Benchmark Configuration

None of our benchmarks required more than 16GB RAM.

Each Server had an Adaptec 5805 connected to the Promise 300js DAS. Database files were placed on a six drive RAID 0 set of Intel X25-E SLC 32GB SSDs, and log files on a four drive RAID 0 set of 15000RPM Seagate Cheetah 300GB hard disks.

We used AMD 8356 and 8384 CPUs in dual CPU configurations. Performancewise they are identical to the Opteron 2356 and 2387. So to avoid confusion, we list the Opterons 83xx as Opteron 2356 and Opteron 2384.

Xeon Server 1: ASUS RS700-E6/RS4 barebone
CPU: Dual Xeon "Gainestown" X5570 2.93GHz
RAM: 6x4GB (24GB) ECC Registered DDR3-1333
NIC: Intel 82574L PCI-E Gbit LAN

Xeon Server 2: Intel "Stoakley" platform server
CPU: Dual Xeon E5450 at 3GHz
MB: Supermicro X7DWE+/X7DWN+
RAM: 16GB (8x2GB) Crucial Registered FB-DIMM DDR2-667 CL5 ECC
NIC: Dual Intel PRO/1000 Server NIC

Xeon Server 3: Intel "Bensley" platform server
CPU: Dual Xeon X5365 at 3GHz, Dual Xeon L5320 at 1.86 GHz and Dual Xeon 5080 at 3.73 GHz
MB: Supermicro X7DBE+
RAM: 16GB (8x2GB) Crucial Registered FB-DIMM DDR2-667 CL5 ECC
NIC: Dual Intel PRO/1000 Server NIC

Opteron Server: Supermicro SC828TQ-R1200LPB 2U Chassis
CPU: Dual AMD Opteron 8384 at 2.7GHz or Dual AMD Opteron 8356 at 2.3GHz
MB: Supermicro H8QMi-2+
RAM: 24GB (12x2GB) DDR2-800
NIC: Dual Intel PRO/1000 Server NIC
PSU: Supermicro 1200W w/PFC (Model PWS-1K22-1R)

vApus/DVD Store/Oracle Calling Circle Client Configuration
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz
MB: Foxconn P35AX-S
RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) Kingston DDR2-667
NIC: Intel Pro/1000

The Platform: ASUS RS700-E6/RS4

We were quite surprised to see that Intel chose the ASUS RS700-E6/RS4 barebone, but it came clear that ASUS is really gearing up to compete with companies like Supermicro and Tyan. This ASUS 1U barebone has a new Tylersburg-36D (Intel 5520) chipset and ICH10R Southbridge.

The ASUS RS700-E6 is a completely cable-less design, which is quite rare. According to ASUS, the gold finger mating mechanism delivers a more reliable signal quality. That is hard to verify but it is clear that a loose connection is much more unlikely than with cables. We have only had the server in the labs a few weeks, so it is too early to talk about the reliability, but we can say that the build quality of the server is excellent. The 6-phase power regulation that feeds each CPU comes from very high quality solid capacitors that are guaranteed to survive 5 years of working at 86°C (typically this is only 2 years). The same is true for the 3-phase memory power regulation. A special energy process unit (EPU) steers the VRMs to obtain higher power efficiency.

A rather unique feature is that this 1U server also supports two full height PCI-E expansion slots and one half-height slot (close to the PSU). The two full height slots are PCI-E x16 slots and the low profile slot is PCI-E x8. In addition, you can add a proprietary PIKE card, which allows you to add a SAS controller. This can be an LSI 1064E Software RAID solution (RAID 0 or 1) or a real hardware RAID card (the LSI 1078) with support for RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 and even 6.

The expandability is thus excellent, especially if you consider that the ASUS RS700 has room for two (1+1) redundant PSUs. We still have a few items on our wish list, though. We would like a less exotic video card with slightly more video RAM; ASUS uses the AST2050 with only 8MB. While many people will never use the onboard video, some of us do need to use it from time to time. The card comes with decent Windows and Linux drivers. Our distribution (SUSE SLES10SP2) would only work well at 1024x768 and refused to work in text mode until we installed the video driver, so it took a bit of tinkering before we were even capable of installing the right driver.

ESX 3.5 Update 3 does not recognize the new Intel SATA controller well, but luckily the ASUS server can be equipped with an ESX3i USB stick. ASUS offers a special USB port inside the server to attach the stick. We are currently circumventing the SATA-ESX issue with an install via ftp.

Overall, this is one of the finest 1U barebones that we have seen to date. We are pleased with the expandability, the excellent fabrication quality, and the 3-year warranty that ASUS provides.

Testing Methodology ERP benchmark 1: SAP SD


View All Comments

  • rkchary - Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - link

    We've a customer who is interested in upgrading to Nehalem. He's running on Windows with Oracle database for SAP Enterprise Portals.

    Could you kindly let us know your recommendations please?

    The approximate concurrent users would be around 3000 Portal users.

    Keenly looking forward for your response and if you could state any instances of Nehalem installed in SAP environment for production usage, that would be a great deal of help.

