Dual CPU Database Server Comparisonby Johan De Gelas on December 2, 2004 12:11 AM EST
- Posted in
- IT Computing
Final ConclusionDatabase benchmarking is full of pitfalls. Databases are pretty complicated to set up and tune, and depending on the amount of data, and the way that the database is accessed (a few rows a lot of the time, or a lot of rows sometimes), results can be quite different. We are well aware that it will take a lot of time before our benchmarks will be really "mature".
However, we see a few trends emerging out of this report. First of all, while file serving and firewalls tend to be always "all about I/O", this generalization is simply not true for database servers that run "read heavy" database applications. Our DB2 results depended only - well, 95% or so - on CPU processing power. This was not completely the case in MySQL tests, but the CPU was still by far the most important component.
The Opteron deals out a decisive blow to the Xeons in MySQL. We know from past experiences that when you run extremely complicated SQL statements, the Opterons were a lot faster. After this project, we also know that the Opteron is still the winner when you mix a lot of simple queries with a few heavier queries.
Nevertheless, AMD cannot sit on its laurels. Intel made a very good comeback with Nocona, as this 3.6 GHz CPU is just a tiny bit faster in DB2. This concurs with some of Jason's MS SQL server results. Of course, it is a very big question mark whether or not Intel can push this Xeon much higher. Meanwhile, it is clear that AMD has quite a bit of headroom with its new 90 nm process technology.
In a nutshell, we can conclude that the 3.2 GHz Xeon with 2 MB L3-cache is too expensive compared to its 3.6 GHz Nocona brother.
The Opteron systems still have a price advantage over similar Xeons, mostly thanks to the cheaper-to-produce motherboards and DDR-I. A ProLiant DL145 2.4GHz Opteron 2GB ATA Rack Model with 2 CPUs and 2 GB of memory costs about $4300, while a comparable ProLiant DL360 G4 Xeon 3.60GHz Processor, SATA - Rack Model arrives at about $4900. In any comparison, prices can be a bit different, but generally, it is safe to say that the Opteron systems are a bit cheaper. So for now, the Opteron has an advantage still, but it can't knock out the Xeon, as it could have a few months ago, before the Xeon Nocona arrived.