By Jeff Victor on Apr 23, 2013
Last week, SPEC published the most recent result for the SPECjbb013-MultiJVM benchmark. This benchmark "is relevant to all audiences who are interested in Java server performance, including JVM vendors, hardware developers, Java application developers, researchers and members of the academic community" according to SPEC.
All of the published results are at: http://www.spec.org/jbb2013/results/jbb2013multijvm.html.
For the first table below, I selected all of the max-JOPS results greater than 50,000 JOPS using the most recent Java version, for the SPARC T5-2 and for competing systems. From the SPECjbb2013 data, I derived two new values, max-JOPS/chip and max-JOPS/core. The latter value compensates for the different quantity of cores used in one of the tests. Finally, the "Advantage of T5" column shows the portion by which the T5-2 cores perform better than the other systems' cores. For example, on this benchmark a 32-core T5-2 computer demonstrated 15% better per-core performance than an HP DL560p with the same number of cores.
As you can see, a SPARC T5 core is faster than an Intel Xeon core, compared against competing systems with 32 or more cores.
|Model||CPU||Chips||Cores||OS||max-JOPS||Date Published||max-JOPS per chip||max-JOPS per core||Advantage of T5|
|SPARC T5-2||SPARC T5||2||32||Solaris 11.1||75658||April 2013||37829||2364|
|HP ProLiant DL560p Gen8||Intel E5-4650||4||32||Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise||67850||April 2013||16963||2120||12%|
|HP ProLiant DL560p Gen8||Intel E5-4650||4||32||RHEL 6.3||66007||April 2013||16502||2063||15%|
|HP ProLiant DL980 G7||Intel E7-4870||8||80||RHEL 6.3||106141||April 2013||13268||1327||78%|
The SPECjbb2013 benchmark also includes a performance measure called "critical-JOPS." This measurement represents the ability of a system to achieve high levels of throughput while still maintaining a short response time. The performance advantage of the T5 cores is even more pronounced.
|Model||CPU||Chips||Cores||OS||critical- JOPS||Date Published||critical- JOPS per chip||critical- JOPS per core||Advantage of T5|
|SPARC T5-2||SPARC T5||2||32||Solaris 11.1||23334||April 2013||11667||729|
|HP ProLiant DL560p Gen8||Intel E5-4650||4||32||Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise||16199||April 2013||4050||506||44%|
|HP ProLiant DL560p Gen8||Intel E5-4650||4||32||RHEL 6.3||18049||April 2013||4512||564||29%|
|HP ProLiant DL980 G7||Intel E7-4870||8||80||RHEL 6.3||23268||April 2013||2909||291||151%|
As always, care should be taken in choosing a benchmark that is similar to the workload that you will run on a computer. For example, if you plan to implement a database server, using the SPECint benchmark will not help you, because that benchmark merely measures the performance of the CPU cores and speed and size of memory caches (and perhaps the memory system). It does not measure performance of network or disk I/O, and both of those are important factors in database performance - especially storage I/O.
According to the SPECjbb2013 design document, this benchmark "exercises the CPU, memory and network I/O, but not disk I/O." Because of this, it can be used as a simple method to estimate relative Java processing performance. From the data shown in the tables above, it is clear that the newest SPARC cores deliver Java performance that is competitive with the most recent Intel Xeon CPU cores.
Edit [2013.04.23]: Jim Laurent uses the same benchmark results in a quick look at the smooth scalability of Solaris 11, compared to RHEL6.
For more information on recent SPARC T5 world records, see https://blogs.oracle.com/BestPerf/.
SPEC and the benchmark name SPECjbb are registered trademarks of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). Results as of 4/21/2013, see http://www.spec.org for more information.