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Topic Title: About Opteron
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Created On: 12/14/2004 07:27 AM
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 12/14/2004 07:27 AM
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Yue_Hong
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I recently read the article of the Opteron processor. It said 100 Series = 1-way servers and workstations, 200 Series = Up to 2-way servers and workstations, and 800 Series = Up to 8-way servers and workstations. What is the "way" mean?

Do I really need to get a 90nm Opteron processor now for it to capable upgrade to dual core processor in the future?


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"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
 12/14/2004 10:39 AM
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Greyhound
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QUOTE What is the "way" mean?
'1-way' refers to a system with a single processor, '2-way' refers to a system with two processors and '8-way' refers to a system with eight processors.
QUOTE Do I really need to get a 90nm Opteron processor now for it to capable upgrade to dual core processor in the future?
No. Dual-core Opteron processors will fit in existing Socket 940 motherboards - all that will be required is a BIOS-update.
It does not matter whether you're running a 130nm SOI or 90nm SOI part as they all use the same 940-pin Socket.

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 12/14/2004 09:54 PM
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OrangesAway
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But just to be specific, AMD has stated that dual core will work in any system that supports the 90 nm power infrastructure with a 95 watt power envelope and a BIOS update.

See, for instance, page 8 of the Fred Weber's 2004 Analyst Day Presentation' ">http://www.amd.com/us-en/asset...r_2004_Analyst_Day.pdf

Likely just a technicallity and most existing boards will be able to handle that power infrastructure and get a BIOS upgrade.
 12/15/2004 03:02 AM
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Yue_Hong
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QUOTE '1-way' refers to a system with a single processor, '2-way' refers to a system with two processors and '8-way' refers to a system with eight processors.

I can't get it and it really make me confused. Is that mean 200 series has 2 processor inside one processor (dual core) and the 800 series has 8 processor inside one processor (8 core)?!!!!! I thought a dual core processor will be release mid 2005. Or is that mean 100 series only can build with one cpu setup, 200 series can build with maximum 2 cpu setup, and 800 series can build with maximum 8 cpu setup?

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"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
 12/15/2004 11:10 AM
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ZapWizard
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AMD has stated that their multi-core plans extend to up to 8 cores inside a single CPU.

But don't expect that to happen right away.


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 12/15/2004 03:48 PM
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Calvn_Swing
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If you have a 200 series opteron processor, you may place it on a dual opteron motherboard with a matching 200 series opteron and both will work.

Neither Intel or AMD has a dual core or multi core processor for sale right now. Though they are planned for next year. As of now there is only one core per processor.

Check out TYAN's site and look at their opteron motherboards and you will see boards with one processor socket, two, and even four sockets on one motherboard. (The socket is the white square thing in the pictures) The 1xx series opterons can work in any of those boards, but won't work with another processor no matter what kind it is. If you get a 2xx series processor you can get a matching one at the same time (2 seperate CPU's, not a dual core single CPU) and they will work together in a dual socket motherboard. The 8xx series is needed if you want four seperate CPU's or 8 CPU's. The first number corresponds to the maximum number of other seperate processors they will function with. The second two numbers relate to their speed.

I know it is complicated. The good news is that, as others have stated, the new dual/multi-core processors from AMD that will be coming out in the next year will run in the same motherboards that are selling now for single core opterons! And no, any opteron processor you buy - 90 or 130 - will work in any 940 board and that board should be capable of running dual-cores in the near future.

Good Luck!

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Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
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 12/15/2004 10:32 PM
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Yue_Hong
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Thanks. Finally I understand what is the 'way' mean. Now I have questions about Opteron motherboard.

1. Is there any pci-express Opteron motherboard available now?
2. Will the PCI-EXPRESS become a very important requirement in the next 2-3 years for running a high end application?
3. Will we able to get a new high end AGP Graphic Card for the next 2-3 years?
4. What is the different in the way of performance between AGP and PCI-EXPRESS?
5. Should I really need to get a pci-express Opteron motherboard if I plan to build my dream machine now?

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"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
 12/17/2004 06:07 PM
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Calvn_Swing
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Well, it seems you want what I want!

Bad news, and good news to follow.

