Imagine that you got the ask to suggest between set of CPUs/processors of same generation which have similar aggregate frequency but variable number of cores and frequency/core for SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition. You need to come up with a recommendation for your new database server hardware, looking to maximize performance while controlling your SQL Server 2014 license costs. This might leave you in a dilemma whether to go for a processor set with more number of cores but low frequency or with a processor having less number of cores with high frequency.

To ease your effort, here is complete analysis between Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2609 v3
(15M Cache, 1.90 GHz) and Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2623 v3 (10M Cache, 3.00 GHz) with R730 as host SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition, R710 as client machine for workload modulation and bench-marking.

Processor

Frequency (GHz)

#Core

TDP(Watts)

Hyper Threading (HT)

Cost Per CPU

Intel E52609v3

3.0

4

105

Available

$440

Intel E52623v3

1.9

6

85

Not Available

$306

Test System is as follows:

DB Host:

  • DELL R730 \2 socket server \ 32 GB Memory \ RAID-10 Volume (12x 120GB) for SQL Data and Log
  • 100GB database is created using TPC standardized bench marking tool.

  Client:

  • DELL R710\2 socket server \2.4GHz 4C \16 GB memory
  • Tool for bench marking: - Used Bench mark factory 6.1.1 Suite, with TPC-C Benchmark

 We ran series of performance tests on SQL server with both processors to evaluate and conclude the result .We considered TPS (Transactions Per Sec), CPU Utilization, Disk I/O and other real time counters on different user loads to distinguish between the performances of the processors. We manually took into account settings for Degree-Of-Parallelism (DOP) and thread pool, and now I’m finally getting around to present the results.

  • There was no additional load running concurrently with OLTP on host side.
  • Hyper threading was not used in any of processor for maintaining the same base line for test
  • After multiple test runs the processor showed best results on 800 thread pool which were    manually set.
  • Degree of parallelism was kept default in both cases.

Result follows:
2x E52609v3, 3.0GHz, 8C

Total cores for this was 8 as we ran performance test on R730 which is a 2 socket server. The aggregate clock speed of this configuration 24 GHz .We can see that the TPS rose till 10,000 user load and then there is a saturation level for the TPS, at 10,000 user load the CPU utilization touched 99% and average CPU utilization marked at 94% which indicates almost complete CPU utilization.

 

2x Intel E52623v3, 1.9GHz, 12C

Total cores for this was 12 as we ran performance test on R730 which is a 2 socket server. The aggregate clock speed of this configuration 22.4 GHz .We can see that the TPS rose till 10,000 user load and then there is a saturation level for the TPS just like thee earlier processor, at 10,000 user load the CPU utilization reached touched 95% and average CPU utilization demarked at 93% which is slightly less from E52609v3 processor set but is not enough to make any significant performance difference.

So on performance basis both are concluded to be same. This can be due to equivalent aggregated frequency. The SQL Server 2014 license cost will be acting as a major decider in processor selection for the setup.

SQL Server licensing is based on per core from SQL 2012 instead of per Socket. We used standard R730 2-socket server so for Intel E52609v3 we are having total of 8 cores while for Intel E52623v3 we have 12 cores. We achieved difference of 4 core in our set up. The performance output was similar for both but let’s discuss about difference in license cost.

As you can see that we are achieving a significant cost benefit with the same performance I can suggest that Intel E52609v3 is in a win-win situation for both in Enterprise and Standard edition. Intel E52609v3, which is a 3GHz processor has feature of hyper threading which we can use for parallel job processing and efficient threading on the other side we don’t have this feature in Intel E52623v3. The cost of processors differ by $100 per CPU hence can’t be hard to choose the best set.

Authors:
Maheshwari, Anupam
Kaur, Vaani