How does Intel Xeon Processor 7400 Series (Dunnington) compare to RISC

Posted by Eoin McConnell Oct 2nd, 2008

Back in May I shared some thoughts about how I would choose between different Servers based on RISC architecture and Intel based architecture. My decision making was based on three basic tenets in terms of choosing the right CPU architecture

1)tChoice and the ability to pick between multiple suppliers.


3)tSystem Cost and Total cost of Ownership

As you probably know by now, we launched the Xeon Processor 7400 Series (codename; Dunnington) on September 15th. The performance results delivered by systems based on the Xeon 7400 processor are astounding when you actually compare with performance delivered by systems based on RISC architecture. Who would have thought that you could get this level of performance from Xeon at a fraction of the cost of comparable RISC based architectures.

The Xeon 7400 is designed for high-end enterprise workloads like your typical database so I decided to look at the latest database results. If you get a chance, then check these out for yourself at Amazing performance, a fraction of the cost and you can choose from multiple Vendors and Operation System combinations.

- HP Proliant DL 580 4s system delivered 634,825 tpmC at $1.10/tpmc. This compares with an equivalent POWER 6 based system at 629,159 tpmC at $2.49/tpmC

I also decided to look at how many users a Xeon 7400 based system could support in an SAP environment. For this comparison I took a slightly different approach to look at a 4s Xeon 7400 based system as compared to a 2S UltraSPARCT2 system. You may ask why I made this strange comparison, well to me a 2S UltraSPARCT2 system is a 4S system in disguise in terms of system capability, memory supported and most of all the price!

- HP Proliant DL 580 4s system supported 5,155 users. This compares with an equivalent UltraSPARcT2 based system at 4,170.

Oh and a similar system with 64GB memory is about $32,000 for HP DL580 and a T5240 is about $56,000

Ok, I’ll stop doing direct comparisons now as I can understand how this could read as Intel marketing. I’m really excited by these results and wanted to share with you, please check these performance results out here at

Here are also some links to articles that I found written about Intel Xeon 7400 offering ‘RISC-Class performance at a fraction of the cost’. Wall Street Journal, Internet News, The Register

In the next few weeks I will share some further thoughts on comparing Xeon with RISC, but in the meantime, what do you think?

Related Blog Links:

It's official - Intel Xeon Processor 7400 Series (Dunnington) has launched

Six More Benefits of 45nm

HP Announces World Record 4-Socket TPC-C Result

IBM Announces World Record 8-Socket TPC-C Result

Previous Blog links:

So what does RISC really mean to you?