Since the excuse to not compare Athlon 64s to Intel Pentium based processors has always been "you can't compare apples to oranges," we found ourselves fairly entertained to come into the possession of a 3.6GHz EM64T Xeon processor. Intel's EM64T is Intel's true x86_64 initiative. This 3.6GHz Xeon processor is actually the exact same CPU in as the LGA775 Pentium 4F we will see in just a few weeks. We are offering a preview of an unreleased processor on 64-bit Linux systems. Now, we have Intel and AMD 64-bit x86 processors, 64-bit Linux operating systems and a few days to get some benchmarking done.

We are going to run the benchmarks for this review slightly different than we have in the past. We want to make our numbers easily replicable for those who have the necessary components, but we also want to show the fullest capabilities of the hardware that we have. Many of our previous benchmarks are not multithread (POV-Ray) or do not scale well. Unfortunately, this forces us to use a lot of synthetic benchmarks; but we feel the overall results are accurate and reflective of the hardware used.

The delicate bit for this review was using the SuSE 9.1 Pro (x86_64) installation rather than compiling it from scratch (à la Gentoo). This was done to preserve the ability to replicate our benchmarks easily. Fedora Core 2 refused to install on the IA32e machine because there was no recognized AMD CPU.

 Performance Test Configuration
Processor(s): Athlon 64 3500+ (130nm, 2.2GHz, 512KB L2 Cache)
Intel Xeon 3.6GHz (90nm, 1MB L2 Cache)
RAM: 2 x 512MB PC-3500 CL2 (400MHz)
2 x 512MB PC2-3200 CL3 (400MHz) Registered
Memory Timings: Default
Hard Drives Seagate 120GB 7200RPM IDE (8Mb buffer)
Operating System(s): SuSE 9.1 Professional (64 bit)
Linux 2.6.4-52-default
Linux 2.6.4-52-smp
Compiler: GCC 3.3.3
Motherboards: NVIDIA NForce3 250 Reference Board
SuperMicro Tumwater X6DA8-G2 (Only 1 CPU)

As there may have been a little confusion from the last review, the DDR PC-3500 only runs at 400MHz. The Infineon Registered RDIMMs used on the Xeon runs at slightly high latencies. All memory runs in dual channel configurations. We removed 1 CPU for the tests in this benchmark, but since HyperThreading was enabled, we used the SMP kernel. During the second half of the benchmarks, SMP was disabled and the tests were re-run under the single CPU generic kernel. These are both 64-bit CPUs, and so, all benchmarks are run on 64-bit OSes with 64-bit binaries wherever possible.

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  • dfxshadow - Friday, August 20, 2004 - link

    I will admit, i am an AMD fanboy, i was loyal to AMD since the k6-2 days. I ran AMD when intel was stomping us... Now we get a better product, and this, A review comparing a Desktop pc processor. with the very best that intel can pull off. and it only manages to win by a few.. Compare it to an opteron 250, i do belive the 250 will bench 2 or 3 times more than this new intel, It is good to see competition. But, is it really worth trying to glorify sub par technology.
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - link


    EMT is some medical something. EM64T is the actual terminology.

  • caliden - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - link

    Oh dear. I'm sorry to say that this review is so full of conceptual and methodological holes that I can almost hear generations of scientists, reviewers and geeks in general turning in their graves.

    Does anandtech have no peer review procedure? No one checks articles before they are published? It's such a shame, because this has made me think twice before accepting what I read here as objective fact.
  • johnsonx - Monday, August 16, 2004 - link

    Just wondering, is 270 comments (not counting this one) a record?
  • dark0n3 - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    I see lots of pro-AMD comments here, but I think noone noticed one issue about this test that might make intel scores look worse than they really are.

    Because Xeon's pipelines are much longer than pipelines in A64/Opteron, their performance is more dependant of optimizations. And from my experience, gcc does not produce binaries that have comparable quality to binaries that any windows compiler produce. (and disabling all optimizations in some tests...) I wonder how results would look, if programs were compiled with intel's linux compiler instead. See performance delta on windows for reference [gcc vs icc]: I'd expect same ratio to apply in unix benchmarks.
  • TauCeti - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Hi Kristopher,

    "What the heck is an EMT64? "

    Because Intel changes terms for the AMD64 emulation mode every odd hour, YOUR test-system.os vendor ( SuSE 9.1 Pro) decided to stick to the EMT64 nomenclature.

    Not that it matters a lot...
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link


    What the heck is an EMT64?

  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

  • hifisoftware - Thursday, August 12, 2004 - link

    Yep, pretty stupid idea for this review. I have an old bicycle, why not compare it to EMT64... Ohh wait here is another great idea for the review: "What tastes better, EMT64 vs LCD TV vs Scroll wheel from the mouse?".... I guess I could continue like this for a while.

    Man do you really have so much trouble figuring out what to review?

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