Advanced Clustering HPL Comparison: Instanbul vs NehalemJune 17, 2009
Advanced Clustering Technologies, based in Kansas City, KS and specializing in HPC solutions, has just released a High-Performance Linpack (HPL) performance report comparing “equivalent” Xeon X5550 and Opteron 2435 systems. According to Advanced Clustering, their goal was “to show the peak performance in terms of GFLOPS (billion floating point operations per second)” of the comparison systems.
In their tests, Advance Clustering attempted to keep platform specifications as uniform as possible (OS, power supply, hard drive). Due to Nehalem’s tripple-channel memory, differing amounts of memory were used in the comparison and Advanced Clustering compensated by making adjustments to the problem size in an attempt to utilize 100% of available systems RAM accordingly.
The results showed that AMD’s Istanbul delivers 15% more GFLOPS at a 30% savings in effective system cost ($/GFLOP). Advanced Clustering comments that while Istanbul delivered a higher GFLOP rating than Nehalem, it did so at only 79% of its theoretical potential due to the weaker memory bandwidth of the Socket-F system. From our conversation with AMD’s Mike Goddard, we are told that a lot of Istanbul’s potential – including much higher memory bandwidth – will realizable only in its sockted G34 incarnation. By that time, the comparison will likely be between Intel’s 8-core Nehalem-EX and AMD’s 12-core Magny-Cours product.