AMD Opteron Delivers 34 to 115% More Throughput than Intel Xeon (NetBurst)

White paper with detail test results: [Word Format] [PDF Format]

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Summary of Test Results
(Click here to display a graph of the data)
Transactions/Minute Opteron Transactions/Minute Xeon Opteron
Percent Faster
64 11479 7718 49
128 15147 7032 115
192 12103 6992 73
256 10640 6802 56
320 10039 6626 52
384 9590 6475 48
448 9649 6383 51
512 8726 6533 34

Chicago, IL, January 5, 2007 -- Neal Nelson & Associates, a Chicago area computer performance consulting firm, has released test results that compare the throughput of a 2.4 Ghz AMD Opteron computer to a 2.4 Ghz Intel Xeon (Netburst) machine.

"Our Transaction Benchmark test results show that the Opteron delivered up to 115% more throughput, even though both machines' processors were running at essentially the same clock speed." observed Neal Nelson, president of the independent consulting group, "I have been a computer consultant for 34 years, and a benchmark specialist for over 20 years. This is the largest throughput difference I have ever seen for two virtually identical computers."

The Neal Nelson Transaction Benchmark creates a complex workload that stresses all major sub-systems in the computer architecture including memory access, inter-process communication, context switching, disk I/O and network I/O.

The two computers were configured to have the same clock speed, memory size and type of RAM. The were also tested with the same disk drives and operating systems which had been loaded from the same media. The machines were set up with the same system tunables and ran the same application code which had been compiled by the same compiler with the same compiler options.

"There has been a consensus in the industry that since the Opteron's Instruction Per Clock ratio was higher than the NetBurst Xeon's, it would probably perform more work than the Xeon at any given clock speed." continued Nelson, "However, the Opteron has a number of other architectural differences when compared to the Xeon. For example, the Opteron has on-chip memory controllers, it has the Direct Connect Architecture for inter-processor communications and a shorter instruction pipeline. The dramatic differences in throughput that we measured were probably a result of some combination of these types of architectural differences."

Nelson's firm has a long history of performance consulting to some of the the world's largest computer customers including the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, Internal Revenue Service, McDonalds, WalMart and Federal Express. His performance measurement expertise has assisted with purchasing decisions for many billions of dollars worth of computer equipment.

The Neal Nelson benchmarking laboratory is available to commercial and government users for independent computer performance tests.

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