Pentium D 820 vs. Dual Opteron 246 gaming performance?

Discussion in 'Multiprocessing Systems' started by WozniakMac, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    I was wondering what would be the difference in these two gaming wise?
     
  2. Eva_Unit_0

    Eva_Unit_0 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'd expect the opterons to be faster by a bit. Not only is it K8, but it also has the independant memory subsystems and all that for each processor. But granted, the 246's are not high-end opterons. But I'd still expect opteron FTW. The price is going to be a LOT higher for the opterons, though.
     
  3. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    The Opteron 246 is roughly somewhere equivalent to an Athlon 3500+ I'd estimate because of it's large L2 cache. Sandra estimates that its a bit over a 3200+. From the 3200+ on up, the A64's are faster than virtually all Pentium 4's. Unless of course, they are highly overclocked. Plus if your running Windows XP x64 Edition you get the added bennefit of NUMA support, (If your motherboard supports it) which adds more bandwidth and has shown a slight increase in game performance in benchmarks. Therefore, I'd bet on the Opteorn 246's being the faster gaming platform. Even in spite of it using the slower ECC ram. The onboard memory controllers are just too damn fast.

    So when pitted against the slowest Pentium D, I'd say its pretty much an easy win for Opteron.

    No so for the chips. They are about $210 each on Pricewatch. Granted the motherboard, memory and PSU plus an E-ATX case make a big difference also.
     
  4. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, I am getting one with the following:

    Tyan K8WE Motherboard

    2x Opteron 246 C0's

    4x512MB Corsair ECC Reg. RAM

    2x 6800 Ultra's

    Enermax 600W SLI Power Supply

    Lian Li V2000A Plus Case

    2x Seagate Barracudas in RAID 0

    2x Thermalright XP-90 Heatsinks


    Basically, that is the setup, and I was wondering if it will be fine to run all the games right now. I will also be doing some video editing on it, but not a lot. Anyways, thank you for the replies.
     
  5. Schro

    Schro [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'd rather see you hit a pair of 7800GT's than the 6800 Ultras (or even GTX's)... That'll do more for you than the proc difference will make for gaming....
     
  6. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    I would love to have 2 7800GTX or GT'x in SLI, but can't afford them right now. I have a 4 month old boy that needs 300-400/month worth of infamil. lol. Anyways, this is as good as it gets for about 20 years. lol. Thank you.

    Another thing. Can you overclock these at all? And if not, why do a lot of people watercool them?
     
  7. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    You can, but its VERY difficult. And don't expect huge OC's out of them either. Some people will watercool them primarily to keep the machine quiet.

    Typical OC I've seen is about 2.2GHz and that's about it. Or basically 200MHz and that's all.
     
  8. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, that's not bad. Better than nothing I guess. Not 3025 from 2000 like my 3700+ San Diego. lol. Anyways, thank you guys, and have a great one. I should have it by next Wednesday.
     
  9. SpicyMcHaggis

    SpicyMcHaggis n00b

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    if you can avoid the C0s, do so. They're not officially supported by the K8WE...but they work.

    I'd go for a CG if I could...
     
  10. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Well the C0's do work just fine. I haven't had any issues with mine. It is true that they aren't supported though.
     
  11. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    Are there any guides for overclocking the opterons?
     
  12. SpicyMcHaggis

    SpicyMcHaggis n00b

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    I know they work fine too. I believe I was the first one to post on the [H] that they worked...but that was a couple names ago :(
     
  13. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, I am buying this from someone, so his work fine as well.

    I am adding:
    Another 6800 Ultra
    All the hard drives, but 2x80GB
    The CD/DVD-RW Drives
    and the Sound Card.
     
  14. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Try http://www.K8WE.com Most Opteron motherboards aren't overclockable so you have to take this on a board by board basis.
     
  15. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    One last thing, if I put 4 more 512MB chips of the exact same RAM in here, will it perform any slower, or will it be faster. I mean will the FSB drop because of more RAM?

    I appreciate it everyone. And you will probably answering a lot of my questions, for this is my first Dual CPU Windows Computer ever. I have a Dual 2.0 GHz PowerMac G5, but it's Mac, and I know a lot about it, so thank you guys for the prompt responses. Have a great day.
     
  16. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment [H]ard as it Gets

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    you WONT be able to overclock at all ona Tyan board

    also 1 7800GTX = 2x6800 Ultras or better in alot of cases. - just get 1 7800GTX now and another in a while. 7800 GTX should handle anything you throw at it.


    if you are only doing a "little" video editing dual opterons is not worth it at all and is way over priced.


