View Full Version : Athlon vs Opteron

02-24-2007, 10:48 PM
My current system spec is as follows:
CPU: athlon x2 4400+ 939
MB: msi k8n neo 4 platinum (nforce4)
Ram: 2gb crucial
Video: Geforce 7600GT

We are Hiring a new person and that person will get my current box and I will build myself a new one.

I am trying to decide between Opteron and Athlon.

I am concidering either the Athlon FX 74 (quad core) solution or a (Quad CPU) 800 series Opteron solution from supermicro or tyan.

I am most interested in peoples genuine experiences using either of these processors with lightwave and how their performance compairs in both real-time interaction with the Lightwave, and of course render times.

I will not be sold on Intel, and definately not Apple for that matter.

Although I know the Intel's are performing extremly well, please lets limit this discussion to specifically the AMD platform.

I'll gladly discuss AMD vs Intel in another thread.


02-25-2007, 04:58 AM
If your planning to get a supermicro, make sure to check out if it lets you install win32. Cause for a dualboot system (64bit and 32bit) win32 must be installed first. The guys who build my rig weren't able to do so. Win32 couldn't be installed, so I have only win x64 (which is great by the way).
I read somewhere how to fix that misbehaviour, but I can't remember where.
Regarding performance, what can I say, my former pc was a 3 gHz P4, so the speed blasted me away. But I can't compare to a FX74.
For a Quad Core system (on two cpus) you don't need an expensive 800. You need only a 200.


02-26-2007, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the infos..

I really had not planned on dual-booting. I expected to run 64bit full time, as its required to utilize most high end features of a quad core/cpu/opteron system. I cant foresee a need to run a 32bit os.. and if one arises, i can always use VMWare for that. I will also have the pleasure of building the system myself rather than having someone do it for me, so I'll be able to sort out those details as i come to them.

As for the cpu's... of course i dont NEED the 800 series (or the FX-74).. the fact is that the 200's you're using may be good enough, but if my budget allows for something faster, I'll gladly buy it. And right now the 800 series opteron is fitting nicely into said budget (+/- $3000).

I would like to know how your Opteron 200 system compares to something like my Athlon +4400 X2.. Would you be willing to render one of the benchmark scenes from one of the LW content cd's and share the results (and which benchmark you used) with me?

I'd be interested to find out how your opteron system performs compared to my current machine.

If the difference between your system and mine is huge then opteron may be the clear choice.. If not, i may be better off with a less expensive athlon system.. I'd appreciate it.

I also invite anyone using either an athlon or opteron to render the same benchmark and share the results..

Thanks again

02-27-2007, 02:11 AM
Sure, get it on!
Which scene?

btw, to my knowledge the only difference between a 8xx and a 2xx is, that a 2xx can be used maximum on a dualboard and the 8xx in a multi-cpu environment (>2).
No performance gain using a 870 instead of a 270.


02-27-2007, 08:33 PM
That sounds about right since I had planned on throwing 4 of them on a tyan Thunder K8QW (quad 940 chip board) HEHE! we'll see what I Actually end up buying.. still gotta get approval from bossman.

Here is a link to a modified lw7 content benchmark "radiosity_reflectivethings."

www.polymetric.net/bench.zip (16k)

All I did was use lw9 to make the camera perspective instead of classic, and upped the render res to 1024x768.

makes for a decent render test i spose.. I ran it on my machine at home, 939 Athlon x2 4800+ w/ 2gb ram on an nforce sli32 board... similar to what I use at work.. a bit faster tho.

This scene rendered in 3:34...

I'll have to see how it does on my work machine(x2 4400+) tomorrow.

02-27-2007, 09:23 PM
heh, just rendered this scene on my laptop, an older dell inspiron 8200 with a 1.6ghz processor... it took an agonizing 13:21

SWEET!! :)

02-28-2007, 09:47 AM
Rendering only one frame won't show the potential, so I did three tests.
1. One instance rendering with 4 threads: 2:02
2. 4 instances rendering with 1 thread: Each 6:34 -> makes one frame every 1:39
3. 4 instances rendering with 4 threads: average of 5:49 -> makes one frame every 1:27
You can test it yourself by opening 4 lw layouts, loading the scene, change threads to "1" or "4" for each of the 4 instances. Then f9 all of them quickly.

I used to use Nitisaras harpoon for that, but unfortunately he isn't updating it anylonger, so all the lw9+ glory is absent.


03-04-2007, 01:25 PM
I did the tests like you suggested, i'll list them in the same order as yours
since i only have a single dual core chip, only ran 2 instances and or 2 threads

1. 1 instance 2 threads: (avg of 4 separate renders) 3:33
2. 2 instances 1 thread each : 6:56 total (using the method you described)
3. 2 instances 2 threads : 6:49 total

Seems like I'm not TOO far behind. I most usually use 1 instance and 2 threads for the stuff I'm doing... At least I'm not disappointed.

Ive priced out a few new systems.. have a look (requires excel)

Dunno which i'll build just yet, but one of the mid-priced ones probly, im leaning towards the 2cpu / 8core xeon option.. (we'll see if the boss ok's it)
If i had all the money in the world, i'd be buying that Tyan system, but for $12k it may be slightly out of the range :)

03-05-2007, 05:13 AM
Cool; I'll add a little comparison:
Dual Opteron 270 (4 cores @ 2.0 gHz) vs. Athlon x2 4400+ (2 cores @2.3 gHz)

1. 122s vs 213s____________= 100% : 174%
2. per image: 99s vs 208s____= 100% : 210%
3. per image: 87s vs 204.5s__= 100% : 235%

The first test is so bad for the quad core cause during rendering there are always tasks that can't be multithreaded that well (regardless of the programm you're using).

Therefor if you use separate instances everything will be multithreaded (it's great when you have to do animations, I can save nearly 30% time when I use multiple instances (122s vs 87s)).

Test 2 and 3 just show that the opteron has 4 cores and thus is 2times faster. But it's remarkable, that the Athlon comes in at 2.3 gHz and the Opteron at only 2.0 gHz, though the AMD 270 is 17% faster than the 4400(per core -test3 amd4400: 235/2=117.5%).


03-06-2007, 04:02 PM
cool man..
I could almost say I did the right thing when I picked up the 4400+ Definitely a good solution for the price ($1300 for a complete system). I cant say I'm disappointed.

Whenever we hire someone for additional 3d work is when i'll be upgrading. Hopefully soon, but its good to know that Im not too far behind the curve with my current hardware.

At any rate, the longer i wait to upgrade the faster the computer i order will likely be.

take it easy

03-07-2007, 02:34 AM
its good to know that Im not too far behind

Your machine is half as fast as the quadcore. But then, it's cheaper to buy two dualcores than one quadcore.