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Topic Title: Dual 240 vs. Single 246
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Created On: 08/19/2005 01:24 PM
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 08/19/2005 01:24 PM
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yekat
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Joined: 08/09/2004

I have a Tyan Thunder K8W and am deciding between getting 2 Opteron 240s or 1 246. With the dual 240s, I can run NUMA, whereas with the 246 I cannot. Will the Dual 240 NUMA system outperform the single non-NUMA 246 system?

To get NUMA, will I need 4 DIMMS (1 for each channel on each CPU)? If so, I would get 4x256 for the NUMA dual 240s or 2x512s for the non-NUMA single 246.

My most CPU-intensive tasks will be watching WMV-HD in 1080p and recording and watching HD in MCE 2005. I do not plan on upgrading for another few years so want 64-bit and multi-threading support. What are your thoughts?
 08/19/2005 07:00 PM
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derGhostrider
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1. Which setup will be faster: This depends on the tasks that will be running.
2. I don't think that NUMA will give you any extra performance during recording a video. This is not a very memory intense work (compared to video editing or databases). Encoding 1080p may require a faster CPU. I have no idea if a 240 is powerful enough for this task because I have no experience with encoding videos. But I think that this is a job that won't be multithreaded. Is the recording Software able to utilize several CPUs for the encoding?
If not a dual 240 won't give you any extra power.

NUMA: If you want to get the highest possible memory performance you need 4 modules, 2 at each CPU.
You can also use NUMA with one stick at each CPU but the memory bandwidth will be cut to 50% at each CPU wich results in a total performance close to one CPU with two sticks of memory.

Please wait for some other opinions but from my point of view I'd say: Get the 246er. Maybe you want to add another CPU later which won't be possible with 240s inside.

-------------------------
Regards,
  Ghostrider

·CPUs - 2*Opteron 246
·Mainboard - Tyan Thunder K8W S2885ANRF
·RAM - 4*Corsair TwinX1024RE-3200LL (4GB, 8*512MB, DDR400, 2-3-2)
·Graphics - HIS IceQ-II X800Pro
·HDD - Western Digital Raptor WD740GD, 74GB, 10k
·RAID - 3Ware 7850, 64bit PCI, 8chn hardware RAID
·RAID-HDDs - 5*WD800JB
·Optical - 1*SlimSize CD-ROM; 1*NEC7441 DVD-RW
·Sound - Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Elite Pro

 08/20/2005 04:58 AM
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Opteron
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Hi,

Well that is a tuff decision, as Ghostrider already pointed out, it depends on the program. If it is multithreaded, then you can make the otherwise very odd calculation of 2x 1.4GHz = 2.8 GHz, i.e. 2x240 will be faster than one 246.

But I have to ask you, where you wanna buy the 240. Prices are as low as for the 242 (according to pricewatch.con, each costs $158), so go at least with 2x242.
Even the 246 is "just" $60 more expensive, so if you would buy 2 of them, you will end up with a higher cost of (only) $120. Well I do not know you financial situation, but for me, it would be not that much difference.

Anyways, if you can afford the 242 only, go with 1 512 MB stick for each CPU. Buying 256 MB memory modules nowadays kind of odd. If you want to upgrade later, you will be very imited in the future.
Furthermore, you wont loose much speed, just remember yourself of the small differences between S754 and S939 Systems with same core speed. Moreover, you can add more memory later easily, so not a big problem either.

In Short:
My recommodations:
Get 2 x 242 ( besides you would get 240 muuuch cheaper) or if you can afford it
2 x 246 /happy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='happy.gif' />

byebye

opteron
 08/20/2005 07:29 AM
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derGhostrider
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I agree to "Opteron". If there is no price difference get the 242s. And if you can afford it get 246ers.

-------------------------
Regards,
  Ghostrider

·CPUs - 2*Opteron 246
·Mainboard - Tyan Thunder K8W S2885ANRF
·RAM - 4*Corsair TwinX1024RE-3200LL (4GB, 8*512MB, DDR400, 2-3-2)
·Graphics - HIS IceQ-II X800Pro
·HDD - Western Digital Raptor WD740GD, 74GB, 10k
·RAID - 3Ware 7850, 64bit PCI, 8chn hardware RAID
·RAID-HDDs - 5*WD800JB
·Optical - 1*SlimSize CD-ROM; 1*NEC7441 DVD-RW
·Sound - Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Elite Pro

 08/20/2005 09:02 AM
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redclawkefar
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just to drop a reminder... the 246 will support DDR400 and the lower ones will not. i personally would go with a single 246, then add on later. you'll find higher ram speeds make a difference when running memory intensive programs.

also, 246's are 2.0ghz vs 240's which are 1.4ghz.

an example... kinda... up until recently, the system in my sig was a single 248 w/ 2gb o'ram. and at work i've got a dual 240 w/ 2gb o'ram. any simulation i would render was still 30-40% faster on the 248 than the 240's. yes the clock speeds helped that but the higher ddr400 beats the drr333 in the 240's.

so, i'd say get the 246.

