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Server duel: Xeon Woodcrest vs. Opteron Socket F

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Test platform: Woodcrest and Dempsey

Fujitsu Siemens was kind enough to lend us a Primergy RX300 S3 in order to give the Woodcrest and the Dempsey a good grilling. This machine is a 19"/2U rack mounted server which, according to the company's marketing division, is suitable for 'demanding tasks in the areas of ERP and e-commerce'. The motherboard is based on the 5000P chipset and has two LGA771 sockets for Dempsey or Woodcrest, eight memory banks, one PCI Express x8 slot, two PCI Express x4 slots, and two 133MHz PCI-X slots. Other standard features include an eight port SAS controller that supports RAID levels 0 and 1. The option is available to extend this with a 256MB cache and support for RAID levels 5, 10, and 50. Other basic tools are an IDE connector for a dvd/cd drive and dual gigabit ethernet. The casing has room for two 600 Watt power supplies, six hard disks, eight coolers, an optical drive and a disk station. Among the supported operating systems we find Windows Server, VMWare ESX Server, Suse Enterprise Server and RedHat Enterprise Linux. More extensive specs can be found here.

Fujitsu-Siemens Primergy RX300 S3 - Overview
Fujitsu-Siemens Primergy RX300 S3 - Hotswap fans
Fujitsu-Siemens Primergy RX300 S3 - Heatsinks and FB-DIMM slots
Fujitsu-Siemens Primergy RX300 S3 – PCI slots and air flow conductors

Like the Sun machines that we looked at earlier, the Fujitsu-Siemens can be accessed remotely for administration tasks, using a built-in web application called Remote View. This app provides extensive information about the hardware and can send various types of warnings in case it appears that something might go wrong.

RemoteView screenshot (small)
Click the screenshot for a larger version. More images can be found here.

Our machine came with four Xeon processors, two of the 5080 mould and two 5150's. Although these model numbers are close together, the difference in specifications is like day and night: the former is the top model from the old series and the latter is the second fastest in the new series. Incidentally, the Woodcrests turned out to be samples of the B1 stepping instead of the commercially available B2 revision, but this is not expected to make for a noticeable difference.

Transistors374 million291 million
Clock speed3.73GHz2.66GHz

For both processors, the same memory was used: fully buffered DDR2-533 with a CAS latency of four ticks (PC2-4200F CL4). We used a total of eight modules – six times 1GB and twice 512MB – for a total capacity of 7GB.

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