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I have been thinking about this subject as of recent, because I have been looking to buy new hardware to run my linux distros.
I have found some bits of information but have not gotten an understanding of the differences/benefits of each. I just took a look at the AMD 'benchmarks' pdf file and I am a bit skeptical about the info there. It is titled "office productivity, gaming" and some other word... anyway, it claims that some single-core processor (Athlon 64 3000) is better than a dual core (Pentium D 940) from Intel (125% vs 124%).
Now, the specs on the Intel are as follows:
Intel Pentium D 940 Dual Core 2x 3.2Ghz 800MHz FSB 2X2MB Cache LGA 775 Processor BX80553940 Pentium D930 Dual Core 3.2Ghz 4MB Cache total
This is what makes me skeptical... how can a 2.4 ghz chip beat a 2core 3.2 ghz chip? I know the AMD has HT, and probably a bigger FSB, but dual core is supposed to be the full version of what HT attempts to do.
Anyway, I may just be speaking from ignorance, that is why I am asking the question, to see if someone can enlighten me a bit about the subject. I would like to know which of these two would function better as a server, with background processes rather than graphis and what-nots.
This is an old story. AMD chips operate at lower clock speeds but for certain things, like floating point math, and predicting what to preload into the CPU, they do a better job. However, I don't know how your particular comparison would hold up. It would be a good idea not to rely on AMD's benchmark and look on the web for independent benchmarks. Also, a comparison between two dual core chips might be better. ( Yes, I wish I could afford a Quad Dual core Opteron monster! I wouldn't need to heat my apartment in the winter.)
AMD does not have hyperthreading. AMD does not have any plans of supporting hyperthreading. Hyperthreading is just for sales.
It is not true that AMD's latest processor are hotter. They are actually the opposite. The Pentium D processors needs 100+ watts of heat. At that amount of wattage you can cook an egg literally. AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ producess less than 100 watts of heat and it beats Pentium D 940 processor in every test. An AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+ can be overclocked to 3.2 GHz with the stock active heatsink. Try doing that with the stock active heatsink for Intel processors.
Like what jschiwal said. AMD processors are very, very efficient executing code. Also their memory bandwidth is bigger than the processor needs but the latency is also much lower than Intel systems because of the built-in memory controller. The big memory bandwidth in AMD processor will be lower when multiple cores are added. An Opteron has up to four cores and it still beats Intel processors even though the memory bandwidth has decrease some what. Up to 16 AMD processors can be in a computer.
The cost of Intel processors have came down a lot when AMD took the performance and power consumption crown in the desktop and server environments. People who are budget minded will pick Intel processors instead of AMD with out counting for performance and power consumption which AMD has both. Intel has taken the notebook computer and overclocking crown.
The difference between single and multi core processors is the programs you are running. Video and sound does better with single core processors. Multi core processors does better when programes uses threading. Linux does better with more processors than Windows because Linux has a better scheduler to load each processor equally.
What ever processor you choose is up to you. The processor I pick is AMD Athlon64 X2 for the AM2 socket. My next system will be an Apple notebook and then I may consider buying an AMD Athlon64 X2 for the AM2 socket but only if there are DDR2-800 ECC memory.
I didn't mean to imply that AMD chips are characteristically hotter than Intel chips. All of the newer dual core chips will run warmer than cpus in the past, because they have two chips in the same package, and run faster. A quad dual-core opteron system would be a rocket chip, but 8 processors (4 chips) in the same box will draw a lot of power.
AMD mobile chips used to use more power than the Intel equivalents. Temperatures are proportional to the speed the the chip runs internally.
At work we have a server in the printing room that uses dual xeon processors. We had to add an air conditioner which handles just that room.
I'm sure you have heard of the render farms that they use in California to produce animated movies (most often running linux). The combination of the power they use, plus the power for the extra air conditioning taxes the power utility. They can tell when there is a new picture being produced!
Nope. Hyperthreading is said to turn a single core processor into multiple processors for increase processing. Hyperthreading makes two Celeron processors out of a Pentium 4 because it shares the resources. Hypertransport is totally different than hyperthreading. Hypertransport is a joint project for high data throughput to interconnect chips using a special serial connection.
All of the newer dual core chips will run warmer than cpus in the past, because they have two chips in the same package, and run faster.
A dual core Conroe will run a LOT cooler than a single core Prescott. Intel made a huge blunder with Prescott and if it hadn't been for marketplace inertia they would have been in very serious trouble. It's said that for Yonah/Conroe, Intel had to backpedal all the way to the Pentium III-->Pentium M architecture branch to get a competetive performance/watt.