My 32 CPUs are better than your 72 CPUs

IBM smacks Java benchmarks back at Sun

We heard last week that IBM was preparing to release some record-breaking Java POWER4 benchmarks in response to goading from Sun. And now, it's duly done so.

IBM claims that it's achieved 339,484 operations per second on a 32-way, POWER4 Regatta on the SPECjbb2000 benchmark. Which is higher than a 72-way Sun Fire 15K.

IBM also brags that its Regatta, kitted out 128GB of memory and 36.4GB storage will cost - at $2 million - half as much as a Sun Fire 15K with 288GB memory and 288GB storage. Well, doh, of course it will: have you ever tried to spec some storage for a big iron kit, you'll know that it's the forms the bulk of the purchase. But Big Blue justifies the comparison by explaining that this was the configuration used to best Sun in the Java benchmark. (And yes, it really is just a couple of SCSI disks in the Regatta - less capacity than the standard for a midrange consumer PeeCee).

But the important thing for IBM is that it's got it's nose back in front in the big-Java battle with a conclusive response to challenges about POWER4 scalability. It's also a tribute to the parallelism and throughput of the POWER4, which uses two cores on a die.

IBM also claims that a maxed-out Regatta 32-way uses only 56 per cent of the power of a fully-loaded Sun Fire 15K, which draws 24kW. ®

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