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Xeon 533 FSB or P4 800 FSB ? (Corrected post)

Discussion in 'Intel' started by Manish M., Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Manish M.

    Manish M. Guest

    Hi Guys,

    I am planning to build a high performance workstation. So I know I want a
    dual chip system with SCSI.

    Form Intel's site it appears that Xeon is a better chip BUT the current
    Xeon available here in Toronto is mainly 533 MHz FSB.

    These days the P4 with 800 FSB AND higher clock rate is very common in fact.
    So I am wondering weather I should really bother going with Xeon.

    Xeon has parallel instruction (in some instructions) BUT then P4 is higher

    Also if I build the system on 800 FSB I can get a faster BUS on the

    Another problem with Xeon is (I think not sure though) that it has different
    pin config so I cannot move to P4 later if I want to .

    Any comments ?

    Manish M
    Manish M., Dec 4, 2003
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  2. On Thu, 4 Dec 2003 17:26:02 -0500, "Manish M."
    So far so good, as long as your finances are in good order.
    Xeons don't (yet) support the 800 MHz FSB.
    If you want an dual CPU, you dont have a P4 option. The P4 does
    not support multiple CPUs. It's Xeon or bust.
    AMD has one or two ways you can go, however,
    Correct. Different socket, different chipset, different power
    supply, much larger case, different everything.

    Spend your hard-earned cash on an Intel D875PBZ or D865PERLK
    motherboard with the fastest P4 and the most PC3200 dual channel
    RAM you can afford, and forget about the Xeon stuff. It's
    probably not for you.

    Best regards,
    Ivan Vestergaard
    Ivan Vestergaard, Dec 5, 2003
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  3. Manish M.

    Nate Edel Guest

    There's very little reason to get the Xeon unless you're going to get duals;
    in fact, off the top of my head, I can't think of any single-socket-604
    motherboards, only dual-socket-604 ones.

    Dual Xeon 2.4ghz is a very attractive price right now, if you're doing work
    that can take advantage of duals, but otherwise you'd do much better with a
    single, slightly faster 800mhz FSB Pentium IV.

    And if you _would_ take advantage of duals, consider dual Opterons; for
    (about) the cost of dual Xeon 2.4s, you can get dual Opteron 240s... a
    little slower each, but with a lot more room for growth, and a 333mhz FSB
    and mobo that should be able to take 400mhz FSB Opterons when those are
    Nate Edel, Dec 5, 2003
  4. Manish M.

    John McGaw Guest

    My memory, admittedly vague at times, tells me that P4 chips cannot be used
    in multi-processor systems as the P3 chips could. Have you considered a
    single processor machine with one of the new "extreme" P4 processors? With
    the 800mHz bus and huge cache they would seem to have the best of both
    worlds for many tasks. Or, you might just consider going to one of the new
    AMD 64-bit machines which seem to be really great performers. Performance is
    roughly on par with (but often better than) the best Xenon systems depending
    on the task. And there are a lot of great new MBs coming out to support
    multi-processor configurations. Tom's Hardware http://www6.tomshardware.com/
    has had a couple of test articles on various MBs using these chips. Their
    most current test found one that they though very highly of.
    John McGaw
    [Knoxville, TN, USA]

    Return address will not work. Please
    reply in group or through my website:
    John McGaw, Dec 5, 2003
  5. Manish M.

    Muttly Guest

    If you were gonna go for an Athlon FX51, DON'T!!!! Wait a few weeks, maybe a
    month or 2. This chip is being replaced. And its getting a slightly new
    design that means to upgrade a FX51 will require a new motherboard. The new
    FX53 has a different pin arrangement and will start at the same speed as the
    51, but later a slower chip and faster ones will come online. When the 53 is
    released the 51 will be finishing production as far as I know. While there
    is no doubt its an excellent chip just be aware that its out of date a few
    weeks after its release.

    Muttly, Dec 5, 2003
  6. Manish M.

