AMD64 Opteron: First Look
These processors are wicked fast, and it's still early in the system characterization cycle. For example, new applications need to be compiled for a 64-bit operating system to attain the full measure of the available performance. For now, some early industry-standard benchmarks available at press time are listed in Tables 1 and 2. These are for a dual-processor SMP Opteron 244 with PC2700 memory configuration, for 32-bit applications. In Table 1, the benchmarks infer relative integer and floating-point processor performance. The benchmark in Table 2 is designed to evaluate the performance of a server's ability to run Java applications.
Your intended application determines the best benchmark. Programs can appear similar but have unique peculiarities that are stressed differently under system loads.
The Opteron is breakthrough 64-bit processor technology, one that seems destined to provide high performance and cost savings for cleanly migrating 32-bit architecture programs into a 64-bit application space. In the near future, the upside for 64-bit “long mode” applications running on Linux seems high indeed, because eight-way SMP processors are coming. Linux Journal will be covering this emergent technology with additional articles in the future.
Michael Baxter is technical editor of Linux Journal.
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