    [edit] your buying from someone else - can we ask what price?
     
  17. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Not true. You can overclock with the K8WE. You have to use NTune software or clock gen to do it, and they aren't compatible with Windows XP Pro x64 Edition. However, for the 32bit version they work just fine.
     
  18. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sorry for the late reply. Busy at the office.

    Anyways, I didn't buy it, I traded for it. I do more than a little video editing. Let me clarify. I use Avid Express on the Windows box and Final Cut HD on my Mac. I meant little, as in not as much as my G5. I wanna try Windows though. I am anxious to say the least.

    1 7800GTX is faster than 2 6800 Ultras? Wow! That's crazy. I can buy 1 right now, but I am trying to find out if there is anything else I need, other than that card. 2x6800Ultras are still really fast to me, so I may not need the upgrade.

    Overclocking is not a huge deal to me, but I was just wondering.

    Thak you.
     
  19. mikeblas

    mikeblas [H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2006

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    That's surprising. Why would games do better on NUMA, if most games aren't scaleable to multiple processors?
     
  20. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    The increase in memory bandwidth. That's all. There is a latency penelty, but the games seem to favor the bandwidth. It's my guess that applications don't need to be multi-threaded in order to take advantage of the bandwidth NUMA offers.
     
  21. mikeblas

    mikeblas [H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2006

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    NUMA's bandwidth improvement is because there are two processors with separate channels to separate memory. Is your theory that non-NUMA machines, even if single-proc, will go through a memory controller that might have done something for memory contention had a second processor been present, and that is enough to hurt bandwidth slightly?
     
  22. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    Would Windows XP 64 Bit Edition make my system run faster?

    And could you explain NUMA a little better for me?
     
  23. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I'll be honest. I didn't hardly understand a damn word of your post. However, I think, that because the OS understands NUMA, and can take advantage of both processors, and the applications, don't actually handle memory themselves, (the OS does at their request) NUMA can be used. This is of course gross oversimplification of things, but its about the best way I know to explain it.

    NUMA can't work without both processors. I think of it almost as "double dual channel." The same way dual channel interleaves between modules/banks, NUMA does the same between memory controllers. However,

    BTW NUMA stands for Non-Uniform Memory Access. Or some variation of that. I've read it standign for all kinds of things, but always very similar. I'd post a link on NUMA, but I can't find the awesome article I read on it. I think Eclipse had posted it in another thread and educated me on it. If not it was someone else.
     
  24. Topweasel

    Topweasel [H]ard|Gawd

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    Pretend you Have two cities (CPUs) sitting next to 2 lakes (Memory) If you parked your boat (Application) in one lak,e some one from the other city would have to travel all the way out of their way to get the boat, or buy a second boat. Now imagine if you drill a river (numa) between the two, now you can travel between them no problem. Basically Numa allows the Two processors use both banks as one, this also helps because it can create a a doubleing of channels affect making it basically seem like one 256bit bus. This doesn't have anywhere near the imapct you would get from moving to a real 256bit or Quad channel bus.

    As for XP yes and no. XP itself should work faster but it is a big pile of bloatware made to make people with new $3000 machines feel they need to upgrade. You should get a benifit with other 64bit programs but they are rare and even the ones that are made for 64bit generally just allow the process to run in 64bit mode while still dealling with 32bit wide threads.
     
  25. mikeblas

    mikeblas [H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2006

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    The Wikipedia has a good article on NUMA.

    The applications have to be either NUMA-aware or fortunate in order to take full advantage of NUMA.

    I think it would be more accurate to say that it doesn't exist without more than a single processor.

    If there are two processors and only one processor doing work, I would contend that NUMA isn't relevant. In AMD's implementation, it actually can cause overhead. Since almost all games don't scale to multiple processors, why would NUMA ever directly help a game?
     
  26. alienb

    alienb Gawd

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    Who cares how it works. NUMA= t3h fsking awesome

    You'll be happy with your new machine, Dustin :)
     
  27. mikeblas

    mikeblas [H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2006

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    I do. Lots of intelligent, curious people are with me on that, I think.

    I guess you might be surprised to learn that it is not easy to write highly performant and scaleable sotware for platforms that you don't deeply understand.

    Most people know that the kind of machine you buy depends on what you intend to use it for. NUMA is no exception; there's very little NUMA-aware software in the desktop market, and there's therefore very little software getting the best of the platform.
     
  28. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I read that article just now. Interesting. I'll see if I can find those benchmarks showing an improvment in games with NUMA. Do keep in mind it wasn't huge. Maybe only offset the ECC penelty somewhat. Interesting stuff though.
     
