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Silicon Graphics Supports Nehalem on ICE: Complete with Benchmarks

silicon_graphics_logo_newOn the tails on Intel’s official release of their latest Xeon silicon, deemed Nehalem, Silicon Graphics have announced support for the new chip in their ICE cluster series.

To remain competitive, users today require their IT platforms to deliver results much sooner, even as their applications increase in complexity and data sets grow exponentially,” said Silicon Graphics CEO Bo Ewald. “The SGI Altix ICE platform is unique in its rich I/O infrastructure and high-bandwidth interconnect design, which makes it an ideal platform for solving big data problems with the new Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series.”

More interesting than their support of Nehalem, are the actual benchmark results.  It looks like SGI is one of the first amongst HPC vendors to post application benchmarks on Nehalem.  Details:

.: Fluent: A 14-million-cell model of the external flow of a truck body was tested on 64 cores of an Altix ICE 8200EX with Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series at 2.93GHz. On the new SGI system, the test ran 1.59x faster than AMD Shanghai at 2.7GHz and 1.73x faster than Altix ICE 8200EX with Intel® Xeon® processor X5472 at 3.0GHz on 64 cores — with near linear scalability. For a larger 111-million-cell model, the performance improvement is even higher. Altix ICE 8200EX with Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series at 2.93GHz/1067 is 1.64x faster than AMD Shanghai on 64 cores and 1.81x faster than Altix ICE 8200EX with Intel® Xeon® X5472 3.0GHz on 128 cores.

.: VASP: When running the bench.PdO standard benchmark for the Vienna Ab-Initio Simulation Package (VASP), the Altix ICE 8200EX with Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series at 2.93GHz on 32 cores is 1.95x faster than the same system equipped with Intel® Xeon® processors X5470 at 3.0GHz.

.: WRF: The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model of the continental United States at 2.5km resolution runs 2.4x faster on Altix ICE 8200EX with Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series at 2.93GHz on 128 cores than it does on a similarly configured system featuring Intel® Xeon® processors X5470 at 3.0GHz.

For more info on SGI’s ICE support of Nehalem, read the full press release here.

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