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Dell-W2K Datacenter Break Into TPC-C Top 10

Dell Computer Corp. last week became the first OEM to publish an OLTP benchmark using Intel's newest 900 MHz Pentium III Xeon in a single eight-processor server running Windows 2000 Datacenter Server.

The test earns Dell, Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. a spot in the Transaction Processing Council's top 10 non-clustered systems for raw performance.

The Wintel model still trails RISC/Unix vendors by a large margin on performance. The Dell result of nearly 70,000 transactions per minute (tpmC) ranks 10th on the TPC's highly regarded TPC-C benchmark for Online Transaction Processing. The top result, posted this week by Fujitsu using a 128-processor, 64-bit system running Solaris, clocked more than 455,000 tpmC.

The Dell system improved on the price advantage of the Wintel model as well. Dell came in with a price/performance of $8.46/tpmC. The Fujitsu system's price/tpmC was $28.58.

The addition of the 900 MHz processor and some other tweaks spurred Dell to a 14 percent performance improvement over the best previous single eight-processor server running Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. A Unisys eight-way test equipped with 700 MHz Pentium III Xeons churned out 61,390 tpmC in November.

No other vendor has run a benchmarks of a single eight-processor server with the 900 MHz Xeons before. IBM used the chip in several massive clusters of up to 280 processors running Windows 2000 Datacenter and SQL Server 2000 to set overall TPC-C performance records in April (688,220 tpmC). The TPC keeps different top 10 lists for clustered and non-clustered systems.

Although the volume sector of the Windows 2000 Datacenter Server market is in eight-processor servers, the operating system supports up to 32 processors. Unisys has a 32-processor server that runs Datacenter, but the vendor has so far chosen to benchmark the system on other benchmarks, including the TPC's "W" benchmark and SAP's benchmark.

According to Dell's TPC submission, the systems will be available starting November 15. The entire test system cost $591,071.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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