P4 vs AMD64 bit for MS Exchange VM lab


Apr 1, 2004
I need to build a lab to run MS Exchange (etc.) in VMs on MS Virtual PC or VMWare. I was considering the P4 in PC Mag 9/16/3 but am tempted to use an AMD64 system. If anyone has experience of that sort of workload on an AMD64 I'd like to read about it (although unsubstantiated opinions might be more entertaining).


Feb 6, 2004
I have toyed with VMware in my time, but I never ran any benchmarks on different systems, so I have no idea how its performance relates to different architectures. I did notice, VMware hardly reduces performance, but can require tons of memory.

To get an idea of Exchange performance, have a look here:
<A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/techinfo/planning/2000/PerfScal.asp" target="_new">http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/techinfo/planning/2000/PerfScal.asp</A>

P4's could be faster than a single Xeon because of the higher FSB speed and clockspeeds, but OTOH, most xeons on that list are 2 MB cache versions which might make more of a difference.

A64's would likely be slower than the opterons listed as well because they lack dual channel memory, OTOH, A64's are available in much clockfrequencies than the 1.8 GHz opterons listed.

All in all, my guess is it will be a toss up, if I had to guess, I'd guess the A64 would perform better.

Anyway, does this matter for a lab ? You really need a TON of concurrent clients to max out a cpu with exchange anyway, most stress goes to the harddisks and memory. I wouldnt worry too much about the cpu.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =