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Scientific application-based performance comparison of SGI Altix 4700, IBM POWER5+, and SGI ICE 8200 supercomputers

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6 Author(s)
Saini, S. ; NASA Adv. Supercomput. Div., NASA Ames Res. Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA ; Talcott, D. ; Jespersen, D. ; Djomehri, J.
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The suitability of next-generation high-performance computing systems for petascale simulations will depend on various performance factors attributable to processor, memory, local and global network, and input/output characteristics. In this paper, we evaluate performance of new dual-core SGI Altix 4700, quad-core SGI Altix ICE 8200, and dual-core IBM POWER5+ systems. To measure performance, we used micro-benchmarks from High Performance Computing Challenge (HPCC), NAS Parallel Benchmarks (NPB), and four real-world applications- three from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and one from climate modeling. We used the micro-benchmarks to develop a controlled understanding of individual system components, then analyzed and interpreted performance of the NPBs and applications. We also explored the hybrid programming model (MPI+OpenMP) using multi-zone NPBs and the CFD application OVERFLOW-2. Achievable application performance is compared across the systems. For the ICE platform, we also investigated the effect of memory bandwidth on performance by testing 1, 2, 4, and 8 cores per node.

Published in:

High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, 2008. SC 2008. International Conference for

Date of Conference:

15-21 Nov. 2008