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Topic Title: Mp or Opteron
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Created On: 10/31/2003 06:45 PM
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 10/31/2003 06:45 PM
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animator
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Can't find proper ifnos or details about the power of Mp and Opteron. I have ask a few pwoplw about it and they all give totally different answers.

I am an animator working with discreet Max 5.1 software and a few other stuff with animation.

I want to build a workstation purely tto render some animation work. I am looking into dual cpus computer.

I want the fastest orkstation I can possible afford.

My question is Which is the fastest Mp 2800 or Opteron 240 1.4 ?

anyone know which?

cheers
 10/31/2003 07:30 PM
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BEENTHERE
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This workstation competition on Cadalyst might answer your question(s). I suspect the Opteron is going to be far better even with slower clockspeed CPUs.

CADALUST WORKSTATION TEST' ">http://www.cadonline.com/revie...dware/1103workstation/

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 11/02/2003 02:25 AM
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Pro Kid
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Yeah man, go K8 you won't regret that move. The MP's are built off the K7 atchitechture, thats the AXP's. And the Opterons off the K8 architechture which is A64. Trust in us, you cannot lose.

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 11/02/2003 10:05 AM
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animator
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Thanks for the response above messages so opteron 240 is faster even the clockspeed is slower? hmmm.

I know how to build computers.. but benchmarks tech.. over my head, never understand them .. That benchmark shown above are for 246 cpus.. too expensive in Britain!

I will look for opteron bargins.. know any website in britain?

cheers
Finn
 11/02/2003 05:26 PM
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Ardrid
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Yeah, definitely go with the Opteron. There are far too many improvements for you to choose an MP over it.

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 11/02/2003 05:28 PM
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infiltrator
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I bought my entire system from http://www.overclockers.co.uk' ">http://www.overclockers.co.uk

I looked around for quite some time and found one or two sites with some components a tad cheaper - but I prefer to buy as much as possible from one reseller - so I have less problems

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 11/03/2003 10:40 PM
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animator
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Yes, I have used overclocker.co.uk and they are pretty good. but no operton motherboard!

I noticed you used 1GB Corsair XMS3200LLPT CAS2.. Is it registered?

I was told for opterom, you must used registered rams..
Is that right?
Why?
What if I used unregistered? Will it blew up?!

Cheers
 11/04/2003 01:29 AM
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Greyhound
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QUOTE I was told for opterom, you must used registered rams..
Is that right?
Why?
What if I used unregistered? Will it blew up?!

Yes, you will have to use registered RAM for all Socket 940 CPUs(Opteron, Athlon 64 FX).
Opteron is a Server/Workstation CPU, so the platform is optimized for maximum stability.
Especially when dealing with large amounts of RAM, registered RAM becomes necessary to ensure stable operation.

I don't think you'd damage anything if you tried to use unbuffered(non-registered) RAM, but it won't work either - prolly just won't POST.

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 11/04/2003 05:53 PM
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deuxway
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Another long post from me, sorry y'all ...

Have you asked the vendor of your application what they recommend? Many vendors do benchmarks internally, and they may have some guidance.

Side note, you're likely going to be using registered memory for dual MP or Opteron.

Animator, just to be contrary to my colleges...

I assume you're unlikely to even notice differences of less than 10%, and they are probably not worth paying a price premium to achieve. Even 20% is arguable!

On the "real-world" (application simulation) 32 bit tests I have seen at anandtech, tomshardware, cadalyst, etc. I would expect Athlon 2800+ MP and Opteron 240 to be well within 20% of each other, probably within 10%. Depending on the application, the Athlon MP 2800+ may be faster.

anandtech.com 3ds Max R5 benchmark' ">http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1818&p=10
Comparing single Opteron 244 (1.8GHz) vs Athlon XP 2200+ (1.8GHz non-Barton )
equal for 1 of 5 3DMAX tests
within 10% for 3 of 5 3DMAX tests
within 20% for 1 of 5 3DMAX tests

tomshardware.com 3D Studio Max 5.1' ">http://www.tomshardware.com/cp...on-23.html#3drendering
Single Opteron 244 (1.8GHz 2x166) = 124
Athlon XP 2400+ (2.0GHz 133/2x133) = 115
Less is better, so the 2.0GHz Athlon is approx. 7% faster in tests than the 1.8GHz Opteron, for an 11% clock speed advantage, pretty close.
An Athlon MP 2800+ runs at 2.16GHz, but does not have dual channel memory.

So, I suggest that *clock for clock*, Athlon XP is mostly within 10% of Opteron for these 32 bit application tests.

These are *not* conclusive as the Athlon is using dual channel memory which is not available for MP. But at the *same* clock speed single CPU's are close, and an MP 2800+ runs 50% faster (2.16GHz) than an Opteron 240 (1.4GHz).

