During our first encounter of a system built around a six-core AMD CPU we would like to focus primarily on the need for processors with so many computational cores in a desktop platform. That is why the first part of our test session will be devoted to comparing an Istanbul based system against the one built around Phenom II X4 working at the same clock frequency.
The second part of our test session will discuss the performance of Opteron 2435 compared against that of quads-core mainstream processors. Here we will involve the top solution from Phenom II X4 lineup and the junior LGA1366 CPU from Intel supporting Hyper-Threading technology.
As a result, we put together the following platforms:
1. Socket F platform:
- AMD Opteron 2435 (Istanbul, 2.6 GHz, 6 x 512 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
- AMD Opteron 2431 (Istanbul, 2.4 GHz, 6 x 512 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
- Mainboard: MSI K9NU Speedster (Socket F, NVIDIA nForce Professional 3400, DDR2 SDRAM).
- Memory: 2 x 2 GB, Registered DDR2-667 SDRAM, 5-5-5-15 (Hynix HYMP125P72CP4-Y5).
2. Socket AM2+ Platform:
- AMD Phenom II X4 965 (Deneb, 3.4 GHz, 4 x 512 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
- AMD Phenom II X4 910 (Deneb, 2.6 GHz, 4 x 512 KB L2, 6 MB L3);
- Mainboard: Gigabyte MA790GP-UD4H (Socket AM2+, AMD 790GX + SB750, DDR2 SDRAM).
- 2 x 2 GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM, 5-5-5-15 (Geil GX24GB8500C5UDC);
- 2 x 2 GB, DDR2-667 SDRAM, 5-5-5-15 (Geil GX24GB8500C5UDC).
3. LGA1366 Platform:
- CPU: Intel Core i7-920 (Nehalem, 2.66 GHz, 4.8 GHz QPI, 4 x 256 KB L2, 8 MB L3);
- Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 (LGA1366, Intel X58 Express);
- Memory: 3 x 2 GB, DDR3-1333 SDRAM, 7-7-7-18 (Mushkin 998679).
Besides the above listed components, all testbeds also included the following:
- ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics card.
- Western Digital WD3000HLFS HDD.
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 OS.
- Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility 126.96.36.1995;
- NVIDIA nForce Driver 15.16;
- ATI Catalyst 9.9 Display Driver.
Also, since MSI K9NU Speedster doesn’t have an integrated audio codec, we also equipped our Socket F system with Creative Audigy SE SB0570 sound card.
We would like to conclude this section by offering you a screenshot taken off the six-core Istanbul based system with the windows of several diagnostic tools showing the system specs: