Dell Knights Landing Machine Sets New STAC Records

By Tiffany Trader

November 2, 2016

The Securities Technology Analysis Center, commonly known as STAC, has released a new report characterizing the performance of the Knights Landing-based Dell PowerEdge C6320p server on the STAC-A2 benchmarking suite, widely used by the financial services industry to test and evaluate computing platforms. The Dell machine has set new records for both the baseline Greeks benchmark and the large Greeks benchmark.

The stack-under-test (SUT ID: INTC161016) consists of the Intel STAC-A2 Pack for Composer XE (Rev I) on a Dell PowerEdge C6320p compute node housing the Intel Xeon Phi 7290 (Knights Landing) processor with 16GB of MCDRAM (Multi-Channel DRAM), 292GB DDR4 memory, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux release 7.3 (Beta).

The C6320p, launched at ISC 2016 this past June, is a 4-node/2U server that is optimized for highly parallel workloads. Holding up to four Intel Xeon Phi “Knights Landing” processors (ranging from 64-72 cores each), the 2U 6300 rack mount chassis supports a maximum of 288 cores. I/O options include Mellanox InfiniBand and Intel’s Omni-Path architecture fabric. Additional tech specs here.

In warm runs of the baseline Greeks benchmark (STAC-A2.β2.GREEKS.TIME), the Dell/KNL server node set a new record of 0.207 seconds, besting the previous record of 0.212 seconds established on a Cray XC40 KNL node (SUT INTC160918) by 2.4 percent. Dell’s time was 6.3 percent faster than the KNL timing reported by Intel (INTC160428, Intel Composer XE with 1 x Intel Xeon Phi 7250 processor @ 1.4GHz on an Intel white box with 96GB DRAM) in June.

On cold runs of the baseline Greeks, the Dell/KNL setup clocked in at 0.516 seconds compared to the Cray KNL node’s 1.481 seconds (a 2.87x speedup). It must be emphasized that this was not an apples-to-apples comparison. The Cray testing was carried out on a XC40 compute node using the Intel Xeon Phi 7250 processor, which has 68 cores and runs at 1.4Ghz, while the Dell rig relies on the top-line 72-core Xeon 7290 SKU (@ 1.5 Ghz). Further, the Dell system contains 100GB more on-platform RAM than the Cray (292GB v 192GB).

In warm runs of the large Greeks benchmark (STAC-A2.β2.GREEKS.10-100k-1260.TIME), the Dell/KNL system was 43.5 percent faster than an Intel white box system with four Haswell EX processors (SUT ID INTC150811), tested in August 2015. The Dell machine completed the benchmark in 26.9 seconds, a new record. The comparison Haswell EX machine (equipped with four Intel Xeon E7-8890 v3 processors, 1TB of RAM, with RHEL 7.1) completed the test in 38.6 seconds. The cold runs comparison was 33.4 seconds (Dell/KNL node) versus 42.6 seconds (Haswell EX box).

In the STAC report summary, Dell pointed out that on the warm large Greeks benchmark, its Knights Landing test machine achieved a 7 percent faster time than the best non-Intel architecture system, an IBM Power S824 server with 2 x 12-core POWER8 @ 3.52GHz processors and 1TB DRAM (SUT ID: IBM150305). The Dell system shaved 2 seconds off of the 26.9 second run time attributed to the IBM machine during its March 2015 testing.

Dell also noted that the latest STAC-A2 project is the first to report the new portfolio speed benchmark and the new energy- and space- efficiency benchmarks.

Additional Information

The STAC-A2, which debuted in 2012, is an architecture-agnostic benchmark suite that represents a class of financial risk analytics workloads characterized by Monte Carlo simulation and “Greeks” computations, which provide a measure of how changes in various parameters, such as the price of one particular asset, affects the price of an overall derivative.

The baseline benchmark (STAC-A2.β2.GREEKS.TIME) is a measure of the end-to-end time to compute all Greeks for five assets, 25,000 paths, and 252 timesteps — that’s one for each trading day over the course of one year. The large Greeks benchmark (STAC-A2.β2.GREEKS.10-100k-1260.TIME), introduced last year, measures a second, larger problem size beyond the baseline workload. It calculates the seconds to compute all Greeks with 10 assets, 100K paths, and 1260 timesteps.

Each of these tests is executed five times, resulting in one cold run and four warm runs. As STAC literature explains, “a cold run simulates a deployment situation in which a risk engine starts up in response to a request [while, a] warm run simulates a case in which an engine is already running, with sufficient memory allocated to handle the request.” Another way to look at this is that the cold run stresses the entire application (including initialization and memory allocation) while a warm run relates to the computationally intensive portion of the application.

The above benchmarks employ fixed problem sizes, facilitating consistent speed comparisons across multiple technology stacks. These “time per workload” benchmarks are meaningful to a user who cares about response times, says STAC.

