Intel® Xeon® 5500 brings new era to HPC

April 7th, 2009 11:56 am
Posted by Gilad Shainer
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The availability of the new Intel® Xeon® 5500 Processor CPUs brings a new era to High Performance Computing. The available compute resources have now reached new dimensions and can provide competitive advantages for commercial business. In order to ensure high-productivity from the new Xeon®-based systems, one needs to make sure that the systems are balanced, meaning that there are no artificial bottlenecks that will limit the compute potential. One of those potential bottlenecks is the server interconnect. With eight cores or above in a single server, and with the new levels of compute capabilities from each of the cores, you need to be able to transfer data in and out from the servers at speeds that are much greater than 10Gb/s. One option is to have multiple 10Gb/s adapters, which in turn increases the needed real estate, the system’s power consumption and the total cost of ownership. Another option is to use available 40Gb/s networking, such as 40Gb/s InfiniBand to ensure the highest scalability, efficiency and productivity.

I have been doing an analysis on application productivity, comparing Intel® Xeon 5500 with 40Gb/s InfiniBand (using Mellanox's end-to-end networking solutions) to Intel® Bensley with 20Gb/s InfiniBand. One of the applications tested was the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. With Intel® Xeon based servers and Mellanox 40Gb/s InfiniBand we have seen a 100%(!) productivity increase.

With Intel® Xeon® 5500 support for PCI Express 2.0 and Mellanox 40Gb/s InfiniBand you are now able to achieve more than 6.6GB/s throughput on a single port, almost 1us latency and high message rate of more than 40 million messages per second for mission critical and high-performance applications. The Intel® Cluster Ready program makes it easier for users to take those technologies or solutions, and be able to maximize their performance capabilities to ensure the most efficient and productive use.

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Author Info


Gilad Shainer is a Director of technical marketing at Mellanox Technologies focusing on high performance clustering and high speed interconnects. He is also the chairman of the HPC Advisory Council. Gilad Shainer holds M.Sc. degree (2001, Cum Laude) and a B.Sc. degree (1998, Cum Laude) in Electrical Engineering from the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel.