SMT Integer Performance With SPEC CPU2006

Next, to test the performance impact of simultaneous multithreading (SMT) on a single core, we test with two threads on the same core. This way we can evaluate how well the core handles SMT. 

Subtest Application type Xeon E5-2690 @ 3.8 Xeon E5-2690 v3 @ 3.5 Xeon E5-2699 v4 @ 3.6 EPYC 7601 @3.2 Xeon 8176 @ 3.8
400.perlbench Spam filter 39.8 43.9 47.2 40.6 55.2
401.bzip2 Compression 32.6 32.3 32.8 33.9 34.8
403.gcc Compiling 40.7 43.8 32.5 41.6 32.1
429.mcf Vehicle scheduling 44.7 51.3 55.8 44.2 56.6
445.gobmk Game AI 36.6 35.9 38.1 36.4 39.4
456.hmmer Protein seq. analyses 32.5 34.1 40.9 34.9 44.3
458.sjeng Chess 36.4 36.9 39.5 36 41.9
462.libquantum Quantum sim 75 73.4 89 89.2 91.7
464.h264ref Video encoding 52.4 58.2 58.5 56.1 75.3
471.omnetpp Network sim 25.4 30.4 48.5 26.6 42.1
473.astar Pathfinding 31.4 33.6 36.6 29 37.5
483.xalancbmk XML processing 43.7 53.7 78.2 37.8 78

Now on a percentage basis versus the single-threaded results, so that we can see how much performance we gained from enabling SMT:

Subtest Application type Xeon E5-2699 v4 @ 3.6 EPYC 7601 @3.2 Xeon 8176 @ 3.8
400.perlbench Spam filter 109% 131% 110%
401.bzip2 Compression 137% 141% 128%
403.gcc Compiling 137% 119% 131%
429.mcf Vehicle scheduling 125% 110% 131%
445.gobmk Game AI 125% 150% 127%
456.hmmer Protein seq. analyses 127% 125% 125%
458.sjeng Chess 120% 151% 125%
462.libquantum Quantum sim 91% 129% 90%
464.h264ref Video encoding 101% 112% 112%
471.omnetpp Network sim 109% 116% 103%
473.astar Pathfinding 140% 149% 137%
483.xalancbmk XML processing 120% 107% 116%

On average, both Xeons pick up about 20% due to SMT (Hyperthreading). The EPYC 7601 improved by even more: it gets a 28% boost on average. There are many possible explanations for this, but two are the most likely. In the situation where AMD's single threaded IPC is very low because it is waiting on the high latency of a further away L3-cache (>8 MB), a second thread makes sure that the CPU resources can be put to better use (like compression, the network sim). Secondly, we saw that AMD core is capable of extracting more memory bandwidth in lightly threaded scenarios. This might help in the benchmarks that stress the DRAM (like video encoding, quantum sim). 

Nevertheless, kudos to the AMD engineers. Their first SMT implementation is very well done and offers a tangible throughput increase. 

Single Threaded Integer Performance: SPEC CPU2006 Multi-core SPEC CPU2006
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  • JohanAnandtech - Friday, July 21, 2017 - link

    Thanks! It is was a challenge, and we will update this article later on, when better kernel support is available. Reply
  • serendip - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - link

    What idiot marketroid thought it was cool to have a huge list of SKUs and gimped "precious metals" branding? I'd like to see Epyc kicking Xeon butt simply because AMD has much more sensible product lists and there's not much gimping going on. Reply
  • ParanoidFactoid - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - link

    Reading through this, the takeaway seems thus. Epyc has latency concerns in communicating between CCX blocks, though this is true of all NUMA systems. If your application is latency sensitive, you either want a kernel that can dynamically migrate threads to keep them close to their memory channel - with an exposed API so applications can request migration. (Linux could easily do this, good luck convincing MS). OR, you take the hit. OR, you buy a monolithic die Intel solution for much more capital outlay. Further, the takeaway on Intel is, they have the better technology. But their market segmentation strategy is so confusing, and so limiting, it's near impossible to determine best cost/performance for your application. So you wind up spending more than expected anyway. AMD is much more open and clear about what they can and can't do. Intel expects to make their money by obfuscating as part of their marketing strategy. Finally, Intel can go 8 socket, so if you need that - say, high core low latency securities trading - they're the only game in town. Sun, Silicon Graphics, and IBM have all ceded that market. Reply
  • msroadkill612 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    "it's near impossible to determine best cost/performance for your application. So you wind up spending more than expected anyway. AMD is much more open and clear about what they can and can't do. Intel expects to make their money by obfuscating as part of their marketing strategy.

    Finally, Intel can go 8 socket, so if you need that - say, high core low latency securities trading - they're the only game in town. Sun, Silicon Graphics, and IBM have all ceded that market."

    & given time is money, & intelwastes customers time, then intel is expensive.

    Those guys will go intel anyway, but just sayin, there is already talk of a 48 core zen cpu, making 98 cores on a mere 2p mobo.

    As i have posted b4, if wall street starts liking gpu compute for prompter answers, amdS monster apuS will be unanswerable.
    Reply
  • nils_ - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - link

    98 cores on a 2p mobo isn't quite right if you keep in mind that the 32 core versions already constitute a 4 CPU system, unless AMD somehow manages to get more cores on a single die. Reply
  • nils_ - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - link

    Good analysis, although Sun and IBM are still coming out with new CPUs and at least with IBM there is renewed interest in the POWER ecosystem. Reply
  • eek2121 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    , but rather AMD's spanking new EPYC server CPU. Both CPUs are without a doubt very different: micro architecture, ISA extentions, <snip>

    Should be extensions.
    Reply
  • intelemployee2012 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    After looking at the number of people who really do not fully understand the entire architecture and workloads and thinking that AMD Naples is superior because it has more cores, pci lanes etc is surprising.
    AMD made a 32 core server by gluing four 8core desktop dies whereas Intel has a single die balanced datacenter specific architecture which offers more perf if you make the entire Rack comparison. It's not the no of cores its the entire Rack which matters.
    Intel cores are superior than AMD so a 28 core xeon is equal to ~40 cores if you compare again Ryzen core so this whole 28core vs 32core is a marketing trick. Everyone thinks Intel is expensive but if you go by performance per dollar Intel has a cheaper option at every price point to match Naples without compromising perf/dollar.
    To be honest with so many Fabs, don't you think Intel is capable of gluing desktop dies to create a 32core,64core or evn 128core server (if it wants to) if thats the implementation style it needs to adopt like AMD?
    The problem these days is layman looks at just numbers but that's not how you compare.
    Reply
  • sharath.naik - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    Agree, Most who look at these numbers will walk away thinking AMD is doing well with EPYC. The article points out the approach to testing and also states the performance challenges with EPYC, which can be missed who reading this review without the prior review on the older Xeons. For example the Big data test, I bet the newbies will walk away thinking EPYC beats the older XEONS E5 v4, as thats what the graphs show,without ever looking back at the numbers for a single 22 core Xeon e5 v4. So yes, a few back links in the article will be helpful. Reply
  • warreo - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - link

    Not a fanboi of either company, but care to elaborate more? I checked the original Xeon E5 v4 review. It shows that a single Xeon E5 v4 performs about 10% slower than a dual setup. Extrapolating that here, that means the single Xeon E5 v4 setup would be right around 4.5 jobs per day, which would make it roughly 50% slower than the dual Epyc and Xeon 8176.

    Sure, you could argue perf/dollar is better against a dual Epyc setup...but one could make the same argument against Intel's Skylake Xeons? I also wouldn't expect the performance to scale linearly anyway. Please let me know what I'm missing.
    Reply

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