AMD Istanbul Reviews

June 1, 2009

Let’s look at what other sites are saying about Istanbul in detailed performance testing and reviews.

“Make no mistake, though: this Istanbul system is very much a match for the [Nehalem X5550] in terms of power-efficient performance.”

Scott Wassman, TechReport.com

“Istanbul can work with “only” 6 threads, but each thread gets a 64 KB L1 and an in comparison copious amount of 512 KB of L2. In a nutshell, It is clear that the new AMD “Istanbul” Opteron targets a specific market: a few compute intensive HPC applications, large databases and most importantly: “heavy” virtualized workload. This is a relatively “new” market where the AMD 2435 shines.”

Johan De Gelas, AnantTech IT Portal

Johan also correctly points out that VMware’s VMM scheduler defaults to a logical processor partition boundary of 4-cores. Actually, the configuration entry – VMkernel.Boot.cpuCellSize – defaults to “zero” which signifies “auto-configure” and the auto-configure default is a value of “4.” (Editor: we point this out because changing “auto-configure” defaults can have “unintended” effects when system updates roll-out.) While this works well for single-core, quad-socket through multi-socket, quad-core, it does not work well when cell count is a fraction of the core/CPU count. In the case of Istanbul (and Intel’s Dunnington) the correct setting is:

VMkernel.Boot.cpuCellSize = 6

The resulting change elicited the following from De Gelas in his vAPUS Mark I tests: “The six-core Opteron keeps up with the best Xeons available!” These results were, of course, under ESX 3.5 and referred to performance relative to Intel’s Nehalem-EP X5570. In ESX 4.0, the VMM is tuned for Intel’s SMT and provides a boost in performance for Nehalem-EP SKUs with SMT. The vAPUS testing demonstrates some interesting performance and tuning characteristics. Again, it’s worth the look…

“AMD’s strategy (blog) is to talk about virtualization and power efficiency and offering those features across all of its processors. AMD called out Intel for rejiggering features based on the chip.”

Larry Dignan, ZDNet

“So, this is the death of the Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor codenamed “Shanghai,” right? Hardly.”

John Fruehe, AMD

“We are really excited about Istanbul and you can bet that we’ll be introducing new AMD-based rack, tower and blade servers in very short order. AMD’s execution was nothing short of flawless. Once again, they delivered ahead of schedule. And right around the corner you’ll see a full suite of Istanbul server products from HP.”

Paul Gottsegen, Vice-president, Integrated Marketing, Enterprise Servers & Storage, HP

“AMD is introducing its Six-Core AMD Opteron processors (code named Istanbul) ahead of schedule and Dell is pleased to offer it in our portfolio including the Dell PowerEdge 2970, R805 and R905 rack servers and the PowerEdge M605, M805, M905 blade servers. We are committed to bringing efficiency to enterprise computing by simplifying technology and lowering the cost of managing IT environments, and the AMD Istanbul processors in our servers help us do just that.”

Matt McGinnis, Senior Manager, Dell Global Communications

“AMD-V technology coupled with our server design with massive memory capacity and I/O scalability, we are seeing whopping improvements in virtualization performance our initial benchmarks. We expect to continue to have industry-leading benchmarks for four-socket servers with Istanbul in the PowerEdge R905.”

Sally Stevens, Vice President, Dell Platform Marketing

One comment

  1. […] density like this is bound for virtualization and HPC clusters. Judging from the recent reports on Istanbul’s virtualization potential and HPL performance, this combination offers a compelling platform alternative to blade computing. […]


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