[Sidefx-houdini-list] Hardware Choices

Mark Alexander malexander at sidefx.com
Thu Mar 30 21:11:27 EST 2006

> The dual cpu opteron would be upgradeable at a later time to a dual, dual core opteron system

As long as you buy a 2xx series Opteron, you can upgrade to 2 CPUs. The 
1xx dual core Opterons are strictly single proc (it's basically an X2, 
though with hardware manufacturing differences, and generally more 
robust - or so I've heard).

Compare the price of an Opteron 280 (dual core 2.4Ghz 2MB cache: ~$925) 
with an AthlonX2 (dual core, 2.4Ghz 2MB cache: $640-$680). That's about 
a 40% price premium for the ability to upgrade. An Opteron 180 (dual 
core 2.4Ghz 2MB cache, single proc only) is ~$750. Also, Opteron 
motherboards will cost you more as well (socket 940, esp. dual proc 

Note that AMD is switching from Socket 939/940 to Socket M2 in the near 
future (mid to late 2006). If you're not planning on buying that 2nd CPU 
soon, it may be difficult to find. So, I'd go with an X2 or Opt 180 if 
you're a concerned about the money, otherwise go full out with a 
dual-dual Opteron right off the bat.

Finally, make sure you can keep those 4 CPUs busy most of the time! 
Otherwise, you'll be wasting power & money.

I have an AthlonX2 4400+ (2.2Ghz, 2MB cache), and I'm very happy with 
it. I'm not running 64bit, but it's still nice & speedy for everything I 
throw at it.


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