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AMD Packs Six-Core Opteron Inside 40 Watts

CmdrTaco posted about 5 years ago | from the not-a-power-of-two dept.

AMD 181

adeelarshad82 writes "Advanced Micro Devices has launched a low-power version of its six-core Opteron processor in time for VMworld, a key virtualization show that opens on Monday. The six-core AMD Opteron EE consumes 40 watts, and is designed for 2P servers, among the most popular in the virtualized server space."

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first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29261829)

first!

Re:first post (0, Offtopic)

badran (973386) | about 5 years ago | (#29261843)

second

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29261853)

Third core post.

Re:first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29261929)

fourth

Re:first post (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 5 years ago | (#29262099)

5th core

Re:first post (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29262143)

c-c-c-core breaker!

Re:first post (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#29262153)

Core dumped.

Re:first post (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29262211)

Are we getting close to TDP yet?

Re:first post (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#29264405)

Are we getting close to TDP yet?

TDP = Thread Dead Point?

six cocks in your mother (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29263805)

my buddies and i pack six cocks into your mother on a regular basis... since she's so fat, even the guy who gets belly button gets some decent penetration.

Gimme MHz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29261945)

Or give me death.

I want my ever more instructions per seconds on one CPU back!

wah!

Re:Gimme MHz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29262969)

agreed!

Re:Gimme MHz (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 years ago | (#29264029)

Ask Koreans (the northern ones), they can supply you with several megadeaths by now.

Hardware (5, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 5 years ago | (#29261953)

The six-core AMD Opteron EE...is designed for 2P servers...

All I really want to know is: can you install it in a toaster?

Re:Hardware (1)

eln (21727) | about 5 years ago | (#29262051)

Netapp already has boxes that run on Opterons, so probably, but you'd need one of their SEs and a support contract to do it.

Re:Hardware (0)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 5 years ago | (#29262127)

No, I think he really thinks this would be good to toast his bagels with. With AMD's reputation for producing hot-running processors ... it's entirely possible he could be on to something! :)

Re:Hardware (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | about 5 years ago | (#29263003)

Actually, I've been wondering how to heat my food dehydrator. Toaster element! Of course!!!

Re:Hardware (5, Informative)

pla (258480) | about 5 years ago | (#29263187)

With AMD's reputation for producing hot-running processors

What reputation? Since the days of the original Thunderbird core (which still ran cooler than comparable P4s, though admittedly didn't have meltdown prevention circuitry), AMD has consistently given Intel a run for their money in that regard.

Now, the Atom has finally brought Intel back to the realm of "reasonable", but it doesn't seriously compete with AMD, it competes with VIA (and poorly at that - The Nano blows the Atom away, clock for clock and Watt for Watt).

Don't get me wrong, Intel has certainly regained my respect when it comes to performance, but to call AMD the toaster requires ignoring the past 10 years.

Re:Hardware (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29264347)

The K6 series were very hot compared to Intel equivalents. The reason the reputation persisted is probably due to the fact that they didn't add themal throttling on-chip until a lot later than Intel. The P4 was much hotter than a t-bird, but if it overheated it would throttle, while the Athlon would just catch fire. I had quite a few t-birds burn out due to the stock fan not being adequate. We had the opposite problem with our cluster; the P4s were throttling due to uneven cooling, so nodes were all running at different speeds and job scheduling got messed up.

Re:Hardware (2, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about 5 years ago | (#29264461)

Indeed. It's been a very long time since AMD has been the hotter running CPU. It was Intel that introduced us to heatsinks that could hurt you if you dropped them on your toes.

It's hard to believe that at one time CPUs didn't have heat sinks at all.

Re:Hardware (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29263199)

>>>With AMD's reputation for producing hot-running processors ...

Don't you mean Intel? After all their early 90s Pentiums were the first CPUs to spark the "you could fry an egg" jokes. And the Pentium 4 sitting in my computer is a major power hog (~90 watts), and it's just a single core.

Anyway 40 watts for six processors isn't really that bad. About 7 watts each.

Re:Hardware (2, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29262241)

If you want a toaster, you want Netburst.

Re:Hardware (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 5 years ago | (#29262359)

can you install it in a toaster? Yes, but at only 40 watts, it will take forever to brown your bread!

