Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Dual-Core Duel: AMD Beats Intel

Filed under
Hardware

Ready for the era of dual-core? You now have a choice of dual-core processors; and based on PC World tests, the winner is clearly AMD's new Athlon 64 X2, which handily outdistanced a dual-core Intel system we tested last month.

Our tests indicate that with both AMD's and Intel's dual-core chips you'll obtain the biggest performance benefit when you work with multiple applications at once or when you use multithreaded software, designed to recognize more than one processor.

Dual-core chips build in two processing cores, in effect giving you two CPUs in a single piece of silicon. You also get two L2 memory caches, one for each core; the 2.4-GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+ chip that we tested, for example, had 1MB of L2 cache per core. The 64-bit Athlon 64 X2 chips ship in June, joining currently available dual-core Opteron server and workstation CPUs. Systems should soon be available from vendors such as Acer, Alienware, HP, and Lenovo.

PCs with the new chips, which will come in several variations, should be available now. Also, you should be able to upgrade your existing Athlon 64 PC to the new chips with just a BIOS change, whereas to convert an Intel unit to dual-core you'll need to purchase a new motherboard.

Speed Boost

We tested a reference system provided by AMD that ran Windows XP Pro. It came configured with 1GB of 400-MHz DDR memory; a 10,000-rpm, 74GB hard disk; and an NVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics card with 256MB of DDR3 RAM. (The Intel system we previously tested came with comparable hardware.)

The AMD machine was the second-fastest we've ever tested, with a 116 mark on WorldBench 5, easily surpassing the 95 posted by the 3.2-GHz dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition 840 reference system that we looked at earlier (see the accompanying chart).

The unit showed its prowess on the multitasking portion of WorldBench 5. Its time of 6 minutes, 44 seconds was an impressive 3 minutes, 42 seconds faster than the average of two Athlon 64 FX-55 systems, and about 3 minutes faster than the dual-core Pentium EE 840 reference PC's time.

If you want one of these powerful beasts, you'll have to pay dearly for it: AMD's 4800+ chips alone are priced at $1001 each in quantities of 1000, while Intel's 3.2-GHz Pentium EE 840 chips currently sell for $995. Entry-level Athlon X2 chips will cost only about half that much, however, so you can still get the benefits of 64-bit technology and dual-core processing without breaking the bank.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

CORD becomes a Linux Foundation project

Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD), an open source integrated solutions platform for service providers leveraging merchant silicon, white boxes, and open source platforms such as Open Network Operating System (ONOS), OpenStack, Docker, and the cloud operating system XOS, is now part of the Linux Foundation as a new independent project. The Linux foundation is already home to many open source networking projects, including OpenDaylight and ONOS, so CORD is a natural fit for the non-profit foundation. Read more

Google beefs Linux up kernel defenses in Android

Future versions of Android will be more resilient to exploits thanks to developers' efforts to integrate the latest Linux kernel defenses into the operating system. Android's security model relies heavily on the Linux kernel that sits at its core. As such, Android developers have always been interested in adding new security features that are intended to prevent potentially malicious code from reaching the kernel, which is the most privileged area of the operating system. Read more

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal. Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it! Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it. One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk. This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing. Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time. Read more

Proprietary and Microsoft Software