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Computer Organization and Operating Systems

AMD Athlon SMP

Presented By: Vinay Hegde (12627174) Aashish Gupta (12645406)

SMP with AthlonMP

What is SMP ?
Multiprocessing is the coordinated processing of program by more than one computer processor to speed up overall task. There are 2 types of multiprocessing: Asymmetric: Specialized processors Network I/O, Graphics/Video Symmetric: All processors are "equal" Process threads may be scheduled on any processor

In symmetric (or "tightly coupled") multiprocessing, the processors share memory and the I/O bus or data path. A single copy of the operating system is in charge of all the processors. SMP, also known as a "shared everything" system, does not usually exceed 16 processors.

SMP in the past

Almost all Intel x86 processors from 80386 onwards were released with multiprocessor support by motherboard manufacturers. Intel has enjoyed a monopoly in the general desktop multiprocessing market for more than a decade. Even nowadays, dual Pentium 3 Coppermine multiprocessing is an attractive solutions for PC enthusiasts. Intel Pentium 4 Xeon CPUs are the latest high-end multiprocessing CPUs from Intel.

How Intel Xeon SMP works?

AMD is currently Intels main rival in the processor arena. AMDs initial foray into the processor market with budget alternates to Intels x86 CPUs such as the K5 and K6 processors had limited success. But, with the introduction of the Athlon CPU, AMD had a serious contender against Intels Pentium 3 CPUs.

In fact, it is because of AMD that Intels stronghold in the CPU market was threatened, and Intel has resorted to slashing prices on CPUs to meet AMDs aggressive pricing. Currently, AMDs 1.4 GHz Athlon CPUs are comparable in performance to Intels 1.8GHz Pentium 4, at a much lower price. AMD has been planning to make inroads into the server/workstation market for some time. Only now, after extensive research and testing have they released the much lauded AMD Athlon MP and AMD760MP chipset for multiprocessing systems.

Processor Comparison
AMD Duron Athlon AthlonMP Intel Celeron Pentium 3, Pentium 4 Pentium 3 Xeon Pentium 4 Xeon Intended For Budget Users Low to high-end Multimedia PCs Power Users Workstations Servers

How AMD SMP works

System Setup
Currently there is only one multiprocessor motherboard available that supports Athlon MP, the Tyan Thunder K7. It is based on the AMD760MP chipset and supports 2 processors. The memory used has to be Registered ECC DDR SDRAM

Tyan Thunder K7 Motherboard

Features: Supports 2 Athlon MP CPUs 2 Onboard 3Com LAN controllers Onboard dual-channel Ultra 160 SCSI 4 DIMM slots for a total of 3Gb of DDR SDRAM 5 64/32-bit 33Mhz PCI slots 200/266 MHz Front-side Bus

184-pin 256Mb PC2100 Registered ECC DDR SDRAM DIMM

ECC - Error Checking and Correction using extra parity chip for data integrity and reliability. Registered - Has registers for a delay cycle to allow for stacked DIMMs greater than 256 Mb per DIMM for improved stability.

Software Platforms
The most popular operating systems that support SMP are: Linux and Windows NT, Windows 2000

Windows 2000 Benchmarks

Linux Benchmark

Bottom Line
IWILL DX-400 SN motherboard ( + 1 Gb 800 MHz RDRAM ( mory/2.shtml) + 2 x 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 Xeon ( dg/) =US$2477

Tyan Thunder K7 motherboard ( ML/000040.html) + 1Gb Registered ECC DDR SDRAM ( + 2 x 1.2GHz AMD Athlon MP ( pu/) = US$1333

When placed in the very environment of our AnandTech Forums Database Server, a Dual Intel Xeon 1.7GHz system was outperformed by an identical Dual Athlon MP 1.2GHz setup. -Anandtech