New Changes to the V40z

The heart of the new V40z is, of course, the Opteron 875 processors. Since a single 2.6GHz Opteron draws the same power as a dual core 2.2GHz Opteron, the V40z doesn't seem to have too much difficulty with drop in compatibility. In theory at least, a dual core Opteron 875 should have the same power envelope as an Opteron 252 but provides an additional 50-80% performance boost. For more details on the Opteron 875, please check out our earlier article here. Although AMD has some background in 8-way server configurations, it is not nearly as extensive as that of Intel, Sun, IBM or HP. Putting eight cores in a 3U is a huge step forward for AMD (and Sun) and processor scaling is a colossal issue.

Additional cooling is not necessary for the dual core Opteron 875s because they have approximately the same TDP as Opteron 852s.

Our previous V40z (Quad Opteron 850) managed to draw 585 watts during peak operation - well within the capability of the redundant 760W power supplies. During peak operation the new V40z with quad Opteron 875s hit 615W during heavy load. This falls in line with AMD and Sun's claim concerning the power consumption.

Aside from the dual core processors, there have been some other changes to the V40z since our last analysis.

  • The two Broadcom BCM5703 gigabit controllers in the previous V40z have been replaced with a single BCM5704.
  • The 800MHz HyperTransport links have been upgraded to full 1GHz HyperTransport links.
  • The Service Processor now supports IPMI 2.0.
  • Support for 300GB hard drives has been added to the BIOS.

The new features of the V40z do come at a premium; the base quad dual core systems from Sun start around $38,995 direct from Sun. However, there are incentive programs (including a Xeon trade-in program) that can reduce this cost by up to 15% and other promos running on Sun's webpage. Third party retailers are also selling Sun system at lower prices, but unfortunately the third party retailers do not offer the same support packages.

Index Getting a Feel for Solaris 10


View All Comments

  • kbsartain - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    The Database benchmarks are likely bottlenecked on storage. Attach a high-speed array with multiple disks, and the scaling would be much more linear vs. 2-way. Reply
  • ceefka - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    It would be nice if other Opteron-builders would add to the test so we can get an idea of how well the Opteron is implemented.

    I'd say webspace is best served with dualcore Opterons. 90% gain! Holy moly!

    #23 I have worked as a temporary at Sun in The Netherlands in 1987 when they were about to release their 4/ series. Their 3/ machines were already considered top notch then. They offered workstations with an optical mouse that moved over a special gridpad and full color screens. That was really something special then. No AMD CPUs at that time.

    To be perfectly honest as well, I also didn't know them before I worked there ;-)
  • sprockkets - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    SuSE Linux Enterprise not enterprise enough for u? Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    hondaman: This is why we used SLES this time around instead of RH9. Unfortunately the previous single-core V40z tests were all done a few months ago when we had that machine.

  • Xenoterranos - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    Wow, I wish my company had a use for a system like that. I'd take a paycut just to be able to play with it for a while... damned fine enginering on both Sun and AMD's part. And to be prefectly honest, I never really payed Sun that much attention until they started using AMD procs. Everyone else needs to get with the program and give AMD the market share they deserve...oh wait...I'll stop there. Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    #21: Read the comments and you'll find your answer.

    Kristopher: Page 7, "Apache Benchmarks" text:

    "It's also interesting to note the difference between Solaris 10 and SLES 9 here. As the threads increased, there was a wider gap between performance of the Solaris configuration and the SLES configuration in favor of Solaris."

    The graph on that page shows the opposite, with SLES outperforming Solaris.
  • finbarqs - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    wait why the xbox360/ps3 article taken down? Reply
  • hondaman - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    can you swap suse with a real enterprise os like rhel? Reply
  • themelon - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    I guess I should have kept reading.


    I have one of the v40's in my lab with 4 of the 875's. Very nice machine.
  • Doormat - Thursday, June 30, 2005 - link

    Does anyone know if the v20zs were dual core-capable? I heard that if you negotiate with sun (go to sun's ebay sale for the v20z), you can get really good deals. I'd love to just get two 270s if/when the prices come down. Reply

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