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From AMD 2.1 GHz Athalon -> 2.8 GHz Duron

What can I expect?



4:28 pm on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

As part of the their customer loyalty program, my hosting provider is offering to bring my dedicated server from a Athlon XP 2600+ 2.133 GHz up to a AMD Duron 3000 XP (2.8Ghz).

I am not a AMD guy, so don't know if this will mean anything.

Is it good upgrade or just a minor bump?

Here is the full configuration:
Single AMD Athlon XP 2600+ 2.133 GHz
Memory: 1.5GB DDR RAM
RAID: SCSI RAID Controller
Hard Drive: 36GB SCSI
Hard Drive: 36GB SCSI
Hard Drive: 80GB EIDE
OS: Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 2.1




4:46 pm on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Note: A Duron processor has a smaller cache (hense a lower price) (probably why they are using that for their upgrade, cheaper for them)

What that means in a production environment, is that the processor cannot retain as much info as the Athlon cache resulting in increased harddrive access (HD access is much slower than accessing recent info from the onboard cache)

The processor may be faster, however your website is not number crunching (unless you run a DB). This means that you probably will see no evidence of an increase in speed at all.

Speed comes from fast drives, fast network cards, and a fast connection to the net.

Hope that helps some...



5:10 pm on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks, I am using a web application server that is pretty CPU intensive, but also uses a lot of RAM.

Good info on the Athalon, I didn't know it has less cache.



11:05 pm on Oct 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

If your app is using a lot of sytem resources then you will see a bit of a difference in terms of performance.

Sites that will not see much difference are sites using nothing more than static content. An http server uses very little in terms of ram or cpu. The increase you will see with plain html sites is very very minimal.

In your case you may notice an improvement.



11:04 am on Oct 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My application is pretty CPU intensive, so it sounds like I will get a bump in performance in this upgrade.

Thanks for all your help.



6:38 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

After a little "negotiating" I got the following:

From: 2.13 Ghz AMD Athlon XP 2600+ -> 2.0Ghz AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0 GHz

From: 1.5 GB DDR Ram -> 2.0GB DDR Ram

Everything else remained the same.

Since the whole AMD Athlon/Duron/64/XP/3200/2600 means nothing to me, could someone give me a clue as to what I upgraded to?



6:44 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

First thing - the Duron is not 2.8Ghz.

Forget the Hz bit, just look at the big number as this is the performance rating and can help to compare between chips and roughly between Intel and AMD.

Going from a 2600 to 3200 is roughly a 24% increase in CPU power. You should also experience a better bus speed and memory speed due to the better memory controller with these chips.

What you have now is a true 64 bit processor. You'll enjoy a much more faster and efficient processor as it is, but you gain even more if your O/S is the 64 bit version too.

Don't worry if it is not as you should see a good improvement over the old XP 2600 CPU.


6:49 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


They did say the needed to replace the motherboard as well, which I assume means different bus speeds which should help.

All in all it seems a bit faster now, but it is hard to tell. Looking at the server performance logs (sar) I find it is running about as much idle / working as before.

10:10:00 CPU %user %nice %system %iowait %idle
12:30:00 all 1.26 7.71 1.11 0.00 89.92
12:40:00 all 1.13 9.97 1.03 0.00 87.87
12:50:00 all 1.47 7.90 0.88 0.00 89.75
13:00:01 all 1.50 9.26 1.02 0.00 88.22
13:10:01 all 1.54 7.59 0.91 0.00 89.96
13:20:00 all 0.78 8.31 0.96 0.00 89.95
13:30:00 all 1.22 10.48 1.24 0.00 87.07
13:40:00 all 1.31 7.49 1.18 0.00 90.02
13:50:00 all 1.16 6.61 0.93 0.00 91.30
Average: all 1.45 7.28 0.95 0.00 90.32



9:12 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Make sure they have done the change by checking your cpu info

cat /proc/cpuinfo

or use one of the ready made php system info type scripts.

Don't forget that there is a heck of a lot of optimising you could be doing too.

I don't know how your server is setup but you should be able to fine tune various apps such as apache, mysql, php and the o/s etc.

Mostly these are memory tweaks so that less is used for unecessary things and more is used for caching.

But there are other things you can do such as removing the atime flag from the disk. This can be a big slow down as basically the disk has to write the time a file was read (every time a file is accessed it's time is stamped). You can also do things such as have log files on a seperate disk so that pages and data can be served from a slick disk whilst continual writes such as log files will be on a seperate dedicated disk and channel.

It all depends on your setup though.


9:47 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks Frank..

Looks like it is the real deal.

processor : 0
vendor_id : AuthenticAMD
cpu family : 15
model : 15
model name : AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3200+
stepping : 0
cpu MHz : 2002.610
cache size : 512 KB
fdiv_bug : no
hlt_bug : no
f00f_bug : no
coma_bug : no
fpu : yes
fpu_exception : yes
cpuid level : 1
wp : yes

It runs pretty well and the application I use is not so common (Zope) so there are not a lot of optimization articles out there.

I guess I will wait till my traffic gets the server to like 50% utilization before really worrying about it, which might take me a year or so.



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