Re:Hardware (1)

maino82 (851720) | about 5 years ago | (#29262499)

It's like the easy bake oven of processors. It just leaves your cupcakes gooey and soggy.

Re:Hardware (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 years ago | (#29264097)

can you install it in a toaster? Yes, but at only 40 watts, it will take forever to brown your bread!

He only needs to replace NetBSD in his toaster by Vista and to overclock it slightly.

Re:Hardware (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 5 years ago | (#29262647)

whatever you install it in, it becomes the toaster

Re:Hardware (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about 5 years ago | (#29262945)

No, it is not compatible with Socket 478. That is what you were asking, right?

I don't get any respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29261963)

so I run FreeBSD on Opterons!

Not a good idea... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#29261987)

But with a 40 watt chip you could get that into a laptop, if you felt like it. Not the thinnest, lightest, or quietest laptop around; but plenty of 14-15 inch units under two inches thick(though often not far under) were running P4s at least that power hungry back before P-Ms became cheap enough for common use.

If you were willing to deal with the size and weight of those high-end gamer laptops, the ones with quad core i7s and SLI, you could probably build a 17-inch dual socket system....

Wouldn't be a laptop I'd want to use (3, Informative)

ciroknight (601098) | about 5 years ago | (#29262409)

Most laptops today have much more power efficient chips (AMD's line tops out at 35W, Intel's 25W, most do quite a bit less, especially with all of the fancy power-saving junk thrown in like QuickStart and SpeedStep w/ deeper-sleep DC4). And both of those numbers are just embarrassing with chips like the newer dual-core Atom chips which run at 4W or less at full-tilt and do most everything anyone demands of a laptop anyways.

Now if only someone would wise up and build a 15" laptop with an Atom chip, and LED display and a 9-cell battery... mmm, 8+ hours of battery life.

Re:Wouldn't be a laptop I'd want to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29262839)

You want one of these then:

http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/features.html ...and it's not slow like an Atom.

Re:Wouldn't be a laptop I'd want to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29262935)

WTF? This CPU was designed for servers and desktops. It has absolutely nothing to do with laptops.

Re:Wouldn't be a laptop I'd want to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29264171)

Your comprehension skills aren't your strong point, are they?

Re:Wouldn't be a laptop I'd want to use (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 years ago | (#29264173)

The thing is that server laptops have already appeared on the market. You can easily buy a laptop with a Xeon, why not with a 40 W Opteron? Even though, like the Xeon-powered ones, I would rather call it a portable [wikipedia.org] rather than a laptop.

Re:Wouldn't be a laptop I'd want to use (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 5 years ago | (#29264329)

I always fancied one of these [tadpole.com] . Probably just me.

Re:Wouldn't be a laptop I'd want to use (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#29264465)

If you really want to go overboard on "dubiously suitable for laptop use", you can get one of these [tadpolecomputer.com] .

Dual UltraSPARCs, up to 16 gigs of RAM, full sized 64 bit PCI slot, 3GbE ports. Of course, it's 22 pounds, and they don't even say what it costs.

Re:Wouldn't be a laptop I'd want to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29263623)

Now if only someone would wise up and build a 15" laptop with an Atom chip, and LED display and a 9-cell battery... mmm, 8+ hours of battery life.

But with the speed not greater than a Celeron...

Re:Not a good idea... (3, Informative)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | about 5 years ago | (#29263165)

Fudzilla [fudzilla.com] claims these 40 watts we're talking about translate into a 60W TDP though.

TFS is a bit light on details (4, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#29262043)

Here are a few quick bits from the article:

  • Full name: Opteron 2419 EE
  • Cost: $989
  • Begins shipping: Today
  • Power consumption: 40 watts
  • Clock speed: 1.8 GHz
  • Compatable with DDR-2 [wikipedia.org] memory (cheaper than DDR-3; AMD claims this could save about $1000 per server)
  • Compare to the 2377 EE, 40-watt quad-core @ 2.3 GHz: approximately 1/3 more performance from the new six-core chip.

Re:TFS is a bit light on details (4, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 5 years ago | (#29262243)

Compare to the 2377 EE, 40-watt quad-core @ 2.3 GHz: approximately 1/3 more performance from the new six-core chip.

