Decision Support benchmark: Nieuws.be

Decision Support benchmark Nieuws.be
Operating System Windows 2008 Enterprise RTM (64 bit)
Software SQL Server 2008 Enterprise x64 (64 bit)
Benchmark software vApus + real-world "Nieuws.be" Database
Database Size > 100GB

The Flemish/Dutch Nieuws.be site is one of the newest web 2.0 websites, launched in 2008. It gathers news from many different sources and allows the reader a personalized view on all the news. The Nieuws.be site sits on top of a large database—more than 100GB and growing. This database consists of a few hundred separate tables, which have been carefully optimized by our lab (the Sizing Server Lab).

99% of the loads on the database are selects, and about 5% of them are stored procedures. Network traffic is 6.5MB/s average and 14MB/s at the most, so our Gigabit connection still has a lot of headroom. Disk Queue Length (DQL) is at 2 in the first round of tests, but we only report the results of the next rounds where the database is in a steady state. We measured a DQL close to 0 during these tests, so there is no tangible intervention of the hard disks.

Attention: since our twelve-core Opteron review, we are using a new heavier log. As the Nieuws.be application became more popular and more complex, the database has grown and queries have become more complex too. The results are no longer comparable to previous results. They are similar, but much lower.

Nieuws.be MS SQL Server 2008—New Heavy log!

First, you may notice that our dual Xeon X5670 is 6% higher compared to what we reported in our twelve-core Opteron review. As we changed the benchmark and tested a lot of configurations in less than a week (before the launch of the Magny-Cours Opteron), we made an error. We tested with the power option set at "balanced power", which lowered the score of the Xeon X5670. We now tested with the "high performance" power setting, as we did on the Opterons.

Our data mining benchmark scales well with more cores, so the performance delivered by the X7560 is a bit lower than expected. The high memory latency and relatively low bandwidth per core might slow the octal-core Xeon down.

Understanding the Performance Numbers SAP S&D 2-Tier
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  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    "Damn, Dell cut half the memory channels from the R810!"

    You read too fast again :-). Only in Quad CPU config. In dual CPU config, you get 4 memory controllers, which connect each two SMBs. So in a dual Config, you get the same bandwidth as you would in another server.

    The R810 targets those that are not after the highest CPU processing power, but want the RAS features and 32 DIMM slots. AFAIK,
    Reply
  • whatever1951 - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    2 channels of DDR3-1066 per socket in a fully populated R810 and if you populate 2 sockets, you get the flex memory routing penalty...damn..............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! R810 sucks. Reply
  • Sindarin - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    whatever1951 you lost me @ Hello.........................and I thought Sauron was tough!! lol Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    "It is hard to imagine 4 channels of DDR3-1066 to be 1/3 slower than even the westmere-eps."

    On one side you have a parallel half duplex DDR-3 DIMM. On the other side of the SMB you have a serial full duplex SMI. The buffers might not perform this transition fast enough, and there has to be some overhead. I also am still searching for the clockspeed of the IMC. The SMIs are on a different (I/O) clockdomain than the L3-cache.

    We will test with Intel's / QSSC quad CPU to see whether the flexmem bridge has any influence. But I don't think it will do much. You might add a bit of latency, but essentially the R810 is working like a dual CPU with four IMCs just like another (Dual CPU) Nehalem EX server system would.
    Reply
  • whatever1951 - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the useful info. R810 then doesn't meet my standard.

    Johan, is there anyway you can get your hands on a R910 4 Processor system from Dell and bench the memory bandwidth to see how much that flex mem chip costs in terms of bandwidth?
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - link

    The Uncore of the X7560 runs at 2.4GHz. Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    Do you have a source for that? Must have missed it. Reply
  • Etern205 - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    I think AT needs to fix this "RE:RE:RE...:" problem? Reply
  • amalinov - Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - link

    Great article! I like the way in witch you describe the memory subsystem - I have readed the Intel datasheets and many news articles about Xeon 7500, but your description is the best so far.

    You say "So each CPU has two memory interfaces that connect to two SMBs that can each drive two channels with two DIMMS. Thus, each CPU supports eight registered DDR3 DIMMs ...", but if I do the math it seems: 2 SMIs x 2 SMBs x 2 channels x 2 DIMMs = 16 DDR3 DIMMs, not 8 as written in the second sentence. Later in the article I think you mention 16 at different places, so it seems it is realy 16 and not 8.

    What about Itanium 9300 review (including general background on the plans of OEMs/Intel for IA-64 platform)? Comparision of scalability(HT/QPI)/memory/RAS features of Xeon 7500, Itanium 9300 and Opteron 6000 would be welcome. Also I would like to see a performance comparision with appropriate applications for the RISC mainframe market (HPC?) with 4- and 8-socket AMD, Intel Xeon, Intel Itanium, POWER7, newest SPARC.
    Reply
  • jeha - Thursday, April 15, 2010 - link

    You really should review the IBM 3850 X5 I think?

    They have some interesting solutions when it comes to handling memory expansions etc.
    Reply

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