On Thu, 2006-06-29 at 11:22 +0200, Jean-Lin Pacherie wrote:
As far as I read on web, the new "Core 2
Duo" introduces tremendous changes
related to performance, heating and price. That's the reasons why I'm still
waiting for the release.
Well, I suppose if you compare Core 2 Duo (Pentium-M
derived, from the
looks of it) with the current Xeon (Pentium-4 based), the improvements
are certainly significant. I think the Pentium-M is the best Intel has,
far far better than anything based on the Pentium-4 core. Sure, the
huge clock speeds do help for some things, but for most uses, and
especially servers that do many different things, I find even the entry
level AMD chips to perform far better. Two examples:
I set up ISPconfig on two machines. One a dual Xeon 3ghz, 1mb cache
each server, proper Intel server board, 2gb ram, the other a desktop
class box, VIA based mini-atx board with a 1.6ghz Sempron (the 64bit
version, although I didn't know this when I installed so I loaded
32bit), with 1gb RAM. Guess what? The Sempron was a good 5 minutes
quicker (both machines had websites and mail on, roughly the same load).
The other example to me proves that the Pentium-3 really is a better
multitasking chip than anything based on Pentium-4. A client has a
Windows terminal server, and around 20 linux destops that are really
just there for rdesktop. The terminal server is a dual 2ghz HT Xeon,
1mb cache per CPU, 2gb ram. The box didn't cope, load was almost
permanently at 100%. They thought there was something wrong with the
box, so they replaced it with another server that had completely
different, but similar spec hardware. No joy.
Someone sold them two secondhand dell servers, dual 1.1ghz P-3 with 1gb
ram each. They replaced the terminal server with these two Dells, set
them up identically, and put half of the clients on each. This worked
great, with around 20% load on each. After a few months, the one
server's motherboard failed, so the users on it were moved to the other
server. So now we have all the users on *one* dual P-3. Guess what?
It's coping marvellously. It shows around 60% CPU usage at the heaviest
of times. The stuff that the clients use are MS Office, MS Great
Plains, and two locally designed accounting packages, one of which tends
to make the most modern desktops feel sluggish.
Anyway, to end my ramble, I think that the P-4 based CPUs have never
been the best option on the mark for any server work. I still continue
to see Pentium-3 based boxes run circles around P-4 ones when the load
gets heavy, not to mention the AMDs. I am really glad that Intel is
finally moving the server chips over to the Pentium-M based design.
It's far more powerful, and far more cool and quiet.
And if the promises and pre-benchmarks were too
optimistic, then at least I will
benefit from the new prices of the AMD processors :)
The only ones I've seen
use Intel supplied boxes, using pre-release
chips, and the testers couldn't really fiddle with the box. I'm
interested to see how they compare once the hardware sites can test with