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Quad Xeon vs. Dual Itanium

Hi, all.

I need to upgrade my dual Xeon PostgreSQL engine.

Assuming similar memory and disk sub-systems, I am considering a Quad
Xeon system vs. a Dual Itanium for PostgreSQL. I believe that the
PostgreSQL code is written for 32 bit and not optimized for the 64 bit
Itanium cpu. That makes me think that the Xeon system would be a better
choice.

Do any of you have thoughts on:

1. Straight performance capability
2. Price/Performance
I would appreciate any feedback you might have.
....john
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Nov 22 '05 #1
25 9751
John Gibson <gi*@edgate.com > writes:
Assuming similar memory and disk sub-systems, I am considering a Quad
Xeon system vs. a Dual Itanium for PostgreSQL. I believe that the
PostgreSQL code is written for 32 bit and not optimized for the 64 bit
Itanium cpu. That makes me think that the Xeon system would be a
better choice.


Postgres runs on many 64-bit systems, including UltraSPARC, MIPS, and
Alpha, plus the Intel and AMD offerings. What makes you think it's
'not optimized'?

-Doug

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Nov 22 '05 #2
Hello list,

I'm designing a plperlu function and i was wondering about scoping on
use statements for external libraries. I couldn't find any information
on it in the documentation or in the mail archives, so any information
would be much appreciated.

The function is intended to be used as part of a select statement:

select foo,my_function (bar) as baz from table where baz > some_value
order by baz

And the function uses an external module to do much of the heavy
lifting. What I'm wondering is will the function have to reload the
external module for every row, or is plperlu smart enough to only load
it once for the entire query? In the other extreme, I'm hoping that it
does reload the external module for each query, as I expect to be
dynamically rewriting one of the modules that that external module requires.

-Stephen
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Nov 22 '05 #3
-----Original Message-----
From: pg************* ****@postgresql .org
[mailto:pg****** ***********@pos tgresql.org] On Behalf Of Doug McNaught
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 10:44 AM
To: John Gibson
Cc: pg***********@p ostgresql.org
Subject: Re: [GENERAL] Quad Xeon vs. Dual Itanium

John Gibson <gi*@edgate.com > writes:
Assuming similar memory and disk sub-systems, I am considering a Quad
Xeon system vs. a Dual Itanium for PostgreSQL. I believe that the
PostgreSQL code is written for 32 bit and not optimized for the 64 bit
Itanium cpu. That makes me think that the Xeon system would be a
better choice.


Postgres runs on many 64-bit systems, including UltraSPARC, MIPS, and
Alpha, plus the Intel and AMD offerings. What makes you think it's
'not optimized'?

-Doug
-------------------------

The only way I can see that its not optimized for 64 bit would be to use
32bit binaries on it, and the only way that can even happen is on the new
amd chips I believe, or will itanium run 32bit apps also?

Rob
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Nov 22 '05 #4
Clinging to sanity, gi*@edgate.com (John Gibson) mumbled into her beard:
I need to upgrade my dual Xeon PostgreSQL engine.

Assuming similar memory and disk sub-systems, I am considering a
Quad Xeon system vs. a Dual Itanium for PostgreSQL. I believe that
the PostgreSQL code is written for 32 bit and not optimized for the
64 bit Itanium cpu. That makes me think that the Xeon system would
be a better choice.

Do any of you have thoughts on:

1. Straight performance capability
2. Price/Performance


First thing: What, in particular, makes you think that PostgreSQL code
was written to make it slower or otherwise more restrictive on 64 bit
systems than it needs to be?

Lots of people have been running it on 64 bit systems for _years_ now.
The Digital Alpha architecture, for instance, was introduced in the
1992, and Sun UltraSPARC in 1995. PostgreSQL has been running well on
these sorts of systems for a lot of years now.

Your belief of it being "written for 32 bit" should fly away in the
wake of that.

Secondly, there's a significant counterargument to this, on Intel,
when you look at memory availability.

I have been tearing hair out with some FreeBSD testing in that I have
some quad Xeon systems with 8GB of memory, which gives me the dilemma
of choosing between:

a) Ignoring 4GB of it, or
b) Not having disk connected.

