[Beowulf] Nehalem Xeons

Jon Aquilina eagles051387 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 15 01:06:30 PDT 2008

hows does one get on the band wagon to test out these newer processors from

On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 4:19 AM, Bill Broadley <bill at cse.ucdavis.edu> wrote:

> Ellis Wilson wrote:
>> Joe Landman wrote:
>>> Kilian CAVALOTTI wrote:
>>>> Do you, by any chance, have any substantial performance figure to make
>>>> us drool? :)
>>> Intel has asked that no benchmarks be published by people with units.
>> One wonders why they distributed them in the first place if they didn't
>> intend to excite people about their performance prior to releasing them.
> Heh, well they want to excited people... important people... who in
> exchange sign NDAs.  Not to mention providing feedback on performance,
> stability, bios compatibility, operating system, drivers, compilers,
> applications etc that intel couldn't hope to replicate all the variations of
> in the lab.
>   With processors I don't think it's for "debugging" or stability checks
>> since that should be well simulated (owing to the high cost of CPU molds
>> costs millions itself).
> It's hard to predict when a show stopper will show. Nvidia, AMD, and Intel
> (and likely most everyone) has had learned hard lessons in this area.
>  Indeed  companies do spend big $$$ trying to make sure that each silicon
> revision is bug free... hardly a guarantee though.
> In any case if you google around there's a fair bit of performance
> information on nehalem chips.  Stream performance has been mentioned,
> unlabeled charts with relative performance on Spec CPU among other
> benchmarks, and preproduction benchmarks on a variety of things.  Public
> info and fuzzy IDF slides seem to conclude:
> * 2.6, 3.0, and 3.2 clock bins or so
> * slightly 5-25% higher IPC (per thread) on many workloads
> * Dramatically better memory system
> * 4 cores/8 threads first, more variations later.
> * 3 memory systems per socket.
> * On chip memory controller
> * lower memory latency than current intels or opterons.
> * slightly HIGHER power use per socket than current intel.
> So nothing really earth shattering for the single socket market, but very
> healthy competition (unlike the current CPUs) in the 2-4 socket market.
> Of course that leaves tons of interesting questions, pressure your favorite
> vendor if you can't wait.  Although there is some info at:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Nehalem
> http://www.intel.com/technology/architecture-silicon/next-gen/index.htm
> http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3326
> Personally I'm most interested in when hyperthreading helps (hopefully it's
> a better implementation of SMT than the P4 had) and exactly how the memory
> system works.  Things like how fast does 1,2,4,8,16 threads fetch a random
> cache line?  Sequential?  From L1, L2, L3, and main memory.  Things like:
>  http://cse.ucdavis.edu/~bill/numa3-smooth.png<http://cse.ucdavis.edu/%7Ebill/numa3-smooth.png>
> Current rumors claim the desktop chip (core i7) is due in week 46, but
> recent news claims week 47 around Nov 17th.  No idea when the
> workstation/server version will be out, at least is should give a good idea
> where the server version should be performance wise.
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Jonathan Aquilina
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