Intel 5600 Series "Westmere EP" Xeons
Posted on: 03/16/2010 08:27 PM

SPECjbb 2005 v1.07

SPECjbb2005 (Java Server Benchmark) is SPEC's benchmark for evaluating the performance of server side Java. Like its predecessor, SPECjbb2000, SPECjbb2005 evaluates the performance of server side Java by emulating a three-tier client/server system (with emphasis on the middle tier). The benchmark exercises the implementations of the JVM (Java Virtual Machine), JIT (Just-In-Time) compiler, garbage collection, threads and some aspects of the operating system. It also measures the performance of CPUs, caches, memory hierarchy and the scalability of shared memory processors (SMPs). SPECjbb2005 provides a new enhanced workload, implemented in a more object-oriented manner to reflect how real-world applications are designed and introduces new features such as XML processing and BigDecimal computations to make the benchmark a more realistic reflection of today's applications.SPECjbb2005 is a widely used, industry standard benchmark.

In a nutshell, each "warehouse" spawns an independant thread which determines the concurrency of the benchmark run. Systems tested have a an expected peak number of warehouses (X) that correspond to the total number of "hardware threads" in the machine. Scores are output as "Business Operations per Second (BOP/s)", and are based on average throughputs of X, X+1, X+2, X+3, etc, up to and including 2X.

I wasn't trying to set a SPECjbb record here. I just wanted to run the workload as a comparison of the two platforms being evaluated here. As such, I used Sun's 64bit JVM (JAVA 6 update 18 x64). I ran the tests with a single JVM and the following commandline options: -Xms3700m -Xmx3700m

SPECjbb2005 - Westmere

Final Thoughts

You have probably heard before that Intel operates on a TICK-TOCK model for design and process technology. Nehalem was the TOCK, a whole new technology compared to its predecessor Harpertown. Westmere, being the TICK, is aimed at leveraging the new 32nm process technology and building on the Nehalem architecture to provide more processing power in the same (electrical) power envelope... It's an evolutionary rather than revolutionary step forward.

Based on what we've seen today, I would say that Intel has been successful in meeting their goals. The performance of the additional cores and cache is evident, and the little things (AES-NI, improved virtualization performance, power gating, memory capacity increase, etc) make for a very compelling upgrade path people and businesses of all sizes who are currently running on older hardware.

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