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
Typical error margin 1-2%

 

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 to completely personalize his view on all this news. Needles to say, the Nieuws.be site is sitting of top of a pretty large database, more than 100 GB and growing. This database consists of a few hundred separate tables, which have been carefully optimized by our lab (the Sizing Server Lab).

Almost all of the load on the database are selects (99%), about 5% of them are stored procedures. Network traffic averages 6.5MB/s and peaks at 14MB/s. So our Gigabit network connection has still 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 subsequent 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 harddisks.

We now use an new even 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!

Pretty amazing performance here. And while AMD gets a pat on the back, it is the hard working people of Microsoft SQL Server team we should send our kudos to. Our calculations show that SQL Server adds about 80% of performance when adding an extra 12 cores, which is simply awesome scaling. The result of this scaling is that for once, you can notice which CPUs have real cores vs. ones that have virtual (Hyper Threading) cores: the 12-core Opteron 6174 outperforms the best Xeon by 20%. The people with transaction databases should go for the Intel CPUs, while the data miners should consider the latest Opteron. The architectures that AMD and Intel have chosen are complete opposites, and the result is that the differences between the different software categories are very dramatic. Profile your software before you make a choice! It has never been so important.

 

SAP S&D 2-Tier Virtualization & Consolidation
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  • 564265425722557 - Monday, March 29, 2010 - link

    1. Why is the TDP of the 65W ACP Magny Cours the question mark? And are you sure the TDP of the 80W ACP ones 115W?

    2. The Intel systems have only 24GB ram against the 32GB ram on the 2S magny cours. That's why the 100GB database test favors the Magny cours by a large margin.
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, March 29, 2010 - link

    AMD told us the TDP values of the Magny-Cours at 80 and 105W ACP. The TDP values of the Lower power versions were not disclosed yet.

    And as we disclosed on the benchmark config page, none of the benches uses more than 20 GB. The vAPus mark I uses about 19 GB. The SQL Server uses much less. While the SQL server test has to scan through the complete index, it does access the complete 100 GB data. There absolutely no advantage for the Opterons there. We checked.

    The fact that we spec the servers like that is a direct consequence of their memory channels (3 and 4). There is not much we can do about that.
    Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - link

    How about about 4P performance? It's cheap now and it's AMD whole selling point. I guess you can get a 4P 48-core 128GB system for not that much. How would that compare to a say 2P Nehalem 12-core 92GB? Wouldn't they cost about the same? Will it still be competitive against 8-core 2P Nehalem-EX? And how about the 4P (like 6-core versions) Nehalem-EX? How about the 8-core versions of 6100 series Opterons? Reply
  • elnexus - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    In answer to cost:

    Compare our 2P Xeon 5600-series Workstation :http://elnexus.com/products.aspx?line_id=15514
    with our 4P Opteron 6100-series Workstation: http://elnexus.com/products.aspx?line_id=15635

    (I hope this isn't condemned as advertising, since it is an attempt to answer a question about price vs performance.)

    Note how low priced the 6128 chip is (the default chip included in the base price).

    AMD, I think are running away from Intel if you factor in the price...
    Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - link

    Thanks, I don't condemn it as advertising as this is a new platform so it's interesting and hard to get prices for complete systems yet. Basically 4P 8-core 6100-series opterons with 128GB DDR3 ECC REG cost as much as 2P six-core Xeon (Westmere EP) with 96GB DDR3 ECC REG. Mainly because you can use cheaper 4GB sticks and still get 128GB. And partly because there's no longer any markup for above >2P parts. I guess it accounts for something. Yeah, 6128 chip virtually don't cost nothing for being 4P compatible. Guess it helps AMD for a lot of workload scenarios. And since you can get 4P in 1U it's really nothing that speaks against it. Will be interesting to see what the Nehalem-EX can do though. Reply
  • TitanusComp - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    You can really get a good idea by comparing this two products:

    48 Cores:
    http://www.titanuscomputers.com/A400-AMD-Workstati...

    24 Cores (Quad SLi Capable)
    http://www.titanuscomputers.com/X450-Intel-High-Pe...

    Now, things to consider, do you need CPU or GPU power?
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Monday, March 29, 2010 - link

    To make the whole benchmark complete I think you should ask some AMD Opteron 6136 from AMD to get a full review. Reply
  • duploxxx - Monday, March 29, 2010 - link

    and add the 56xx 4core counterpart off course Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - link

    We are working on it. Expect an update with new SKUs this month. I would say next week, but I would like to take some time to do some in depth analysis. Reply
  • Hacp - Monday, March 29, 2010 - link

    Anand,
    I want to ask why are you biased against AMD? You should base your tests based on price. AMD is selling their 12 core for the price of an Intel 6 core. Compare apples to apples! Do a 12 core vs 6 core comparison and see who wins. Otherwise, you are doing a disservice.
    Reply

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