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 21, 2016 - link

    I don't think so, we just expressed it in ns so you can compare with IBM's numbers more easily. Can you elaborate why you think they are wrong? Reply
  • Taracta - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Sorry, mixed up cycles with ns especially after reading the part about transition for the Intel from L3 to MEM. Reply
  • Sahrin - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Yikes. Pictures without captions. Anandtech is terrible about this. ALWAYS caption your pictures, guys. Reply
  • djayjp - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Are bar graphs not a thing anymore...? Reply
  • Drumsticks - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Afaik, Anandtech has always used the chart when presenting things like SPEC. I'd guess it'd be for clutter reasons, but the exact reason is up to the editors to mention. Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    The reason for me is simply to give you the exact numbers and allow people to do their own comparisons. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Just to be clear, the Xeon CPU used today is 3 times more expensive than the Power8 CPU benchmarked? That's really impressive, isn't it? The Power8 has a pretty significant power increase, but if it's 43% faster, that cuts into the perf/w gap.

    I know we've only looked at SPEC so far in round 2, but this looks like a good showing for IBM. How big is the efficiency gap between 22nm SOI and 14nm FinFet? Any estimates?
    Reply
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    Selling at a loss is hardly impressive, especially in IBM`s case. This thing is literally their last chance. Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Is it at a loss, or is it just not at crazy Intel margins? Reply
  • Michael Bay - Saturday, July 23, 2016 - link

    They`d have to have a healthy margin to offset all the R&D, plus IBM as a whole is not in a good financial position. Consider they sold their fab capability not so long ago. Reply

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