Based on our tests, IT managers can rest assured that the dual-core system will outperform single-core systems with the same number of sockets. This alone may be enough to compel businesses running multithreaded applications to upgrade. However, due to the dual-core architectures shared memory bus on the die, a two-socket, dual-core Opteron system will not necessarily outperform a four-socket, single-core Opteron system. IT managers will not likely see any performance gains in single-threaded workloads at this time. Sun is working on Solaris 10 optimizations to take advantage of the dual-core processor power to provide even better performance. Sun expects to ship updates to Solaris 10 that include these software optimizations within a year.Like its single-core siblings, the V40z supports the Solaris x86 edition and enterprise Linux variants from Red Hat Inc. and Novell Inc.s SuSE division, as well as Microsoft Corp.s Windows 2000 Server and Server 2003. Solaris 10 is dual-core-ready, and Sun will release a patch for Solaris 9 to support dual-core later this year. Red Hat and Novell are updating their enterprise Linux builds to support dual-core architectures; updates should be available in the near future. Beyond dual-core Opteron chips, the V40z server hardware is essentially the same as the single-core edition. The dual-core V40zs 3U chassis supports as many as six drives, and a daughter CPU board enables the system to support as many as four dual-core Opteron processors. The V40z can now support 300GB hard drives, bringing the maximum internal storage capacity to 1.8TB with six drives. The dual-core V40z and V20z systems use the AMD chip sets with HyperTransport memory bus links that have been bumped up from 800MHz to 1GHz. The dual-core V40z servers 16 memory banks in a four-slot-per-CPU configuration also support faster DDR400 (double data rate 400) DIMMs (dual in-line memory modules). With 2GB DDR400 DIMMs, the V40z can support as much as 32GB of memory. The V40z we tested had four dual-core Opteron 875 chips running at 2.2GHz and 16GB of DDR400 memory, two Ultra3 hard drives, integrated dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, a System Service Processor (an on-board system management processor) and dual redundant power supplies. Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.
Read a review of Solaris 10 here.