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Thread: Anyone Know Much About Xeons?

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    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    Anyone Know Much About Xeons?

    First off, ebuyer are selling passive and active versions of these processors, I assume it's just the type of cooler they are bundled with?

    Right, I have been looking around at Scan and have picked out the Asus NCCH-DL motherboard, and 2 2.8Ghz 1MB Cache (Nacoma) chips. Are these compatible, or are there different versions of the Xeon depending on whether you want to use it as a single CPU or dual?

    And seeing as I don't know a great deal about them, are they actually any good? The machine will be used for things like video editing/media encoding etc.

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    bored out of my tiny mind malfunction's Avatar
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    • malfunction's system
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    I don't know for certain but it's probably the operating voltage not just the heatsink... Will do some reading and see if I can find out more. Are you sure you'll benefit from dual CPUs? (as opposed to a single CPU running at a higher speed?)

    A good place to start learning would be 2cpu.com - they'd be able to show you the way

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Video/media encoding should get a good benefit from a dual setup, although it's always worth trying to check out some benchmarks on the programs you're actually going to be using. It sounds like Intel would be the way to go, but you can get Opterons for similar money; again, check the app-specific benches.

    All Xeons are dual capable. Normal Xeons can do 2P, but you need XeonMPs for 4 way and above. These tend to be for heavy duty servers really, I don't think anyone makes workstation hardware for XeonMPs.

    The Asus board looks nice, but bear in mind that it's AGP and PCI-X rather than PCI-e, which might limit your future upgradeability.

    Rich :¬)

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    Banned StormPC's Avatar
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    If you are using it for video editing and media encoding then the FX-55 is a better choice. Faster and cheaper than Xeons.

    If you are doing strictly number crunching (SETI, etc...) then Xeon based systems are very fast. They are very pricey and do not represent a very good value however.

    For most everything AMD kicks Intel's arse! On-die memory controllers rule.

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    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    It's going to be ~£480 for 2 2.8Ghz Xeons w/1MB cache and the Asus motherboard. The price for the FX-55 CPU alone is £550.

    The closest Opterons in terms of cost are Opteron 242s (1600Mhz), with the motherboard coming in at £200 minimum. Not only is this more expensive than the Xeons, I can't believe a total of 5.6Ghz with the Xeons will be outperformed by 3.2Ghz of Opteron power, but I await to be proven wrong

    The new Xeons seem to use 64-bit to do something in the memory space, I take it these are less "64-bit" than the Opterons, and to get proper 64-bit on Intel would mean Itaniums?

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    Well the new Nocona core Xeons (Hexus review here) use Intel's version of the AMD64 ISA so are 64bit capable and seem pretty promising .

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    • Mblaster's system
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caged
    I can't believe a total of 5.6Ghz with the Xeons will be outperformed by 3.2Ghz of Opteron power, but I await to be proven wrong
    From the above Hexus article

    Not exactly the same comparision but similar 6.8ghz of Xeon vs. 4.8ghz of Opteron.

    That's only one of a load of benchmarks, look at the rest of them and decide what's best for you. IIRC the Opteron comes out on top in most on the tests
    I don't mean to sound cold, or cruel, or vicious, but I am so that's the way it comes out.

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    Banned StormPC's Avatar
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    Right you are Mblaster.

    And Turkster...Intel's chips still do NOT have on-die memory controllers which is the real advantage of the AMD64 over the Xeons and P4s.

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caged
    The closest Opterons in terms of cost are Opteron 242s (1600Mhz), with the motherboard coming in at £200 minimum. Not only is this more expensive than the Xeons, I can't believe a total of 5.6Ghz with the Xeons will be outperformed by 3.2Ghz of Opteron power, but I await to be proven wrong
    No, I don't think you will be. If dual 2.8GHz Xeons and dual 242s cost the same, I'd expect the Xeons to win most benchmarks. At the higher end it seems the Opterons are a better deal, but in the sub £500 range the Xeons look like they're the better option.

    Bear in mind though that these are Prescott core processors, and have the usual heat and power disadvantages.

    The new Xeons seem to use 64-bit to do something in the memory space, I take it these are less "64-bit" than the Opterons, and to get proper 64-bit on Intel would mean Itaniums?
    As Turkster says, these are proper X86-64 processors, albeit that Intel's implementation isn't quite as effective as AMDs. Unless you're looking to run more than 4GB of memory though, I don't think it'll be much of a problem.

    Rich :¬)

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    if you try and run that much memory , you'll need a pretty serious OS
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Specifically, you'd need a 64bit linux distro (SuSE?) or the (beta) Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition.

    Apparently the 'EM64T' Xeons don't use 40bit memory addressing like the Opteron does for seamless addressing of more than 4GB memory, they use the same kludge that the 32 bit Xeons did (which I don't know the specifics of; it involves some kind of address renaming system or something).

    Rich :¬)

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    Cable Guy Jonny M's Avatar
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    Cheers guys. Useful info there.

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