  29. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not to be a total dick, but please stop bickering on my thread. I asked a valid question regarding the speed of NUMA as well as if 64 Bit edition of Windows will improve performance. Thank you.
     
  30. mikeblas

    mikeblas [H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2006

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    I don't think you're being a dick for defending your thread; ironically, it's sometimes frustrating to get detailed technical information around here because people decide they don't like reading too much or working to get the facts straight.

    But you haven't acknowledged our efforts to help you. I saw your question asking what NUMA is. Were the explanations here and the Wikipedia article enough, or do you have more questions?

    Another way to sort through it is to look at the block diagrams for some motherboards. The Tyan S2882 is a Opteron-based board that supports NUMA. The Tyan S5360 uses Xenon chips and does not support NUMA.

    The S2882 diagram shows that each processor has its own bank of memory. A given processor can access its private bank indepedently; it just goes and fetches the data. The downside is that if a CPU0 wants data from the memory bank that CPU1 owns, it has to send the request through CPU1. CPU1 has to sniff the request to implement cache coherency, and then synchronize the request with the rest of its own requests.

    The S5360 doesn't have NUMA. Each processor shares a bus that goes to the memory controller hub (on that board, Tyan used the Lindenhurst chipset). The MCH has to arbitrate the two requests, make sure each processor doesn't step on the other one, and so on. Since all the memory in the machine is completely shared by the two processors, cache coherency is always a concern and collisions on the bus are always possible. The two processors split the bandwidth of a 800 MHz host bus.

    Thing is, most multi-threaded applications, even ones written to scale well to multiple proceessors, aren't NUMA-aware. While NUMA can be faster than a two procs on a shared bus, most applications aren't going to use it to its full potential. You're still leaving something on the table.

    I don't see your question about NUMA performance. What is it that you want to know?

    For gaming, I can't imagine that the 64-bit editions of Windows will be much faster for you. For more serious uses, demanding a ton of memory and VA space (and a machine configured with all that memory), then you will notice a great improvement.
     
  31. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    The biggest advantage to Windows XP Pro x64 Edition is the fact it can use more than 4GB of ram. Of course, that doesn't mean anything to most people. Unless you have 4GB of ram or more.

    Also, Far Cry 64bit is pretty cool to look at and experience if you like that game. I like XP x64 Edition, but honestly, unless you need it, its not worth shelling out cash for. I personally have found XP x64 Edition to be faster for some things and simply the same for others.
     
  32. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    Do you use 64 Bit Windows Sir-Fraggalot?
     
  33. Marduk

    Marduk Gawd

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    Most of us running 246 C0 chips are running XP64, as we likely picked up both TechTour Bundles, mixed & matched and sold off the rest...or we grabbed the free upgrades from XP32 to XP64 from the hot deals section.
     
  34. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    What is this Tour I keep hearing about? Where can I get something like that.
     
  35. Marduk

    Marduk Gawd

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    It's where the majority of us K8WE owners got our 246 Opterons.

    AMD had 2 bundles going

    desktop:
    Athlon 64 3200+ Venice (939 Retail)
    Asus A8N-Deluxe (non-SLI)
    XP Pro x64 edition

    Retail value at the time: $500
    Tech Tour price: $250

    server:
    Dual Opteron 246 C0 (OEM)
    Tyan K8SE (USB 1.1, and only 4 ports. no AGP or PCI-E. most of us got rid of this board rather quickly. A few later show attendees got the nForce4 replacement of the K8SE)
    Server 2003 Enterprise x64 Edition

    Retail value at the time: $1000 + whatever you valued Server 2003 Enterprise at (as low as $500, to as high as $4000)
    Tech Tour price: $500
     
  36. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks for the information.

    Last thing. Can someone tell me if my NV Silencer 5 Rev. 2 GPU coolers will work with this board in SLi?

    In other words, is ther room for the silencers between the 2 cards?
     
  37. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    They will NOT fit. I already tried that. :(

    Indeed I do.
     
  38. Marduk

    Marduk Gawd

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    Why won't they, out of curiosity?
     
  39. WozniakMac

    WozniakMac [H]ard|Gawd

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    I would assume they are to tall. They are freaking huge coolers. THey don't really cool that much better than the stock ones, but they are better and look nicer as well.
     
  40. Marduk

    Marduk Gawd

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    tall? as it in stick out from the card? that'd only be an issue for either the SLI bracket, or the chassis...

    [​IMG]

    Already know how tall coolers work ;)