After installing the new Athlon X2 4600+ processor in Rio, I have to say I’m very impressed with the performance gains. Not only was I able to re-install Kubuntu server and get all the necessary packages installed again quickly, but the overall responsiveness of the machine is greatly improved while multitasking. This is especially noticeable with running 2 virtual servers using VMware Server.

So what about the benchmarks? I decided to start with the svnmark that Luis introduced on his blog, and downloaded Subversion 1.3.0 (1.3.2 is available, but the last benchmarks I did previously used 1.3.0). After a couple of runs, I found make -j4 to be the quickest. Here are the numbers:

Mac Pro Quad 3Ghz: 0:53
Dual Core Athlon 64 2.4Ghz: 1:27
Quad 2.5Ghz G5: 1:39
MacBook Pro Dual 1.83Ghz: 2:11
Dual 2.5Ghz G5: 2:35
Single Core Athlon 64 2Ghz (same server before upgrade): 2:59

After running this test and seeing the Athlon X2 compile faster than even a Quad G5, I’m pretty happy. Granted, the OS is Linux and not Mac OS X, but I doubt Linux would be that much more efficient when compiling software using gcc.

So how does it stack up with the forecast processing I need the server to do? Well in this case, I don’t have any solid benchmarks, I’m just running off memory here. The old processor was able to generate and serve a forecast in 0.4 seconds, where the new one can do the same request just under 0.3 seconds–a pretty solid 25% performance gain. This is all sequential code, so this doesn’t take into account the availability of a second processor. The forecast update is also a lot quicker, and with a second core the machine should still be able to handle connections from Seasonality to generate forecasts while updating the forecast database back-end.