Database Performance & Variability

Results are very different with respect to transactional database benchmarks (HammerDB & OLTP). Intel's 8160 has an advantage of 22 to 29%, which is very similar to what we saw in our own independent benchmarking.

One of the main reasons is data locality: data is distributed over the many NUMA nodes causing extra latency for data access. Especially when data is locked, this can cause performance degradation.

Intel measured this with their own Memory Latency Checker (version 3.4), but you do not have rely on Intel alone. AMD reported similar results on the Linley Processor conference, and we saw similar results too.

There is more: Intel's engineers noticed quite a bit of performance variation between different runs.

Intel engineers claim that what they reported in the first graph on this page is, in fact, the best of 10 runs. Between the 10 runs, it is claimed there was a lot of variability: ignoring the outlier number 2, there are several occasions where performance was around 60% of the best reported value. Although we can not confirm that the performance of the EPYC system varies precisely that much, we have definitely seen more variation in our EPYC benchmarks than on a comparable Intel system.

Enterprise & Cloud Benchmarks HPC Benchmarks
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  • Topweasel - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    Yeah I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and I have no problem with them posting numbers even as analyzation of Intel in regards to EPYC. But a full page "review" of Intel's Epyc benchmarks as a product is kind of schilly. I mean where is their tests to back up the information? Where are the counterpart test where they test something similar that wasn't handpicked by Intel. How can any company assess the validity of a product based solely off of it's competitors testing of the product? Reply
  • bmf614 - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    If you could actually get ahold of Epyc they would probably review the hardware themselves but as of yet it is a paper launch. Reply
  • supdawgwtfd - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - link

    It's not a paper launch dipshit.

    They can bearly keep up with orders for large companies.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - link

    To throw some context in here, the purpose of this article isn't to publish Intel's benchmarks. Rather, it's commentary on what has been a very unusual situation.

    Up until now, neither AMD nor Intel have engaged in any serious Skylake Xeon vs. Zen EPYC technical marketing.

    "AMD's technical marketing of the new CPU has been surprisingly absent, as the company not published any real server benchmarks. The only benchmarks published were SPEC CPU and Stream, with AMD preferring for its partners and third parties to promote performance"

    This despite the fact that AMD and Intel's server products haven't been competitive like this in nearly a decade. Normally you'd expect there to be case studies flying out left and right, which has not been the case. And it's especially surprising since, as the underdog, AMD needs to claw back lost ground.

    Consequently, Intel's own efforts are, to date, the first efforts by a server vendor to do a comprehensive set of benchmarks over a range of use cases. And let's be clear here: this is Intel doing this for Intel's own benefit. Which is why we've already previously reviewed the two CPUs, as have other 3rd party groups.

    Still, I think it's very interesting to look at what Intel has chosen to represent, and what their numbers show. Intel has more resources than pretty much everyone else when it comes to competitive analysis, after all. So their choices and where they show themselves falling behind AMD says a lot about the current situation.

    TL;DR: We thought this stuff was interesting, especially since neither vendor until now has done a Xeon-SP vs. EPYC comparison. And since we've already done our own independent review (https://www.anandtech.com/show/11544/intel-skylake... ), it gives us a set of data to compare to our own conclusions (and to be clear, this isn't a review nor are we trying to call it one)
    Reply
  • CajunArson - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    Yeah, you were so doing your righteous complaints when Anandtech did literally the same thing for AMD when AMD went out and misconfigured Intel boxes to pretend that Epyc was better than it actually was.

    Oh wait, you weren't.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    The problem is the heavily biased towards intel AT coverage you clog. How could anyone complain about the opposite when AT have never displayed pro-amd bias? I have a problem with bias, and I point it out when I see it. You can bet your ass the moment AT shows unfair bais toward amd I will be there to point it out. But I cannot point it out if it doesn't exist. Reply
  • Hurr Durr - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    He was too busy ordering specific platters for his thousands of HDDs with one hand and screaming in threads about hypetane with the other. Reply
  • lkuzmanov - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    I've frequented the site for what must be over 10 years, but I fully agree this is, at the very least, a terrible idea. Reply
  • bmf614 - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    Toms and many other sites also covered this. Reply
  • wumpus - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - link

    If Intel suddenly feels the need to compete with AMD, that 's news (practically "man bites dog" news judging from the last decade or so).

    The fact that they have to pick carefully contrived benchmarks to appear superior to AMD is even more telling. Totally ignoring power consumption (one of the biggest concerns for datacenters) is even more telling.
    Reply

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