Power Consumption

Our power consumption data is preliminary. We really have to doublecheck all the power data. Very roughly, we find that the Opteron 2435 machine consumes about 35-45W less than the Xeon X5570. On a total of slightly more than 300W, that is about 10 to 15%. Idle power seems to be slightly in favor of the Xeon “Nehalem”. We’ll update this data in our next article.

Market Analysis

As always we do an analysis based on what the servers are bought for. There are quite a few fields that we have not covered in this article, but with the exception of the ERP benchmarks, those markets are hardly relevant. HT assist might improve bandwidth in a quad-socket configuration, but must be disabled in a 2P configuration. As a result the six-core has less bandwidth per core, which means that most of the HPC application will not perform better. The infrastructure market is looking for as much memory as possible, not for more processing power with the same amount of memory.

So there is only piece really missing in the puzzle: the ERP results. The SAP benchmarks are not that hard to predict: The six-core Opteron will probably improve the SAP score by 25 to 35% over a 2.7 Ghz quad-core Opteron 2389. This will not threaten the dominant position of the Nehalem Xeons which are up to 81% faster than the latter.

Server Software Market Importance Benchmarks Used Effect of 2 extra cores (Istanbul vs Shanghai) Intel Xeon X5570 2.93 vs Opteron 2435 2.6
ERP, OLTP 10-14%

SAP SD 2-tier (Industry Standard benchmark)

Oracle Charbench (Free available benchmark)

Not known yet

+27%

Not known yet

50%

Reporting, OLAP 10-17% MS SQL Server (Realworld vApus benchmark) +46% 16%
Collaborative email, DC, file/print 14-18%
32-37%
MS Exchange Loadgen (MS own load generator for MS Exchange)

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

Software Dev. 7% None Unknown Unknown
Web 10-14% MCS eFMS (Realworld vApus benchmark) -3% 14%
HPC
Other
4-6%
2%?
LS-DYNA (Industry Standard)
3DSMax (Our own bench)
Unkown
+5%

Unknown
50%

Virtualization 50% VMmark on ESX 4.0 (Industry Standard)
vApus Mark I on ESX 3.5
vApus Mark I on ESX 4
+41%
+37%
+35%
+/- 51%
0.7%
11-30%

 

The OLTP-market is also firmly in Intel's grasp. Things look better in our website benchmark, until you remember that a single Xeon X5570 performs just as well as dual six-core Opteron. That leaves two markets: Decision Support Databases and servers bought for virtualization. But that last one is incredibly important…

vApus Mark I: Performance-Critical Applications Virtualized Conclusion
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  • solori - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    I should have said "abundant (cheap) memory." Reply
  • mkruer - Monday, June 1, 2009 - link

    I am disappointed that you did not bench X5550 vs 2435. This is the chip that the Opteron 2435 was designed to go up against, not the X5570 which is clocked 300MHz higher and 40% more expensive. Heaven forbid that you try to include chips at the same price point. That being said other sites that did compare based upon price, and not top of the line, show that the Opteron 2435 is indeed comparable to the X5550 at the same price point and speed. Now if AMD can up the speed of the hex core, then it will be a more direct comparison to the X5570. The X5570 is 50% faster but it is also >50% more in cost. Reply
  • mino - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    Right.

    Actually, I have no qualms with comparing the best with the best, but the commentary is mostly out-of-place.
    I guess this was written after 3 days without sleep, but anyway.

    After an excelent vAPUS Mark 1 article I would expect better that old-school style:
    "1000 $ Pentium 4 3.2 EE is clearly (15%) better than $400 Athlon 3200+ so Athlon is clearly a piece of junk. Well maybe for games not so much but generally it is a piece of junk."

    Thank god the numbers tell their own story.
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    It seems that some people like to create the impression that we did not take into account that both CPUs were not at the same pricing.

