Intel's Nocona Xeon / Supermicro SuperServer 7044A-82R
Posted on: 08/21/2004 05:00 AM

Before we list the test systems, I'd like to take a moment to discuss something that will undoubtedly come up via email to myself or in the comment thread to this article. You will notice below that no AMD Opteron system is listed for comparative benchmarking against Nocona. The reason for this is quite simple: We don't have any current Opterons to make such comparisons with. AMD, in their infinite wisdom, has told us in no uncertain terms that given their recent wins in the OEM market, they no longer feel that it's necessary to provide us with processors for testing. In contrast, Intel continues to work with us on a regular basis and has even started sending us full systems for testing. If we could, we would run out and buy Opterons for these comparisons, but unfortunately that's not financially possible. If you're unsatisified with the situation, feel free to visit AMD's website and email someone in their marketing department. Of course, I just took a moment to look for such an address and I was unsuccessful. Shocking.

SM SuperServer 7044A-82R 2CPU Test System
2x 3.6GHz Xeons w/ 1MB L2
2x 3.2GHz Xeons w/ 2MB L3
Supermicro X6DA8-G2
MSI Master-LS2
Intel E7525
Intel E7505
18GB Seagate X15 36LP
18GB Seagate X15 36LP
OS Windows XP, SP1
Windows XP64 Beta
Windows XP, SP1

Given that the Seagate X15 36LP was using the SCA interface, I was forced to run out and buy a SCA-LVD converter to use the identical drive in my own Xeon test system. As far as I can tell, there aren't any performance penalties from using such a converter.

ECC was disabled on both systems and memory timings were left at the defaults detected by SPD. Given that we're comparing DDR-II and DDR in this scenario, matching latencies isn't really possible anyways.

Let's take a look at the benchmarks we'll be looking at today:

  • Sisoft Sandra CPU
  • Sisoft Sandra CPU Multimedia
  • Sisoft Sandra Memory
  • Linpack Memory/Cache Analysis
  • PCMark 2004
  • KribiBench
  • Cinebench 2003
  • LAME MP3 Encoding
  • XviD Encoding with Auto Gordian Knot

As per usual, we'll get the boring Sisoft Sandra results out of the way first. How will Nocona perform when compared to its slower, slightly beefier older brother?

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