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Intel Xeon E5-2600 V3 Review: Haswell-EP Redefines Fast

More Benchmark Results

Next up are our application-specific benchmarks, including c-ray 1.1, NAMD, NPB, p7zip, redis, and OpenSSL. At some point in the future, optimizations for Haswell-EP's advanced instructions may find their way into these titles. But for now, the performance we're reporting represents the current state of affairs. Specifically, AVX 2.0 would likely have a major impact on the results.

c-ray 1.1

Linux-Bench actually runs three different c-ray tests. The first is dubbed "easy", and is great for showing performance differences between Atom processors and desktop CPUs. We excluded that measurement because all three platforms finish it in under one second. Instead, we are using the much tougher command cat sphfract | ./c-ray-mt -t $threads -s $resolution -r 8 to demonstrate differences between these platforms.

Ray tracing generally scales well with both CPU frequency and core count; we see both trends in action as the Xeon E5-2600 v3s pull ahead.

While the 1920x1200 test responds readily to more execution resources, the 3840x2160 benchmark doesn't. Some of that may be due to the -2690 v3's 300 MHz per core advantage. Still, the scaling of the Xeon E5-2690 from one generation to the next is made obvious.

NAMD

Our NAMD tests use molecular modeling to tax these server platforms. For anyone involved in projects like Folding@Home, these are the types of workloads that fully utilize multi-threaded processors.

Haswell-EP has little trouble showing off its strengths.

The first-gen Xeon E5 and v2 results aren't what most folks would expect. However, Ivy Bridge-EP had a nasty habit of getting aggressive on power-saving, dropping all cores to lower P-states when demand dropped. That may be what's happening here. In contrast, the Xeon E5-2600 v3s control this on a per-core basis, so the impact of turning cores on and off isn't reflected as painfully in the performance benchmarks.

NPB

For a test with "Parallel Benchmark" in its name, we're expecting Haswell-EP's high core counts to yield big performance numbers. 

hereas we see relatively pedestrian improvements going from first-gen Xeon E5-2690 the Haswell-EP-based variant, Intel's -2699 v3 finishes way ahead of the other CPUs. Since this was repeatable, I'm hypothesizing that the problem being solved fits into the big die's 45 MB L3 cache.

P7zip

p7zip is a standard compression benchmark. Generally, these types of algorithms are able to take advantage of many threads. I'd guess that the Haswell-EP parts are able to overcome small frequency deficits to finish with a lead, thanks to their IPC throughput advantage and core count.

There is a linear-looking performance improvement stepping between each generation of Intel's Xeon E5-2690. The Xeon E5-2699 v3 again shows off what extra cores can do in a workload able to utilize them, posting an approximately 2x increase over the first-gen Xeon E5-2690.

Redis

Redis is an in-memory application, so core count has less of an overall impact.

As I expected, the results fall much closer to each other, looking a lot like our STREAM results. Still, the configuration with one 16 GB DDR4 DIMM per channel does pull ahead.

OpenSSL

Again, OpenSSL is widely used, so this is perhaps one of the most applicable benchmarks for Web servers. Some companies are pushing for broader use of SSL to keep data encrypted, making the metric particularly important.

The Haswell-EP-based parts scale well. In particular, the Xeon E5-2699 v3 shows a greater than 2x performance improvement over Intel's once-top-of-the-line Xeon E5-2690.