[Beowulf] AMD 6100 vs Intel 5600

Joshua mora acosta joshua_mora at usa.net
Thu Apr 1 05:28:20 EDT 2010


It does not make sense to come up with a general/wide statement of product A
better than product B and or product C.
Each architecture/solution has its strong points and its weak points wrt
others _for_a_given_feature.

There is also certain level of overlapping of features between those
solutions, hence the challenge in coming up with a unique solution to your
needs.

The fastest way without much analysis to decide what is the best is by running
your own application or kernel on A,B and C on configurations that meet your
requirements (usually 1st performance, 2nd price, 3rd capacity, 4rth power
consumption,...order actually varies and combinations of those are also
used).

Each company though tries to do as clear as possible the positioning of their
products by competitive analysis (benchmarketing) and business success cases.

Understanding well each product it is very easy to come up with a specific
benchmark or a "family" of benchmarks around the same way of stressing the
system, for each of those products that make it look unbeatable. But that
result can't be extrapolated nor is representative of the whole thing.

With respect to SPEC benchmarks, there is in my opinion a tremendous effort in
several directions that I consider valuable: "it tries" to come up with a set
of representative real workloads so users can identify their own application's
behavior on one or two benchmarks. Looking at the single final number/score
isn't helpful for a customer that is running a single application, but it
could be meaningful if you are running a rich variety of applications. SPEC is
also a very fair assessment of architectures through careful benchmark designs
and the review of results are done by a group where it gets to be analyzed how
it correlates the performance of each benchmark with the features of the
architectures. The benchmarks evolve with the architectures in order to show
off the new features and to provide meaningful information to the decision
makers. It also shows off the software technologies (compilers,OS,math
libraries,...system settings) that allow you to exploit those systems in its
best way.

SPEC (rate,openmp,mpi,power..) is going to give you some good amount of
information, HPCC is quite simple and provides "extreme stressing", kind of
providing some boundaries on performance on a given direction.  HPL for
instance gives you a boundary on power consumption.

Again, for the decision maker, you need to run your own workload and nail it
down to the <2% error on each metric you are interested.

Therefore, let the decision maker run their own benchmark and if they want to
do the exercise to correlate their own benchmark with other things, I am sure
there will be some good learning on why it is being used a certain benchmark
on a given architecture and the statements that can be claimed and under what
restrictions.

Regards,
Joshua

------ Original Message ------
Received: 03:09 AM CDT, 04/01/2010
From: Peter Kjellstrom <cap at nsc.liu.se>
To: beowulf at beowulf.orgCc: 
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] AMD 6100 vs Intel 5600

> On Thursday 01 April 2010, Kilian CAVALOTTI wrote:
> > On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:51 PM, Bill Broadley <bill at cse.ucdavis.edu> 
> wrote:
> > >> I would say that the 2x6-cores Magny-Cours probably has to be compared
> > >> to Nehalem-EX.
> > >
> > > Why?
> >
> > Maybe first because that's where the core spaces from AMD and Intel
> > intersect (8-cores Beckton and 8-cores Magny-Cours). I'm not sure it's
> > really significant to compare performance between a 6-cores Westmere
> > and a 12-cores Magny-Cours. I feel it makes more sense to compare
> > apples to apples, ie. same core count.
> 
> I'm not convinced, is the number of cores more important that agg.
performance 
> and price? Also, if you turn on SMT/HT on a 6-core westmere it may appear 
> very similar to a 12-core Magnycour (performance, appearance, price, ...).
> 
> My experience is that in HPC it always boils down to price/performance and 
> that would in my eyes make apples out of Magnycour and Westmere.
> 
> /Peter
> 

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