1. Is there any pci-express Opteron motherboard available now?

No. Unfortunately there isn't. There are a few hitting the market for the 939 (FX series processors which are identical to Opterons except that they can use unbuffered RAM - aka unregistered RAM) So if your dream machine is a "2-way" or more opteron, PCI-e is out of the picture probably till January or Febuary.

2. Will the PCI-EXPRESS become a very important requirement in the next 2-3 years for running a high end application?

Depends on the Application. HDTV editing takes advantage of the PCI-e bus in ways most applications do not. As such it profits greatly from PCI-e. Otherwise, the only difference is that PCI-e for graphics is going to be 16x - versus AGP 8x. It is going to move a lot more data in the same time (faster). Right now the graphics cards and programs don't need that much bandwidth so the PCI-e graphics aren't much faster at all.

3. Will we able to get a new high end AGP Graphic Card for the next 2-3 years?

Companies (Nvidia, ATI, etc...) will continue to release new AGP products because the upgrade market will remain large enough for a bit longer. Probably up to two years is reasonable.

4. What is the different in the way of performance between AGP and PCI-EXPRESS?

PCI-Express really improves on AGP in one way. It allows for a lot of upstream data. AGP had a lot of downstream (From CPU to Graphics card), but little upstream (The AGP card talking back to the CPU). PCI-express is capable of equivalent upstream and downstream. Right now, very few programs need upstream data - HDTV video editing is the only one I've heard of that really performs significantly better on PCI-e versus AGP. This trend won't be permanent however, and in the next few years programs will begin to take advantage of the possibilities. However, for the next year AGP will remain pretty competative within most applications. 2 years is unrealistic. By that time the increased bandwidth will be too valuable by itself so even programs that don't need upstream data will be needing the speed.

5. Should I really need to get a pci-express Opteron motherboard if I plan to build my dream machine now?

You might need one but none are available. They will be in a month or two, but not yet. The bigger question is what are you going to use it for? Because if you are using it for applications that are primarily single-threaded (In otherwords they don't care if there are two processors, they can only use one.) then having two CPUs is useless beyond bragging rights. You won't be using the second processor unless you are doing a WHOLE lot of multitasking - (Think playing DOOM 3 and Burning a dual layer DVD at the same time.)

If you are using it for multi-threaded applications (also known as SMP aware, and other names) like MAYA for instance, then the second processor can be utilized and is worth the money.

You have three basic options in the end.

1. Get an FX processor. FX = Opteron that can use regular RAM (faster, cheaper) These come in 940 pin and 939 pin versions. Some 939 motherboards already have PCI-e and as such you bypass the PCI-e upgrade problems.

2. Get a single or dual or quad socket opteron (940 pin) motherboard with AGP and upgrade your motherboard when/if you need PCI-e.

3. Wait a few months.

Good luck with everything. If you want better advice, give us some more information to work with (what are you doing with your dream machine???)

Adios!

-------------------------
Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256
NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD±RW | Mitsumi Floppy/Card Reader combo
 12/19/2004 02:05 AM
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Yue_Hong
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Thanks for your reply.

I usually and planned to use new PC for Multimedia, do some gaming, online, programming and doing 3D animation. I have planned to install lots of OS (like Win98, WinMe, Win2000, WinXPpro, WinXPhome, Win Server 2003, and also some free LInux OS) into my new machine for programming use (easier testing software running at diffrent OS). I have choosen AMD because of its capability of running 64bit. I heard that 64bit Windows XP is going to release early next year and also hope to get performance boost when switching to 64bit.

At first, my budget is about USD $1,500. But after hearing the advice from all of you, now I think my budget will be around USD $1,000.

Do you think it is a great idea if I buy a dual CPU motherboard with one processor now, and then buy the second processor six month or one year later? But I am not sure whether a dual CPU motherboard is going to work with only one processor installed.

-------------------------
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
 12/19/2004 05:49 PM
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Calvn_Swing
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"I usually and planned to use new PC for Multimedia, do some gaming, online, programming and doing 3D animation. "

- Well, having two processors will make a difference with 3D Animation no doubt. I think all the major programs for it are multithreaded. It won't make a whit of difference with gaming, online performance, or multimedia (unless by multimedia you mean encoding or decoding audio or video streams because some of these programs are SMP aware) unless you are doing them all at once. I don't know what if any effects it might have with programming.

