Besides two AMD Opteron 2384 processors and the Tyan Thunder n3600M motherboard, the rest of our test system was made up of 4GB of Corsair DDR2-667 ECC Registered memory (4 x 1GB DIMMs), Dynatron Socket F heatsinks, 160GB Western Digital WD1600YS-01SHB1, and an ATI FireGL V8600 1GB graphics card. When benchmarking these new AMD processors we used Ubuntu 8.10 with the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, GCC 4.3.2, X Server 1.5.2, GNOME 2.24.1, and the Catalyst 8.12 driver. We were using the stock Ubuntu 8.10 installation with the EXT3 file-system and our Java version was IcedTea6 1.3.1 (6b12-0ubuntu6).
We compared the performance of the 45nm Shanghai Opterons to the 65nm Barcelona Opterons. We re-tested two AMD Opteron 2356 (2.3GHz) processors with the same hardware and software configuration. In this article we are not comparing the performance to that of Intel's 45nm Harpertown Xeons since Intel hadn't submitted any review samples in time. However, to find Linux benchmarks of Intel's older Clovertown Xeon 5300 processors read our reviews.
To power our Linux benchmarks we used the Phoronix Test Suite, which is our open-source software that provides a feature-rich automated testing platform on Linux, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X operating systems. The version of the Phoronix Test Suite being used was Tydal Beta 1 with Git updates as of December 28, 2008.
The test carried out by the Phoronix Test Suite were derived from our Phoronix Certification & Qualification Suite (PCQS) for the processor and consisted of Nexuiz, SPECViewPerf 9.0, GraphicsMagick, timed Apache compilation, timed ImageMagick compilation, Parallel BZIP2 compression, LAME MP3 encoding, GnuPG file encryption, OpenSSL, Sunflow Rendering System, BYTE Unix Benchmark, SciMark, Fhourstones, and RAMspeed. GraphicsMagick is one of the newest tests to be found in Phoronix Test Suite 1.6 and it was added in since the project that was derived from ImageMagick recently adopted the OpenMP (Open Multi-Processing) library making it an ideal multi-threaded test with a variety of imaging operations.
For any questions about our testing procedures or the Phoronix Test Suite, visit the Phoronix Forums.