Xeon launch spawns baby UV at SGI, plus SPEC numbers on the big boys

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SGI logoToday’s launch of Intel’s new 7500 series (“Beckton”) processor with its eight cores and 16 standard DDR3 DIMMS per CPU socket has spurred the launch of a new product in the yet-to-ship Altix UV line at SGI.

The UV 10

SGI is adding a 4U rackmount 7500 series based product labeled at the UV 10 to its already announced UV 100 and 1000 series systems. The UV 10 puts 4 sockets of 7500 in a 4U rackmount chassis, for a total of 32 sockets. If you want to grow outside this footprint, however, you’ll have to go Ethernet or IB. Although it shares the name, the UV 10 does not share the NumaLink of its bigger brothers, so there’s no shared memory outside of this chassis. Processors are connected to each other via Intel’s QuickPath, and you can slot up to 512 GB of shared memory into a system.

UV10Although it’s somewhat uncharacteristic of SGI to release pricing this early, they’ve already briefed insideHPC on a starting price: an Altix UV 10 with four Intel Xeon X7542 processors (6‐core, 2.66GHz), 32GB of memory, and a SATA boot drive will set you back $33,250. And unlike its UV 100/1000 brethren, this little guy is available today.

So what you do with one of these? I don’t think they’d make a very good development system for one of the larger boxes, because without NumaLink the communications costs will be wrong and it would be pointless to spend a lot of time tuning your application. It is a fat memory box, though, so if you wanted to run a reasonably-sized database in memory or just a lot of relatively low core count jobs in a scale-out fashion, this box could make sense for you. Also it does share the same software stack as the rest of SGI’s UV line, so that’s a plus if the development you need to do depends more upon system software than performance tuning.

Performance numbers on the big UVs

Today’s 7500 launch also means that SGI can finally talk about the performance of UV, which adds to the momentum as we grow closer to the Q2 launch of SGI’s make-or-break HPC platform. SGI has published both SPECint and SPECfp numbers for an Altix UV 1000 system with 64 Intel Xeon X7560 processors and 2TB of DDR3 memory. Performance on SPECintrate2006: is #1 on any architecture, and on SPECfprate2006: is #1 on x86 architecture, and #2 behind an SGI Altix 4700 with eight times as many processors.

Here are the numbers SGI briefed me on ahead of the launch


  1. SGI Altix UV 1000 512c Xeon X7560 10400
  2. SGI Altix 4700 Bandwidth System 1024c Itanium 9030
  3. Sun Blade 6048 Chassis 768c Opteron 8384 (cluster) 8840
  4. ScaleMP vSMP Foundation 128c Xeon X5570 3150
  5. SGI Altix 4700 Density System 256c Itanium 2890


  1. SGI Altix 4700 Bandwidth System 1024c Itanium 10600
  2. SGI Altix UV 1000 512c Xeon X7560 6840
  3. Sun Blade 6048 Chassis 768c Opteron 8384 (cluster) 6500
  4. SGI Altix 4700 Bandwidth System 256c Itanium 3420
  5. ScaleMP vSMP Foundation 128c Xeon X5570 2550


  1. […] SGI built the newly announced UV 10 around them (and see our coverage) […]


  1. C. Evangelinos says

    Actually the SPECfp_rate_base_2006 result is disappointing: the Altix4700 may have 8 times the number of processors but it’s only 2 times the number of cores and a much older processor running slow and it almost gets double the SPECrate with double the number of cores.

  2. John West says

    That’s a good perspective that I shouldn’t have missed. Thanks for pointing it out.