Altix ICE performs well in SPEC benchmark tests

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SGI has announced that its Altix ICE integrated blade cluster has emerged as the leading performer in Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation's (SPEC) MPI2007 benchmark tests for high performance technical computing. SPI states that the SPEC benchmark demonstrates the scalability and computing power of the SGI system, which leverages Intel processors, a Linux operating system, and SGI's Message Passing Toolkit (MPT) MPI library.

The ICE 8200EX, with 2,048 cores of Intel Xeon processors X5560 (at 2.8GHz), together with SGI InfiniteStorage NAS, was more than 40 times faster than the 64-core, Intel X5482 (at 3.2GHz) reference cluster in the suite's SPECmpiL_base2007 test. In addition, SPI has announced that a 512-core Altix ICE 8200EX, with Intel Xeon processors X5570 (at 2.93GHz), was found to be the top performer in all published results for the medium data set metric, SPECmpiM_base2007, outperforming systems from IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell.

The SPEC MPI2007 benchmarking suite is designed to provide a fair and objective measurement of processor, memory subsystem, interconnect architecture, compiler, MPI library and file system performance. Version 1.0 of the MPI2007 suite contained a medium data set designed to scale from 4 to 128 processors; the new MPI2007 version 2.0 adds support for a large data set intended to test system scaling to 2,048 processors.

The benchmarks in the suite are from real-world applications comprised of a variety of fields, including computational fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, geophysics, ray tracing and hydrodynamics. All submissions are reviewed by SPEC prior to publication on their website.