Nocona - New Life into the Xeon Line-up

When AMD first broke news of their K8 announcement, Intel basically denounced AMD's move, stating that it was premature and the world wasn't ready for it. OK, so Intel was half right on the software side of things. The Windows world is still punting along at 32bits, while the Unix gang have embraced 64bit computing like a new flavor of coffee at Starbucks. Microsoft has promised that we'll have 64bit versions of Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server sometime next year. Microsoft is also readying 64bit versions of SQL Server and the .NET framework.

Although the 64bit landscape is currently bleak for Windows users, that didn't stop Intel from conceding that AMD was stealing some thunder from their server line-up. In February 2004, Intel announced their first processor that runs 32bit and 64bit applications (Nocona), and their naming schema for AMD's x86-64, EM64T. The Nocona processor is essentially a re-badged Pentium F Prescott processor with validated multiprocessor support. If you're interested in the nitty-gritty on the architecture of the Nocona, read our extensive article covering the Prescott architecture written in February 2004. The highlights of the new Nocona processor are a front side bus jump to 800MHz and an increase of the entry level processors, L2 cache to 1MB.

Along with Nocona comes Intel's new chipsets, E7525 Tumwater, which is targeted at the workstation market with PCI-Express x16 graphics, and the E7520/7320 Lindenhurst, which are targeted at the server market. We have both chipsets in the lab, but obviously used the E7520 Lindenhurst server chipset for this comparison.

Opteron 250

The Opteron 250 is yet another clock speed increase in the Opteron line, taking clock speed from 2.2GHz to 2.4GHz. The 250 is still built on AMD's 130nm fab process, and we should see 90nm Opterons by year's end.

Index Hyper Threading and The Tests
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  • TrogdorJW - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - link

    41 - Oh, I know that. I've used Netware networks and I've used Windows Server networks. (I've administered both.) The Netware servers were less powerful machines, and yet they still tended to be faster, and NDS was so much less of a pain in the ass.... I used to live next door to Novell HQ, and I have lots of friends that work there, so it was always rather disappointing to see all the big corporations being sucked (*suck*ed) in by the MS marketing. These days, I work for a large corporation that went with Windows server for everything. It works, but I'm amazed at how slow a lot of operations are. Bah.
  • Cygni - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - link

    Heres the link to the article:
  • Cygni - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - link

    Mikeymasta's post is pure comedy. He’s apparently unaware that effectively 100% of Win DB work is done in a 32bit environment, unaware that Nocona is targeted directly at this Wintel server market, unaware that much DB work is done on NT/2k/2k3 based systems, and even unaware that anandtech HAS ALREADY DONE A Nocona Vs. Hammer for DB in 64bit Linux article. Heck, the kid doesnt even know that misleading is one word.

    I dont care how many trillions of linux based computers he claims to be the admin of, or how many billions of jillions of hits he gets per nanosecond, hes still an idiot to the nth power. Hes the "gayest", if you will.
  • johnsonx - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - link


    NDS runs great on Windows servers; indeed most of Novell's product line runs on both NetWare and Windows Server, and alot of it runs on Linux too (much more now of course that Novell bought SUSE, plus NetWare 7 will be a customized Linux kernel so it'll ALL eventually be Linux). Even if you've GOT to run Windows, a network of Windows Servers running NDS, GroupWise, & ZENWorks will be a much happier network (with happier users and admins) than one running AD, Exchange and SMS.
  • TrogdorJW - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link

    #39 - Unless you are doing something much more complex than running a file server and domain controller (and firewall), I still say NetWare is tough to beat. I would also take Novell's Directory Services over Microsoft's Active Directory in a heartbeat. Ah, well - too late for that. Yet another instance of the superior Microsoft Marketing Machince winning out. :p
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link


    Just because you are all geeked up about BSD doesn't mean the real world is. In the real world, a large majority of servers run Windows, like or not. Myself, I'm still geeked up about Novell NetWare, but I don't delude myself into thinking that everyone else is. Before you chuckle keep in mind that there are most likely more NetWare servers running out there in the real world of corporate IT than Linux servers.

  • Jason Clark - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link

    Mikey, the tests are absolutely not misleading, contrary to your belief ALOT of the IT organizations use windows and are not interested in BSD, or BSD based benchmarks. We're talking about an opterating system that has at least 80% of the market here, people are interested in how it currently peforms with the latest hardware.

    Since there is no RELEASED version of 64 bit windows yet, we have to wait for permission to run some benchmarks. We are working on it. As for linux benchmarks, visit the linux section.

  • mikeymasta - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link

    This has to be one of the gayest mis leading benchmarks I have ever seen, comparing server grade 64 bit CPUs on a 32bit operating system.
    As far as I am concerned Anandtech is still for average tech folks and you are seriously miss leading people and giving them opinions about these 64bit CPUs in a flawed test enviroment.
    Get FreeBSD or Linux 64 bit based OS's and do something real. convert your db system over to MySQL if you have to.

    Maybe I am being a bit harsh but you can't just do these kind of misleading kind of tests.
    As an admin/developer running many *nix based machines that get millions of hits a day this is just annoying article to read
    Your not helping anyone!
  • gchcker - Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - link

    just wondering
    do server boards use the 1000 ht bus that is available to desktops for amd?
    if they do are they being used on these benchmarks?
  • Pumpkinierre - Monday, September 13, 2004 - link

    For once I agree with Viditor- good article Jason and Ross. And I agree with karlreading on the phrasing and spelling. Only the petty get caught up with the detail. You guys are flat out with the new technology and we appreciate your sacrifice. Put the "broke wind" metaphor back in. Either in the vulgar sense or as I think you intended in the esoteric sense, it is good.

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