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Unisys Ratchets Up 32-bit Wintel Benchmark Performance

Unisys made its first run against the the Transaction Processing Performance Council's closely watched OLTP benchmark using Intel's Xeon MP processors in the 32-processor Unisys ES7000 server this week.

Unisys saw about a 23 percent performance improvement over its year-ago TPC-C run using a similar system and older Pentium III Xeon 900-MHz processors. Another difference between the systems is that this recent test used Windows .NET Server 2003, Datacenter Edition. The last run was with Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, Limited Edition.

In all the system, performed impressively. It achieved a raw score of 203,518 transactions per minute on the TPC-C benchmark (tpmC). The last time Unisys ran the benchmark with older processors and software, it got 165,219 tpmC.

That raw score is slightly less than half the best of the Unix benchmarks in the non-clustered version of the test. It also trails a result posted by NEC using Windows .NET Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, and 64-bit Itanium 2 processors -- which ran away to 308,620 tpmC.

Where Unisys differentiated itself in this test run is on price performance. The transactions were achieved at a cost of $13.18/tpmC compared with the $21.33/tpmC Unisys posted last time. With the lower $13.18/tpmC score, Unisys edges out the NEC 64-bit system, which came to $14.96/tpmC, and an HP Superdome server that cost $15.64/tpmC on raw performance of 423,414 tpmC.

A drop in memory prices to about a third of what they cost last year was a big help to Unisys in dropping the overall cost of its 64 MB system from $3.5 million in the earlier TPC-C run to about $2.7 million this time.

While the Unisys result coincides with an Intel Xeon MP processor launch, Unisys actually used an older version of Intel's high-end Xeon MP processor in this benchmark. The processors used were 1.6-GHz Xeon MPs with 1 MB of integrated L3 cache. Intel this week released 2-GHz Xeon MPs with 2 MB of L3 cache. If the past is any guide, Unisys will re-run the benchmark in a few months with the new Xeon MP processors and bring its TPC-C performance incrementally higher.

To see more details about the benchmarked system, visit www.tpc.org.

About the Author

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

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