The Intel Xeon D Review: Performance Per Watt Server SoC Champion?by Johan De Gelas on June 23, 2015 8:35 AM EST
Compiling with gcc
A more real world benchmark to test the integer processing power of our Xeon servers is a Linux kernel compile. Although few people compile their own kernel, compiling other software on servers is a common task and this will give us a good idea of how the CPUs handle a complex build.
To do this we have downloaded the 3.11 kernel from kernel.org. We then compiled the kernel with the "time make -jx" command, where x is the maximum number of threads that the platform is capable of using. To make the graph more readable, the number of seconds in wall time was converted into the number of builds per hour.
The Xeon D delivers at least 65% better performance than the Xeon E3s. Considering the low TDP, that is pretty amazing. The Xeon E5 delivers 30% more with 50% more cores - as the Xeon E5 is twice as expensive, the Xeon D holds a massive performance per dollar advantage. The brawny Broadwell cores of the Xeon D compile no less than 3.7 times faster than the small Silvermont cores of the Atom, meaning that compiling definitely favors the more sophisticated cores.
If you regularly compile large projects, the Xeon D is one of the best choices you have - even compared to a highly clocked Core i7 solutions. The cheaper quad core i7s will perform like the Xeon E3-1240, the equally priced ($583) i7-5930k will do about 50% better, still below the Xeon D. The Xeon D offers you integrated dual 10 Gb Ethernet, SATA, USB, which should offer lower latency. The Xeon D can also support twice as much memory (128 GB vs 64 GB) and offer you a much lower power bill (45W vs 140W TDP), making hardware decisions around compilation based projects an easy choice to make.