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IBM z Processors Climb to 5.5 GHz

By - Source: WSJ | B 45 comments

More GHz, please.

The core of IBM's venerable mainframe architecture, the z196 chip, is currently shipping as a 5.2 GHz quad-core processor. The next product generation will apparently climb to 5.5 GHz, according to a report published earlier this month by the Wall Street Journal.

There was no clock speed information on the next Power chip, currently called Power7+. Power7 runs at up to 4.14 GHz today and IBM says that the next generation will be 10 to 20 percent faster and it is more than likely that a slight upward adjustment of the clock speed will arrive as well.

IBM's zEnterprise servers have a starting configuration price point of about $75,000 for the z114 (up to 14 processors at 3.8 GHz) and scale into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for z196 systems with 24 processors/96 cores. A single 5.2 GHz quad-core z196 processor, called central processing complex (CPC) is rated at a power consumption of about 300 watts.

In comparison, a 4.14 GHz Power7 chip is rated at 190 watts thermal design power.

 

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  • 22 Hide
    nevertell , August 28, 2012 2:53 PM
    Not X86, so don't really jump to conclusions about the performance. Nor can you natively run Crysis...
  • 20 Hide
    freggo , August 28, 2012 3:09 PM
    back_by_demandUp to 20% more speed for only 50% more wattage, OMG!!!...Contribute to global warming much? I though performance per watt was supposed to go up not down


    It's like in cars or pretty much any other machine... the higher in performance you get the more unproportional the required power goes.
    Like making a car go from 0 to 40... any small engine can easily do that. Make it go from 160 to 200mph takes some major hardware upgrade :-)


  • 19 Hide
    SirTrollsALot , August 28, 2012 3:09 PM
    Shut your AISC! And take a RISC!
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    nevertell , August 28, 2012 2:53 PM
    Not X86, so don't really jump to conclusions about the performance. Nor can you natively run Crysis...
  • 7 Hide
    ashinms , August 28, 2012 3:00 PM
    Crytech needs to get to porting Crysis, NOW!!!!
  • 9 Hide
    fudoka711 , August 28, 2012 3:01 PM
    nevertellNot X86, so don't really jump to conclusions about the performance. Nor can you natively run Crysis...


    But we all wish it could run Crysis! =D
  • 19 Hide
    SirTrollsALot , August 28, 2012 3:09 PM
    Shut your AISC! And take a RISC!
  • 20 Hide
    freggo , August 28, 2012 3:09 PM
    back_by_demandUp to 20% more speed for only 50% more wattage, OMG!!!...Contribute to global warming much? I though performance per watt was supposed to go up not down


    It's like in cars or pretty much any other machine... the higher in performance you get the more unproportional the required power goes.
    Like making a car go from 0 to 40... any small engine can easily do that. Make it go from 160 to 200mph takes some major hardware upgrade :-)


  • 19 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , August 28, 2012 3:14 PM
    IJustWantToPost43Why did Apple ever switch to x86 :shakes heads:
    It's blatantly obvious.
  • -6 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , August 28, 2012 3:15 PM
    freggoIt's like in cars or pretty much any other machine... the higher in performance you get the more unproportional the required power goes.Like making a car go from 0 to 40... any small engine can easily do that. Make it go from 160 to 200mph takes some major hardware upgrade :-)
    I understand this logic, but why even bother when there are alternatives? These companies need to combine their tech and making something truly inspiring and amazing. Kind of like when full color television hit the scene. People were blown away .
  • 15 Hide
    velocityg4 , August 28, 2012 3:16 PM
    mlopinto2k1Wouldn't CUDA destroy the performance of these outdated racks? That is, if you replaced every tray with 4 high end streaming cards. Just sayin. Even the PS3 supercomputer the military made would probably rape this thing.


    That is only for a few specialized tasks. For most computing you need a CPU. Otherwise why would anyone give a rip about Intel and AMD CPU's? We'd just get an Atom and only worry about which nVidia or ATI GPU we have.
  • 12 Hide
    obsama1 , August 28, 2012 3:19 PM
    mlopinto2k1Wouldn't CUDA destroy the performance of these outdated racks? That is, if you replaced every tray with 4 high end streaming cards. Just sayin. Even the PS3 supercomputer the military made would probably rape this thing.


    Depends entirely on the task. Also, Kepler doesn't have great CUDA performance.
  • 4 Hide
    jsrudd , August 28, 2012 3:20 PM
    mlopinto2k1Wouldn't CUDA destroy the performance of these outdated racks? That is, if you replaced every tray with 4 high end streaming cards. Just sayin. Even the PS3 supercomputer the military made would probably rape this thing.


    Even if that were the case, the companies that still use these do it because porting the programs that run on these machines and transitioning the infrastructure would be really expensive.
  • -4 Hide
    Reynod , August 28, 2012 3:21 PM
    IBM need to talk to AMD about performance per watt ... no wait ... I might need to check my figures and get back to you on this.

    In the meantime please feel free to hum a little ...
  • -7 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , August 28, 2012 3:22 PM
    jsruddEven if that were the case, the companies that still use these do it because porting the programs that run on these machines and transitioning the infrastructure would be really expensive.
    Agreed. This needs to change. It's ridiculous.
  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , August 28, 2012 3:30 PM
    It's 5.5 GHz continuous clock speed, with mainframe service levels and with obscene amounts of cache. That's not with cores shut off, burst mode, nitrogen cooled with a 5 minute lifespan, etc. -- it's pedal to the floor sheer performance in the world's most reliable server. And every processor is crafted in the U.S. of A.

    Bravo, IBM.
  • 9 Hide
    d_kuhn , August 28, 2012 3:38 PM
    mlopinto2k1I understand, totally... but people do NOT want to code for the CUDA language. It's a huge barrier. Anything can be thrown at these cards depending on how it is coded. It just takes time and money... IBM is lazy.


    You could throw anything at those cards, but much of it would run slower than it does on your $1000 commodity PC. GPU acceleration is great for certain specific tasks, but at GP-CPU type tasks they would be VERY inefficient. Big Iron is still a player for a lot of reasons, code base is one but not the only one... the architectures of those platforms make them good at their market focus areas. Sure you can cluster smaller servers for things like big DB apps... but by the time you get done putting a comparable cluster together you're may find yourself in a similar price point. $75k isn't a lot of money for an enterprise platform (though I'd be REALLY surprised if you could actually get a Z system for the 'base price' and be able to do much with it).
  • 15 Hide
    Pinhedd , August 28, 2012 3:46 PM
    mlopinto2k1Wouldn't CUDA destroy the performance of these outdated racks? That is, if you replaced every tray with 4 high end streaming cards. Just sayin. Even the PS3 supercomputer the military made would probably rape this thing.


    The purpose of a Mainframe is to be extremely reliable while performing high IO transaction processing tasks. They are not designed or meant to run simulations.

    Mainframes and Supercomputers are two different things
  • 4 Hide
    officeguy , August 28, 2012 3:46 PM
    I think 3 can fit in my basement :) 
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