If you skipped to this page immediately, you can find our "market analysis" on the previous page.
Looking at the Server CPUs from the point of view of the market was surprising and refreshing. The whole problem with running every benchmark you can get your hands on is that it just gets confusing. Sure we can have 10 more benchmarks that can be categorized under "other", but if either the Xeon or Opteron wins them, would that give you a better view of the market? That is why we decided to focus on finally getting that Oracle and MCS benchmark right. That is also why we rely on the more reliable industry standard benchmarks to make our analysis complete.
Right now, it is clear that the latest AMD Opteron is in the lead. We are really at the pivotal moment in time. No matter how good the current Xeon "Harpertown" and "Dunnington" architectures are, they lose too many battles due to the platform they are running on. The FSB architecture is singing its swan song. Only a small part of the market, namely:
The ERP people who don't care about power, but who need the highest performance at any cost
The HPC people who have extremely intensive code which does not work on sparse matrices
The people who render
â€¦can ignore the shortcomings of the FSB-based platform.
For most other applications, the AMD platform is simply better in price/performance and performance/watt (see our previous Shanghai review). It won't last long though, as the performance that the new Nehalem architecture has shown in OLTP, ERP, and OLAP is simply amazing. Moreover, there is little doubt that the dual Xeon 5570 with 34GB/s of bandwidth (dual Opteron is 20-21GB/s) will shine in HPC too. AMD servers can use the HyperTransport 3.0 and higher clock speeds to counter this, but that is for a later articleâ€¦.