Testbed and Methods
We will compare our dual-processor workstation based on two dual-core Opteron CPUs against the today’s latest and most expensive desktop systems equipped with 2GB of system memory and professional NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 graphics accelerator. So, we compared the performance of the dual-processor platform with that of the systems based on the today’s most expensive CPUs from the Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Pentium Extreme Edition and Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor families. Moreover, we also tested our ASUS K8N-DL based platform with a single dual-core Opteron CPU installed, so that we could draw some conclusions about the performance changes brought by the second dual-core processor working at the same clock rate.
So, here is a list of hardware components that we used in our tests today:
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (Socket 939, 2.4GHz, 2 x 1024KB L2, E6 core revision aka Toledo);
- AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 (Socket 939, 2.8GHz, 1024KB L2, E4 core revision aka San Diego);
- AMD Opteron 875 (Socket 940, 2.2GHz, 2 x 1024KB L2, E1 core revision aka Egypt);
- Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 (LGA775, 3.2GHz, 2 x 1MB L2);
- Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz (LGA775, 3.73GHz, 2MB L2).
- ASUS P5WD2 Premium (LGA775, Intel 955X);
- ASUS K8N-DL (Dual Socket 940, NVIDIA nForce Professional);
- DFI NF4 Ultra-D (Socket 939, NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra).
- 2048MB DDR400 SDRAM (Corsair CMX512-3200XLPRO, 4 x 512MB, 2-2-2-10);
- 2048MB Registered DDR400 SDRAM (Kingston HyperX KRX3200AK2/1G, 4 x 512MB, 2.5-3-3-6);
- 2048MB DDR2-667 SDRAM (Corsair CM2X512A-5400UL, 4 x 512MB, 4-4-4-14).
- Graphics card: NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 (PCI-E x16).
- Storage subsystem: Maxtor MaXLine III 250GB (SATA150) HDD.
- Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP SP2.
Note that we had to give up the idea of running our tests in 64-bit Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, because many professional applications still boast very limited compatibility with this operating system.