[K12OSN] Xeon vs Opteron ?

"Terrell Prudé, Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Thu Jan 20 14:35:02 UTC 2005

That's true.  Opterons do need registered DRAM, which tends to be more 
expensive than typical desktop DRAM.

But then, in any server handling 30 stations, which is how many are in 
virtually all of our computer labs in my district, you need stability.  
Your server goes down, that's at least 30 people, and in my case, it's 
more, because the staff also use it as a file server (Samba).  Thus, any 
down time is *HIGHLY* visible, and thus, not good in a dyed-in-the-wool 
Microsoft shop.

Therefore, you really should be running ECC DRAM anyway, be it in a 
Xeon, Opteron, SPARC, PowerPC, or whatever.  All ECC DRAM that I've ever 
seen is of the registered variety, since it's intended for servers.  
Thus, your price point on DRAM should be the same whether you go Opteron 
or Xeon.

All of my dual Athlons, including the one in the school, run 
ECC/Registered DRAM, and not a single one of them has ever crashed.  
That fact alone is worth the extra $400/server that it cost.  Everyone 
in that school grumbles about their XP boxes, but they love that server.


Dennis Daniels wrote:

> I concur. I find the dual opteron quite snappy compared to a dual 
> xeon. The price factors around the RAM are the only real pressure on 
> making the switch to the opteron.
> dgd
> Terrell Prudé, Jr. wrote:
>> Personally, I'd go for the Opteron.  Though I'm not a programmer, 
>> from what I've read, Intel doesn't exactly implement the AMD64 
>> instruction set properly, and x86-64 GNU/Linux development is really 
>> geared toward the Opteron.  Also, the Opteron's just a better chip 
>> than the Xeon.  It tends to quite handily beat any Xeon, be it in 
>> 32-bit or 64-bit mode.  And that's with over a 1GHz clock-speed 
>> disadvantage.
>> Finally, I have yet to see an EM64T chip actually for sale.  I see 
>> Opterons all over the place, which means that they're not in short 
>> supply at this point.
>> You should also compare motherboard prices.  For me, this would be a 
>> factor; I've found Tyan boards to be very good over the years; I've 
>> got a couple of their dual Athlon MP mobos.  MSI's dual Athlon 
>> motherboard has also been trouble-free for me.  To my knowledge, ASUS 
>> does not yet make a dual-Opteron mobo (maybe scared of Intel?).
>> --TP
>> Robert Arkiletian wrote:
>>> Which cpu would you recommend for a multi user environment like k12ltsp
>>> Anyone have any personal experience to compare.
>>> The following cpu cost the same
>>> ----------------------------------------
>>> Xeon 2.8 EM64T 1MB cache 800 FSB
>>> Advantage:
>>> Hyperthreading (With HT kernel sees double the cpus)
>>> Opteron 242 Advantage:
>>> Built in memory controller (beats xeon on most benchmarks)
>>> ----------------------------------------
>>> Would your choice be different on single cpu vs dual cpu server?
>>> Robert Arkiletian
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