Last March, Dell released the 11th-generation Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers based on the Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series (Nehalem) micro-architecture. In my 10 years at Dell I can’t remember a product launch accompanied with such high expectations. Some of the performance projections I saw were frankly hard to believe. As the performance lead for Dell’s High-Performance Computing (HPC) engineering team, I couldn’t wait to get these servers in my lab and try to bring them to their knees.

In upcoming weeks this blog will share our findings. Nehalem includes many new features. We will explore how those features affect performance and energy efficiency while running HPC workloads. Each entry will include benchmark data measured in our lab. Some of the results are surprising.

Nehalem is also based on a fundamentally different architecture than Intel’s previous x86_64 systems, so many of the assumptions that guided cluster design decisions in years past are no longer valid. For that reason, we will conclude each entry with design recommendations drawn from our measurements.

Dell PowerEdge R610