SiCortex revises green performance index, intros tool

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Today HPC vendor SiCortex revised its Green Computing Performance Index (GCPI, which we first covered when it was announced back in November) based on what it referred to as “community feedback” in a statement.

SiCortex logoIn response to HPC community feedback, SiCortex has updated the GCPI to include only the most relevant metrics from the HPCC benchmark suite. Benchmarks that measure latency alone have been excluded in favor of focusing the Index on actual work performed by computing systems. The GCPI remains the first and only tool to measure and rank computers on a broad range of performance metrics relative to energy consumed, providing a highly valuable business tool to help data center managers make more informed decisions.

The energy efficiency of the SiCortex solution has become part of their core value proposition, and it’s not too surprising given their recent comments on the Nehalem announcement that they’d take this opportunity to differentiate themselves from Chipzilla’s pride and joy

Intel’s new Xeon 5500 (Nehalem EP) processor was among the first systems to be evaluated using the new benchmarks. Testing on the Endeavor Xeon 5560 revealed a GCPI score of 9.85, second behind the SiCortex SC5832, which scores 12.32, backing up SiCortex’s claims that the chip has failed to meet the market’s increased energy efficiency demands.

Results thumnailBoiling the measurements down to a single number is iffy, since it buries much useful data. In reviewing their performance slide (image on the right, click for a larger view), however, I was struck by how the Nehalem and the SiCortex MIPS solution stand so far above competitors, including the BlueGene/P, another system designed with energy efficiency in mind.

I went through the results published on SiCortex’s GCPI page and compared for myself. You’ll want to do the same, as the individual results show a mixed picture. Indeed, there are 18 individual measurements to compare against, and it’s quite difficult to get a feeling for who is ahead in what areas from a casual review of the results. Which brings us the to rest of today’s announcement:

As such, SiCortex has developed an online tool that enables HPC purchasers to customize and create their own index. Available online, the GCPI Calculator allows users to change the weighting on specific HPCC benchmarks and obtain a ranking of relative energy efficiency for the leading HPC system vendors. In seconds, the tool provides an important data point to support an informed purchase decision.