Friday, August 16, 2013

AMD ./. Intel

Occasionally I am asked what I liked better, AMD or Intel processors. Usually I response like this.
"Choose what fits your needs best!"
Sometimes the choice of the motherboard dictates, sometimes the energy bill (power consumption), sometimes the durability and sometimes performance.

And here are some examples of stuff I built:

Here's an example for AMD, I wanted to build a 24 core HPC cluster running PVM and/or MPI on a linux platform. That would be 6 Core i7 processors (for about €300 each) or 4 FX-6100 processors (at the time for about €100 each). Relatively obvious which one is the cheaper. Of course, the FX-6100 is not as powerful as the i7, in particular in view that one pair of node share one FPU, meaning, there are only 3 FPUs in an FX-6100.

Here's an example for Intel, video rendering with a Hackintosh. OS-X requires Intel. The best performance/cost was given by a Core i5-3570k, which for my projects is overkill. In this PC, the CPU is actually overclocked and water-cooled.

Another example for Intel: I am running a so called "spectrum grabber" http://www.qsl.net/dl1gsj/qrss/ , which operates 24/7. Here, a passively cooled Atom 230 was the best choice, low noise (it sits in my radio-shack), low energy consumption.

And yet another AMD example: playing with virtualisation (proxmox) for 24/7 servers (aka high-availability clustering). In this system I needed 2 (redundant) nodes having 64bit CPUs with hardware virtualisation support. Again, low power and "low Ohmic" for the wallet. This time, the E350 were the best option.

And one for AMD again, my desire to run a caching proxy server 24/7 resulted in an E-350, with 4GB of RAM an additional Gigabit NIC and a 250GB HDD this particular thing running smoothwall suites me fine.

A last example for Intel: 24/7 SMB server (zentyal). Again, low power consumption and low cost, with 2 NICs + WiFi for routing/AP purposes. Here, the motherboard was decisive, a dual NIC board, e.g. GA-H77N-WiFi (socket 1155) => Intel + low power => Celeron G1610.

Concluding: It all depends on your needs and requirements. Sometimes AMD is better, sometimes Intel. Just find out what you want particular computer to excel in and browse specs of available processors.

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