This post was written by John Beckett, an engineer on the Dell Solutions Performance Anaylsis team 

Dell PowerEdge customers wanting detailed BIOS tuning information for performance or power efficiency, look no further!  The BIOS Performance and Power Guidelines for Dell PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers whitepaper has just been released, and contains a wealth of BIOS option information to allow the user to optimize their server for their specific needs.   The performance and power impacts of various options are discussed and charted in great detail, and offer an invaluable guide for optimization.  This whitepaper can be used to tune all Dell 12th Generation servers across all three processor architecture offerings (Xeon E5-2400, E5-2600, and E5-4600 families).

 

The three primary BIOS Setup areas covered in detail are:

  • BIOS Memory Settings Section
  • BIOS Processor Settings Section
  • BIOS System Profile Section

Among many options discussed are the impacts of Intel Hyper-Threading Technology (otherwise known as Logical Processors).  This example below shows the performance impact of disabling Hyper-Threading on a variety of SPEC CPU2006 integer workloads.  Additional comparisons can be found in the whitepaper.

The impacts of Intel Turbo Boost Technology on performance and power are also charted.   Since this option can have a major impact on both performance and power efficiency, a number of workloads were used to characterize Turbo Technology behavior.  Below is a sample chart from the whitepaper which uses one of many SPEC CPU2006 workloads to characterize Turbo.

In addition, the System Profiles are compared for performance and power across multiple workloads.  Additionally, idle power is examined across all System Profiles and the impact of C-States and C1E are detailed.  Custom profiles and all of the exposed sub-options are analyzed in detail.  The chart below displays the results of a SPECpower_ssj2008 comparison between the four System Profiles as well as one Custom Profile. 

For much more detailed information, please consult the whitepaper

 

Happy Tuning!