John at InsideHPC has a pointer to an article on benchmarks of the chips. There is no doubt that Intel is doing a good job on coming out with chips in a timely manner, something AMD is not doing well.
Regardless of my criticism, what is interesting are the real world tests. I don’t care so much about winrar and other things that, generally speaking, won’t impact my or my customers lives all that much.
I am a great deal more interested in applications benchmarks with real data sets that my customers run. Few run Linpack. Quite a few run LSDyna, and Fluent, and …
What is interesting is what is on the Intel site.
Floating point throughput (picture links back to their page, and picture comes from their page).
Wow. If I believe this (no reason not to) then the 2350 and 2360 are (ignoring press hype to the contrary) quite formidable competitors to Intel’s offerings. Early benchmarks we have seen with CFD and other codes support this contention. Note that this flies in the face of the “benchmarks” that other people do. Not end user HPC application benchmarks.
So lets look at Dyna:
Note: vertical axis is wall clock. This is the topcrunch benchmark.
This pretty much explains why Penryn was pushed out early. Sadly, there aren’t other relevant benchmarks there.
The take home message is that a 2 GHz Opteron 2350 appears to seriously best a 3 GHz Xeon 5365 on a real test (about 22% faster in favor of the Barcelona). Moreover, the 2 GHz 2350 is about 6% slower than the 3 GHz Penryn in the worst case, and about the same in the best case.
Now compare that data to the hype machine screaming at us that Penryn is destroying Barcelona.
This is not a rout by any sense of the word. Had Intel not come out with Penryn when it did, it would not be winning these benchmarks, and as you can see, it isn’t by much.
That said, the integer improvements in Penryn are quite exciting. I want to see what they will do for codes like BLAST. My “tomato_15min.fsa” seems to have taken on somewhat of a standard input deck status (which is funny as it is file of A. thaliana which I mislabeled some years ago … go figure) so I will use that and the latest nt and try to get my hands on a harpertown for testing.