number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)

Article: 8-Socket Commodity Servers: Flourish or Perish?
By: slacker (s.delete@this.lack.er), March 14, 2010 2:51 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
longtimelurker (rwt@nospam.maibaums.net) on 3/14/10 wrote:
---------------------------
>Which brings me to the actual point I'm trying to make: Isn't the number of sockets
>an antiquated metric? What you are really interested in with those big boxes is
>the total number and throughput of the memory channels and that they're reasonably low latency from any core.

I agree, in a limited sense, that number of sockets is an antiquated metric. This is because, in The Old Way™, multiple sockets was the only way to have multiple cores in general purpose machines. Thus, performance scaling across many sockets was an important metric. In The New Way™, you get multiple cores in a single socket, so why care about multi-socket scaling?

All of the problems which had useful parallelism across 2 - 64 cores will eventually be shoe-horned on to a single chip. For these problems, socket count will eventually be totally irrelevant (because they'll run on single-socket, many-core processors).

However, you can only get so many pins on a regular-sized package. Since you need to scale memory bandwidth with the number of cores, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain some sort of balance between bandwidth:FLOPs. It's not very useful to integrate a large number of cores on a single chip if you can't get enough data in and out of the chip. Thus, multi-socket systems will be the primary method of increasing aggregate memory bandwidth in many-core systems.

Lastly, for completely parallel problems, multi-socket is orthogonal to multi-core. The more of each, the better.
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TopicPosted ByDate
New article: 8 socket commodity serversDavid Kanter2010/03/09 10:27 AM
  New article: 8 socket commodity serversVincent Diepeveen2010/03/09 01:46 PM
    number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)longtimelurker2010/03/14 05:13 AM
      number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)EduardoS2010/03/14 05:34 AM
      number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)Wes Felter2010/03/14 10:33 AM
        Magny-CoursMax2010/03/14 04:56 PM
          Magny-Coursanonymous2010/03/14 06:33 PM
            Magny-Courslongtimelurker2010/03/15 02:54 AM
      number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)Vincent Diepeveen2010/03/14 11:31 AM
        number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)longtimelurker2010/03/14 01:37 PM
          number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)Vincent Diepeveen2010/03/15 11:36 AM
      number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)David Kanter2010/03/14 11:56 AM
        Bad mathDavid Kanter2010/04/01 01:24 AM
      number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)slacker2010/03/14 02:51 PM
        number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)Michael S2010/03/15 05:05 AM
          number of sockets is wrong metric (was: New article: 8 socket commodity servers)slacker2010/03/15 01:02 PM
            Memory interfacesDavid Kanter2010/03/15 01:17 PM
              Memory interfacesslacker2010/03/15 09:08 PM
                Patents on tiny components vs. large, complex thingsmpx2010/03/15 11:41 PM
                  Patents on tiny components vs. large, complex thingsRichard Cownie2010/03/16 05:58 AM
                    Patents on tiny components vs. large, complex thingsMS2010/03/17 05:42 PM
                      Patents on tiny components vs. large, complex thingsa reader2010/03/18 08:45 PM
          Serial Port Memory TechnologyDavid Hess2010/03/21 03:32 AM
  New article: 8 socket commodity serversMichael S2010/03/09 03:13 PM
    New article: 8 socket commodity serverstheluketaylor2010/03/09 05:32 PM
    New article: 8 socket commodity serversJesper Frimann2010/03/09 10:35 PM
    New article: 8 socket commodity serversDavid Kanter2010/03/10 12:38 AM
      New article: 8 socket commodity serversTim2010/03/16 08:44 AM
  New article: 8 socket commodity serversanon2010/03/09 06:59 PM
    New article: 8 socket commodity serversDavid Kanter2010/03/09 11:06 PM
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