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Suitability of the next generation of high-performance computing systems for petascale simulations will depend on a balance between factors such as processor performance, memory performance, local and global network performance, and Input/Output (HO) performance. As the supercomputing industry develops new technologies for these subsystems, achieving system balance becomes challenging. In this paper, we evaluate the performance of a newly introduced dual-core-based SGI Altix 4700 system and we compare its performance with that of a single-core-based SGI Altix 3700 Bx2 system. We used the High-Performance Computing Challenge (HPCC) benchmarks and five real-world applications, three from computational fluid dynamics, one from climate modeling and one from nanotechnology. Our study shows that the SGI Altix 4700 performs slightly better than the SGI Altix 3700 Bx2 up to 128 processors, while the performance of the systems is almost the same beyond 128 processors, when the communication time dominates the compute time.