Since their introduction into the market back in the day, I have been fascinated by the working of the power7 based appliances. My interest was however stolen by the performance of the power7 boxes as compared to Java ones. Ever since they first appeared in February, there has been speculation on the capability of the power7 boxes versus those stack up on Java.
Test Based on SPECjbb2005
With regard to the test results released by the Performance Evaluation Corporation, it is rather interesting what the results, largely based on SPECjbb2005 revealed. With my love for additional sampling of gadgets, I did establish some facts about the most recent versions of Xeon 5600 and 7500 processors that were manufactured by Intel and additionally looked at the other Advanced Micro Devices manufactured processors, the Opteron 6100 processors.
However, a clear and interesting sampling demanded that other available processors in the market be sampled, and so I took the liberty of including other processors from companies such as Oracle, ScaleMP, Silicon Graphics and 3Leaf Systems amongst others. It is interesting what I discovered as some machines were clearly better than others to begin with. However, the six core Xeon 5600 processors tended to perform quite fairly against the Java applications, giving almost the same results apiece core when operated with at 2.93 GHz. That notwithstanding, the Xeon 5600 processors had one major demerit; they would not work in anything less than or more than two sockets, complying with two socket systems.
This disadvantages them in terms of system scalability as it greatly cuts it down whereas the Power7 cores showed more scalability with clock speeds that allow you to manipulate them by increasing them up to highs of 3.86GHz. But you can as well increase it a notch higher up to a high of 4.14GHz. The bottom line is that in this regard, the Power7 boxes will generally come with more space allowing addition of 32 or 64 cores on one system image. What this means is that Power7 based machines have a scalability that is far much better when compared to the scalability levels of other iron.
IBM’s Java Processors
However, let me pose and consider IBM’s Java scalability levels a little bit given the fact that what IBM’s Java does is unlike no other company has thought of. First of all, Java has the ability to cache a lot more thus if it is backstepped to a Power 770, the result you get is about 64 cores that will operate at 3.1 GHz at the typical 3.86GHz clock speed, even if you were doing it with same 64 cores at Power 780. Consequently, the use of power boxes of this scalability will enable you attain about 5 million BOPS and with the fact that thus far Xeon 7500 machines do not exist that are capable of taking up an eight socket system thus Power7 boxes carry the day.
There is no denying the fact that Power7 based machines have outperformed their Iron counterparts in more than one way. However, there are advantages to both ends of this arguments, preference and choice will matter a great deal.