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Test notes
You'll want to watch several key matchups in the results, including:

  • Opteron 2350 vs. Xeon E5345 — This is the matchup AMD has identified as the most direct comparison on a price and performance basis. Looks to me like E5345s still cost more than the Opteron 2350's list price, but this 2.33GHz Xeon will be a good foil for the 2GHz Barcelona.
  • Opteron 2350 vs. Xeon L5335 — Here's your clock-for-clock comparison between Intel's quad-core Xeons and AMD's quad-core Opterons. The L5335 is a brand-new, low-power version of the Xeon whose most direct competitor might be the Opteron 2347 HE, but CPU microarchitecture geeks will appreciate comparing performance per clock between these two.
  • Opteron 2360 SE vs. Opteron 2218 HE — Watch this one in single-threaded (and up to four-threaded) tests to get a rough sense of Barcelona's per-clock performance versus older Opterons. The 2218 HE runs at 2.6GHz and the 2360 SE runs at 2.5GHz, so it's not an exact match, but it's close.
  • Opteron 2360 SE vs. Xeon X5365 — The best of breed from AMD and Intel face off.

You can see our system configs and test applications below. We've tried to produce as direct a comparison as possible. We even tested the Xeons and Opterons 2300s in the same sort of chassis with the same cooling solution. The Opteron 2200s were in a slightly different enclosure, but I did some testing and believe the power consumption from its cooling fans is similar. All of the systems used the same model of power suppy unit.

I think we have a good mix of tests, but they're more heavily geared toward HPC and digital content creation than traditional server workloads. We have added SPECjbb2005 this time out, and we continue working on developing some other server-oriented tests to add to our suite. Unfortunately, our preparation time for this review was limited.

Our testing methods
As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run at least three times, and the results were averaged.

Our test systems were configured like so:

Processors Dual Xeon L5335 2.0GHz
Dual Xeon E5345 2.33GHz
Dual Xeon X5365 3.0GHz
Dual Opteron 2218 HE 2.6GHz
Dual Opteron 2220 2.8GHz
Dual Opteron 2350 2.0GHz
Dual Opteron 2360 SE 2.5GHz
System bus 1333MHz (333MHz quad-pumped) 1GHz HyperTransport 1GHz HyperTransport
Motherboard SuperMicro X7DB8+ Tyan Tiger K8SSA (S3992) SuperMicro H8DMU+
BIOS revision 8/13/2007 5/29/2007 8/15/2007
North bridge Intel 5000P MCH ServerWorks BCM 5780 Nvidia nForce Pro 3600
South bridge Intel 6321 ESB ICH ServerWorks BCM 5785 Nvidia nForce Pro 3600
Chipset drivers INF Update - SMBus driver 4.57
Memory size 8GB (8 DIMMs) 8GB (8 DIMMs) 8GB (8 DIMMs)
Memory type 1024MB DDR2-667 FB-DIMMs at 667MHz 1024MB ECC reg. DDR2-667 DIMMs at 667MHz 1024MB ECC reg. DDR2-667 DIMMs at 667MHz
CAS latency (CL) 5 5 5
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD) 5 5 5
RAS precharge (tRP) 5 5 5
Cycle time (tRAS) 15 13 15
Storage controller Intel 6321 ESB ICH with
Intel Matrix Storage Manager 7.6
Broadcom RAIDCore with
1.1.7057.1 drivers
Nvidia nForce Pro 3600 with
6.87 drivers
Hard drive WD Caviar WD1600YD 160GB
Graphics Integrated ATI ES1000 with drivers
OS Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition with Service Pack 2
Power supply Ablecom PWS-702A-1R 700W

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The tests and methods we employ are usually publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.