Dual CPU Shootout: Opteron vs. Xeon

Even with an upgrade in memory support, can AMD's 64-bit Opteron 248 knock Intel's Xeon down for the count? ExtremeTech examines stability and performance with a new suite of workstation-class benchmarks.

Weve been covering AMDs 64-bit x86-64 "Hammer" architecture for quite some time now and are intrigued by its combination of 32-bit compatibility and performance, as well as the promise of a 64-bit future for desktop PCs. AMD divides up their 64-bit world into the Opteron and Athlon64 lines. The Opteron series is targeted at workstation and server use, while the Athlon64 products are aimed squarely at mainstream desktop PCs and notebooks.

Most of our coverage revolved around single processor systems, including our examination of Opteron on the desktop and the Athlon64 line of PC processors. Weve also looked at Athlon64 in the small form factor arena and the first shipping mobile Athlon64 notebook PC.

While PC Magazine has looked at multiprocessor Opteron systems, most of the coverage has focused on Opteron as a server platform. We decided it was time to take a look at Opterons performance in workstation class applications. Since AMD just released their Opteron 248 series of processors, it seemed like a good time to take a dive into the workstation waters.

The Opteron 200 series, with its integrated memory controller and three coherent HyperTransport links, is a natural for dual CPU systems. Lets take a look at how Opteron-based system architecture might differ from a more classical architecture.

Click here to read the full article on ExtremeTech.com.