the videoplayback with open Radeon drivers with Radeon 3200 IGP is pretty ok. 480p WebM on YouTube is smooth (flash is a bit worse). If I want smooth 720p 30 fps playback I have to download it. My CPU is a Phenom X2 2 Core (CPU load if 720p video is played about 25-35% both cores), and my system Fedora 15 64 bit architecture.
If you use Opera, you could use the YouTube WebM Plus extension. No idea about WebM in open source browsers. And the extension to download videos is called FastestTube.
AMD has AMD-V which is Vt-x + Vt-d. Only locked versions of i7 have Vt-d, which is "Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O" and required for working hardware virtualized adress resolution. Basically, if you are about many VMs, get Xeon or AMD. This pretty much cuts any Intel options.
Originally Posted by s91066
I would recommend you Athlon II x4 (only bad at gaming due to absent L2 cache, but overall on par to phenom II x4) with IGP3200 or lliano A4/6 ( = APU for free and athlon II x4 with improved memory controller).
I am not aware about opensource driver state from AMD side through for last 6 Months, but it is VERY strange flash is not working. All basic 2D should work, should be enough raw performance for h264 and opengl3 at 30-50% of hardware possible speed (with opensource).
System will be pretty cold. Hot CPUs are 6+ cores @ 3Ghz and up. Then you do like Qaridarium - put LARGE passive or 5v 12cm fan cooled heatsink.
Your cpu might have got AMD-Vi (not just AMD-V which is the same as VT-x), but you still need AMD 890FX or AMD 9xx chipsets to actually use it. None of those chipsets have got onboard vga, did you notice that? Basically VT-d is very rarely used, and for some ppl, add Michael to those, you need to disable it in the kernel, at least he thought it was a new bug introduced in kernel 3.2 when U switch the default for intel_iommon to on. You need really much luck that IOMMU really works, no matter if you use amd or intel systems.
I wonder what is the situation with ECC. My impression is that Intel reserve ECC support only for their server-class processors. Whereas AMD has ECC support in all processors. Then it's only a matter of having the ECC DIMMs. Or maybe the mainboard has to have the DIMM slots wired appropriately in order to have the ECC support. In any case, those will be unbuffered (unregistered, that's the same thing I think) DIMMs.
So, does anyone have any real experience in this? I'd very much like to to have ECC in my budget server but information about that is very difficult to come by.
I don't think this is true. ECC is only supported in Opterons, AFAIK.
Originally Posted by kobblestown
It is basically true for the standard processors, no opteron needed for ecc. If you like ecc then amd systems are definitely cheaper.
Intel cuts ECC support from CPU controller if it is non-Xeon.
Originally Posted by HokTar
AMD does not.
But AMD seem to do some testing on CPUs, so that only lower-quality go to non-opteron segment.
Many AMD boards support ECC ram, even if it is not advertised. Ecc is definately a big plus if you are into reliable computing.
Why I stopped recommending Intel - is easy, amd athlon II x4 or A4+ have 4 real physical cores, which means they can effortlessly drive 3VMs+host, where i3 will start to slowdown when driving more than 1VM+host. For VM scenario, physical cores count.
So to add some info to the original question. From my personal experience:
1. AMD Phenom II X4 960T 3GHz (or even Phenom I X4 9350e 2Ghz), running Linux 32bit:
PRO: 4 cores, has HW virtualization (I have an nforce chipset but enabling VT in Virtualbox does not complain and also /proc/cpuinfo shows it. I don't know if it really is used, but Win 7 is quite OK inside a virtual machine but no wonders expected, it can't even run Aero (Virtualbox/GPU driver limitation?)). Great for running parallel BOINC tasks or Firefox compilation. It is a Black edition, overclockable to the sky. Well, but read further
CON: with the stock AMD cooler, when under permanent load (3/4 cores), it runs at ~2500rotations and around 60C and is quite noisy. If idle, the temp is about 40C but not much noticeable noise reduction. And you also need a GPU separately (can be passive).
2. Intel Pentium G620 (Sandy bridge) 2.6Ghz, Intel chipset, running Win 7 64-bit:
PRO: I bought a ready made "office" machine, all parts on low-end. I'd guess the cooler is some basic one too. The machine is so silent, you can't normally hear if it is even running when doing normal work (Firefox, dosbox, MS Office). I can test it under full load if you are interested. It has integrated HD2000 (enough for Aero on Firefox HW accel). Very snappy and smooth OS interaction. But that can't be compared directly to the AMD system as it is a different OS and 64bit.
CON: only 2 cores, no HT, no virtualization (according to specs). Probably no overclocking.
1. Yes the motherboard needs to explicitly support ECC RAM. AFAIK all Athlon and Phenom IIs support ECC, as should the FX series (Bulldozer). Bobcat (e.g. E-350) doesn't. Not sure about Llano. The system wont POST if the board doesn't support ECC but the CPU does and there is ECC RAM installed (I've had experience with this before).
Originally Posted by kobblestown
I don't know the answer to 2 though..
TBH I'd choose a Phenom II over an Athlon II, I believe the p-state (clock speed) switching is much faster on the Phenoms. Also I believe the memory controller (and L3 cache) can clock independently from the cores, which would be useful if there's an IGP on board and needs RAM bandwidth but CPU cores aren't needed much. On the Athlons the cores have to clock up to get the memory controller up too (true for original Athlon X2, not sure about the Athlon IIs)