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We evaluate performance characteristics of the HP GS1280 shared memory multiprocessor system. The GS1280 system contains up to 64 Alpha 21364 CPUs connected together via a torus-based interconnect. We describe architectural features of the GS1280 system. We compare and contrast the GS1280 to the previous generation Alpha systems: AlphaServer GS320 and ES45/SC45. We further quantitatively show the performance effects of these features using application results and profiling data based on the built-in performance counters. We find that the HP GS1280 often provides 2 to 3 times the performance of the AlphaServer GS320 at similar clock frequencies. We find the key reasons for such performance gains are advances in memory, interprocessor, and I/O subsystem designs.