|The Leading Source for Global News and Information Covering the Ecosystem of High Productivity Computing / July 21, 2006|
Silicon Graphics, Inc. has announced that its new dual-core SGI Altix systems are pushing key applications to much greater levels of performance. The servers are based on the new dual-core Intel Itanium 2 processor 9000 series (formerly code-named Montecito).
SGI asserts their new dual-core Altix 4700 and Altix 450 servers deliver double the performance of today's Altix systems at the same or lower hardware cost, while drawing less power and offering more density and flexibility for demanding, data-intensive applications. In all of SGI's major markets - including engineering, earth and life sciences, government and defense, and data management - the new servers derive performance from real-world applications to shorten time to results.
Engineering: MD Nastran
In tests of the MD Nastran computational structural mechanics application, a dual-core SGI Altix system was 2.6 times faster than a dual-core HP server. The tested Altix 4700 system was based on two 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Itanium 2 processor 9000 series CPUs, and the HP server was powered by two dual-core 2.6 GHz Opteron processors.
"These results show that dual-core Altix systems can cut our customers' time to solution by as much as 60 percent," said Reza Sadeghi, vice president, product development, MSC.Software Corp. "In other words, Altix can take a two-day job and complete it overnight. For manufacturers relying on complex finite-element simulations to drive down costs, using dual-core Altix systems means more time to invest in additional simulations, sensitivity studies and what-if analyses, leading to greater innovation and even better products. The combination of Altix, next-generation Intel Itanium 2 processors, and MSC.Software's suite of enterprise simulation tools clearly delivers a true competitive advantage to our customers."
Sciences and Government/Defense: Gaussian, VASP, MM5
Applications widely used in life sciences, earth sciences, and government and defense also see significant performance increases on dual-core Altix systems - with peak performance boosts reaching 300 percent in some cases.
VASP molecular dynamics code runs, on average, 108 percent faster on dual-core Altix than on a dual-core Opteron-based system. And Gaussian, one of the most popular computational chemistry applications in use throughout the world, runs 62 percent faster on dual-core Altix.
"Gaussian, Inc. and SGI have worked closely together for many years to deliver top performance from SGI hardware and Gaussian software for the benefit of Gaussian users," said Michael Frisch, president, Gaussian, Inc. "Gaussian is pleased to continue this collaboration with SGI, building on the outstanding performance and scalability available today on the SGI Altix server platform and now including the Altix 450 and Altix 4700 servers with next-generation dual-core Intel Itanium 2 processors." In weather forecasting and environmental modeling, dual-core Altix systems combine proven operational capability with industry-leading performance on applications like the PSU/NCAR Mesoscale Modeling System (MM5), which runs up to 71 percent faster on Altix than on dual-core Opteron systems.
Data Management: BEA JRockit and SPECjbb2005
SGI claims that its new dual-core Altix systems also achieved world-record results on the SPECjbb2005 benchmark, an industry-standard measurement of Java-based application performance critical to enterprise users in data-intensive environments. The benchmark results show how SGI can process Java-based business logic on 256 processor cores. SGI also set the 128-core record in March, putting SGI Altix in the top two spots on the SPECjbb2005 list of published benchmark results.
Dual-core SGI Altix 4700 outperformed competing systems from Fujitsu Ltd., Sun Microsystems and others. The tested Altix 4700 server, powered by 128 dual-core Intel Itanium 2 processor, 9050 CPUs, and running the high-performance BEA JRockit 5.0 Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which is optimized for Intel-based servers, generated 3,772,246 SPECjbb2005 bops (business operations per second). All SPECjbb2005 results are posted on http://www.spec.org/jbb2005/results/jbb2005.html.
"These latest results demonstrate that BEA JRockit, SGI Altix 4700 servers, and new dual-core Intel Itanium 2 processors are designed to provide a platform that is fast, stable and efficient," said Guy Churchward, general manager of the Java Runtime Products Group at BEA Systems. "Right on the heels of delivering world-record SPECjbb2005 results on a single-core SGI Altix system, we have thrust the performance bar upward yet again with an even more powerful solution designed to help enterprises achieve new levels of reliability, scalability, manageability and simplicity."
SGI announced its dual-core Altix 4700 and Altix 450 blade systems in June. Ideal for HPC environments with demanding data-intensive workloads, the dual-core Altix 4700 system scales from 8 to 512 CPU sockets (up to 1,024 processor cores) and can accommodate up to 6 TB of globally shared memory in a single system while delivering a teraflop of performance in a small-footprint rack.
At the mid-range, SGI Altix 450 clusters and servers deliver up to 2.5 times the system performance of the current Altix 350 server at a lower cost. Like Altix 4700 systems, Altix 450 servers can be configured to maximize density, I/O or memory, or mixed to accommodate any workflow. Each Altix 450 system can scale to 38 Intel Itanium 2 sockets (up to 76 processor cores) and up to 456 GB of globally addressable memory.
Dual-core SGI Altix 4700 and 450 systems are expected to be available in late August of 2006.