Depends on what kind of server. If you're talking about a Web server, IIS 5.1 and later or Apache 2.x and better with multithreading on, yes. If you're talking about Apache 1.x or 2.x without multithreading, or some older versions of IIS, no.

Re:TFS is a bit light on details (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#29262291)

Interesting; straight math didn't seem to support the article's claim of a 1/3 performance gain, but I assumed the increased parallel capability must be responsible for the extra performance. I'm glad someone with more knowledge was able to clear that up.

Re:TFS is a bit light on details (4, Informative)

warrior (15708) | about 5 years ago | (#29263055)

It's actually more complicated than that. The six-core chips have the ability to configure up to a quarter of the 6MB L3 cache as a probe filter. This keeps most snoop traffic from reaching down into the L2 and L1 caches of the other cores on the same die and all cores on other die in a multi-socket system. The result is better memory latency and improved memory bandwidth. Here's a link: http://techreport.com/articles.x/16448 [techreport.com]

Miss the part about virtual servers? (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about 5 years ago | (#29262331)

> If you're talking about Apache 1.x or 2.x without multithreading, or some older versions of IIS, no.

Summary:

> ... among the most popular in the virtualized server space.

So your comment ignores the fact that this CPU will probably be running 6 (or more) VMs, which could just as well run single-threaded code....

Re:Miss the part about virtual servers? (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 5 years ago | (#29262581)

So your comment ignores the fact that this CPU will probably be running 6 (or more) VMs, which could just as well run single-threaded code....

Clearly that's the market that this chip is targetting. I'm simply pointing out that 1) even if you're not in that space, this chip compares favorably to a 2.3 Ghz Quad Core or even a 3.2 Ghz Dual Core, so long as you're running multithreaded apps on any OS that uses a sane threading model. Just understand that single-threaded apps won't compare unless you're running them virtualized.

OTOH, separate blades are going to give you to better performance, no matter how you look at it. On the gripping hand, if you have 10 blades, each running this 6 core CPU (conceivable in 40 watts!) and a VM hypervisor... sounds delicious.

Re:Miss the part about virtual servers? (1)

afidel (530433) | about 5 years ago | (#29263315)

Try 32 half width/half height blades in 10U each running 2x6 core CPU's running VM's (actually I just checked and HP doesn't have a 2x blade based on these CPU's for some reason despite the fact that they are lower power than the 50W or 80W Intel's they currently use for the 2x). Of course the problem is that most VM implementations are memory not CPU bound so Intel wins for VM density with 192GB in a half height blade (HP BL460 G6). 512 cores and 12TB of ram in one rack is an amazing amount of computing power, but cooling that kind of power density is difficult to say the least.

Re:TFS is a bit light on details (4, Interesting)

idiotnot (302133) | about 5 years ago | (#29262573)

The important information FTFA is here:

"AMD also estimated that the power consumption for a fully populated 42U rack would be 9.2 KW using the six-core Opteron 2425 HE, a 55-W part. Replacing those chips with the 2419 EE would require 7.5 KW, about an 18 percent power savings."

That's just in the rack consumption. I would imagine these probably run cooler, too, which will help with HVAC costs.

AMD seems to be doing a better job shrinking down dated designs at this point. While Intel is selling the Atom, which is undoubtedly cooler and less power-hungry, it's still based on a very old CPU design, which isn't up to heavy computing tasks. AMD, OTOH, has now established a pretty good record of taking mainline processors, and developing lower-power versions. They scaled down what used to be a pretty hot Athlon core (Thunderbird) to the Geode (as used in the OLPC). They followed that with a 45W Athlon 64 X2. Now the Opteron. Intel does have a 35W Conroe, but it's in Celeron cripple-mode badging, a shadow performance-wise, of the original C2Ds that initially came out on that core.

I hope that AMD does release a desktop version of this, but I don't know if they could keep it profitable ($900+ eek.)

Re:TFS is a bit light on details (2, Informative)

dirtyhippie (259852) | about 5 years ago | (#29262883)

Actually the geode used in olpc is not a scaled down thunderbird. The Geode LX series is based on old cyrix chips (although the Geode NX is a scaled down athlon).

