Aside from the motherboard and processors, this test system was made up of four 1GB sticks of Corsair ECC Registered DDR2-667 memory, Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1000W power supply, ATI Radeon HD 3870 graphics card, Lite-On SATA DVD burner, and Western Digital 160GB Serial ATA 2.0 hard drive with 16MB of L2 cache. Cooling the two AMD Opteron 2356 processors were Dynatron F558 heatsinks. These CPU heatsinks are compatible with Socket F 3U servers/workstations. The Dynatron F558 has a copper base with aluminum fins and each has four embedded copper heatpipes. Their fans use dual ball bearings and have a 4-pin power interface for PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) support so that they aren't too noisy unless running at 100% duty cycle.
When running Ubuntu 8.04 Beta with the Linux 2.6.24 (x86_64) kernel we had experienced no major issues when running the Opteron 2356 processors in either a single or dual CPU configuration with the Tyan Thunder n3600M. Everything had run great with the exception of PowerNow. This CPU clock/voltage throttling technology had not worked with Ubuntu 8.04 with cpufreqd or powernowd, but the Opteron 2356 processors had remained running at 2.30GHz the entire time even though PowerNow was enabled from the BIOS.
For looking at AMD's Barcelona 2356 performance we had compared it to dual Intel Xeon E5320 processors. The Xeon E5320 is a quad-core Clovertown core, which is the successor to Intel's Woodcrest and was their first quad-core processor released in late 2006. These two Intel processors were running with a Tyan Tempest i5400XT motherboard, which uses the Intel 5400 MCH. This test system consisted of eight 512MB Kingston DDR2-533 FB-DIMM modules (4GB total), while the rest of the system (graphics card, PSU, and HDD) had remained the same between test systems. This system was also running the 64-bit beta version of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. In comparing these Intel and AMD octal-core systems we had used LAME encoding, timed disk reads, Gzip Compression, and RAMspeed benchmarks. Following those results, we have also published some Phoronix Test Suite results. We had run all of these benchmarks in both a single and dual CPU configuration for the Opteron 2356.