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Dual Xeon now, or wait?

I'm out of the loop on CPU happenings - is there anything hitting the streets in the next month or two that would either supplant dual Xeon as "the best thing going" or else give the prices a tap on the head?

Philo

Philo
Monday, February 02, 2004

Intel's Prescott was released today.

It is almost always worth waiting until a few days before you need a machine.

Anonymous Coward
Monday, February 02, 2004

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3451883.stm for a story on the new Prescott.

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, February 02, 2004

If you need fast compiles you might want to check out the AMD Athlon 64. It is faster than any of Intel's offerings at that task. Intel is better if you are more into rendering.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1956&p=23

Jan Derk
Monday, February 02, 2004

G5:-)

Prakash S
Monday, February 02, 2004

Go with the superior product: AMD Athlon 64 !

There are multi-processor motherboards for them.

Or, get an Athlon MP.

You will get a faster machine for the same money.

And, they are rock-stable - of course, if you buy a good motherboard.

MX
Monday, February 02, 2004

Here's an excellent comparison of dual Opterons, dual Xeons, and quad Opterons.  The dual Opterons were fairly clear winners over the dual Xeons.

http://www.aceshardware.com/read.jsp?id=60000275

This article is pretty unique because they're running server-type benchmarks, as opposed to the desktop-type benchmarks you see on 99% of the hardware review sites out there, which are mostly gamer- and "enthusiast"-oriented.

John Rose
Monday, February 02, 2004

What is it going to be for?

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, February 02, 2004

Desktop - mostly development.

Philo

Philo
Monday, February 02, 2004

I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that the Opterons run a good bit cooler than the Xeons.  Whichever one turns out to run cooler, it's definitely something to look into if you're using it as a desktop.  More heat equals more fan noise equals more annoying noise to put up with.  :)

John Rose
Monday, February 02, 2004

One big problem now is finding a system builder that will build a dual opteron/scsi desktop system - it was hard enough finding one for dual Xeons...

Philo

Philo
Monday, February 02, 2004

http://www.xicomputer.com/products/mtoweropmp.asp

.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

For the cheapest dual Opteron, a system comes out $800 (30%) more than a dual Xeon system. Since part of the objective here was cost savings... [grin]

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Assuming this is for personal and not business use (no writeoffs), how about buying a fast single proc, SATA system and double your replacement rate (e.g. new system every 18 months vs. every 36 months). It will not cost you more, and you will on average have a faster system.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Just me -
You haven't worked on a dual proc SCSI system, have you?

Right now my desktop is a dual 800MHz system with three 7200 rpm SCSI drives. My other system is a 2.4GHz P4 with twice as much RAM and a 7200rpm IDE drive.

The dual proc SCSI system is noticeably more responsive.

I use the P4 system for long tasks, most notably video editing. The dual proc scsi system is my workhorse - where I develop, surf, email, etc. Multi-tasking to the nth degree. When you're talking multi-tasking, dual processors always pay off.

SCSI is faster than ATA because of tagged command queueing and independent drive electronics. (I'm saddened that DVD and DVD-R drives simply aren't an option in SCSI)

Since I can build a kick-ass system for under $3k that (if my current desktop is any indication) will last over three years, that's my plan.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Philo,

I have used duals only for servers. I didn't know the differences would be enormous for a dev. workstation.
What I did notice though is the enormous differences in response time between two more or less the same machines. I have not looked closely, but different chipsets/HD combinatioins (all IDE) seem to give hugely different results.
My main concern with a dual Xeon/SCSI system would be noise. I find "normal" desktops bad enough as they are, and pay special attention to case/HD/videocard noise already.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

P4 3GHz+ feature HyperThreading. Kind of 2 threads running simultaneously within 1 single processor.

Anyone knows if it actually compares to dual processors ?

I'm considering it for develoment of multi-threaded apps. So 'real' multi-threading is a must-have for debugging.

Serge.

Serge Wautier
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

HT == IPC
HT != SMP

Andrew
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I don't know what video/sound card you need but $3000 is high.

We built these as servers but here's our cost on this weeks dualies.

CPU    $400.00     2/2.4GHz 400FSB
MB    $130.00     Intel SHG2
RAM    $500.00     2/Kingston PC2100 DDR266 1GB ECC Registered
HD    $330.00     2/Quantum Atlas 10K III 73.4GB
CASE    $310.00     Chennbro RM214

SUM     $1,670.00

CPU    $400.00     2/2.4GHz
MB    $440.00     ASUS E7501 SCSI
RAM    $500.00     2/Kingston PC2100 DDR266 1GB ECC Registered
HD    $330.00     2/Quantum Atlas 10K III 73.4GB
CASE    $310.00     Chennbro RM214

SUM     $1,980.00

CPU    $380.00     2/Opteron 240
MB    $480.00     Tyan S2880GNR
RAM    $570.00     4/OCZ PC3200 DDR400 512MB ECC Registered
HD    $330.00     2/Quantum Atlas 10K III 73.4GB
CASE    $310.00     Chennbro RM214

SUM     $2,070.00

We're using the on board video and sound which you might want to upgrade for workstation use. 

These where all prices from the last week or so.

I thought the Opteron was the best for the money but the 400FSB Xeon is really cheap right now.

Good luck and shop around.  Remember don't be afraid to build it yourself.

Jason
Saturday, February 07, 2004

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