Intel Xeon 7460: Six Cores to Bulldoze Opteronby Johan De Gelas on September 23, 2008 12:00 AM EST
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- IT Computing
The Opteron may have a slight disadvantage here as it has a 1200W PSU instead of a 1000W unit. We had no choice as our 1U server with 1000W PSU that we used in our previous reviews is not supported by ESX. Our Supermicro SC828TQ-R1200LPB 2U works very well with ESX, but it may consume a few extra Watts. (Or perhaps not - without testing both PSUs we really don't know their efficiency curves.) All Xeons use the exact same chassis, motherboard and power supply. We decided to test with both 16GB and 32GB. In our benchmarking scenario we only needed 16GB, as our VMs were very processing intensive and didn't need more memory. In the real world, it is much more likely that most of your VMs need far less processing power and will require more memory (especially when you run more VMs). The extra data point allows you to understand how much power eight extra DIMMs require, allowing you to estimate how much power your setup will consume.
|System Power Comparison|
|Typical CPU load||Power with 6 VMs
at full load (16GB)
|Power with 6 VMs
at full load (32GB)
|Xeon 7330 (2.4GHz)||91-96%||456||541|
|Xeon 7350 (2.93GHz)||90-95%||605||692|
|Xeon X7460 (2.66GHz)||85-90%||502||587|
|Opteron 8356 (2.3GHz)||95-99%||485||534|
It's amazing to see that the 6-core X7460 is capable of staying well below its older 65nm brother, the X7350 at 2.93GHz. Both CPUs have the same TDP, but the 6-core X7460 consumes 25W less per CPU than the X7350. Part of this can be explained by slightly lower CPU usage as the 24 cores do not have to work as hard to handle the six VMs. The X7460 is a huge chip, but that does not prevent the newest Xeon from performing 45% better while consuming 25W less per CPU.
|Transactions per Watt|
|Xeon 7330 (2.4GHz)||3.93|
|Xeon 7350 (2.93GHz)||3.26|
|Xeon X7460 (2.66GHz)||5.59|
|Opteron 8356 (2.3GHz)||5.26|
This table also helps explain why it is so important for Intel not to wait for a Xeon Nehalem MP to regain the performance crown. The current Xeon 73xx MP line takes a serious beating from the Opteron when it comes to virtualized performance/Watt. However, this table also makes it clear that the current Opteron has no chance of beating the 45nm Xeon MP. If we use the 8360SE (2.5GHz) instead of the 8356, performance will rise 8% at the most, but power consumption will probably increase by 20-30%, resulting in an even worse performance/Watt result.