Westmere-EP vs Sandy Bridge-EP Performance Preview
Over the next few months, Intel will be releasing several server and workstation class processors based on Sandy Bridge. Entry level workstation offerings include E3-1200 v2 and E5-1600, both reliable alternatives to regular desktop offerings. Dual socket processors include the E5-2400 series and the higher performing E5-2600. Finally, we have the quad socket E5-4600 series.
We have now seen some initial performance comparisons between Sandy Bridge-EP and Westmere-EP. A document leaked by a Chinese website (PDF file) revealed what sort of performance increase we can expect in Sandy Bridge-EP over Westmere-EP. Various benchmarks were run using an X5690 (with 6 cores/12 threads at 3.46 GHz base clock, 3.6GHz Turbo Clock) and an E5-2690 (8 cores/16 threads at 2.9 GHz), in a dual-socket setup with comparable configuration, except that the X5690 had 40 GB of DDR3-1333 in triple channel configuration and the E5-2680 had 32GB DDR3-1600 in quad channel configuration.
Giving the X5690 a baseline score of 1 in each test, we see some interesting results. Both chips have a similar TDP. The X5690 has a core speed 24% higher than E5-2690, but the latter has 33% more cores. Using the synthetic Linpack benchmark to measure matrix multiplication, E5-2690 scored a respectable 2.2. Using OLTP Database (TPC-C Oracle), E5-2690 scores 1.5, while using a middle tier java test (SPECjbb 2005) the score is 1.56. Integer throughput using SPECint_base2006 gives a score of 1.69. Moving to some technical computing tasks, Floating Point Throughput (SPECfp*_rate_base2006) gave a score of 1.82 and Memory Bandwidth (STREAM_MP Triad) scored 1.88. The average performance over these 6 applications is approx 1.78, indicating a projected performance increase of approximately 80% when moving from the high-end Westmere-EP offering to the equivalent Sandy Bridge-EP processor.
Comparing the Xeon 5600, E5-2400 and E5-2600 we can see the benefits of the newer systems, and why the E5-2600 series is so powerful.
Related News (newer articles):
Mar 07, 2012: Intel rolls out Xeon E5-1600 and E5-2600 CPUs
Related News (older articles):
Oct 27, 2011: Prices of Xeon E5-2600-series CPUs
Oct 10, 2011: Launch schedule of Intel Xeon E5 microprocessors
Aug 26, 2011: Intel to launch Xeon E5-2600 series in Q4 2011
Related CPU families