    Robert Myers Guest

    If you want a dual chip system, you're stuck with xeon. If you
    rummage through Specbench CPU2000 results for HP and Intel:


    you can draw your own conclusion about relative performance. Of the
    published results, the P4 3.2GHz 800MHz FSB is just about neck and
    neck with Xeon 3.2GHz 533MHz FSB if the xeon has the 1 Megabyte L3
    Cache. Dell Precision workstation with P4EE womps both of them on
    CPU2000, which is a good predictor for technical workstations. That
    is to say, a bigger cache makes up for a faster bus, but a bigger
    cache with a faster bus is best of all. What a surprise. For the
    P4EE you get about a 20% boost in performance for a single processor.
    With hyperthreading and all, price no object, that would probably be
    my choice. Be sure the credit line on your platinum card is in good
    You're asking about dual Xeon's and thinking about upgrading already?
    If you're not going to wait for Prescott, don't even think about the
    future. Make your decision on what you can buy today.

    Robert Myers, Dec 5, 2003
  7. Manish M.

    *Vanguard* Guest

    in news:sqQzb.1081$:
    "The Pentium 4 Extreme Edition is a reconfigured Xeon server chip
    designed to work in a desktop, ...", according to InfoWorld

    "Intel was able to beef up the caches quickly because the new Pentium 4
    is actually the same basic chip as the Xeon MP with 2MB of level-three
    cache, a chip for multiprocessor servers that has been on the market for
    months.", according to News.com (http://snurl.com/39wg) and ZdNet

    The Pentium 4 Extreme is *NOT* Intel's next Intel Pentium 5 (dubbed
    Prescott). It's a repackaged processor they already had! They wanted
    to fold the Xeon family under the much better known Pentium 4 brand
    name. You haven't gotten used to Microsoft's hype yet? Athlon finally
    comes out with their 65-bit processor and steals the news, so Microsoft
    takes an existing 64-bit processor that they've had for awhile and slaps
    on a new name to give it some press to dampen Athlon's thunder. They
    wanted something to announce for the Christmas crowd.

    If you don't have applications and games that actually support dual
    processors then it's a waste of money to build a system for software you
    don't even have yet or won't be using. Same goes for Intel's
    hyperthreading (when you hit the store, how many software boxes do you
    see "P4 Hyperthreaded Enabled"?). And some applications, and
    *especially* games will NOT run with dual processors and/or
    hyperthreading. You have to specify that the game's process run only
    under one processor or hyperthreaded model (so the other processor sits
    *Vanguard*, Dec 5, 2003
  8. Manish M.

    daytripper Guest

    Well, now that it's public....It's a Gallatin processor with the MP 'nads

    /daytripper (It's all marketing magic ;-)
    daytripper, Dec 5, 2003
  9. Manish M.

    jamotto Guest

    You should look into the P4's with the HT (hyperthreading tech.) HT
    seem's to be very similar to Parallel Instruction execution. I think
    you would also get the 800MHz FSB. The 800MHz FSB will only help you
    if you use memory intensive apps. If you are running ONLY business
    apps then AMD's Athlon XP's might be better/cheaper. Go here
    http://www.rojakpot.com/ to see some benchmarks.
    If money is no object then look into the Athlon 64 chips.

    Also unless you need to daisy chain 7-14 drives or the queueing
    abilities. IDE ATA133 should be cheaper and most Motherboards have
    RAID controllers that support levels 0 and 1. Or look into SATA150

    good luck building your computer
    jamotto, Dec 5, 2003
  10. Manish M.

    Nate Edel Guest

    Yes and no; it's old in the sense that it's the Xeon technology repackaged,
    but it's new in the sense that (A) it runs at 800fsb and (B) it's socket 478
    not socket 604.
    I've yet to see a game that won't run on a dual or hyperthreaded system;
    they rarely take advantage of the second process/threads (Quake3 and other
    games based on the Q3 engine are a notable case that does) and may even run
    slightly slower if hyperthreading is on (though this is unusual) but I've
    never seen one that simply wouldn't run.
    Nate Edel, Dec 5, 2003
  11. [snip stuff about the P4 extreme that I agree with]
    No specific application support is needed for dual processors. The OS
    has sufficient support to get much of the benefit of dual processors whether
    or not the application was designed with dual processors in mind.
    No need for the software to know about HT. The OS makes it mostly
    invisible. There are some very obscure exceptions (for example, if the
    application implements its own spinlocks), but they just sap performance a
    bit, they're not fatal.
    I have heard only a single example of a program that didn't work
    correctly on an SMP machine and that wasn't a game. I also know of one
    driver, but an alternate driver was available. Do you have any examples to
    back this up?
    The other processor will not sit idle. It will do all the other things
    that need to be done. The graphics driver will use it. The disk driver will
    use it. The network driver will use it. In fact, you may see a very
    significant benefit as the game application isn't constantly interrupted to
    service peripherals.