I looked at the CADLYST reviews' ">http://www.cadonline.com/revie...dware/1103workstation/, and they were also inconclusive too, but more relevant as they do benchmark MP 2800+ on 3ds MAX 5.1.
See the last page (Table 1: Workstation Features' ">http://www.cadonline.com/revie...ation/1103features.pdf) for a break down of results.

The Opterons are 246 (2.0GHz), so I've tried scaling the CADALYST MAX3d 5.1 benchmark numbers, using only Opteron clock speed (1.4GHz/2.0GHz), the Athlon 2800+ MP, is within 11% of the two Opterons:
@Xi Opteron 'scaled' 240 = 38.26 (246=54.66 scaled 1.4GHz/2.0GHz)
Monarch G64 'scaled' 240 = 35.69 (246=50.99 scaled 1.4GHz/2.0GHz)
Hypersonic Athlon MP 2800+ = 34.62

This suggests that the extra instructions supported by the Opteron are not critical (noticable) to this application.

I realise this is misleading as the processor clock isn't the only factor, but this is only an estimate.

So, conclusion from benchmarks - very close, and so inconclusive!

Based on these results, Athlon MP 2800+ is unlikely to be worse than 11% behind a 240, and on some tests, may even be faster, for your application. I assume other factors close to equal if you are buying the machines at the same time.

What is interesting is the significant improvement of the dual Opteron 246 in the CADALYST tests over the single CPU tests at anantech and tomshardware, this may be other parts of the system, like the graphics card.

Whatever you do, be careful. The CADALYST tests compared two dual Opteron 246 systems, apparently with the *same motherboard*, graphics card, and similar memory. They got more than 10% difference in performance (which surprised me!.

I haven't investigated this, but this scale of difference is as significant as the Athlon MP 2800+ vs Opteron 240 difference.

Also, many of the dual Opteron motherboards are $200-$300 more than MP. I can see applications get *much* more performance from $200-$300 of extra RAM (or disk, or graphics card) rather than slightly faster CPUs. Your rendering problem *may* be an example of this.

If you were a software developer building AMD64 software, had 64 bit software, or just had to have bragging rights, buy Opteron 240; you have no choice.

But, I think *today*, $ for $ Athlon MP is better value at the low cost end. This does show that the AMD marketing guys are getting their pricing about right;-)

You may want to consider selling parts of either system in 8 months when, I hope, Opteron is running DDR400, or better, and low cost Opteron is clearly faster than MP.

Can you scrape together the extra cash for 242 or 244 and avoid the stalemate?-)

DeuxWay
 11/08/2003 07:24 PM
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pcy
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Hi,

I have been asking the same question - except that I want a render server for Cinema4D rather than Max.

What I have found is that it all depends whether you are looking for the beat Bang/Box (=Opteron) or the best Bang/Buck (=Athlon MP).

I have have decided to go for an Asus A7M266D with two XP2500s which I will modify to make them into MPs. The board is on its way...

I chose the Asus because the FSB can go up to 180Mhz.

The limiting factor on this rig may be memory bandwidth, but the Case, Mobo, 2 CPUs + heatsinks, 1GB RAM, and HD will cost around $600. I am confident this will outrender any single CPU solution. A dual Opteron might well be faster, but it will certainly cost twice as much.

I'm going to do a lot of benchmarking when I have this machine running - hopefully in a week or two. I'f be happy to run a Max benchmark if I can get a demo version of MAx and the project/script to do it.



Peter
 11/10/2003 12:37 AM
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deuxway
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Unusually short one for me (I'll copy into the other Optern vs MP thread) ...

Here's a benchmark that may help you at brokenpixel' ">http://www.brokenpixel.com/rev...images/opteron244/feat

This shows tests for Discreet's 3ds max 5.1.

It compares 1.2 GHz Athlon MP's (and a now defunct Tyan 760 MP motherboard) against Opteron 244's (1.8GHz). The dual Opteron runs the tests 2 x faster, i.e. things render in half the time.

Now, downrate the 1.8GHz to 1.4GHz Opteron, and uprate 1.2GHz Athlon MP.

So, bang for buck 2.0GHz Athlon (2400+) MP at $124 each would be pretty good, and even "expensive" Athlon 2800+ MP ($221 at pricewatch) with their Barton core get's a cheap machine. With pcy's Athlon XP hack brings the price even lower.

Please don't think I hate Opteron, I'm saving my pennies for a dual Opteron system, but I am trying to be rational, and help you get the most for your money.
 11/11/2003 12:11 PM
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pcy
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Hi,

If you read the artice at brokenpixel carefully you will see that the Opterons were clocked 50% faster than the MP rig (i.e 150%), and rendered slightly under twice the speed (i.e 190%).

That means they were about 25% faster Mhz for Mhz.

If, (IF) the MP performance scales from a 1200Mhz MP to an MP2600 (= 2200 Mhz) - and it might because I suspect Memory bandwidth is not so critical for Max - then a pair of MP2600s will give marginally less performance than the Opteron 244s. Price of the MP system? Around half, I guess.




Peter
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