View Full Version : Barcelona or Clovertown

03-22-2007, 06:12 AM
Hi There,

Having discovered that my main workstations CPUs barely appear on performance charts any more, I am looking to by a new box given that FP3 is out and scales nicely and I alo do quite a bit of Maxwell Render alonside Lightwave.

So my question is

AMD Barcelona or Intel Clovertown?

I'm looking at a cheap 2 X Dualie now with plenty of ram and a high end board to upgrade to faster CPUs in the latter part of the year.

It is comments like:-

"We expect across a wide variety of workloads for Barcelona to outperform Clovertown by 40 percent," Allen said. The quad-core chip also will outperform AMD's current dual-core Opterons on "floating point" mathematical calculations by a factor of 3.6 at the same clock rate, he said.



That make me think a real cheap AMD 2X2 awaiting a 2X4 maybe the best way to go.

See, a dual X5355 will be 5.75 X faster than my current set-up, whereas Barcelona will be 7.2, but that 25% margin could be made up by competitive pricing of higher clocked Core2 Quads.

Any opinions?


03-22-2007, 06:57 AM
Since Barcelona is not out, No one can give you any solid numbers on the chip. Who knows where it will stand compared to the Intel chips that are out at its release.

If you want Barcelona, I say wait. At least then you'll know if its better or not. And in any case, if you wait till then and Barcelona fails to deliver for whatever reason, you'll have saved up even more cash and can invest it in an even better machine than if you bought right this minute.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying wait for the next big thing indefinitely. But since a dual quad core sounds like its your goal, and you want the best you can get, waiting till we see real hard Barcelona numbers is probably the best move.

03-22-2007, 06:59 AM
A simple answer is "Who knows?" :D
Barcelona is still in utero, so no one knows how well it'll peform. AMD say it'll rip Core2 a new ****hole, but they would say that wouldn't they.

I'd hold off until the first reports on actual performance come in, which should be in the next month or 2. If you can't wait, Core is your answer, as though Barcelona will drop into existing boards they won't run effectively.
A half-arsed upgrade plan is no plan at all :hey: .

When are you coming down to the pub young man? We all miss ya!

03-22-2007, 09:52 AM
Thanks guy for your input.

It is just that Floating point performance is what Barcelona is cliamed to excel at - and we all know Floating Point is good for rendering.

If I got an machine now - It would give me several months of higher speed working for the money - but I'd be tied to that upgrade path. mmmm ponders.

What do you mean by 1/2 ar**d?


03-22-2007, 12:48 PM
What do you mean by 1/2 ar**d?

I mean that the Barcelonas will utilise hypertransport 3 and new power-saving systems that are not supported by current motherboards.

They'll work, but they won't work at their best.

03-22-2007, 03:49 PM
I don't trust new silicon.

"We are Pentium of Borg. Division is futile. You will be approximated."

03-22-2007, 04:30 PM
The Barcelonas will likely be pretty expensive when they are first released. Also I wonder what their overclocking abilities will be compared to Intel quad cores?

03-22-2007, 04:38 PM
Barcelona will be a far better chip for reasons like a true 4 way pipeline for data instead of a enlarged FSB like intel uses, the power consupmtion and heat will be identical or only slightly higher then current chips etc etc......

Yet, you will pay a higher price for these benefits and the Clovertowns will be lower in price when the Barcelonas come out.

Choices are as follows.

XeonQuad/Clovertown = Available now, Premium price for high speeds. Kind of a dual duo core chip on a single die so you have 4 threads with a bottleneck.

OpteronQuad/Barcelona = Available summer 2007, Premium price may even by higher then current quadxeons, a true quad core 64bit chip and all cores have thier own I/O for really fast unbottlenecked performance.

If you wait until AMD's chips come out the lowered price of the xeons may be a nice alternative as opposed to buying them now for high prices (2.66 quad @ $1,250 a proc) and at that point the actual speed/performance numbers can truly be compared instead of speculated at which time a better money/performance judgement can be made.

I am waiting for Barcelona to make my decision but I think I will go with the AMD.

03-22-2007, 04:58 PM
Intel may have an 8 core chip out by the time AMD releases Barcelona. :D
But yeah Intel needs to dump the FSB and put the memory controller on the chip like AMD does.

Remember Intel said they will have 32-core chips by 2010.


03-22-2007, 04:58 PM
Won'tchoo take me to...
The Clovertown!
Won'tchoo take me to...
The Clovertown!

Sorry, it's been looping in my head for ten minutes...

03-23-2007, 06:20 PM
Thanks for your help guys.

I might see if I can rent a 8 core for a few months, might work out cheaper - any suggestions?

I'd like to wait for the fallout from the Barcelona introduction and pick at the scraps - but by then realistically I'd have had 3-5 months of faster (at the 2xdual core end) or blazing speed (8 core) and in my experience a real workstation has always paid for itself.

I also have a lot of 3D looming. It is not that I don't have the rendering power, I do, across many machines. It is just with FP3, Cached radiosity and Maxwell - it really is a very good Idea to have all the eggs in one basket.

mmmm, ponders.


03-24-2007, 04:17 AM
dear 3dbob

i m thinking same problem over a month. I was about to ready for intel's quadcore, then i read AMD's barcelona chip (which promises 40 percent speed increase over current 4 cores) then i have read everything about barcelona.

Actually what AMD claims that Barcelona will be the first Real 4 cores chip. They claimed that Intel's Q4 was a great marketing move.

Actually i m doing everything to keep myself from a sudden intel q4 purchase. I know i need 4 cores right now as you do...But my feeling is we must wait till Barcelona comes out.

After barcelona's release, most probably Intel will significantly reduce the price of Q4 ...so that means we can purchase two q4 instead of one.

It will be hard to wait , 3dbob..But with some group hugging and support i guess we can wait, what do you say...?


03-24-2007, 06:40 AM

Now where's my CC.... hehe

It is a really close call. I'm so far behind - I have the money, but I'd like to give AMD a chance to play its hand..... On the other hand - I might make the 2k I need for the board and Procs in the mean time... because I have them.


03-26-2007, 04:04 PM
Ok, This makes interesting reading:-

Intel Xeon Price Cuts (http://www.dailytech.com/Intel+Readies+New+Xeons+and+Price+Cuts/article6493.htm)

This means I can get an X7DA8 and 2X2 Xeon cores @2.66 now (twice as fast as current system) and upgrade to 2X4 cores @ 3GHz 1333FSB later in the year for only a few quid more than gettting 2x4 @ 2.66GHz and the above motherboard now. What is more I'll have 2X2 2.66s to sell in the summer - should get 40 or so quid at least - any more and i'll be saving money.

Put another way - this gives me 10.64GHz of Core2 now over my current 5.6GHz of Netburst P4 and the option to get 24GHz of Core2 in the summer for no more than getting a 2X5355s set-up now.

What say you guys?


03-26-2007, 04:08 PM
Also, If Dual Barcelona is a core2 killer - I'll still have the vast majority of my upgrade budget unspent and can take a judgement call then.


03-26-2007, 04:16 PM
And in the interim the lower frontside bus allows you to overclock the cheaper CPUs......

Overclocking a 5120 (http://www.firingsquad.com/special/ocdb/view.asp?oc_id=435)