-------------------------
SYSTEM-1: 2x Viewsonic VX900-2 19"| Tyan S2885ANRF (Rev.A, bios v2.07) | 1x ATI Radeon X800 Pro 256MB | 2x AMD Opteron 248-HE Single-Core CPU | 8x 512mb PC3200 Corsair XMS Series ECC Reg. (CMX512RE-3200LL) | 2x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 10,000rpm RAID0 (ST336607LW) | 1x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 1
 08/20/2005 12:37 PM
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yekat
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm leaning towards a single 246 and 2x512 MB DDR400.

It almost seems like a waste to go the Opteron route if I'm not taking advantage of the dual CPU and NUMA, though. What would be the comparable Athlon 64 processor? I'm trying to figure out if it's cheaper to sell the K8W and go the Athlon 64 route if I can get comparable performance.
 08/20/2005 01:05 PM
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redclawkefar
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i wouldnt consider it a waste... yes the opteron is a bit more expensive, but the k8w is a system built for stability and hardcore usage.

and adding a second chip later will be a wise investment.

-------------------------
SYSTEM-1: 2x Viewsonic VX900-2 19"| Tyan S2885ANRF (Rev.A, bios v2.07) | 1x ATI Radeon X800 Pro 256MB | 2x AMD Opteron 248-HE Single-Core CPU | 8x 512mb PC3200 Corsair XMS Series ECC Reg. (CMX512RE-3200LL) | 2x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 10,000rpm RAID0 (ST336607LW) | 1x Seagate LVD 36.7Gb U320 SCSI 1
 08/21/2005 08:52 AM
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Opteron
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QUOTE(redclawkefar @ Aug 20 2005, 09:05 AM)i wouldnt consider it a waste... yes the opteron is a bit more expensive, but the k8w is a system built for stability and hardcore usage. 

and adding a second chip later will be a wise investment.
[right][snapback]485105[/snapback][/right]


Well he was to decode some HD movies, so I guess that server services like 24/7 reliability are not needed.
yekat also noted, that it does not intend to upgrade in the near future, so if he wants to run a single CPU setup, he might save some money by buying e.g.an Opteron 148, which costs around the same price as one 246.

But still, if the used program is multi-threaded, a dual 242 setup can be faster.
Yekat should investigate that. Or if he does not know how, at least name the software.

Your mentioned DDR400 disadvantage is not really an issue. It does not depend on the type, but the revision. All Opterons with at least C0 revision can run DDR400. The Opteron x46 types were introduced first with that revision, hence the often red confusion with DDR400 support. Nowadys most sold Opterons are already CG revision, even in the 240 or 242 range. So as long if you buy at big resellers and not e.g. used ones at ebay, you will have DDR400 support.
(CG Example at newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/...asp?...82E16819103556R' ">http://www.newegg.com/Product/...?Item=N82E16819103556R )

IF the software is multithreaded, then maybe the ideal system could be an Athlon X2 system ?

The X2 3800+ is available for ~$400. That might be also the money amount you can get for selling the old K8W S2885. You do not have to use expensive registered RAM, and the CPU performance is nearly the same like a dual Opteron244 setup, besides the missing NUMA memory bandwidth, which is not a big performance loss.

If you like, you can also overclock to gain a bit more performance. Of course this is only an option, if your are using your HD stuff privatly and not professional.

Byebye

Opteron



 08/22/2005 01:58 AM
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derGhostrider
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QUOTE(yekat @ Aug 20 2005, 06:37 PM)Thanks for all the suggestions.  I'm leaning towards a single 246 and 2x512 MB DDR400.

It almost seems like a waste to go the Opteron route if I'm not taking advantage of the dual CPU and NUMA, though.  What would be the comparable Athlon 64 processor?  I'm trying to figure out if it's cheaper to sell the K8W and go the Athlon 64 route if I can get comparable performance.
[right][snapback]485074[/snapback][/right]

The compareable Athlon64 is a 3000+ that has the same clockrate (2GHz) as the Opteron 246.

So if you have a single thread applications for your video encoding you should just get the highest rated Athlon64 that you can afford. If it is multithreaded you should think about an Athlon X2 that has a dual core.

The Thunder K8W won't be much useful if you won't use the PCI-X bus AND won't ever run it in a dual-CPU configuration.
So if you won't upgrade later I have to say that a socket 939 Athlon64 may be the better option for you.

-------------------------
Regards,
  Ghostrider

·CPUs - 2*Opteron 246
·Mainboard - Tyan Thunder K8W S2885ANRF
·RAM - 4*Corsair TwinX1024RE-3200LL (4GB, 8*512MB, DDR400, 2-3-2)
·Graphics - HIS IceQ-II X800Pro
·HDD - Western Digital Raptor WD740GD, 74GB, 10k
·RAID - 3Ware 7850, 64bit PCI, 8chn hardware RAID
·RAID-HDDs - 5*WD800JB
·Optical - 1*SlimSize CD-ROM; 1*NEC7441 DVD-RW
·Sound - Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Elite Pro

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