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We are intending to buy a powerful workstation for our daily processing of some seismic data. The process consists of doing numeric processing on data acquired on different seismic stations and by its nature the stations and their respective data and the processing on them are completely independent for the most part. I have been running some tests on different architectures. The code is written in openmp and the task is distributed on the number of cpu cores. On an Intel XEON with eight cores the time was reduced by almost a factor of 8, while on an AMD Opteron with 24 cores and almost comparable clock frequency to INTEL, it used almost 10 times longer to do the same process (alle 24 cores were employed)! When I reduced the "number of cores" to one on both machines, AMD was still slower by almost the same factor. The data set can be very large. The AMD has much larger physical memory available but the "cache size" is 4 times smaller then Intel. I need some advice on how these parameters affect the speed (especially the cache size in parallel programming context) so we would use the money on a suitable hardware. The platform is Linux.

Thanks in advance

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You write that you've already got some data indicating that cache size has a significant impact on the execution of your programs, and a variety of other test and benchmarks too. Now you invite us to guess what is the most suitable hardware for optimising the performance of programs we have no knowledge of. No answer you get here will be as valuable to you as continuing your own investigations. –  High Performance Mark Oct 29 '12 at 9:50
thanks for your comment. I am not an expert on parallel computing. What I see on the subject of cache in this context is what is called "cache coherency" which could hardly have such an drastic effect as I explained in my original post. What I meant was: is there any other reason to suspect the inferior performance of AMD vs. Intel other than the cache size ? I apologize if my question was to vague. I was looking for some guidelines. –  user1641496 Oct 29 '12 at 10:36
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