    David Schwartz, Dec 5, 2003
  12. Manish M.

    kony Guest

    On Thu, 4 Dec 2003 23:56:22 -0800, "David Schwartz"

    Nope, most people aren't running more than one processor-intensive
    application at a time, so the 2nd CPU would be barely used if the
    (whole purpose of the workstation) application support isn't there.
    For those who are running multiple intensive applications the better
    solution is a 2nd system.

    In fact, the benefit is slim-to-none, even a performance decrease in
    Quake 3: http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030811/dual_xeon-12.html

    Dual CPUs are ideal for a high-end workstation running the right apps,
    but not worthwhile for any box appropriately called a "PC".

    kony, Dec 5, 2003
  13. I have strong anecdotal evidence to the contrary. In a previous thread
    on a similar subject, numerous people posted that they've switched to
    multiprocessor PCs for normal desktop use and have no intention of ever
    switching back. The difference is huge.

    David Schwartz, Dec 5, 2003
  14. Manish M.

    Nate Edel Guest

    That's not an apples-to-apples comparison; they're comparing a 3.2ghz,
    800FSB chip to a pair of 3.06ghz 533FSB chips.

    Given a 50% improvement in FSB rate, it doesn't surprise me that the
    difference in speed is significantly greater than the ~5% increase in core
    clock rate. Memory bandwidth makes a _big_ difference. (As you'll also note
    in some cases with the increase in speed between the 512k and 1M cache

    Apples-to-Apples would be Xeon 3.06/533 vs. P4 3.06/533 on a comparable
    motherboard chipset.
    Nate Edel, Dec 5, 2003
  15. Manish M.

    Nate Edel Guest

    The difference is throughput vs. latency; duals rarely scale linearly for
    throughput on desktop apps or games, which is what most benchmarks measure.

    They often have an _easily_ noticeable effect on latency.
    Nate Edel, Dec 5, 2003
  16. measure.

    No, they generally don't scale linearly with throughput, but single CPU
    machines scale much worse. Or, to put it another way, if you want lots more
    performance than a single 3Ghz P4, your most cost-effective solution is
    going to be a dual CPU machine.
    Exactly. Or, to put it another way, human beings spend a lot less time
    waiting for the machine. You might be surprised at how many applications
    have their usability impacted by latency in ways benchmarks often don't

    David Schwartz, Dec 5, 2003
  17. Wow, I used the phrase "to put it another way" twice in five sentences!

    David Schwartz, Dec 5, 2003
  18. Manish M.

    John McGaw Guest

    This article, along with the eight MB comparison article at Tom's Hardware I
    referenced before might provide some food for thought:


    John McGaw
    [Knoxville, TN, USA]

    Return address will not work. Please
    reply in group or through my website:
    John McGaw, Dec 5, 2003
  19. Manish M.

    kony Guest

    It is relevant enough, comparing real systems.
    No, you're intentionally crippling the single-CPU system then, the
    buyer is not forced to choose the lower end CPU. The systems would be
    based on best "reasonably" available, priced technology. What would
    be most relevant is two systems costing same $ or nearly so. The idea
    here is peak performance for the intended use, not some narrowly
    interpreted analysis, and a price point where the system is upgraded
    again in less than 24 months to take advantage of newer tech again.
    To that end the dual CPU systems need an optimized app or concurrent
    apps to see a return on cost.

    kony, Dec 5, 2003
  20. Manish M.

    kony Guest

    Most often people are using an older, slower system, then they do this
    upgrade... of course it's faster, a single CPU system would be too.

    Your "strong anecdotal evidence" is voodoo superstition _IF_ it isn't
    based on benchmarks appropriate to the use of the system. There are
    benchmarks of real applications that show clearly, only a minor
    performance increase (or decrease) in most uses. These are not
    isolated synthetic benchamarks, but reproducible (and reproduced) many
    many times. If you have benchmarks to the contrary that are confirmed
    by a 3rd party then supply them, we're always hungry for more data.

    kony, Dec 5, 2003
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