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Bulldozer server benchmarks fail to impress

by on22 November 2011

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Intel has little to fear but itself

 A few weeks ago AMD introduced its latest FX-series desktop processors, based on the new Bulldozer architecture. The new series offered underwhelming performance and failed to impress AMD enthusiasts, although they tend to offer pretty good value for money.

Now it is time for Bulldozer server parts and sadly it turns out they are not much better than their desktop siblings. Punters had expected the server parts to be a tad more competitive, thanks to their emphasis on hyperthreading. However, this does not seem to be the case.

Ars Technica compiled test results from several sources and went out of their way to compare the cost of new Opteron-based server systems and Intel Xeon systems. Although Opterons did manage to offer superior performance against comparable Xeons in a TPC-C scenario, they end up costing about 50 percent more, yet deliver an 18 percent improvement in performance.

In SPEC JBB2005 Java emulation Opterons also fared well against Xeon parts, but they appear to offer little to no improvement over previous generation Opterons. In virtualization and HPC tests conducted by Anandtech, the Opteron 6276 failed to beat Intel’s Xeon X5670 and pretty much continued the underwhelming streak.

The biggest issue is the lack of a clear performance advantage over existing Opteron 6100 parts, so the new architecture doesn’t appear to offer much incentive to upgrade from the previous generation. Worse, the new Opterons struggle to compete with Intel Westmere EP parts, despite the fact that they have been on sale for a year and a half.

More here.

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