AMD Opteron 144 Processor and Testing Methodology

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The AMD Opteron 144 processor running at 1.8 GHz is identical to the 244 processors used in the 2P Opteron Motherboard tests with the exception of having one less HyperTransport connection. This keeps the processor from functioning in multiprocessor configurations and thus allowing AMD to maintain a higher degree of control over how their processor market is divided.

NVIDIA nForce3 Pro and Opteron 144 Reviewed - Chipsets 30
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NVIDIA nForce3 Pro and Opteron 144 Reviewed - Chipsets 31
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Testing Methodology

When we received the Opteron 144 workstation setup, there was no controversy over the pin counts of the Athlon 64, no worries about missing pins on later revisions. The world was a much simpler place then, but that’s the way it goes. However, as NVIDIA and AMD are both marketing this platform currently towards the workstation market, I felt that needed to represent that in the best light possible. In other words, I wanted to show readers what the Opteron 144 coupled with an nForce3 motherboard could do on the workstation class applications such as CineBench, ScienceMark 2003, AutoCAD, Solid Works and 3D Studio Max. So, for the first time, you’ll see benchmarks running those applications.

However, I am not one to pass up an opportunity! So, we also ran the Opteron 144 and nForce3 in a more standard desktop configuration and ran some desktop style benchmarks like Quake III, Unreal Tournament 2003 and the Winstone tests. From these we can guess at how the Athlon 64 line might perform when released in just under a month.

So, the benchmarks on this article are divided into two sections: workstation and desktop benchmarks. Both use identical test setups with the exception of the graphics card. The workstation tests use a NVIDIA Quadro FX 2000 graphics card, a card that dominates much of the workstation market. The desktop platform uses the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro that we have used for quite a while on our test setups.

Also a first, we have included tests from a 3.2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor on a Intel 875 Canterwood chipset motherboard from our friends at Chaintech. The Intel platform was run with 2 GB of unregistered memory (as registered DIMMs will not work with Canterwood) with HyperThreading enabled.

Overclocked Opteron

On many of the tests, you’ll see results for both a default clock speed of 1.8 GHz as well as an overclocked Opteron 144 running at 1.916 GHz. That is with an internal clock (no longer a front side bus really) of 213 MHz and an internal multiplier of 9.0x. While this is a very conservative overclock, I think you’ll see some nice increases from what little speed that adds to the platform.

On the workstation tests, you’ll see that I didn’t include any DDR400 memory results. This was because many of the benchmarks were unstable at that memory speed and the results were unreliable at best.

Workstation Tests System Setup

AMD Opteron 144 Workstation Test System Setup
CPU 1 x Opteron 144 Processors @ 1.8 GHz
Motherboards NVIDIA nForce3 Professional Reference Platform
Memory 4 x 512MB Corsair Micro Registered DDR DRAM
Hard Drive 80 GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro FX 2000
Video Drivers Detonator 44.67
Operating System Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1

Intel P4 Test System Setup
CPU 1 x Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz (HyperThreading enabled)
Motherboards Chaintech 9CJS 875 Motherboards
Memory 4 x 512MB Corsair Micro DDR DRAM
Hard Drive 80 GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro FX 2000
Video Drivers Detonator 44.67
Operating System Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1

We will be looking at results from the following workstation application benchmarks:

Case Lab CFD Solver – STARS
Cinebench 2003 CINEMA 4D
ScienceMark 2.0 Beta
Cadalyst AutoCAD 2001
Solid Works 2003
3D Studio Max 5.1

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