Benchmark: Xeon quad-cores faster than Opterons, but AMD more power efficient

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Another benchmark has concluded that if it is performance you are looking for in a server that Intel is be the best choice, while an AMD CPU may be consuming much less power. Neal Nelson, who is running a benchmark lab in the western suburbs of Chicago, found that Xeon quad-core servers delivered in a transaction-focused benchmark a 14% advantage in terms of plain throughput when compared to an AMD server. However, Opteron-based servers consumed up to 41% less power in the test, Nelson said.

"By themselves, the Intel processor chips may use less power, but all current Intel Xeon servers require the use of Fully Buffered memory modules,” Nelson said. “These FB-memory modules appear to consume more power than the DDR-II memory modules used by the AMD based servers. The result is that in many cases an Opteron based server actually uses less total power than a Xeon based server." The test servers used 1 GB memory modules in 4, 8 and 16 GB total memory configurations.

According to Nelson, the benchmark is a client server test where up to 500 WWW users from 32 separate computers submit individual transactions to a server running the Apache2 web server software, the MySQL relational database and Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system. Detailed test results have been published on Nelson’s website.