SpecMarks, BenchMarks: Useless or Valuable

SpecMarks, BenchMarks: Useless or Valuable

Post by Drew A. Pomm » Thu, 03 Jun 1993 02:02:22

Hi all,

  I have been put in charge of purchasing a UNIX workstation for our
group's research.  Being new to the game, I called Sun, IBM and HP for
their information brochures for machines in the ~ $20,000 range.  I was
soon swamped with faxes, quotes and calls from salesman claiming their
machines were superior.

  I have noticed that the brochure lists 'benchmarks' (SPECfp92, SPECint92,
etc...).  These benchmarks do not seem like a proper way to describe
the machines performance.

  Also, I am new to ReadNews.  Could anyone out there tell me how to
the performance of the IBM RiSc 365 and the Sun SparcStaion10 (Model 42)
fairly?  I DO NOT want Sun weenies or IBM weenies to reply swearing on
their mother's grave that their machine is superior, just 'because'.

  I feel like the Nissan comercial, "I have the money, tell me what to

  Oh, just so you have a concept of what we're looking for.  Our work
centers on shear floating point calculation speed.  No Graphics.  Any
microsecond of CPU time that is not dedictaed to FLOPS is wasted.  Also,
all of our codes are written in FORTRAN ( Don't give me shit about the
language either - not my choice).  So, if the RiSc has a better FORTRAN
compiler than the Sun, or, vice versa, I would like to know about that too.

  I cannot tell how frustrating it has been talking to sales 'engineers'
who do not know their machines capability.  I am conifdent that the general
public knows more than they do.

Thank you.

Drew A. Pommet
Center for Research in Electro-Optics and Lasers
Orlando, FL

PS: If you are from Sun or IBM, your sales staff in the Orlando area
PSS: Feel free to email me directly.


SpecMarks, BenchMarks: Useless or Valuable

Post by Bruno Ort » Sat, 05 Jun 1993 04:34:00

Hi, I perhaps this may help you I have a sun sparc system 470, and I had
no problem with it there systems are very good. but I must tell you
there only problem is there suport it really really sucks. But as far
as downtime not problem with this system. also if you have the time
bye the sunworld magazine it has the latest systems info. good luck.


1. A useless NT vs Linux benchmark

I thought other Linux fans might enjoy the results of a simple comparison
that between Linux and Windows NT 3.51, so here you go.  

We have three Dell P6 200 machines at work.  These machines have identical
hardware. Two of the machines are running NT.  I managed to slip Linux onto
the other one.  After a few days I noticed that the Linux machine felt much
faster.  The NT machines felt slow despite the P6.  I decided to do some
kind of test.

I had just finished porting the UNIX MD5 code to NT using VC++ 4.0.  I
compiled it using the highest level of optimization.  I compiled the same
code on the Linux machine with gcc, optimization level 2.  I had some
identical, large files on both machines and wanted to check to make sure
they were *really* identical.

The Linux box kick the crap out of NT :).  I'm not sure if I was testing
just the I/O bandwidth or more of the machine.  The load average on the Linux
machine came close to 1.0.  This would suggest the the program was not
waiting for the disk.

Some specifics:

        Machine RAM:            32 Meg (this number should be bigger :)
        Total size of files:    189923 k
        Number of files:        5 (I think)
        File systems:           NTFS on NT
                                ext2 on Linux
        Time on Linux:          37.9 s
        Time of NT:             128.1 s (ouch)

I may take time to do a more meaningful benchmark later.  I liked this test
because the source code was almost identical and I heard somewhere that VC++
optimized much better than gcc.  I would also like to try this with NT 4 if
I ever bother to install it again.  It seemed quite a bit faster than 3.41,
but still slower than Linux.

        Stay cool,

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