Apr 302013
 

I’ve mentioned to a few people in passing (and some can tell just by looking): this site switched from Drupal version 6 to WordPress version 3 in December 2012. I’d been on Drupal since November 2010; on ANHosting since December 2010. I didn’t rush to a decision. There had been months of consideration and several factors which led to the switch.

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Oct 082010
 

This spring AMD released their new line of server and workstation processors, the Opteron 6100-series “Magny Cours” processors. Their previous Opteron products were lagging behind the competition from Intel, so a refresh was seriously needed. The 6100-series is not a complete re-design of the Opteron architecture, but it offers significant performance improvements and warrants serious consideration. Extremely cost-effective 48-core Opteron servers are shipping now.

These processors are designed for high-end workstations and servers, so they will compete against Intel’s Xeon processors. The same line of processors will go up against both the Xeon 5600-series and the Xeon 7500-series, which I analyzed earlier this year. This is a new twist, as both Intel and AMD have historically produced two separate lines of processors. With this release, AMD has designed the same processors to operate in both 2-socket and multi-socket SMP servers.

With a product this complex, it’s very difficult to cover every aspect of the design. I will be focusing primarily on the performance of the new processors, with a particular focus on HPC as that is the market with which I’m most familiar.

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Apr 192010
 

Last month Intel released their new line of enterprise-class x86 server processors, the Xeon 7500-series “Nehalem-EX” processors. This is very significant, as their existing enterprise x86 processors (7400-series) were getting quite old and were not particularly competitive. The new Xeons provide much higher computational performance, as well as many enhancements for reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS). They are immediately available in 4-socket configurations and will also be appearing in 8-socket configurations.

With a product this complex, it’s very difficult to cover every aspect of the new design. I will be focusing primarily on the performance of the new processors, with a particular focus on HPC as that is the market with which I’m most familiar.

To the best of my knowledge, the Xeon 7500s are some of the most diverse processors released under the same name. Their core counts range from 4 to 8, with clock speeds ranging from 1.87GHz to 2.67GHz and L3 cache ranging from 12MB to 24MB. This makes the decision of which processor to purchase more difficult than ever before, as one can’t easily determine which processor is “best”. You have to carefully evaluate your application and requirements, as well as the capabilities of each model.

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