Bulldozer for Servers: Testing AMD's "Interlagos" Opteron 6200 Seriesby Johan De Gelas on November 15, 2011 5:09 PM EST
Since AMD sent us a 1U Supermicro server, we had to resort to testing our 1U servers again. That is why we went back to the ASUS RS700 for the Xeon. It is a bit unfortunate as on average 1U servers have a relatively worse performance/watt ratio than other form factors such as 2U and blades. Of course, 1U still makes sense in low cost, high density HPC environments.
Supermicro A+ server 1022G-URG (1U Chassis)
Two AMD Opteron "Bulldozer" 6276 at 2.3GHz
Two AMD Opteron "Magny-Cours" 6174 at 2.2GHz
|RAM||64GB (8x8GB) DDR3-1600 Samsung M393B1K70DH0-CK0|
2 x Intel SLC X25-E 32GB or
1 x Intel MLC SSD510 120GB
|Chipset||AMD Chipset SR5670 + SP5100|
|BIOS version||v2.81 (10/28/2011)|
|PSU||SuperMicro PWS-704P-1R 750Watt|
The AMD CPUS have four memory channels per CPU. The new Interlagos Bulldozer CPU supports DDR3-1600, and thus our dual CPU configuration gets eight DIMMs for maximum bandwidth.
Asus RS700-E6/RS4 1U Server
Two Intel Xeon X5670 at 2.93GHz - 6 cores
Two Intel Xeon X5650 at 2.66GHz - 6 cores
|RAM||48GB (12x4GB) Kingston DDR3-1333 FB372D3D4P13C9ED1|
|BIOS version||1102 (08/25/2011)|
|PSU||770W Delta Electronics DPS-770AB|
To speed up testing, we tested with the Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron system in parallel. As we didn't have more than eight 8GB DIMMs, we used our 4GB DDR3-1333 DIMMs. The Xeon system only gets 48GB, but this is no disadvantage as our benchmark with the highest memory footprint (vApus FOS, 5 tiles) uses no more than 36GB of RAM.
We measured the difference between 12x4GB and 8x8GB of RAM and recalculated the power consumption for our power measurements (note that the differences were very small). There is no alternative as our Xeon has three memory channels and cannot be outfitted with the same amount of RAM as our Opteron system (four channels).
We chose the Xeons based on AMD's positioning. The Xeon X5649 is priced at the same level as the Opteron 6276 but we didn't have the X5649 in the labs. As we suggested earlier, the Opteron 6276 should reach the performance of the X5650 to be attractive, so we tested with the X5670 and X5650. We only tested with the X5670 in some of the tests because of time constraints.
Common Storage System
For the virtualization tests, each server gets an adaptec 5085 PCIe x8 (driver aacraid v1.1-5.1 b 469512) connected to six Cheetah 300GB 15000 RPM SAS disks (RAID-0) inside a Promise JBOD J300s. The virtualization testing requires more storage IOPs than our standard Promise JBOD with six SAS drives can provide. To counter this, we added internal SSDs:
- We installed the Oracle Swingbench VMs (vApus Mark II) on two internal X25-E SSDs (no RAID). The Oracle database is only 6GB large. We test with two tiles. On each SSD, each OLTP VM accesses its own database data. All other VMs (web, SQL Server OLAP) are stored on the Promise JBOD (see above).
- With vApus FOS, Zimbra is the I/O intensive VM. We spread the Zimbra data over the two Intel X25-E SSDs (no RAID). All other VMs (web, MySQL OLAP) get their data from the Promise JBOD (see above).
We monitored disk activity and phyiscal disk adapter latency (as reported by VMware vSphere) was between 0.5 and 2.5 ms.
All vApus testing was done one ESXi vSphere 5--VMware ESXi 5.0.0 (b 469512 - VMkernel SMP build-348481 Jan-12-2011 x86_64) to be more specific. All vmdks use thick provisioning, independent, and persistent. The power policy is "Balanced Power" unless indicated otherwise. All other testing was done on Windows 2008 R2 SP1.
