Benchmark Configuration

Unfortunately, the Intel R2208GZ4GSSPP is a 2U server, which makes it hard to compare it with the 1U Opteron "Interlagos" and 1U "Westmere EP" servers we have tested in the past. We will be showing you a few power consumption numbers, but since a direct comparison isn't possible, please take them with a grain of salt.

Intel's Xeon E5 server R2208GZ4GSSPP (2U Chassis)

CPU

Intel Xeon processor E5-2690 (2.9 GHz, 8c, 20MB L3, 135W)
Intel Xeon processor E5-2660 (2.2 GHz, 8c, 20MB L3, 95W)

RAM 64 GB (8x8GB) DDR-1600 Samsung M393B1K70DH0-CK0
Motherboard Intel Server Board S2600GZ "Grizzly Pass"
Chipset Intel C600
BIOS version SE5C600.86B (01/06/2012)
PSU Intel 750W DPS-750XB A (80+ Platinum)

The Xeon E5 CPUs have four memory channels per CPU and support DDR3-1600, and thus our dual CPU configuration gets eight DIMMs for maximum bandwidth. The typical BIOS settings can be found below.

Not being show is that all prefetchers were enabled in all tests.

Supermicro A+ Opteron server 1022G-URG (1U Chassis)

CPU Two AMD Opteron "Bulldozer" 6276 at 2.3GHz
Two AMD Opteron "Magny-Cours" 6174 at 2.2GHz
RAM 64GB (8x8GB) DDR3-1600 Samsung M393B1K70DH0-CK0
Motherboard SuperMicro H8DGU-F
Internal Disks 2 x Intel SLC X25-E 32GB or
1 x Intel MLC SSD510 120GB
Chipset AMD Chipset SR5670 + SP5100
BIOS version v2.81 (10/28/2011)
PSU SuperMicro PWS-704P-1R 750Watt

The same is true for the latest AMD Opterons: eight DDR3-1600 DIMMs for maximum bandwidth. You can find the BIOS settings of our Opteron machine here. C6 was enabled.

Asus RS700-E6/RS4 1U Server

CPU Two Intel Xeon X5670 at 2.93GHz - 6 cores
Two Intel Xeon X5650 at 2.66GHz - 6 cores
RAM 48GB (12x4GB) Kingston DDR3-1333 FB372D3D4P13C9ED1
Motherboard Asus Z8PS-D12-1U
Chipset Intel 5520
BIOS version 1102 (08/25/2011)
PSU 770W Delta Electronics DPS-770AB

To speed up testing, we tested the Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron system in parallel. As we didn't have more than eight 8GB DIMMs, we used our 4GB DDR3-1333 DIMMs. The Xeon system only gets 48GB, but this isn't a disadvantage as our highest memory footprint benchmark (vApus FOS, 5 tiles) uses no more than 40GB of RAM.

Finally, we measured the difference between 12x4GB and 8x8GB of RAM and recalculated the power consumption for our power measurements (note that the differences were very small). There is no alternative as our Xeon has three memory channels and cannot be outfitted with the same amount of RAM as our Opteron system (four channels).

Common Storage System

For the virtualization tests, each server gets an Adaptec 5085 PCIe x8 card (driver aacraid v1.1-5.1[2459] b 469512) connected to six Cheetah 300GB 15000 RPM SAS disks (RAID-0) inside a Promise JBOD J300. The virtualization testing requires more storage IOPs than our standard Promise JBOD with six SAS drives can provide. To counter this, we added internal SSDs:

  • We installed the Oracle Swingbench VMs (vApus Mark II) on two internal X25-E SSDs (no RAID). The Oracle database is only 6GB big. We test with two tiles. On each SSD, each OLTP VM accesses its own database data. All other VMs (web, SQL Server OLAP) are stored on the Promise JBOD (see above).
  • With vApus FOS, Zimbra is the I/O intensive VM. We spread the Zimbra data over the two Intel X25-E SSDs (no RAID). All other VMs (web, MySQL OLAP) get their data from the Promise JBOD (see above).

We monitored disk activity and measured the phyiscal disk adapter latency (as reported by VMware vSphere) at between 0.5 and 2.5 ms.

Software Configuration

All vApus testing was done one ESXi vSphere 5--VMware ESXi 5.0.0 (b 469512 - VMkernel SMP build-348481 Jan-12-2011 x86_64) to be more specific. All vmdks use thick provisioning, independent, and persistent. The power policy is "Balanced Power" unless indicated otherwise. All other testing was done on Windows 2008 Enterprise R2 SP1. Unless noted otherwise, we used the "High Performance setting" on Windows 2008 R2 SP1.

Other Notes

Both servers were fed by a standard European 230V (16 Amps max.) powerline. The room temperature was monitored and kept at 23°C by our Airwell CRACs.

We used the Racktivity ES1008 Energy Switch PDU to measure power consumption. Using a PDU for accurate power measurements might seem pretty insane, but this is not your average PDU. Measurement circuits of most PDUs assume that the incoming AC is a perfect sine wave, but it never is. However, the Rackitivity PDU measures true RMS current and voltage at a very high sample rate: up to 20,000 measurements per second for the complete PDU.

New Supermicro Twin: SYS-6027TR-D71FRF 2U Chassis Virtualization Performance: Linux VMs on ESXi
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  • dilidolo - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Link not working on first page - THE SPECS AND THE SKUS Reply
  • yvizel - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    For some reason I cannot go beyond the first page... Reply
  • yvizel - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Second page, in the Intel table, the 2630 is listed as an eight core CPU.
    But then: "...Based on the paper specs, AMD's 6276, 6274 and Intel's 2640 and 2630 are in a neck-and-neck race. AMD offers 16 smaller integer clusters, while Intel offers 6 heavy, slightly higher clocked cores with SMT..."
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Fixed, thanks for letting me know!

    -Johan
    Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Ah man, the 2630L error totally got my hopes up. 8 cores for $662 would be very reasonable. Reply
  • Kjella - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    ...just got bulldozed. And this isn't even on the 22nm 3D transistors they're launching next month, it's like they just got a dizzying punch and know the KO punch is coming. Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    It'll probably be awhile before the Ivy Bridge Xeons are out. Reply
  • Kjella - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Of course, I'm guessing Q1 2013 before we'll see those but we already know from all the leaked SB -> IB details roughly what SB-Xeon to IB-Xeon will be like. All AMD has on their roadmap for 2013 is the "Abu Dhabi" with the "Piledriver" core promising 10-15% performance boost but still on 32nm. So you can see the punch coming a year away, but I don't think AMD has the capability to do anything about it. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    My question as well.

    What is the Intel roadmap for Ivy Bridge in this arena. Would be the same timeframe as IVB-E I would guess.

    Wondering if my Intel dividends will pile up enough for me to afford one! Haha
    Reply
  • fredisdead - Saturday, April 07, 2012 - link

    From the 'article' .....

    'The Opteron might also have a role in the low end, price sensitive HPC market, where it still performs very well. It won't have much of chance in the high end clustered one as Intel has the faster and more power efficient PCIe interface'

    Well, if that's the case, why exactly would AMD be scoring so many design wins with Interlagos. Including this one ...

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2394515,00.as...

    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/Cray-Ti...

    U think those guys at Cray were going for low performance ? In fact, seems like AMD has being rather cleaning up in the HPC market since the arrival of Interlagos. And the markets have picked up on it, AMD stock is thru the roof since the start of the year. Or just see how many Intel processors occupy the the top 10 supercomputers on the planet. Nuff said ...
    Reply

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