AMD-HP Opteron Tops TPC-C Benchmark

AMD’s 64-bit Opteron processor line has long been known for fast performance. New TPC-C results might help burnish that reputation. The TPC-C, the trademark name for the Transaction Performance Processing Council, is considered an important test for measuring system performance, tallying how many transactions a computer can manage in a commercial environment, such as simulating the computing traffic in a bank.

Hewlett Packard’s Proliant DL585 server, powered by dual-core AMD 880 Opteron processors, and the rack mount HP Proliant DL385 server powered by AMD’s dual-core 280 Opteron processors, were rated the highest performing x86 four-way and two-way database servers. The HP DL585 also led in price/performance. The HP BL25, also based on Opteron, took the number one performance ranking among two-way blade servers.

The four-way ranking marks the first time the 200K TPM (transaction-per-minute) score has been broken by a four-way x86 server. IBM’s Power5 RISC processor fell just short of AMD’s 202,557 TPM with a score of 197,669 TPM. On the higher volume side, HP’s DL385 was the first system to break the 100K TPM mark for two-way x86 servers. “I think the important thing to look at is the trend of performance and price performance,” Ilya Bukshteyn, SQL Server director of communications for Microsoft, told The HP servers ran Microsoft’s SQL Server 2005 database for the test, which included significantly better price performance ranking than competitors. “AMD’s leadership in 64-bit really moves the bar to allow companies to look at running core mission critical applications on standard hardware.”

The results come just a few days ahead of Intel’s expected announcement Monday of new Xeon dual-core processors, which compete directly with AMD.

There are no definitive benchmarks for finished commercial servers based on the new Intel-based systems yet, though there should be shortly. Dell, HP, IBM and other hardware makers will be making server announcements as part of Intel’s Xeon rollout.

“AMD’s making hay while it can,” Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at In-Stat told “But benchmarks are a rough rule of thumb of system performance, your mileage may vary. I would expect Paxville to be in the same ball park.” Paxville is Intel’s internal name for its new dual-core Xeon.

For AMD, the results are the latest in a string of high performance rankings that topped rival Intel. “We were the first to break 75K [transactions per minute], the first to break 100, and 150K and now 200k,” said Pat Patla, director of AMD’s server workstation business. “The latest figures confirm the leadership message we’ve putting out for dual-core.”

Separately, AMD also announced it had served a number of computer companies with subpoenas for documents as part of its antitrust complaint filed against Intel. AMD served Dell last month. This latest list includes NEC USA, Gateway, Toshiba, Sony, Lenovo, Hewlett Packard, and several major computer distributors and retailers including CompUSA and Fry’s Electronics.

An AMD spokesman said these companies were selected because AMD believes they may possess information relevant to its claims against Intel and that the subpoenas for document production are a routine next step in the discovery process. “AMD views these third parties as victims of Intel?s misconduct and therefore hopes to obtain these documents in the manner least burdensome to them,” AMD said in a statement.

AMD said it also expects Intel to serve subpoenas on third parties to obtain evidence. With that in mind, AMD said it has provided its rival’s legal counsel a copy of its production subpoenas in the hope that the third parties will only have to respond once to the document requests and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort or expense.


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