Drupal Website: Performance per Watt

When we reviewed the Xeon E5-2600 v2, a performance per watt comparison was much more straightforward. Now we are faced with two different 2U-servers, with many similarities but also with some noteworthy differences. For example, the E5-2600 v3 based server is outfitted with six fans that can pull 1.6A, while our Xeon E5-2600 v2/v1 based server is outfitted with three fans that can pull 0.6A. If all fans are at their maximum RPM, the fans of the first server could easily pull 90W more. Also, our "Wildcat Pass" server still has to mature a bit as we are using a beta BIOS that has quite a few issues. Still, at idle, both servers are in the same ballpark.

Idle Power Consumption, On Demand

The Haswell-EP reveals its mobile roots. The Idle power of the Xeon E5-2699 v3 is lower despite being a much larger chip than the Xeon E5-2697 v2, while both are baked upon the same process technology.

Next we measure the power consumed while keeping the response time at 100 ms. These are averages measured over a period of time. So basically we are measuring energy consumption, but we report the average power that was consumed over the same period of time.

Power at 100 ms response time

It would be wrong to simply compare the numbers above as the Xeon E5-2695 and 2699 do considerably more work. However, it cannot be denied that the Xeon E5-2699 v3 and Xeon E5-2667 v3 are a lot more power hungry than the rest of the pack. Remember also that, as noted above, the fans of the server that hosted the Xeon E5 v3 consume quite a bit more, but at the moment we have not been able to determine how much.

Let's calculate performance per watt. Take the following graph with a grain of salt as the benchmark is not the most accurate (results tend to vary by 5-8%), but still it gives a rough idea of what you can expect.

Drupal 7.21 web performance per watt

The Xeon E5-2695 v3 is able to Turbo Boost to high clock speeds, which keeps the response time low. At the same time, the power consumption is limited. The Xeon E5-2699 v3 probably fires up the fans a lot higher, and that drives power consumption up as the fans in our server can consume quite a bit.

What this means is that TDP is once again a relatively decent predictor of actual power consumption. The lower TDP of the Xeon E5-2695 v3 (120w) materializes in real world power savings compared to the Xeon E5-2667 v3 (135W TDP) and Xeon E5-2699 v3 (145W TDP).

Website Performance: Drupal 7.21 HPC: OpenFoam


View All Comments

  • coburn_c - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    MY God - It's full of transistors! Reply
  • Samus - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    I wish there were socket 1150 Xeon's in this class. If I could replace my quad core with an Octacore... Reply
  • wireframed - Saturday, September 20, 2014 - link

    If you can afford an 8-core CPU, I'm sure you can afford a S2011 board - it's like 15% of the price of the CPU, so the cost relative to the rest of the platform is negligible. :)
    Also, s1150 is dual-channel only. With that many cores, you'll want more bandwidth.
  • peevee - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    For many, if not most workloads it will be faster to run 4 fast (4GHz) cores on 4 fast memory channels (DDR4-2400+) than 8 slow (2-3GHz) cores on 2 memory channels. Of course, if your workload consists of a lot of trigonometry (sine/cosine etc), or thread worksets completely fit into 2nd level cache (only 256k!), you may benefit from 8/2 config. But if you have one of those, I am eager to hear what it is. Reply
  • tech6 - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    The 18 core SKU is great news for those trying to increase data center density. It should allow VM hosts with 512Gb+ of memory to operate efficiently even under demanding workloads. Given the new DDR4 memory bandwidth gains I wonder if the 18 core dual socket SKUs will make quad socket servers a niche product? Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    In fairness, quad socket was already a niche market.

    That and there will be quad socket version of these chips: E5-4600v3's.
  • wallysb01 - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    My lord. My thought is that this really shows that v3 isn’t the slouch many thought it would be. An added 2 cores over v2 in the same price range and turbo boosting that appears to functioning a little better, plus the clock for clock improvements and move to DDR4 make for a nice step up when all combined.

    I’m surprised Intel went with an 18 core monster, but holy S&%T, if they can squeeze it in and make it function, why not.
  • Samus - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    I feel for AMD, this just shows how far ahead Intel is :\ Reply
  • Thermogenic - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    Intel isn't just ahead - they've already won. Reply
  • olderkid - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    AMD saw Intel behind them and they wondered how Intel fell so far back. But really Intel was just lapping them. Reply

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