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Microsoft Hotfix For AMD Bulldozer Based Processors

Microsoft Hotfix For AMD Bulldozer Based Processors

This the season of resolutions! And a top resolution for 2012 is to get organized. For people, a central part of getting organized is learning how to improve scheduling your time to fit all the tasks at hand. Improving scheduling is not just a human thing – from an operating system (OS) viewpoint, better scheduling means that threads, processes or data flows are given more efficient access to system-level resources.

Our new AMD OpteronTM 6200 and 4200 Series processors are on the road to achieving optimal efficiency in 2012 with the recent release by our OS partners of improved scheduling techniques for their popular operating systems.

Let’s take a first look at Windows®. Currently, the CPU scheduling techniques used by Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 are not optimized for the module architecture of the AMD Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series processors. This means that certain multi-threaded workloads will not be optimally distributed between cores, which can result in decreased system performance.

Microsoft has just posted a hotfix for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 documented in KB2645595 that enlightens the OS kernel to the AMD Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series topology so that the kernel can do a better job of scheduling threads to the processor cores. This patch leverages work that AMD and Microsoft have done cooperatively for future versions of the Windows kernel, and can be applied as desired by users running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Below you’ll find links to the patches:

An update that selectively disables the Core Parking feature in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2 is available Here.

An update is available for computers that have an AMD FX, an AMD Opteron 4200, or an AMD Opteron 6200 series processor installed and that are running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Here.

What are the performance gains that can be expected from this patch? It depends. Workloads that are moderately threaded have the potential for uplift. This could include virtualization, database, or transactional environments that are “bursty” – a mixture of light and heavy transactions, or legacy applications that are by nature not very threaded. The more heavily threaded the application, the less the likely the uplift. We recommend that interested users apply the patch to a test system and see how their workload responds.

If we switch over to the Linux world, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.2 was released on Dec 6, 2011. RHEL 6.2 is another OS that is “enlightened” for the AMD Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series processors. It delivers higher levels of efficiency realized through resource management and performance optimization and enables enhanced business agility through more flexibility for virtualized and clustered environments.

AMD works closely with Microsoft, Red Hat and the Linux Open Source Community to drive enhancements for our processors at the operating system level. Our resolution is to get users to evaluate our AMD Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series processors with these new “enlightened” OSs.

Thanks to [H]ardOCP

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