AMD's 64-Bit Opteron Powers Appro 1122H

The time for 64-bit processing has arrived. With the introduction of AMD's 64-bit processor, customers now have a platform that addresses their current and future computing needs.

February 17, 2004

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

The time for 64-bit processing has arrived. With the introduction of AMD's 64-bit processor, customers now have a platform that addresses their current and future computing needs.

The AMD 64 architecture extends the x86 instruction set architecture to support 64-bit processing, offering full compatibility with both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. It delivers 64-bit capability while remaining compatible with the vast quantity of 32-bit x86 software. In fact, 32-bit and 64-bit applications can run side-by-side atop a 64-bit operating system. Even on a 32-bit OS, AMD 64 enhances legacy applications' performance because of its wider data paths. There's no instruction translation layer or compatibility mode to limit the performance of 32-bit applications.

Using the correct benchmark for testing an AMD 64 system is very important; choosing the wrong one could produce misleading results. Despite the fact that the Athlon 64 runs both 32-bit and 64-bit code, mixing and matching 64-bit and 32-bit code in the same executable to run a benchmark may not be the best solution. Careful code optimization most likely would be required to get big leaps in performance, not just doing a recompile in 64 bits.

Engineers recently evaluated a high performing Opteron server built on AMD's 64-bit architecture from Appro, a system builder located in Milpitas, California. The system incorporates MSI's K8D Master Series MS-9131 motherboard, a highly scalable mainboard for AMD's 8131 chipset. Running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, the system features two AMD Opteron 248 64-bit processors running at 2.20GHz with HyperTransport technology. The server includes 2Gbytes of 333MHz DDRSDRAM, an 80Gbyte Seagate Barracuda ATA/133 hot-pluggable hard drive, one 64-bit 100/133MHz PCI-X slot and dual Gigabit ports.The 1U/2P has a very simple front panel with no RAID array. The front panel features just the CD-ROM drive, the power button and reset button. The hard drives can be accessed from the front and are hot swappable; the top panel are easily accessible and slides off without the use of a screwdriver. Included with the server is everything needed for setup, including rails for rack-mounting. The back panel of the server is fairly simple as well. It houses the AC power socket, keyboard and mouse connectors, serial and VGA ports, two USB ports, two Gigabit NICs and the card-edge bracket for the single PCI slot.

When it comes to AMD processors, performance has always been a matter of architecture rather than clock speed. While it remains to be seen if Opteron will threaten Xeon's dominance on the network server, Web server or application server fronts, AMD's new server platform shows promise. AMD aims to prove that Opteron is powerful enough to compete with Xeon in the corporate space, which AMD has found difficult to penetrate in the past.

Vincent A. Randazzese is an editor for the CRN Test Center.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like


More Insights