The New Benchmark Suite

We've made some changes to our benchmarks to accommodate the required multiple load scenarios we used in this article. The first benchmark we overhauled was the Dell DVD Store test (http://linux.dell.com/dvdstore/). In the last article (the first time we used Dell DVD Store), we used the stock Dell SQL driver along with a medium sized database (which is approximate 3GB). This time around we wanted to use a larger database to show a more enterprise based e-commerce scenario. To get a larger database we took the medium database and upped the customers to 20 million from 2 million and upped the products from a hundred thousand to 1 million. This resulted in a 14GB database.

We modified the driver code as well. We started off by taking the included C# driver source code and changing the way it created the threads (users). Basically, in stock form the driver creates all the threads and users in one shot and then starts executing orders. Since we wanted to be able to dynamically add threads to achieve certain load levels, we added a method to the class to add users. At the same time we also added a few properties so that we could use a Windows Form application to house the class and report back various performance counters. This allows us to graph CPU usage and orders per minute over the duration of the test, and we can save the graphs for historical reporting. The Forum benchmark also got an overhaul using the same GUI driver, and a few changes to the way the queries were executed against the database.

Both of the benchmark applications record their results back to a database server, where we average the results over the N number of runs for our graphs. We also allow the GUI to take command line parameters, which allows us to set up batch files to run an entire platform. On average it takes almost 20 hours to run a platform (due to the fact we run 5 iterations of each load point). It is important to look at the deviations between benchmark runs to ensure scores are consistent and representative of typical performance. The deviations are all relatively low which is very good, with the average deviation being 1.6%.

Dell & Forum SQL Trace Analysis

The Dell and Forum benchmarks are quite different workloads, which you will see in the benchmark results. Dell executes approximately 10 times more queries during the test, and the durations are approximately 4 times less than that of the Forum benchmark durations. To summarize, Dell is a workload with a high transaction volume, and each query executes in a very short amount of time. The Forum workload has a medium transaction volume, and the queries execute in a reasonable amount of time but are much more read intensive (larger datasets are returned).

Test Configuration

Below are the configurations of the test machines. We should note that the Opteron system memory was set to 1T and NUMA was enabled.

Client
Dual AMD Opteron 256
4GB Memory
Gigabit Ethernet
Windows 2003 x64 Server

Woodcrest/Dempsey System
Intel OEM System (Pre-Production)
8GB 533MHz FB-DIMM
Windows 2003 x64 Enterprise Server SP1
SQL 2005 Enterprise SP1 x64
14 x Ultra 320 SCSI Drives in RAID 0
LSI Logic 320-2 Controller

Opteron 280/285 System
Tyan S2891 Motherboard
8GB PC3200 DDR 400MHz
Windows 2003 x64 Enterprise Server SP1
SQL 2005 Enterprise SP1 x64
14 x Ultra 320 SCSI Drives in RAID 0
LSI Logic 320-2 Controller

Architecture Summary Multiple Load Points
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  • Viditor - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    quote:

    We'll ensure we include power measurement information in future articles. We use the same procedure as we've used in previous articles with power, an extech device and we log power througout the test duration

    Thanks Jason...it's just that the power draw is such a central theme to the review, it would be nice to know exactly what and how things were being tested. Could you let us know what features and chipset were on the OEM Woodcrest system?

    Cheers
    Reply
  • FesterOZ - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    Jason

    Based on your own Extech tests, the 280 you previously tested here http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2644&p...">http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2644&p... was drawing a max of 265 watts for that database forum test at max load. Now the same CPU seems to be drawing 300+ Watts.

    Can you please explain this variation?
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    Between the two platforms, the motherboards (Tyan 2882 vs 2891) are different with different chipsets (AMD+AMD vs NVidia+AMD), the software load is different (I presume even at apparent 100% load, there will be small power consumption differences depending on what the software actually does), and there is probably a power supply difference.

    Those factors combined could easily account for 40 or so watts.
    Reply
  • FesterOZ - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    Sorry but I really have to disagree here. 40 Watts in a south bridge? Both tests the CPUS were maxed out. Reply
  • Viditor - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    Could you be more specific on the Intel OEM system specs? (we can look up the Tyan of course)
    I assume you used the same PSU for both systems...
    Did you measure power draw at the wall?
    Reply
  • MrKaz - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    Was this review/preview made by Intel?

    I mean:

    -Charts have blue background (a la Intel). (There is one Anandtech symbol in the charts but could be Intel no difference).
    -Charts with performance/watts, since when Anandtech review CPU based on those parameters? Never. Why now?
    -.90nm CPU vs .65nm CPU - .65nm CPU wins, higher clock, lower consuming. No big surprise here, especially if this processor is derivates from a mobile one.

    When AMD releases one socket F Opteron will be interesting, especially if = Intel with just half the cache size and 3 years "old" design on .90nm process.
    Reply
  • fitten - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    quote:

    -.90nm CPU vs .65nm CPU - .65nm CPU wins, higher clock, lower consuming. No big surprise here, especially if this processor is derivates from a mobile one.


    Heh, by your standards then, the Pentium4s should have been faster than all since they are higher clock.
    Reply
  • MrKaz - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    Intel.

    http://www.intel.com/performance/server/xeon/intth...">http://www.intel.com/performance/server/xeon/intth...
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    65nm smaller than 90nm, I would hope they consume less power. Still, Intel has always been good with power with the P6 derivatives. Reply
  • berat556 - Thursday, July 13, 2006 - link

    I am not impressed with this latest review especially when you take into consideration how the intel is a 3.0GHZ processor while the opteron 285 is 2.6GHZ processor. I was so exited about Conroe but this latest benchmark made put my pre-order order on hold to see if Conroe will do what they said it would a 2.67GHZ win vs. a 2.8GHZ. Major bumper, it looks like woodcrest is still behing the opteron, maybe that is why dell still decided to go with AMD after Intel announced the core architecture. Reply

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