Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Benchmarks and Review the Worst Platinum

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Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 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 one of the most requested benchmarks for STH over the past few years. The task was simple, we have a standard configuration file, the Linux 4.4.2 kernel from kernel.org, and make the standard auto-generated configuration utilizing every thread in the system. We are expressing results in terms of compiles per hour to make the results easier to read:

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Linux Kernel Compile Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Linux Kernel Compile Benchmark

Here, the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 is fairly far down our results list. So far down, in fact, that we did not even include higher-end options like the Intel Xeon Platinum 8268 or Platinum 8260. The part numbers may be close, but the performance is not.

c-ray 1.1 Performance

We have been using c-ray for our performance testing for years now. It is a ray tracing benchmark that is extremely popular to show differences in processors under multi-threaded workloads. We are going to use our 8K results which work well at this end of the performance spectrum.

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 C Ray 8K Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 C Ray 8K Benchmark

AMD generally performs well on this component of our test suite. As some context, the AMD EPYC 7401P is a $1000 list price part while the AMD EPYC 7351P is under $800. Here, the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 is not competitive with AMD’s 2017 generation of CPUs.

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.

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 7zip Compressoin Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 7zip Compression Benchmark

Here the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 sits between the Intel Xeon Gold 5120 and Xeon Gold 6130 of previous generation parts. The Intel Xeon Gold 6130 is Intel’s 2017 generation part at $1900 that scales to four sockets. When you compare that to the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 at $3100 list price, there is very little you are getting if you contemplate this as an upgrade path. If you were using the Intel Xeon Gold 6130 in your last 1P/2P/4P server purchase, and your vendor offered you a free “upgrade” to the Platinum 8253, in most cases you should decline the upgrade.

NAMD Performance

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 AVX-512 and AVX2 architectures. Here are the comparison results for the legacy data set:

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 NAMD Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 NAMD Benchmark

This is one of the few cases where we see the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 perform better than the Platinum 8158 which held a similar recommendation from STH in the previous generation.

Sysbench CPU test

Sysbench is another one of those widely used Linux benchmarks. We specifically are using the CPU test, not the OLTP test that we use for some storage testing.

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Sysbench CPU Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Sysbench CPU Benchmark

Here we see the 16x Intel cores perform better than the AMD 16 core EPYC 7351/ 7351P solution. Still, performance is not great overall.

OpenSSL Performance

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:

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 OpenSSL Sign Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 OpenSSL Sign Benchmark

Here are the verify results:

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 OpenSSL Verify Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 OpenSSL Verify Benchmark

OpenSSL is a foundational technology of today’s IT infrastructure. In this test, the Intel Xeon Gold 6230 leverages more compute resources, at a lower cost, to achieve better performance than the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253.

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:

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Unixbench Dhrystone 2 Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Unixbench Dhrystone 2 Benchmark

Here are the whetstone results:

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Unixbench Whetstone Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Unixbench Whetstone Benchmark

In the mainstream Intel Xeon Silver 4200, Gold 5200, and Gold 6200 segments, Intel did a great job of increasing performance with this generation. That value per dollar spent did not translate to the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253.

GROMACS STH Medium 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 our “small” case which is appropriate for single-socket servers. Our GROMACS test will use the AVX-512 and AVX2 extensions if available.

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 GROMACS STH Small Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 GROMACS STH Small Benchmark

With some of the AVX-512 enhanvements the Intel Xeon Gold 5200 has seen in this generation, those parts are now performing better than the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253. To STH readers, do not be fooled by those touting Xeon Platinum automatically has better AVX-512 performance. Instead, check the numbers on STH for the SKUs being offered in a server.

Chess Benchmarking

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 now use the results in our mainstream reviews:

Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Chess Benchmark
Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 Chess Benchmark

Here again, we see performance struggles with the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253. One could likely get to a hypothesis that the Platinum 8253 was not a great performer just by looking at specs. In our benchmark section, we showed just how far off this chip is.

Next, we are going to discuss market positioning before our final words.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Well, that was maybe the most honest server CPU review I’ve ever read. Refreshing to see these. It’s hard to argue that this is a bad value unless you’re doing 8-way servers.

  2. In the final comment you mentioned the AMD EPYC 7371 but it does not figure in any of the benchmark tables.
    Could you, perhaps, add it? Thank you.

  3. @emerth

    “Looking ahead after the new AMD EPYC 7002 series launches, we expect the Intel Xeon Platinum 8253 will need 75-80% discounts to be competitive in the market, perhaps more when platform costs and NUMA domain proliferation is included.”

    AMD EPYC 7002 = ROME

  4. They probably can’t say too much since Rome isn’t launched yet. I can see why they only had a passing reference.

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