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AMD Phenom II x4 940 vs. the new Opteron 4100 Quad

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by sylva, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. sylva New Member

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    Hi all.

    Currently I am using the Phenom II 940 with 8 gigs memory. Can anyone estimate whether the new Opteron 4100 Quad is any faster and by how much? The 940 is at 3 GHz. The Opteron only at 2.2 GHz and it has the same total amount of cache.

    The application run is Sonar Studio 8.5.3 with horrendous amounts of data to be processed per unit time. Needless to say, the 940 is maxing out, creating noticeable audio distortions. I intend to build a new system with the 4100 because it looks very affordable.

    What I need to find out is the amount of improvement occurring when 2 CPU groups (that is a total of 8 processors on 2 dies) are used on a corresponding MSI MoBo. It's not enough to have some, say, 20% improvement becuase the next project may be even bigger. I am looking for at least 50%+. I'd go for the 6 processor/die unit, but my new software maxes out at 8 processors and I am also under budget constraints.

    Thanks in advance, S.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  2. Dent1

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    I doubt the performance increase clock for clock will justify the price, any slight performance increase will be nulified by the cost, since it is a server processor. Your best bet is to get a hexacore processor, i.e. the X6 1055T or 1090T they are relatively cheap and you can get near a 50% performance increase if the software can take advantage of 6 threads/cores.

    I would only do the upgrade if your current X4 was sold to fund the new CPU.


    If I was to estimate it, you might actually lose performance, both the Phenom II X4 and Opteron 4xxx series use a very similar architecture derived from the Deneb so the Opteron is at a disadvantage sitting 2.1GHz and will be slower. If you were to overclock the Opteron to about 3GHz it might be faster but again we are talking about a few percent faster which doesnt justify the cost/hassle. The Phenom II X6 is your best hope.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  3. sylva New Member

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    Thank you, Dent1.

    I appreciate your input. I have some further issues.

    If I used a 6 core, then, from the software's point of view, the other two threads available would go to waste. The 4100 quad processor costs $99. Using 2 of them would take full advantage of the software. As I stated in my previous writing, I would use two processors on a two processor MoBo. In my case we're in fact talking about processor load, which is very heavy. The main question is whether the 4100 Opterons would reduce processing load to, for ex., 40% in stead of the 96% load on the current 940. So, when upping the ante with an even heavier project, would these two processors be loaded at 50% or at most 60%? This is the main issue here.
     
  4. Timonthy New Member

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    The point is Lisbon (Opteron 4100) isn't compatible with AM3/AM2+, or in fact any MSI boards, you will need a complete platform overhaul with new DDR3 memory and a C32 server board by TYAN/SuperMicro/ASUS, and they aren't cheap and nearly impossible to find.

    For you, I think youll be much better with 2 3.1Ghz Shanghai SE Quads and a Dual Socket F+ setup, this way you can re-use your RAM, keep costs down and actually find viable parts.
     
  5. Dent1

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    Wait let me get this straight, you are going to use a dual-socket motherboard and install two physical Opteron 4100s, so effectively you'd have 8 cores and 8 threads? If that is the case the software will need to support 8 threads? This may get the work to complete quicker, however if you are talking about load, presuming that the software is beefy enough to stress a thread/core alone I would presume that the load would just be as high, but the work will complete sooner and will be a huge improvement over your current Phenom II X4 940 if allt he cores are taken advantage of.


    But its as Timonthy said, you may need a proprietary motherboard and they are not cheap and almost impossible to find. It might be cheaper/less hassle to drop in the Phenom II X6, overclock it to about 3.8-4.0GHz, stress test it for about 10-15hrs using prime to make sure its stable and call it a day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  6. sylva New Member

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    Yep,

    Two physical Opteron 4100s on a brand new fangled dual socket MSI server board that just came out to market around June the 23rd, so exactly 1 months ago. The Sonar Studio 8.5.3, which is a professional sequencer and very complex program, can handle up to 8 independent threads/processors. This is why I said that processing wise the question is about load rather than speed. An yes, server MoBos ARE expensive, but the 4100s cost $99-109 apiece street wise.

    Yeah, I eyed the F processors, but they still are MUCH more expensive than the 4100s. There's an ASUS Mobo that runs you $265 or thereabouts. But the two processors would add up to another $5-600. There's no cost allocated to the aforementioned MSI board yet, so I don't know how to predict total price. Surely, it's also about the memory I already have to be reused. But, overall, I just want to compare capabilities and that's why I submitted my questions to you guys.

    And, yes I'll take your X6 suggestion into accound as well, however, as I said, the software is capable of handling 8 threads and with an X6 two would fall by the wayside. And then, how will the load be the same when in stead of 4 cores (threads) it's bound to be distributed over 8 cores (8 threads) in a 2 x 4100 arrangement? It's like in stead of 4 people to be carried by, some heavy piece of furniture would be carried by 8, so each guy will sweat only half of the initial load. Just my thoughts.

    Thank again, more input welcome. S.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  7. Dent1

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    I think the last sentence is where there is a misconception. Generally speaking you are correct spreading the workload accross more cores will mean that each CPU does not have to work as hard, this might be the case for mere games, casual software etc.


    however,

    I would presume the level of workload for specialist and niche software will tax each core to near enough 100%. My feeling is the software will use about 100% of a core regardless of how many cores you have. So if you have 2 cores it will use near 100% of it , likewise with 4, 6, and 8 cores it will use 100%. The spreading of activity accross the cores at 100% usage will just mean the task finishes quicker but the CPU usage per core may still be stupidly high.

    Again, this depends on the software you are using and how well its been optimised, the question you are asking can not be answered with a definitive answer.

    I would suggest that if you want to reduce the load on your current Phenom II X4 go into the software packages (Sonar Studio) options and turn only 3 of the 4 threads on. This way 1 core of the Phenom II X4 will be for moderate multitasking in other application due to the core being in standby. Likewise, if you had the Phenom II X6 you could go into Sonar Studio's options and turn it to ultilise only 4 threads, that way the overall CPU usage will be lower as you'd have 2 cores in standby ready to multi-task in other applications or in the OS in general.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  8. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    just order a 1055T they are like $170 used
     
    Dent1 says thanks.

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