"I have planned to install lots of OS (like Win98, WinMe, Win2000, WinXPpro, WinXPhome, Win Server 2003, and also some free LInux OS) into my new machine for programming use (easier testing software running at diffrent OS)."

-I have a multi-OS system myself, and had some issues with it until I made sure all the OS's were installed on a seperate partition. Otherwise they can get confused! (Beginners mistake installing on one partition I'm told.)

"Do you think it is a great idea if I buy a dual CPU motherboard with one processor now, and then buy the second processor six month or one year later? But I am not sure whether a dual CPU motherboard is going to work with only one processor installed. "

-They work fine with one processor installed. And, assuming you have an adequate power supply, installing a second processor is about the simplest upgrade possible. It's like uprading RAM. Plug it in. Just be aware that you have to make sure the Processor you buy six months later matches EXACTLY the one you get now. The stepping has to be the same. Otherwise it won't work. The tricky part is ordering the right processor. Physical installation is simple.


Once again, if you have a limited budget I think I'd get a 939 system with one FX processor. They will have dual core FX pieces at about the same time they'll have dual core opterons. You get cheaper and faster RAM, a much cheaper motherboard, and you can get one with PCI-e and even ones with SLI confiurations soon. MSI has some already. I don't know for sure that FX dual cores will remain in the 939 socket...you should try to get one of the moderators to answer that if you're interested in the option. (Browse the forums a bit and find a moderator who seems helpful and PM (personal message) them. I usually turn to ZapWizard) It just seems to make sense - only one of the things you do can really benefit from a dual processor confiuration at the moment. And by the time the other programs start to really benefit there will be dual core and multi core processors to take care of it.


-------------------------
Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256
NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD±RW | Mitsumi Floppy/Card Reader combo
 12/21/2004 05:54 PM
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MajorBloodnok
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I'm holding out for a dual-Opteron / dual-PCIe (SLI) board hopefully in Q1, 2005.

As I see it, the current Opterons get cheaper mid-Feb (recent AMD announcement) so I buy a couple of the cheap ones then plus a couple of SLI graphics card (or even one depending on whether there's a processor the bottleneck with just one graphics card). Then, in the future I can replace the Opterons with dual-core versions (and, if my luck holds out, oct-core in a few years). Meanwhile, since SLI is supposed to scale to 8 GPUs and Gigabyte Technologies are already shipping two nVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT graphics processors on one graphics card, I figure we will see two 6800 Ultras on one card (or some later variant if nVIDIA can sort out the thermals perhaps with 90 nm fabrication). So we wind up with 4 GPUs on two graphics cards in a dual- or oct-core dual-processor system. I suppose it’s too much to expect 4 GPUs per graphics card unless nVIDIA are able to produce multi-core GPUs.

This seems doable on paper: interesting to see how it spins out in reality!

 12/22/2004 02:48 PM
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Calvn_Swing
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Sounds like a nice deal...

I was holding out, that is until Iwill released that ZMAXdp SFF workstation.

I get my funds to buy a computer mid-january, and unless someone gets a dual processor dual PCI-e board on the market before then (which seems unlikely right now), I'm going with the little guy. Figure I'll try to rig a small LCD screen into the chassis somewhere so I can "take it with me." Maybe if I get real snazzy I'll find a way to rig a projection screen in it somehow. That would be pretty nifty eh?

Anyway, I too dream of multi GPU multi CPU etc...

But, I am too underfunded to get it right when it comes out.

Besides, what I do isn't graphiclly intense enough to justify the splurge I want to make. So, I'm downgrading my dreams for now. When I actually have a real job maybe I'll start dreaming again.

Adios

-------------------------
Iwill Zmax DP SFF Barebones kit... (300W PSU, 8 USB, 1 FW, etc...)
Dual AMD Opteron 275's | 2 Gigs (2 Dimms 1024Mb) Patriot RAM 3-3-3-8
WD Caviar 80 Gig HDD - System
WD Raptor 74 Gig HDD
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256
NEC ND-3520A Dual Layer DVD±RW | Mitsumi Floppy/Card Reader combo
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