Our Benchmark Methods and Choices

As is traditional now with AMD CPU launches, we got very little time to perform our benchmarks. By the time we were running with the right BIOS and figured out that our Adaptec RAID cards absolutely refused to work with this new BIOS, we had less than a week left to do our server benchmarks which take at least a few hours per setup. So we had to make some choices. Without our Adaptec card, we had to cancel the most disk intensive test we used so far: the transactional DVD Store test. For all other tests, our four local SLC SSD’s kept disk queues more than low enough.

Despite timing constraints, we tried to stay as faithful as we can to our new benchmark methodology. Remember that instead of throwing every software box we happen to have on the shelf, we decided that the “buyers” should dictate our benchmark mix. Basically, every software type that is really important should have at least one and preferably two representatives in the benchmark suite. In the table below you can find an overview of the software types servers are bought for and the benchmarks you may expect in this review. We add the “relevance” column, as “Istanbul” only targets a part of this market. Very few people will buy a hex-core for print, domain controller or mailservers.

Server Software Market Importance Benchmarks Used Relevance (Six-Core)
ERP, OLTP 10-14%

SAP SD 2-tier (Industry Standard benchmark)

Oracle Charbench (Free available benchmark)

High, but not yet published


Reporting, OLAP 10-17% MS SQL Server (Real world + vApus) Very high
Collaborative 14-18% MS Exchange Loadgen (TBD) Medium
Software Dev. 7% Not yet Medium
e-mail, DC, file/print 32-37% MS Exchange Loadgen (TBD) Very Low (not CPU intensive)
Web 10-14% MCS eFMS (Real World + vApus) Low
HPC 4-6% TBD Only specific dense matrix apps are relevant
Other 2%? 3dsmax (Our own bench) Medium
Virtualization 33-50% VMMark (Industry standard), vApus Mark I Very High

Due to time constraints, we decided to postpone the Exchange and Linpack benchmarking. Their relevance for evaluating “Istanbul” is low anyway. SAP benchmarks were not available at the time that we wrote this.

Benchmark Configuration

None of our benchmarks required more than 20 GB. Database files were placed on a 3 drive RAID-0 Intel X25-E SLC 32 GB SSD, log files on one Intel X25-E SLC 32 GB.

Xeon Server 1: ASUS RS700-E6/RS4 barebone
Dual Intel Xeon "Gainestown" X5570 2.93GHz
6x4GB (24GB) ECC Registered DDR3-1333
NIC: Intel 82574L PCI-E Gbit LAN

Xeon Server 2: Intel "Stoakley platform" server
Dual Intel Xeon E5450 "Harpertown" at 3GHz
Supermicro X7DWE+/X7DWN+
24GB (12x2GB) Crucial Registered FB-DIMM DDR2-667 CL5 ECC
NIC: Dual Intel PRO/1000 Server NIC

Xeon Server 3: Intel "Bensley platform" server
Dual Intel Xeon X5365 "Clovertown" 3GHz
Dual Intel Xeon L5320 at 1.86GHz
Dual Intel Xeon 5080 "Dempsey" at 3.73GHz
Supermicro X7DBE+
24GB (12x2GB) Crucial Registered FB-DIMM DDR2-667 CL5 ECC
NIC: Dual Intel PRO/1000 Server NIC

Opteron Server: Supermicro SC828TQ-R1200LPB 2U Chassis
Dual AMD Opteron 2435 at 2.6GHz
Dual AMD Opteron 8384 at 2.7GHz
Dual AMD Opteron 2222 at 3.0GHz
Dual AMD Opteron 8356 at 2.3GHz
Supermicro H8QMi-2+
24GB (12x2GB) DDR2-800
NIC: Dual Intel PRO/1000 Server NIC

vApus/Oracle Calling Circle Client Configuration
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz
Foxconn P35AX-S
4GB (2x2GB) Kingston DDR2-667
NIC: Intel PRO/1000

What Intel and AMD are Offering OLTP benchmark: Oracle Charbench “Calling Circle”
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  • befair - Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - link

    yeah, yeah, its always "more details review coming soon"
  • smith1795 - Thursday, June 4, 2009 - link




  • genkk - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    ohhh I see, johan is only doing what his boss (anand) has told him so...
  • aguilpa1 - Monday, June 1, 2009 - link

    As an AMD fanboy I skipped to the one metric that AMD shows competitive performance and focused on that ignoring all other.
  • classy - Monday, June 1, 2009 - link

    That is laughable. Lets see I have only purchased all Intel servers in the last 7 years. But in the last 2 years anyone who does any system administration knows virtualization has just leaped to the forefront. Its that important. Even email is being virtualized. Databases are still physical and will probably be for some time to come. But make no mistake about it, how well it does at virtualizing is at the top of the list. Especially considering the recent recession. Virtualizing allows more to be done with less of everything. Next time maybe have some experience in something else besides reading the internet and maybe you might understand a thing or two.
  • Natfly - Monday, June 1, 2009 - link

    Virtualization isn't the be-all end-all of computing. It definitely can be a way to make more efficient use of your hardware, but the "virtualize everything" mentality isn't going to help you in the long run.
  • solicitorsuk - Saturday, September 26, 2009 - link

    This is the thing that i looking for from couple months ago.

  • nycromes - Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - link

    I don't think thats really what he/she was saying, they were saying that in terms of the IT world, Virtualization is now one of the (if not the) most important features. Right now, there are major pushes in the industry to make more efficient use of hardware, virtualization is one major part of doing that. I agree that a "virtualize everything" mentality is not good, but the OP makes a great point about the importance of virtualization in todays IT world.
  • Jakey1999 - Thursday, May 6, 2010 - link


    What would you recommend for a SQL Server 2005 64bit database server? Hybrd, system OTLP and OLAP - 75% read. Thanks. Please respond to e-mail "jerry@tre.wa.gov". Thanks man.
  • AlexRot - Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - link

    Компания Азия-Трейдинг оказывает весь комплекс вэд услуг по таможенному оформлению грузов экспортно-импортного направления. Мы контролируем каждый шаг для того, чтобы Ваши грузы оформлялись без задержек. Доскональное знание условий оформления и профессионализм сотрудников позволяет добиться значительного снижения издержек и максимальной скорости оформления грузов.

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