Re:TFS is a bit light on details (2, Insightful)

dirtyhippie (259852) | about 5 years ago | (#29262807)

I love how AMD is touting the lack of DDR3 support on a new chip as a "feature".

Re:TFS is a bit light on details (0)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29263087)

Cost: $989
Compatible with DDR-2 memory (cheaper than DDR-3; AMD claims this could save about $1000 per server)

FAIL!

Re:TFS is a bit light on details (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | about 5 years ago | (#29263435)

The FAIL is yours. You assume that the 6 core offerings from other manufacturers are free? The issue is that the savings in populating the RAM is STILL a $1000 net savings.

2P (4, Funny)

Enry (630) | about 5 years ago | (#29262049)

Do they mean Dual Processor? I've never heard the term 2P server before.

Re:2P (1)

lukas84 (912874) | about 5 years ago | (#29262205)

I've seen this many times in German.

Re:2P (1, Insightful)

smoker2 (750216) | about 5 years ago | (#29262219)

Neither have I. Either they mean 2U or it's a case of " language changes - get used to it !" which roughly translated means "we made up a new term for an old idea to make ourselves look relevant (and we didn't know how to spell 'dual')".

Re:2P (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29262255)

Maybe they mean 2U

Re:2P ... (4, Funny)

lagfest (959022) | about 5 years ago | (#29262271)

or not 2P, that is the question.

It might get unpleasant if you hold it in too long.

Re:2P ... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 5 years ago | (#29262565)

You'd be pissed off either way.

Ug! I hate puns.

Re:2P ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29263225)

I'd rather be pissed off than pissed on.

Re:2P ... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 5 years ago | (#29263527)

Schrodinger's [angryflower.com] beehive -- two bees, or not two bees? THAT is the question!

2P or not 2P is a bad question. As General Patton said (at least in the movie portrayal of him), "never turn down a chance to piss!"

Re:2P (2, Insightful)

Christian Henry (810035) | about 5 years ago | (#29262323)

Do they mean Dual Processor? I've never heard the term 2P server before.

My guess would be 2-partition (as in, two virtual partitions on a single physical server).

Re:2P (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 5 years ago | (#29262427)

My guess would be 2-partition (as in, two virtual partitions on a single physical server).

Now I wonder why he would think that ...

My thoughts about IBM pSeries hardware, AIX, and Linux.

Oh, I get it now....

Re:2P (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 5 years ago | (#29262371)

I've never heard it before either. Seems like a SEO-only term. You see it in the head tag, but the marketing dribble doesn't mention it. Server specs for anything coming up "2p" includes 2 processors, but correlation != causation, especially with marketing folk.

2P = Dual Socket (2, Informative)

HighWizard (91134) | about 5 years ago | (#29262679)

Single socket (1P), Dual socket (2P).

Re:2P (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 years ago | (#29262761)

I've seen it before, usually used in a context where you have 2P, 4P, 8P = dual-processor, quad-processor, octo-processor machines because noone wants to go around remembering what that should be abbreviated like. Of course, with cores per chip varying widely just saying you have a DP/2P machine says little these days.

Re:2P (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29263429)

Likely they mean two processor sockets.

Who feels like explaining a bit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29262065)

Anyone here know enough about CPU design who can guesstimate what the lower bound on CPU energy consumption is? I think I understand that you can lower the operating voltage of the chip, but this leads to more computation errors due to thermal noise. Or lower the clock speed of course... but flops/W would stay the same. Or use a lithography process that produces smaller size features. Then if you get too small though things don't quite work the same due to quantum effects etc. Does using more cores help? How is AMD going about this problem?

Gaming/compiler performance? (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 5 years ago | (#29262087)

It's a nice marketing strategy -- "My cores outnumber your cores" -- but where is the performance gain when the CPU speed is almost half that of a dual-core 3.2GHZ?

