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Re: [K12OSN] Xeon vs Opteron ?

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.


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?).


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
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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