The Best Server CPUs Compared, Part 1by Johan De Gelas on December 22, 2008 10:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- IT Computing
Let us take a quick look at the complete market to see how the most interesting CPUs from Intel and AMD compare. In the first column, you see the market. In the second column is the percentage of server shipments to this market. Some markets generate more revenue to server manufactures like ERP, OLTP, and OLAP; however, since we have no recent numbers on this, we'll just mention it. We compare the Opteron "Shanghai" 2.7GHz with the Xeon "Harpertown" 3GHz as they have similar pricing and power dissipation. The green zones of the market are the ones we have a decent benchmark for and which are won by AMD, the blue ones are the Intel zones, and the red parts are - for now - unknown.
|AMD "Shanghai" Opteron 2.7 GHz versus Xeon "Harpertown" 3 GHz|
|Market||Importance||First bench||Second bench||Benchmarks/remarks|
|ERP, OLTP||10-14%||21%||5%||SAP, Oracle|
|e-mail, DC, file/print||32-37%||N/a||Not really a "CPU loving" market|
|HPC||4-6%||28%||-3% to 66%||LS-DYNA, Fluent|
Yes, our benchmarks do not cover the whole market. However, keep in mind that for a large percentage of the "infrastructure" servers, the CPU is not really an important factor for the buying decision. We are convinced that once we have setup a good "collaborative benchmark" we cover most of the server market where the CPU performance makes a difference.
What do we learn from this overview? The new quad-core Opteron 2384 or 8384 is a success. It's a late success, but it can keep its most important competitor at a tangible distance in ERP, OLAP, and HPC. For ERP, OLTP, and OLAP, we are pretty sure our benchmarks give a good view. SAP, Oracle, and MySQL are very popular applications each in their own field, and the SQL server results of our "AMD Opteron Shanghai" review show more or less the same picture. In these markets, it will be hard to find benchmarks that contradict our findings
The HPC market is a lot more diverse, and since we have a limited knowledge of this market, we are sure that there are examples that show the complete opposite picture of the benchmarks we have shown here. Still, the Ansys benchmarks are good representatives of a decent part of this market.
The benchmark that really convinces us that currently the Opteron has the advantage is VMmark. Being able to consolidate 27% (14 vs. 11 tiles) to 33% (8 vs. 6 tiles) more virtual machines translates immediately into considerable cost savings. Those 27 to 33% more VMs do not result in a performance hit, as the total consolidated performance rises 34% and more. Considering that most IT investments in these uncertain times will target at cutting costs, that is a huge plus for AMD.