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (4, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 5 years ago | (#29262191)

6 x 1.8 = 10.8
2 x 3.2 = 6.4

If you can take full advantage of the six cores, there's a lot more computational power despite the slower clock speed.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 5 years ago | (#29262199)

It's called multi-threading. Most servers don't need a ton of horse-power, but they want to handle as many simultaneous tasks as possible. More cores means that you can theoretically handle more requests at once.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 5 years ago | (#29263587)

Except that those requests are I/O bound, and therefore are in a blocking-wait and not scheduled by the OS. How many processes are actually in a run state? Not many most of the time. I am lucky if I have two. But having greater than 1 instruction pipeline does wonders for responsiveness. Look even at hyper-threading. Did a great job for responsiveness, even with only one CPU.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (3, Informative)

lytlebill (659903) | about 5 years ago | (#29262235)

From TFA: "According to IDC data quoted by Brent Kerby, a product manager for the chip, about 82 percent of cloud and Web servers only use about half of their available processor power at any given time." Not intended for gaming or compiling. Low power, multiple cores, it's a server chip.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#29262265)

2 * 1 = 2 < 3 = 6 * 1/2

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (5, Informative)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | about 5 years ago | (#29262447)

This is a server processor. If you are either gaming or compiling on your server, you are doing something wrong. My servers here at work tend to do a high volume of low processor intensity transactions... therefore, more cores (and more simultanious transactions) is far more important than high speed.

Also, by shoehorning this into a 40w envelope, they're obviously going for power efficiency over horsepower. Interesting fact: power usage is one of the largest costs of a data center, and it's growing.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29262845)

"If you are either gaming or compiling on your server, you are doing something wrong. "

Now I finally understand why MUD was banned on our group server.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 5 years ago | (#29263459)

Power usage is actually going down per unit work, by a LOT due to virtualization. Compared to my standard server from just 3 years ago I can do 17:1 virtualization today without any major over-subscription of resources.

All about threads (1)

James McP (3700) | about 5 years ago | (#29262489)

This is for situations where you need lots of processes running but that those processes are either easily completed, are low-impact, or limited by bandwidth or the user. Web servers love lots of cores

On gaming you could separate the game into a user environment thread, a physics thread, an object management thread, a pair of AI threads, and still have a core left over for general OS activity.

I know that in theory compilers could also pull loops and modules out to separate threads but I haven't the foggiest clue if that really happens.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (3, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 5 years ago | (#29262509)

    I had this argument with someone once. They didn't quite get it. The machine they were using was a 4 CPU 700Mhz server. In their logic, 700Mhz * 4 = 2.8Ghz. I wanted to move them to a 2 CPU 1.4Ghz machine, which I promised would be blazing fast. In their mind 1.4Ghz * 2 = 2.8Ghz, so there was no difference.

    There were a bunch of reasons for the move. The hardware was old. The form was huge (like 5u tall) and power hungry. The OS needed to be updated badly, and we couldn't take it offline for a day to do that. One day there was a fault of some kind (it's been a while, I don't remember specifically), so we moved it over to the new machine that I had wanted to move them to. They were amazed. Their $40,000 server had been replaced by a $2,000 server (original costs for both), and it was running faster and better than before. After the move, I repaired their old server, upgraded the OS, and made it ready. I offered to move them back, and they refused. :)

    About a year later, we had a 2CPU 2.4Ghz machine ready for them, and I offered again, "May I move you?" This time there wasn't a complaint. We just scheduled a window and did it. I set a 3 hour window, and we had it completed in about 15 minutes.

    I agree, I'd rather have CPU speed AND cores. I'd sacrifice extra cores for more speed. CPU speed has stagnated, while they're growing cores. I remember this happening in the past too, around the time CPU's were 200Mhz. You could get motherboards that supported one CPU, then 2 CPU, then 4 CPU, but the speeds weren't going up. You could give me 100 CPU's at 200Mhz, but I'd rather have one at 10Ghz.

    I'm sure people will throw a bunch of excuses of why. I remember back when the 50Mhz CPU was the fastest available, there were all kinds of reasons thrown around of why CPU's would "never be faster". People were very insistent that they were right. There were RF interference issues. If CPU's got to RF speeds, radio and TV would cease to work. If we got up near 2.4Ghz, people would be cooked because it's the same frequency as microwave ovens. There was no way to deal with the thermal issues, and computers would be ovens requiring liquid cooling (like liquid nitrogen or helium, not water cooling). Blah, blah, blah, blah. As we've seen, we did get well beyond 50Mhz. It's just a matter of time. I'm just disappointed that we end up stagnating. It's probably financial issues. The market will support a slower multicore CPU, but people won't spend the money on faster CPU's right now.

