At ISC09, the Top 500* results were announced: 399 out 400, nearly 80%, of the world’s supercomputers are using Intel processors. The Top500 list is based upon one benchmark, Linpack. While powering most of the world’s fastest computers is a great endorsement of the role Intel’s technology is playing to help solve the most complex high performance computing problems, no one buys a supercomputing machine just to run Linpack. Linpack is a kernel that does not necessarily resemble any real application. It’s just one evaluation vector among many. So, should you demand more?
Yes, look beyond the flops: look at real application performance or benchmarks that might more closely resemble yours, look at the versatility, and look at ease of deployment of your solution.
Today, Intel processors deliver more performance and throughput in less space and require less power than ever before. The Intel® Xeon® 5500 Platform delivers up 3X performance over the previous generation Intel Xeon 5400 to decrease your time to discovery. The Top500 list has 33 new entries based on the Xeon 5500, which launch only 3 months ago. Intel tools (compilers, libraries, and cluster kits) bring new levels of software versatility by enabling HPC users and ISVs write applications that extract peak performance and scale forward. The Intel’s Cluster Ready program is easing cluster deployments, increasing reliability and lowering TCO by making it simpler to purchase, deploy and manage an HPC cluster.
So while providing flops is great, don’t forget (and demand) to look at real application performance, ask for software tools and technologies that maximize the value of your HPC system.
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