Performance

The first SPECIntRate 2006 estimates were published by "CPU meister" Andreas Stiller. If we combine his findings with what we know and what is available at SPEC.org, we get the benchmark graph below.

SPECIntRate2006

Intel's own published SPECintrate scores are up to 20% higher, so at first sight the ARM competition is not there yet. However, we prefer to show the "lower numbers" as they have not been benchmarked with masterfully set ICC configuration settings.

The most aggressive architecture, the X-Gene, is quite a bit slower than the Xeon E3-1230L. The latter needs about 40W per node (SoC + chipset), while an X-Gene node would need almost 60W. AppliedMicro really needs the 28nm 2.8GHz X-Gene 2, which apparently can offer a 50% better performance per watt increase in SPECintrate 2006.

However, we have shown you that while SPECintrate 2006 is the standard often used, popular with most CPU designers, analysts and academic researchers, it is a pretty bad predictor of server performance. We should not discount the chances of the server ARM SoCs too quickly. A mediocre SPECint SoC can still perform well in server applications.

Overview Are Economies of Scale and Volume Enough?
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  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    Did you miss this page?
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/8776/arm-challinging...

    The software ecosystem is developing...there is no indication that this will stop soon.
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    The LAMP stack is there and can easily give ARM a foot hold. Scaling up they'll need vendors like Oracle to port key applications. ARM will also need to enhance there RAS to be production capable with that software. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    Johan,

    You need to review the compatibility of the Xeon E3's. They actually work in just about any Intel 80 or 90-series board. I have an E3-1230v3 in an Asus ITX H87 on the PC I'm currently typing on.

    A C220 chipset is NOT required.
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    you are right :-).

    By "Xeon E3 needs C220" I meant that you need to add that part to calculate the power consumption per node. And the E3 needs it to support ECC RAM.
    Reply
  • eanazag - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    Ubuntu's ARM version OS is a big deal. I believe the fact that MS had been dragging on with supporting RT was in fact to have something to port to the server side. Even though RT is mostly a dud at first, it could still be sensible and sell in a server config.

    I'm waiting for AMD to finally sell the ARM chip in the channel so I can throw a mobo with it together. If it has 10GbE I would be all over it.
    Reply
  • rootheday3 - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    Intel also has Rangeley soc which includes crypto block for comms usage Reply
  • wintermute000 - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    "What if I need massive amounts of memory but moderate processing power? The Xeon E3 only supports 32GB."

    Thousands of techs labbing away @ home nod sagely in agreement. Right now our choices are to scale horizontally or live with loud jet-engine ex-enterprise gear, because I can't get 64gb of RAM into a whitebox.
    Reply
  • wintermute000 - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    Clarification: a whitebox that I can afford i.e. not a Xeon E5. lol Reply
  • beginner99 - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    What kind of servers use tons of RAM and little processing power? Right, memcached and similar stuff. But let's be honest. That is still a niche market given the total server market. Most servers are just standard multipurpose servers running some company internal low-traffic (web) application. They don't need memcached. Memcached is for huge internet deployments and let's be honest that in itself is niche.

    I work in a 10'000 people company and I would bet you $1000 we have 0 memcached servers. I don't really know except for the lack of performance in core apps and the questionable competency of our IT.
    Reply
  • bobbozzo - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    VM servers.
    And ZFS-filesystem storage (NAS/SAN) servers. e.g. FreeNAS. Add much more RAM if using DeDup.
    Reply

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