    I always love the "latest greatest" craze. It's entertaining. People will spend mad money on latest greatest, and I'll wait 6 months or a year to buy the same thing at a fraction of the cost. Maybe I'm part of the problem there. I won't drop $500 on a CPU, but I'll drop $100 on last years model that's only slightly slower.

    At least right now it's nice, since I can buy older and older hardware, and really not be far behind the curve. :)

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (2, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | about 5 years ago | (#29262753)

> I always love the "latest greatest" craze. It's entertaining. People will spend mad money on latest greatest, and I'll wait 6 months or a year to buy the same thing at a fraction of the cost. Maybe I'm part of the problem there. I won't drop $500 on a CPU, but I'll drop $100 on last years model that's only slightly slower.

Say you wait 6 months before upgrading. $400 divided by 6 months = $2 per day.
Assuming you earn $20 an hour, if the new chip saved you just 6 minutes per day, then it's a worth while investment to upgrade sooner rather than later.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (3, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | about 5 years ago | (#29263193)

I like your math, but you do have to change it just a tad. The $2 savings is only if he is paying for the work. If he is getting paid, then there is no savings in getting the job done 6 minutes sooner. If he is hourly, he will get paid $2 less each day, while spending an extra $2. This means a $4 a day loss. If he is salary, then there is no change in his income, but he still pays out the $2 a day in equipment costs, and thus still loses money.

For the one paying the wages, there certainly can be a savings. So, for a company that is paying an employee, your math can be correct in some instances.

That all being said, from a non-economic standing, it may still make sense to upgrade. I know, I would rather have the extra 6 minutes of time, even if it is just spent getting a cup of coffee, or just being productive on something else. Ok, Ok, even if it is spent posting on Slashdot about how I would rather have the extra 6 minutes.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | about 5 years ago | (#29263243)

I wait until the latest and greatest has gained the larger part of retail shelf space then buy the most established and robustly tested stuff at the price nearest it's exit price just before retailers stop carrying it. The problem with the latest and greatest stuff is that often there's bells and whistles that won't make it because the market goes in another direction.

I just built an intel Quad core for under $400, but used some components from cannibalized systems. Right now USB, SATA, and the PCI bus all have new standards on the way and I can't see building a new box on the latest and greatest until those three items have been well tested. I'm not sure too many informed buyers will look at new stuff until, figuratively speaking, the equivalent of SP1 comes out.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (4, Informative)

Spatial (1235392) | about 5 years ago | (#29264437)

CPU speed has stagnated

It hasn't stagnated at all. You're equating cycle rate with performance, that's incorrect.

Each processor architecture does a different amount of work each cycle. Counting only the number of cycles is like comparing the running speed of two men by the number of steps they take each minute - but one guy may be a midget and the other eight feet tall. Clock speeds remain similar but performance doesn't correlate.

For example, a 3Ghz P4 isn't even half as fast as one core from a 3Ghz Core i7. The number of instructions per clock have been continuously improving with each new architecture.
Phenom is faster than Athlon X2. Phenom II is faster than Phenom.

Core 2 is faster than Pentium 4. Core i7 is faster than Core 2.

So you can have what you want - improvement continues in both per-core performance and the number of cores.

Was it the processors or the memory? (1)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | about 5 years ago | (#29264447)

A switch from PC100 to DDR would yield quite a bit more performance than just going from 4 processors to 2. While it's true that a single processor is better because it has a unified cache and no contention with other processors for the memory/IO bus, those days are over for now. Multiprocessing is making a comeback, and unless there's an amazing revolution in chip design it will be easier to get bigger overall MHz numbers by multiprocessing than my speeding up individual processors. If you really want the MHz, look at IBM's Power line. They actually have multicore chips with high clock rates.

