Benchmark Selection

Our testing was conducted on Ubuntu Server 15.10 (kernel 4.2.0) with gcc compiler version 5.2.1.

The choice of comparing the IBM POWER8 2.92 10-core with the Xeon E5-2699 v4 22-core might seem weird, as the latter is three-times as expensive as the former. However, for this review, where we evaluate single thread/core performance, pricing does not matter. As this is one of the lowest clocked POWER8 CPUs, an Intel Xeon with a high base clock - something that's common for Intel's chips with fewer cores - would make it harder to compare the two microarchitectures. We also wanted an Intel chip that could reach high turbo clockspeeds thanks to a high TDP.

And last but not least we did not have very many Xeon E5 v4 SKUs in the lab...

Configuration


IBM S812LC (2U)

The IBM S812LC is based up on Tyan's "Habanero" platform. The board inside the IBM server is thus designed by Tyan.

CPU One IBM POWER8 2.92 GHz (up to 3.5 GHz Turbo)
RAM 256 GB (16x16GB) DDR3-1333
Internal Disks 2x Samsung 850Pro 960 GB
Motherboard Tyan SP012
PSU Delta Electronics DSP-1200AB 1200W


Intel's Xeon E5 Server – S2600WT (2U Chassis)

This is the same server that we used in our latest Xeon v4 review.

CPU

Xeon E5-2699 v4
Xeon E5-2640 v4 (2.4 GHz, 10 cores, 90 W TDP)

RAM 256 GB (8x32GB) Samsung DDR4-2400
Internal Disks 2x Samsung 850Pro 960 GB
Motherboard Intel Server Board Wildcat Pass
PSU Delta Electronics 750W DPS-750XB A (80+ Platinum)

Hyperthreading, Turbo, C1 and C6 were enabled in the BIOS.

Other Notes

All servers are fed by a standard European 230V (16 Amps max.) power line. The room temperature is monitored and kept at 23°C by our Airwell CRACs in our Sizing Servers Lab.

System Specs Memory Subsystem: Bandwidth
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  • JohanAnandtech - Thursday, July 28, 2016 - link

    Send me a mail at johan@anandtech.com Reply
  • abufrejoval - Thursday, August 4, 2016 - link

    Hmm, a bit fuzzy after the first paragraph or so and evidently because I dislike malwaretizement: Such links should be banned! Reply
  • mystic-pokemon - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Hi floobit
    For virtualization: powerVM and out of the box KVM (tested on Fedora 23, Ubuntu 15.04 / 15.10 / 16.04) work quite well. Xen doesn't work well or hasn't been officially tested / released.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Fun! I was always curious about this processor. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Interesting that the L3 eDRAM not only allows them to pack in much more L3 (what was it, 3 SRAM transistors per eDRAM or something?), but it's also low latency which was a cited concern with eDARM by some people. Appears to be an unfounded fear.

    And then on top of that they put another large L4 eDRAM cache on.

    Maybe Intel needs to play with eDRAM more...
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Lol, eDRAM, not eDARM Reply
  • Kevin G - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    There was a change in how the L4 cache works from Broadwell to SkyLake on the mobile parts. The implication is that Intel was exploring the idea of a large L4 eDRAM for SkyLake-EP/EX parts. We'll see how that turns out as Intel also has explored using HMC as a cache for high bandwidth applications in Knights Landing. So either way, Intel has thus idea on there radar and we'll see how it pans out next year. Reply
  • tsk2k - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Is it possible to run Windows on one of these? Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    At the moment, a very solid no.

    That said, if enough partners ask for it and/or if the numbers make sense for Azure, MS will at the very least have a damn good look at porting Windows over.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    It's probably just a case of doing QA and releasing it. They've sold a PPC build in the past; and maintain internal builds for a number of other CPU architectures to avoid accidentally baking x86isms into the core code. Reply

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