Since publishing our Linux review of the AMD Phenom 9500 on the Spider platform a month ago, we have continued in our investigation of this first AMD desktop quad-core processor that has been very problematic with Ubuntu 7.10 Linux. Fortunately though this support isn't stagnate and a better picture is painted when using the latest development builds of Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel. Per reader requests, we have carried out additional benchmarks of the Phenom 9500 to compare its 32-bit and 64-bit Linux performance.
In our AMD Phenom 9500 review, we had detailed all of the problems we had experienced with this newest AMD platform, which mostly came down to a kernel panic when switching from an AMD Athlon 64 X2 to Phenom and stability problems once the system was up and running. With Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 4, which utilizes the Linux 2.6.24 kernel, the experience was much more pleasant and when running this quad-core processor we no longer experienced as many stability problems. Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 4 had ran on our AMD Spider test system for more than 18 hours and during that time we had only experienced two sporadic reboots. During the benchmarking itself we have no stability problems to report.
For today's i686 and x86_64 comparative benchmarks we had used the AMD Phenom 9500 running at stock speeds with the Gigabyte MA790FX-DS5 motherboard, 2GB of OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-8500, Corsair TX750W power supply, Seagate SATA 300GB HDD, and the Radeon HD 3850 graphics card. We had used the 32-bit and 64-bit editions of an Ubuntu 8.04 daily build from February 7, 2008 as the operating systems for testing and with each was the Catalyst 8.01 graphics driver.
The benchmarks we had used in this 32-bit versus 64-bit Linux comparison were Doom 3, Quake 4, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, LAME encoding, and Gzip compression.