  • Adun - Thursday, April 09, 2009 - link


    I understand the PHP not-enough-threads explanation as to why Dual X5570 doesn't scale up.

    But, can anyone please explain why when you add another AMD Opteron 2384 the increase is from 42.9 to 63.9, while when you add another Xeon X5570 there isn't such an increase?

    Thank you for the article,

  • stimudent - Thursday, April 02, 2009 - link

    Was it really too much effort to clean off the processor before posting a picture of it? Or were they trying to show that it was used, tested?
  • LizVD - Friday, April 03, 2009 - link

    Would you perhaps like us to draw a smiley face on it as well? ;-) Reply
  • GazzaF - Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - link

    Well done on an excellent review using as many real-world tests as possible. The VMWare test is a real eye opener and shows how the 55xx can match double the number of CPUs from the last generation of Xeons *AND* crucially save $$$$ on licensing from Windows and MS SQL and other per-socket licensed software, plus the power saving which is again a financial saving if you hire rack space in a datacentre.

    I eagerly await your own in-house VM tests. Please consider also testing using Windows 2008 Hyper-V which I think doesn't have the 55xx optimisations that the latest release of VMWare has (and might not have until R2?).

    Thanks for the time you put in to running the endless tests. The results make a brilliant business case for anyone wanting to upgrade their servers. You must have had the chips a good week before Intel officially launched them. :-) I do feel sorry for AMD though. I'm sure they have plenty of motivation to come back with a vengeance like they did a few years ago.
  • JohanAnandtech - Thursday, April 02, 2009 - link

    Thanks! Good to hear from another professional. I believe the current Hyper Beta R2 already has some form of support for EPT.

    Our virtualization testing is well under way. I'll give an update soon on our blog page.

  • Lifted - Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - link

    You mention octal servers from Sun and HP for VM's, but does anybody really use these systems for VM's? I can't imagine why anybody would, since you are paying a serious premium for 8 sockets vs. 2 x 4 socket servers, or even 4 x 2 socket servers. Then the redundancy options are much lower when running only a few 8 socket servers vs many 2 or 4 socket servers when utilizing v-motion, and the expansion options are obviously far less w/ NIC's and HBA's. From what I've seen, most 8 socket systems are for DB's. Reply
  • Veteran - Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - link

    What i mentioned after reading the review is there are very few benches on benchmarks a little bit favored by AMD.

    For example, only 1 3DSmax test (so unusefull) at least 2 are needed
    Only 1 virtualization benchmark, which is really a shame....
    Virtualization is becoming so important and you guys only throw in one test?

    Besides that, the review feels a bit biased towards intel, but i will check some other reviews of the xeon 5570
  • duploxxx - Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - link

    Virtualization benchmark come from the official Vmmark scores.

    However there is something real strange going on in the results...

    HP HP ProLiant DL370 G6
    VMware ESX Build #148783 VMmark v1.1
    View Disclosure 2 sockets
    8 total cores
    16 total threads 03/30/09

    Dell Dell PowerEdge R710
    VMware ESX Build #150817 VMmark v1.1
    View Disclosure 2 sockets
    8 total cores
    16 total threads 03/30/09

    Inspur Inspur NF5280
    VMware ESX Build #148592 VMmark v1.1
    View Disclosure 2 sockets
    8 total cores
    16 total threads 03/30/09

    Intel Intel Supermicro 6026-NTR+
    VMware ESX v3.5.0 Update 4 VMmark v1.1
    14.22@10 tiles
    View Disclosure 2 sockets
    8 total cores
    16 total threads 03/30/09

    So lets see all the prebuilds of esx3.5 update 4 get a real high score of 16 tiles almost as much as a 4s shanghai while Vmware performance team themselves stated that we should never see the HT core as a real cpu in Vmware (even with the new code for HT) while yet the benchmark shows a high performance increase, no not like anandtech is stating that this is due to the more available memory and its bandwith, those Vmmarks are not memory starving. Now look at the official Intel benchmark with ESX update 4, it provides 10 tiles and a healthy increase, that from a technical point of view seems much more realistic. All other marketing stuff like switching time etc, all nice, but then again is within the same line of current shanghai.
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - link

    What kind of tests are you looking for? The techreport guys have a lot of HPC tests, we are focusing on the business apps.

    "very few benches on benchmarks a little bit favored by AMD."

    That is a really weird statement. First of all, what is a test favored by AMD?

    Secondly, this new kind of testing with OLTP/OLAP testing was introduced in the Shanghai review. And it really showed IMHO that there was a completely wrong perception about harpertown vs Shanghai. Because Shanghai won in the tests that mattered the most to the market. While many tests (inclusive those of Intels) were emphasizing purely CPU intensive stuff like Blackscholes, rendering and HPC tests. But that is a very small percentage of the market, and that created the impression that Intel was on average faster, but that was absolutely not the case.

    "Only 1 virtualization benchmark, which is really a shame..."

    Repeat that again in a few weeks :-). We have just succesfully concluded our testing on Nehalem.

    Personally I am a bit shocked about the "not enough tests" :-). Because any professional knows how hard these OLTP/OLAP tests are to set up and how much time they take. But they might not appeal to the enthousiast, I am not sure.


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