Edit: Replaced a subscription link with a free one of the same story. Take that, registration required sites!

Amd says Intel’s dual core isn’t really a dual core

According to what I’ve read on various hardware sites, they’re right… at least about the dual core Xeons. Intel’s Dual core Xeon chips are really just 2 Xeon dies stuck next to each other inside the same chip packaging, only connected through their frontside bus. That’s OK for them because that’s basically how Intel does their SMP right now, through the FSB. It does mean that the performance is no better than a regular P4 SMP system. It also requires a BIOS and Chipset that specifically supports two processors on the system rather than just one processor, basically an SMP Single-socket motherboard. That’s also probably fine because it’s cheaper than an equivalent Multisocket SMP system. It does hurt them in speed though compared to AMD’s more innovative 64 bit chip. The article isn’t correct if it is referring to the Desktop dual-core chips from intel as being separate dies however. Aside from that, all my previous criticisms still stand. The Dual core desktop chips are just 2 prescott cores stuck together on a single die, with no real ties between them other than the frontside bus.


Even without dual core, the AMD chips have a distinct advantage in SMP because of their Hypertransport bus between chips. Dual core expands this advantage because of the internal Crossbar the core and hypertransports are connected to. They were also practically designed for dual core from the start. You just attach more cores to the crossbar and they get an even faster link to the other cores than if you had connected them via Hypertransport.


Despite the huge technological superiority of AMD though, my next chip purchase is Intel. I just bought a Shuttle AB60R motherboard dirt cheap because of its limitations on processor usage. I’m currently using an AB60N on my main system and the R has several benefits. The AB60R can only use Northwood cored P4’s though, and I want to upgrade my Web server Precis which is showing its age now. Even the Celeron 2.4ghz in Lain would be a nice upgrade for Precis. This means I need a new processor, which because of intel’s phasing out of Northwood chips won’t be that cheap (at $122 for a P4/2.26.) Because I picked up the AB60R board so cheap though, it will still be less expensive than moving it to an Athlon 64.

I’ll also be breaking one of my normal new hardware traditions. I have a hierarchy of systems which is lead by Lain and Ruri, my two desktop systems. Lain is the Windows system and Ruri is the Linux system. Typically because Lain is windows it needs hotter hardware than Ruri and Ruri is more important than any of my other systems so it usually gets Lain’s replaced hardware. The other systems get Ruri’s old boards as needed. This time I’m very slightly upgrading Lain so that I can upgrade a lower system than Ruri. This isn’t because Ruri is any less important before. Just the opposite in fact. The upgrade to Lain is a temporary stopgap, and the windows 2k desktop is going to be slowly phased out and will eventually become an additional Linux system most of the time with dualboot for a handful of games. The next big hardware upgrade after Lain and Precis will be a brand new board/CPU for Ruri. Quite possibly an Athlon 64X2. Ruri’s existing hardware is not suitable for server use (too flaky) and will probably be given away. Kaolla is running along performing its assigned tasks just fine, so a P2/300 is going to stay there until I do my next upgrade to Precis.

I’m kind of curious about getting a couple more LCD screens. Ruri with 2 monitors and X2X over to Lain with 1 monitor would be very interesting.

Heck, Maybe I should figure out how to get X2VNC working with my current 2 monitor setup and start phasing out using a direct keyboard to Lain for anything but games. I suppose I should get a better secondary keyboard then…