Dual Intel Xeon Gold 5220 Benchmarks
For this exercise, we are using our legacy Linux-Bench scripts which help us see cross-platform “least common denominator” results we have been using for years as well as several results from our updated Linux-Bench2 scripts. Starting with our 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable benchmarks, we are adding a number of our workload testing features to the mix as the next evolution of our platform.
At this point, our benchmarking sessions take days to run and we are generating well over a thousand data points. We are also running workloads for software companies that want to see how their software works on the latest hardware. As a result, this is a small sample of the data we are collecting and can share publicly. Our position is always that we are happy to provide some free data but we also have services to let companies run their own workloads in our lab, such as with our DemoEval service. What we do provide is an extremely controlled environment where we know every step is exactly the same and each run is done in a real-world data center, not a test bench.
We are going to show off a few results, and highlight a number of interesting data points in this article.
Python Linux 4.4.2 Kernel Compile Benchmark
This is an architectural win for AMD’s 2017 “Naples” generation as the caches are fast and there are many cores. As a result, AMD performs very well here to the point that even the AMD EPYC 7351 16-core part is ahead. The next generation AMD parts are coming and they will greatly increase core counts.
7-zip Compression Performance
7-zip is a widely used compression/ decompression program that works cross-platform. We started using the program during our early days with Windows testing. It is now part of Linux-Bench.
Here we wanted to point out the performance delta between the dual Intel Xeon Gold 5120 and the dual Intel Xeon Gold 5220 results. More clock speed and more cores are delivering more than 30% performance improvements here generation-to-generation at the same price point.
NAMD is a molecular modeling benchmark developed by the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More information on the benchmark can be found here. With GROMACS we have been working hard to support Intel’s AVX-512 and AVX2 supporting AMD Zen architecture. Here are the comparison results for the legacy data set:
Without AVX-512 utilization, the Intel Xeon Gold 5220 struggles here relative to the other chips on our chart. We are going to touch on the AVX-512 picture in our GROMACS results.
Again, we are not running these in the highly optimized configurations that AMD and Intel were using around Computex 2019 which stirred up some controversy. See AMD EPYC Rome NAMD and the Intel Xeon Response at Computex 2019.
OpenSSL is widely used to secure communications between servers. This is an important protocol in many server stacks. We first look at our sign tests:
Here are the verify results:
OpenSSL is a foundational technology in enterprise applications. Here the Intel Xeon Gold 5220 performs close to the AMD EPYC 7401 even though the AMD part has 33% more cores. The higher single thread clock speeds help Intel here.
UnixBench Dhrystone 2 and Whetstone Benchmarks
Some of the longest-running tests at STH are the venerable UnixBench 5.1.3 Dhrystone 2 and Whetstone results. They are certainly aging, however, we constantly get requests for them, and many angry notes when we leave them out. UnixBench is widely used so we are including it in this data set. Here are the Dhrystone 2 results:
Here are the whetstone results:
Here, the nearest competitor is the 18-core Intel Xeon E5-2699 V3 which was about 3x the cost inflation adjusted from 2014. If you are doing a server refresh, Intel can offer a similar level of performance for 1/3 the price of the top end 2014-era part.
GROMACS STH Small AVX2/ AVX-512 Enabled
We have a small GROMACS molecule simulation we previewed in the first AMD EPYC 7601 Linux benchmarks piece. In Linux-Bench2 we are using a “small” test for single and dual-socket capable machines. Our GROMACS test will use the AVX-512 and AVX2 extensions if available.
Patrick, our editor-in-chief, confirmed with Intel that the Intel Xeon Gold 5220 only has single port FMA AVX-512 according to the company. You can see the 14 core single port FMA AVX-512 results here from the Intel Xeon Gold 5120. You can then see the Gold 5220 results with 18-cores and then decipher for yourself how we are getting around 3x the performance on the same AVX-512 workload adding four more cores, some clock speed, and 20W TDP headroom.
Chess is an interesting use case since it has almost unlimited complexity. Over the years, we have received a number of requests to bring back chess benchmarking. We have been profiling systems and are ready to start sharing results:
STH STFB KVM Virtualization Testing
One of the other workloads we wanted to share is from one of our DemoEval customers. We have permission to publish the results, but the application itself being tested is closed source. This is a KVM virtualization-based workload where our client is testing how many VMs it can have online at a given time while completing work under the target SLA. Each VM is a self-contained worker.
We are still building this dataset. At the same time, one can clearly see that Intel has pricing for virtualization CPUs that track their performance.
Next, we are going to discuss the solution’s market positioning and then give our final thoughts.