Both servers were fed by a standard European 230V (16 Amps max.) powerline. The room temperature was monitored and kept at 23°C by our Airwell CRACs.
We used the Racktivity ES1008 Energy Switch PDU to measure power. Using a PDU for accurate power measurements might same pretty insane, but this is not your average PDU. Measurement circuits of most PDUs assume that the incoming AC is a perfect sine wave, but it never is. However, the Rackitivity PDU measures true RMS current and voltage at a very high sample rate: up to 20,000 measurements per second for the complete PDU.
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veri745 - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - linkShouldn't there be 8 x 2MB L2 for Interlagos instead of just 4x?
ClagMaster - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - linkA core this complex in my opinion has not been optimized to its fullest potential.
Expect better performance when AMD introduces later steppings of this core with regard to power consumption and higher clock frequencies.
I have seen this in earlier AMD and Intel Cores, this new core will be the same.
C300fans - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - link1x i7 3960x or 2x Interlagos 6272? It is up to you. Money cow.
tech6 - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - linkWe have a bunch of 6100 in our data center and the performance has been disappointing. They do no better in single thread performance than old 73xx series Xeons. While this is OK for non-interactive stuff, it really isn't good enough for much else. These results just seem to confirm that the Bulldozer series of processors is over-hyped and that AMD is in danger of becoming irrelevant in the server, mobile and desktop market.
mino - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - linkActually, for interactive stuff (read VDI/Citrix/containers) core counts rule the roost.
duploxxx - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - linkthis is exactly what should be fixed now with the turbo when set correct, btw the 73xx series were not that bad on single thread performance, it was wide scale virtualization and IO throughput which was awefull one these systems.
alpha754293 - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - link"Let us first discuss the virtualization scene, the most important market." Yea, I don't know about that.
Considering that they've already shipped like some half-a-million cores to the leading supercomputers of the world; where some of them are doing major processor upgrades with this new release; I wouldn't necessarily say that it's the most IMPORTANT market. Important, yes. But MOST important...I dunno.
Looking forward to more HPC benchmark results.
Also, you might have to play with thread schedule/process affinity (masks) to make it work right.
See the Techreport article.
JohanAnandtech - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - linkAre you talking about the Euler3D benchmark?
And yes, by any metric (revenue, servers sold) the virtualization market is the most important one for servers. Depending on the report 60 to 80% of the servers are bought to be virtualized.
alpha754293 - Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - linkFolks: chip-multithreading (CMT) is nothing new.
I would explain it this way: it is the physical, hardware manifestation of simultaneous multi-threading (SMT). Intel's HTT is SMT.
IBM's POWER (since I think as early as POWER4), Sun/Oracle/UltraDense's Niagara (UltraSPARC T-series), maybe even some of the older Crays were all CMT. (Don't quote me on the Crays though. MIPS died before CMT came out. API WOULD have had it probably IF there had been an EV8).
But the way I see it - remember what a CPU IS: it's a glorified calculator. Nothing else/more.
So, if it can't calculate, then it doesn't really do much good. (And I've yet to see an entirely integer-only program).
Doing integer math is fairly easy and straightforward. Doing floating-point math is a LOT harder. If you check the power consumption while solving a linear algebra equation using Gauss elimination (parallelized or using multiple instances of the solver); I can guarantee you that you will consume more power than if you were trying to run VMs.
So the way I see it, if a CPU is a glorified calculator, then a "core" is where/whatever the FPU is. Everything else is just ancillary and that point.
mino - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link1) Power is NOT CMT, it allways was a VERY(even by RISC standards) wide SMT design.
2) Niagara is NOT a CMT. It is interleaved multipthreading with SMT on top.
Bulldozer indeed IS a first of its kind. With all the associated advantages(future scaling) and disadvantages(alfa version).
There is a nice debate somewhere on cpu.arch groups from the original author(think 1990's) of the CMT concept.