IBM eServer Twice as Fast as Sun Fire 15K, Tests Show

In Engineering Benchmark, a 32-way p690 Outperforms 72-Way Sun Fire at a Fraction of the Cost

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ARMONK, NY - 26 Oct 2001: The IBM eServer[1] p690, code-named "Regatta," today set a world record for processing speed on the important Fluent engineering benchmark, providing nearly 80 percent more power than the new Sun Fire 15K, which has twice as many processors and is nearly double the price.

The IBM eServer p690 competed against the Sun 15K in nine categories of the Fluent benchmark and defeated the Sun 15K in every one -- beating it by more than 100 percent in some cases.

Offering the first head-to-head performance comparison between the new high-end UNIX[2] servers, the benchmark results provide powerful evidence that the IBM eServer p690 fundamentally transforms the economics of the UNIX server market.

In the Fluent benchmark test on the FL5M1 data set, an IBM eServer p690 with only 32 processors achieved an industry-leading score of 4826.8 jobs per day -- 77 percent better than the 2,723.4 jobs per day that a Sun Fire 15K with 72 processors scored on the same test.

A 32-way IBM eServer p690 with 128 GB memory and 432 GB storage costs $2,378,278, while a 72-way Sun Fire 15K with 288 GB memory and 432 GB storage costs $4,140,830 [3].

Sun's Fluent benchmark results also indicate on several of the data sets that the 15K's performance actually diminishes as the number of processors -- and the price -- increases.

Fluent software helps engineers model the flow of fluids, aiding in the design of airplanes, automobiles and a wide range of other products and devices.

World's Most Powerful Server
Announced earlier this month, the IBM eServer p690 is the world's most powerful server. The p690 is based on IBM's new POWER4 microprocessor, a system on a chip containing two one-gigahertz-plus processors, a high-bandwidth system switch, a large memory cache and I/O. This unique design enables the server to conserve energy and dramatically outperform servers that have more than twice as many processors.

The POWER4 chips are packaged in ultra-dense building blocks called multi-chip modules, which provides the equivalent processing power of much larger system boards in other high-end servers, while consuming less electricity.

The p690 is the only UNIX server that offers multiple layers of self-healing technologies, allowing the server to continue operating -- even through major failures and system errors.