    However:

    http://it.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3571&...">http://it.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3571&...
    [quote]"However, as the Opteron 2435 competes with 2.66 GHz Xeon and not the Xeon 2.93 GHz, this is the first benchmark where “Istanbul” is competitive."[/quote]

    http://it.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3571&...">http://it.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3571&...
    [quote]"The Nehalem-based Xeon moves forward, but does not make a huge jump. Performance of the six-core Opteron was decreased by 2%, which is inside the error margin of this benchmark. It is still an excellent result for the latest Opteron: this results means it will have no trouble competing with the 2.66 Ghz Xeon X5550. "
    [/quote]

    http://it.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3571&...">http://it.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3571&...
    [quote]"The new Opteron 2435 at 2.6 GHz was a pleasant surprise on vApus Mark I: it keeps up with more expensive Xeons on ESX 3.5 update 4 while consuming less, and offers a competitive performance/watt and performance/price ratio on vSphere 4. The six-core Opteron is about 11 to 30% slower on vSphere 4 than the 2.93 GHz Xeon X5570 but the overall cost of the Istanbul platform is significantly lower (DDR-2 versus DDR-3) and the 2.6 GHz 2435 consumes less power in a virtualized environment "
    [/quote]

    And I have confidence that the vast majority of my readers are intelligent people who can decrease the benchmarks with 8 to 10% to see what a Xeon x5550 would do
    Reply
  • mino - Thursday, June 4, 2009 - link

    No, I do not like that, nor like to create such an impression.

    The article presents the numbers reasonably well for me. It is just that your (justified) love for Nehalem is glowing through and many, many comments were out of place.
    I believe this was not intentional but cause by your love for the Nehalem platform which is otherwise great.

    All the numbers tell one thing - Istanbull is generally on par with Nehalem clock for clock +- 10% depending on the workload.

    About that glowiong love for Nehalem:
    >>>MCS eFMS 9.2
    "A single 8-thread Xeon X55xx is by far the best choice here."

    Why ? There is no 1*2435 number.
    Based on the numbers published single 2435 will get about 55-58rps which for all practical needs is identical performance to _flagship_ Nehalem.

    >>>3ds Max 2008 32b
    "We are sure that there are probably more efficient render engines out there, but it is simply not a market the AMD six-core should cater to. Nehalem-based Xeons are simply way too powerful for this kind of application. Render engines scale almost perfectly with clockspeed. So if cost is your main concern, consider the Xeon E5520 at 2.26 GHz, the cheapest CPU that still supports HT. We will test this one soon, but we expect it to deliver 67 frames per hour, which is still more than 20% better than any Opteron."

    OK, so first bash(rightfully) the application fo it rigid resource use pattern, than say that for Nehalem is "way too powerfull for this KIND of application" for Opteron to compete with.
    You managed to contradict your own reasoning to promote Nehalem for rendering while the numbers speak about single improperly optimized app.
    Which it is pretty certain SW vendor will take care of in due time. These numbers are just a result of no (affordable) 6-core presence on the market up to now.

    By these 2 comments you took the article balance from "Instanbul is generally about 5% slower per_clock than Nehalem, in certain apps it is on par or better while in other loses about 15%" - which is what the numbers tell - to "Instanbul is good for VMware, forget about it elsewhere".

    Which is about as much bad publicity you could give to the second fastest CPU on the market by_large_margin.

    Fact is, at a given price, Nehalem box is ALMOST IDENTICAL performance-wise to Istanbul box. While both crush everything else on the market by 30+ %.
    Reply
  • lopri - Monday, June 1, 2009 - link

    Page 2, "..The most recent data is however in CPU’s L2-cache" I think you meant CPU #2? Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Monday, June 1, 2009 - link

    Yes, good catch. Fixed the issue. Reply
  • classy - Monday, June 1, 2009 - link

    I skipped right to the virtualization portions. It is by far becoming the most dominate criteria for most of the IT world. The 6 core opty looks solid there, so it will come down to price. Now with the quickly developing virtual desktop infrastructures, how well a platform does virtualization makes it just two fold more important. Many folks have already virtualized mission critical apps. I know we're doing exchange in the near future. The days of seperate physical servers and desktops are going the way of the dodo bird. Its becoming all about virtualization. Reply
  • genkk - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    why power consumption not shown here....the bench mark guys in anandtech lost the papers...or they don't want you to see

    any way go to techreport.com where istanbul wins
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    More detailed power consumption numbers will be available in the next review. Reply

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