The STAC-A2 also includes “workload per time” benchmarks important to capacity planners. The full report, which delivers nearly 200 results in total, is accessible to STAC members from this link.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

TACC Helps ROSIE Bioscience Gateway Expand its Impact

April 26, 2017

Biomolecule structure prediction has long been challenging not least because the relevant software and workflows often require high end HPC systems that many bioscience researchers lack easy access to. Read more…

By John Russell

Messina Update: The U.S. Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

IBM, Nvidia, Stone Ridge Claim Gas & Oil Simulation Record

April 25, 2017

IBM, Nvidia, and Stone Ridge Technology today reported setting the performance record for a “billion cell” oil and gas reservoir simulation. Read more…

By John Russell

ASC17 Makes Splash at Wuxi Supercomputing Center

April 24, 2017

A record-breaking twenty student teams plus scores of company representatives, media professionals, staff and student volunteers transformed a formerly empty hall inside the Wuxi Supercomputing Center into a bustling hub of HPC activity, kicking off day one of 2017 Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC17). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Remote Visualization Optimizing Life Sciences Operations and Care Delivery

As patients continually demand a better quality of care and increasingly complex workloads challenge healthcare organizations to innovate, investing in the right technologies is key to ensuring growth and success. Read more…

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of a new generation of chips designed specifically for deep learning workloads. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Musk’s Latest Startup Eyes Brain-Computer Links

April 21, 2017

Elon Musk, the auto and space entrepreneur and severe critic of artificial intelligence, is forming a new venture that reportedly will seek to develop an interface between the human brain and computers. Read more…

By George Leopold

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NERSC Cori Shows the World How Many-Cores for the Masses Works

April 21, 2017

As its mission, the high performance computing center for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, NERSC (the National Energy Research Supercomputer Center), supports a broad spectrum of forefront scientific research across diverse areas that includes climate, material science, chemistry, fusion energy, high-energy physics and many others. Read more…

By Rob Farber

Messina Update: The U.S. Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

ASC17 Makes Splash at Wuxi Supercomputing Center

April 24, 2017

A record-breaking twenty student teams plus scores of company representatives, media professionals, staff and student volunteers transformed a formerly empty hall inside the Wuxi Supercomputing Center into a bustling hub of HPC activity, kicking off day one of 2017 Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC17). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of a new generation of chips designed specifically for deep learning workloads. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

NERSC Cori Shows the World How Many-Cores for the Masses Works

April 21, 2017

As its mission, the high performance computing center for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, NERSC (the National Energy Research Supercomputer Center), supports a broad spectrum of forefront scientific research across diverse areas that includes climate, material science, chemistry, fusion energy, high-energy physics and many others. Read more…

By Rob Farber

Hyperion (IDC) Paints a Bullish Picture of HPC Future

April 20, 2017

Hyperion Research – formerly IDC’s HPC group – yesterday painted a fascinating and complicated portrait of the HPC community’s health and prospects at the HPC User Forum held in Albuquerque, NM. HPC sales are up and growing ($22 billion, all HPC segments, 2016). Read more…

By John Russell

Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

April 18, 2017

HPC cloud specialist Rescale is partnering with Intel and HPC resource provider R Systems to offer first-ever cloud access to Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors. The infrastructure is based on the 68-core Intel Knights Landing processor with integrated Omni-Path fabric (the 7250F Xeon Phi). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN openlab Explores New CPU/FPGA Processing Solutions

April 14, 2017

Through a CERN openlab project known as the ‘High-Throughput Computing Collaboration,’ researchers are investigating the use of various Intel technologies in data filtering and data acquisition systems. Read more…

By Linda Barney

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of “quantum supremacy,” researchers are stretching the limits of today’s most advanced supercomputers. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference phase of neural networks (NN). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the campaign. Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its assets. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a new board design for NVLink-equipped Pascal P100 GPUs that will create another entrant to the space currently occupied by Nvidia's DGX-1 system, IBM's "Minsky" platform and the Supermicro SuperServer (1028GQ-TXR). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which will be Japan’s “fastest AI supercomputer,” Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling was pretty much the exclusive realm of the Cray-2 and IBM mainframe class products. That’s changing. We are now seeing an emergence of x86 class server products with exotic plumbing technology ranging from Direct-to-Chip to servers and storage completely immersed in a dielectric fluid. Read more…

By Steve Campbell

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular offerings such as Caffe, Theano, and Torch. Read more…

By John Russell

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

Twenty years ago high performance computing was nearly absent from life sciences. Today it’s used throughout life sciences and biomedical research. Genomics and the data deluge from modern lab instruments are the main drivers, but so is the longer-term desire to perform predictive simulation in support of Precision Medicine (PM). There’s even a specialized life sciences supercomputer, ‘Anton’ from D.E. Shaw Research, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is standing up its second Anton 2 and actively soliciting project proposals. There’s a lot going on. Read more…

By John Russell

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is the successor to Caffe, the deep learning framework developed by Berkeley AI Research and community contributors. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Startup Advances Auto-Parallelization’s Promise

January 23, 2017

The shift from single core to multicore hardware has made finding parallelism in codes more important than ever, but that hasn’t made the task of parallel programming any easier. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Technique Propels Deep Learning at Scale

February 21, 2017

Researchers from Baidu’s Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL) have adapted a well-known HPC communication technique to boost the speed and scale of their neural network training and now they are sharing their implementation with the larger deep learning community. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IDG to Be Bought by Chinese Investors; IDC to Spin Out HPC Group

January 19, 2017

US-based publishing and investment firm International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) will be acquired by a pair of Chinese investors, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This