instances of the OS to run
in parallel, presumably one on each core. It does seems like a rather
hefty overhead to make use of the two cores?
 
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G

General Schvantzkoph

Interesting!

Core2 seems faster; how much of that can be attributed to the larger L2
cache would you think?

Another interesting thing is that - in this particular test - they both
utilize the two cores quite efficiently; at the same level one would
expect from a more traditional SMP system. Most applications appears not
take advantage of this, though - which makes the whole multiple core
proposition much weaker. At the moment, it seems as if the only way to
make full use of several cores is to run a virtualization platform,
allowing several instances of the OS to run in parallel, presumably one
on each core. It does seems like a rather hefty overhead to make use of
the two cores?

LAMP servers are running a number of applications simultaneously, MySQL,
Apache and PHP, so there is plenty of opportunity to utilize both cores.
I'm pretty sure that MySQL is multithreaded as is Apache so a LAMP server
ought to be able to take advantage of a four core chip as well.

On my benchmarks the big cache is probably the largest contributor to the
performance difference, it certainly is for NCVerilog which is very cache
sensitive. The Core2 has some other important advantages, it cracks 4
instructions at a time instead of three, and it has better branch
prediction. Small improvements in branch prediction have a very large
impact on performance.
 

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