back to article Sun ships Niagara II servers

Sun Microsystems is primed to ship the first servers running its UltraSPARC T2 processor, aka Niagara II. The roll-out consists of a pair of rack-mounted systems and a blade server based on the new chip, which sports eight cores and eight threads per core. The single-rack T5120 and double-rack T5520 have a single socket …


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  1. Rusty D
    Dead Vulture


    Surely that should be 'eight cores per chip/die and eight threads per core' - to aid in clarity.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    correction - one thread per core

    These things don't really run eight threads per core. It eight cores with one thread per core. Eight threads cycle thru the core over time. Great for benchmarks, results may vary (widely) in real life.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re Re: correction - one thread per core

    No, you are spreading FUD.

    Each N2 core has two integer pipelines and can execute two instructions from two different thread groups in parallel. While not suitable for all applications, it is much more capable compared to the original N1. Vastly increased FP capability expands the reach of workloads quite a bit. Have a look at the SAP-SD scores - it actually outshines 2S clovetowns (8 core in all) - at identical core count. So what are those 8 threads in each core doing ? First, each of them gets scheduled with 0 thread-switch penalty (much more efficient that software scheduled threads), and second, they are all fetching data from memory in parallel.

    N2 two 10G ethernet interfaces on the chip, great and usable network bandwidth.

    Add much superior on-chip crypto, cryptographic workloads will fly at no added cost.

    The only thing I am disappointed with is the price, it's utterly outrageous. I guess Sun expects willing customers with suitable workloads to pay for it. Most x86 customers will probably be better off staying with x86 unless their workload is something that could fly on N2.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Your right....but I was not spreading FUD

    Each core run's two threads, not the sixteen that Sun claims. Each chip runs 16 threads on the chip, not 64 in the marketing. An interesting question is the TLB is that shared? If it is two threads might not actually be running as the same time on each core. I guess it does not matter...good benchmark numbers...too bad our workloads dont match the thin threads you need and this system only has one vertical scalibility

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I just don't get it

    Why the vast majority of customers would invest in a Niagara II -based server environment when you can do 99% of what you need to do on X86 for a fraction of the cost is beyond me.

    Back in the late 1990's, you didn't have a choice - if you needed performance Unix was it. Now, with quad core Intels, quad AMD's just about to be launched and the various intelligent clustering options from companies like Oracle, IBRIX and MSFT get you to where you need to be.

    Port your app, get off the big iron and come and join the rest of us in the 21st century.

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