Re:Gaming/compiler performance? (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 5 years ago | (#29263077)

This is a server processor - one of the biggest concerns is performance per watt. I'm assuming you're referring to one of Intel's dual cores (but even if you look at dual core AMD offerings the wattage is a significant increase) First you're ignoring pipeline utilization. Generally speaking, slower and newer processors make better use of their pipelines. Of course older procs don't have all of the design improvements that increase throughput, but the factor that's ignored is that a lot of "high-end" ultra-fast cpus had to have their pipeline dumbed-down a bit to achieve those marks. Guess what - that's the actual marketing ploy here. Even if you ignore pipeline utilization, the 3.2GHz Processors I found weigh in anywhere from 35 Watts (kind of - it's AMD's rating of 3600+ and not a clock speed on the FX 64) to 130 Watts on the Intel Xeon. When you're paying for the electricity on a server room with hundreds to even tens-of-thousands of these processors - this may become the standard in where to go.

WTF is 2P? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 years ago | (#29262173)

How many U to a P?
Or is that supposed to be dual CPU/dual socket?

Re:WTF is 2P? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29262705)

2 processors per motherboard.

The U to P ratio depends on the computer size in U's. Might even throw these on blades (12 processors per blade)

Re:WTF is 2P? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 5 years ago | (#29263605)

U to P ratio? Is that the nerd's replacement for H to W ratio? I'm all about a 1:1 T to A ratio myself.

Re:WTF is 2P? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29263641)

1:1 T to A ratio?

I'm not sure which sounds scarier... a woman with one breast, or one with an asshole at both ends.

Re:WTF is 2P? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29263783)

One breasted women are not scary, you sack of crap.

Re:WTF is 2P? (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | about 5 years ago | (#29264309)

Shouldn't T to A be 2:1?

Benchmarks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29262263)

Show me the benchmarks!

Well (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29262311)

That's what i call a 6 pack

2P servers? (0, Redundant)

harmonise (1484057) | about 5 years ago | (#29262517)

What is a 2P server?

Re:2P servers? (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | about 5 years ago | (#29262671)

2 Processor

Re:2P servers? (1)

Alyred (667815) | about 5 years ago | (#29262793)

Obviously, it's a server that's installed in a hairpiece.

Good for sore muscles (1)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | about 5 years ago | (#29263025)

This makes me feel all warm and toasty inside.

My electric heating pad, which helps me with little muscular issues, is 50 watts, but that dissipation is spread out over a 30 cm x 65 cm surface.

Faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29263493)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

Less Bang For The Buck (1)

u64 (1450711) | about 5 years ago | (#29263633)

Doesnt it fall into the same pit as Intel CPUs, low bang for the buck ?

I dont know what server-people need/want. But for me i want the price-tag

to remain while i get faster and better-idle-consumption CPUs.

The CPU that deliver the most bang for my buck is the winner, for me.

All other CPUs are just a big waste of time.

Re:Less Bang For The Buck (2, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 5 years ago | (#29264319)

$1000 for the processor is peanuts for certain applications. Generally for something like a database server most of the cost goes into software anyways (assuming you're not using an OSS database - if you are that's fine and some of this doesn't apply, but my employer simply doesn't allow it). With MS SQL Server for example, if you're not licensing by CAL's (which is a budgeting headache) is licensed per processor - at about $5000 or so per processor. Neat thing though is multiple cores don't count - only an actual physical processor counts, so for licensing reasons the more cores they can pack onto a single chip, the cheaper my licensing becomes. I've been setting up dual quad-cores on most systems lately just to keep the official processor count at 2, but six-cores would help even more. Remember too that most decent servers will be running SCSI/SAS drives in a RAID config, and many will also have fairly large tape drives (an LTO3 or 4 will up the cost another few thousand by itself).

With those prices, most of the servers I've setup recently have run $15k-$25k with software. None of them are going to get those $50 Celeron's anyways, so these chips generally won't up the cost that much.

What Does Intel Have... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 5 years ago | (#29263937)

What does Intel have to compete with this on price/power/performance?

how about a desktop processor that is 40W (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29264323)

AMD seems to really be neglecting their power efficient desktop cpus lately (perhaps in favor of server products). I can't find a dual, tri or quad core phenom that fits into the 45W envelope... I guess all the people who cared about power moved to laptops. Whatever happened to powering-off cores when not in use?

What's a HTPC supposed to do these days?

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