This post was written by Burton Finley, an engineer on the Dell Solutions Performance Anaylsis team

Do you require the highest performing blade solution for HPC workloads?  The Dell PowerEdge M420 offers exceptional density while delivering up to 76% more performance per U compared to traditional half height blade solutions.  The M420 offers Up to 32 servers with 64 sockets in just 10U of rack space, or as much as 2048 coresin a single 42U rack!  The M420 also represents the first SPEC MPI2007 results using the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2400 Product Family.  The large disclosure can be seen here and medium here.

As seen in the below chart the Dell PowerEdge M420 offers a 17% performance increase over the next fastest performing cluster utilizing 512 compute cores.  All of this is done in about ¼ of the rack space.

The Dell PowerEdge M620 boasts the highest SPEC MPI 2007 Large and Medium results for 256 compute cores submitted to  The M620 is more than 30% faster than the next fastest 256 compute core competitor submission on for Large workloads.  Large disclosures can be found here and medium here.

SGI generically claims “World Record Cluster Performance” on their SGI ICE X web page, yet lack the SPEC MPI 2007 results to back it up.

SPEC MPI2007 stresses performance of compute intensive applications using the Message-Passing Interface (MPI).  The result is a benchmark that highlights the performance of the following cluster attributes:

  • CPU architecture
  • CPU quantity
  • MPI library
  • Communication interconnect
  • Memory architecture
  • Compilers
  • Shared file system

For additional performance analysis of the M420 and M620 blades, see  Performance Analysis of HPC Applications Across Different Server Architectures.

SPEC and the benchmark name SPEC MPI are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Competitive benchmark results stated above reflect results published on as of December 10, 2012.