In a result which will cause arch-rival Intel much anguish, AMD has taken pole position in the key web serving speed benchmark.
If you want to claim you’ve got the best web-serving hardware on the market, you best be sure your SPEC results are up to scratch. The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) is the referee in the heavyweight battle between AMD and Intel, an objective third party whose sole mission in life is to cut through the reams of marketing hyperbole spewed out by hardware companies. It does this using a variety of proprietary benchmarks, and when it comes to servers, its SPECweb2005 test is regarded by many as the ultimate measuring stick. And today AMD announced that machines powered by its Opteron processors now hold the fastest SPECweb2005 results for 2P and 4P servers.
The 4P server was a HP ProLiant DL585 G5 server, powered with four quad-core Opteron Model 8356 processors, using a 10 Gigabit Ethernet network. Posting a result of 43,854, it wasn’t a massive leap over the previous winner, having a 2.5% increase over the PRIMERGY RX600 S4, which was powered by Intel Xeon X7350 processors. The 2P server was another HP machine, the ProLiant DL385 G5 running two Opteron Model 2356 processors. The smaller machine clocked a result of 30,007. Both the 2356 and 8356 chips were clocked at 2.3GHz, showing that MHz ain’t everything when it comes to fielding server requests. Also identical between the two machines was the web server software used; Rock Web Server v1.4.1 (x86_64) and Rock JSP/Servlet Container v1.2.0 (x86_64).
While the lead over Intel’s processors isn’t massive, even just a few percent is enough for AMD to claim the performance crown. Considering its significantly cheaper than equivalent Xeons, it appears as if the server market might have a new benchmark chip. Whether this lead remains once Intel’s new chips debut later in the year is yet to be seen.