Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 Performance
For this, we had a unique challenge. We could not swap CPUs as this is a BGA solution not a socketed solution. That meant we could only show Xeon D-2183IT performance in this system and single bar charts are relatively meaningless. To work around this challenge, we benchmarked the solution compared to our baseline Xeon D-2183IT and NVIDIA T4 numbers to see the baseline. We then validated that we could compare the D-2183IT to our existing embedded CPU data set.
Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 CPU and GPU Performance to Baseline
We first utilized or AVX-512 enabled GROMACS STH small test to see performance under an extremely demanding workload. The Xeon D-2183IT has AVX-512 capabilities and that is perhaps the biggest stressor in terms of performance and power consumption. If anything would get the CPU hot and challenge the system, running high-speed molecular modeling certainly would.
The overall delta was less than 1% over our test runs versus our control Intel Xeon D-2183IT Benchmarks and Review system. That is a great result and we did not see a major dip in terms of outliers in our runs to make up that average (e.g. a result that was >5% lower.) Since this is the highest-power CPU in the SE350, we can reasonably expect lower power CPUs to perform similarly and not be thermally throttled.
The NVIDIA T4 was consistently slightly below what we saw on a larger platform with better cooling. This is close enough that it is within what we consider a test variation, and is not inhibiting the value of the T4 to a great extent. In this system with the highest-end CPU and the GPU we were pushing power and thermal constraints of the system so our sense is that with lower-end CPUs this delta would likely go away.
Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 CPU Scaling
With that exercise, we added a Xeon D-2123IT result from our pool along with test data from the SE350’s D-2183IT to show some range of performance.
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:
Here you can see a fairly wide range of performance. The Xeon D-2183IT can hit performance levels rivaling higher-end Xeon Silver 4200/ Gold 5200 chips and offer more than lower-end embedded parts.
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.
In terms of compile performance, we can see a performance that rivals the Gold 5100 series also from the Intel “Skylake” microarchitecture generation.
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:
On the OpenSSL side we see 4 and 16 core performance well beyond what the Xeon D-1500 series offers. The Xeon D-1500 series was the line that used Intel’s “Broadwell” microarchitecture aligned to the Xeon E5-2600 V4. Technically, the Xeon D-1500 series is still being sold as a current-generation part, so Lenovo using the higher-end variant is a great move here as it provides more performance albeit at higher power consumption.
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:
Overall, the CPU performance was about what we would expect from the Xeon D-2183IT in the ThinkSystem SE350. We added some AMD EPYC 3000 series embedded results since it is a good potential alternative to the Xeon D-2100 series if Lenovo has customers that want to have different CPU options validated in edge platforms.
Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 Network Performance
Since networking is a big deal for the Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350, we wanted to quickly test performance:
As you can see, the performance is what we would expect here. We should note that the 10GbE solution is Intel X722 based. We understand some may want 25GbE if deploying clusters, but our test configuration did not have a 25GbE adapter and we would have had to remove the NVIDIA T4 to add one.
Next, we are going to look at power consumption, noise, our STH server spider, and then conclude with our final words.