Ops! They did it again, IBM announced some new servers  (P750, P770, P780) sporting the new Power 7 CPU at the beginning of this week and, of course, they published a new shiny benchmark showing the power of POWER. 🙂

Following this link you will find the SAP certificate for the P750… but I would like to show you a second certificate published some time ago from Sun (now Oracle) about its Sun Fire x4640.

To recap shortly, a 4 CPU (4 core / 4 thread per CPU) Power7  server gives us 85220 SAPS and a 8 CPU (6 core / 1 thread per CPU) AMD server marked just 55070. So, the Power7 server outpaces AMD.

At a first look you will see a big horse power difference between the two servers but let me show you some less visible facts:

  • The Sun Fire x4640 has a list price, more or less, around 40.000€ (8 2.6 GHz CPUs, 256GB Ram, 3 years NBD support)… how much does it cost the benchmarked Power7 server?
  • The x4640 is ready for next generation, next to be released, 12 core faster CPUs!
  • The Sun Fire x4640 has the capability to use VMware as Hypervisor: freedom of choice about operating systems, embedded high availability, load balancing and so on… On Power you can choose between AIX and, perhaps, some linux distributions.
  • The Power7 single thread performance is very limited (85220/128=655 SAPS) vs AMD (5507/48=1147 SAPS)! It means  faster (near 2X) single thread operations on AMD server!!!

What to add more?

Oh yes! if you buy not one AMD server but two half populated ones and VMware vSphere you will obtain a full redundant and scalable (+100% without adding other boxes) system nearly at the same price of one box!

ES