The problem is that having large amounts of memory requires invoking
an Intel "hack" (on FreeBSD, the option is called "PAE"), which
happens to break the disk subsystem. (At least for the controller I
have got.)

And irrespective of any "successful hacks," you are still limited to
either 2GB or 4GB of memory for the postmaster.

If you jump into a 64 bit platform, those sorts of hacks evaporate as
unnecessary, and the main process can get as big as you need it to.
--
(format nil "~S@~S" "cbbrowne" "acm.org")
http://www.ntlug.org/~cbbrowne/rdbms.html
``God decided to take the devil to court and settle their differences
once and for all. When Satan heard of this, he grinned and said, "And
just where do you think you're going to find a lawyer?"''
Nov 22 '05 #5
John Gibson wrote:

Assuming similar memory and disk sub-systems, I am considering a Quad
Xeon system vs. a Dual Itanium for PostgreSQL. I believe that the
PostgreSQL code is written for 32 bit and not optimized for the 64 bit
Itanium cpu. That makes me think that the Xeon system would be a better
choice.

The Itanic hasn't lived up to its marketing hype. The comparisons
I've seen between it and a 32-bit CPU show performance differences
primarily due to clock speeds. So far the only advantage of 64 bits is
address space. And because they are new, itanics cost much more.
So with 2 itanics you get a slight improvement. With 4 xeons you get
about 1.7x improvement over your current setup.

--
jimoe at sohnen-moe dot com

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Nov 22 '05 #6
John Gibson wrote:
Hi, all.

I need to upgrade my dual Xeon PostgreSQL engine.

Assuming similar memory and disk sub-systems, I am considering a Quad
Xeon system vs. a Dual Itanium for PostgreSQL. I believe that the
PostgreSQL code is written for 32 bit and not optimized for the 64 bit
Itanium cpu. That makes me think that the Xeon system would be a better
choice.
'
Bang for the buck per CPU you are best off using an Opteron based
solution from AMD. This will give you the 64bit address space that Xeon
can't but for a heck of a lot less money than an Itanium.

Sincerely,

Joshua D. Drake


Do any of you have thoughts on:

1. Straight performance capability
2. Price/Performance
I would appreciate any feedback you might have.
...john
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Nov 22 '05 #7
At 11:44 AM 2/9/2004 -0500, Doug McNaught wrote:
John Gibson <gi*@edgate.com > writes:
Assuming similar memory and disk sub-systems, I am considering a Quad
Xeon system vs. a Dual Itanium for PostgreSQL. I believe that the
PostgreSQL code is written for 32 bit and not optimized for the 64 bit
Itanium cpu. That makes me think that the Xeon system would be a
better choice.


Postgres runs on many 64-bit systems, including UltraSPARC, MIPS, and
Alpha, plus the Intel and AMD offerings. What makes you think it's
'not optimized'?


Maybe compilers aren't as good at doing Itanium yet?

John Gibson <gi*@edgate.com > writes: "I need to upgrade my dual Xeon
PostgreSQL engine."
It just might be helpful if you could tell us "where it hurts".

Unless you need cutting edge floating point performance I doubt you'd want
an Itanium (and even if you do, you might wish to consider powerpc as well).

Without any more info, I'd ask why not dual/quad Opteron? Even if you don't
recompile or wait for better compilers or use 64 bit such a system would
probably run faster than your dual Xeons.
---

http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/...FElinux_2.html

"Tests were run on three separate hardware platforms: Intel Xeon (x86),
Intel Itanium (IA-64), and AMD Opteron (x86_64). The x86 tests were
conducted on an IBM eServer x335 1U rack-mount server with dual 3.06GHz P4
Xeon processors and 2GB of RAM. The Itanium tests were run on an IBM
eServer x450 3U rack-mount server with dual 1.5GHz Itanium2 processors and
2GB of RAM. And the Opteron tests were run on a Newisys 4300 3U rack-mount
server with dual 2.2GHz Opteron 848 processors and 2GB of RAM. "

Summary: Dual Itanium slower than Xeon in many tests, Opteron fastest in
most tests.


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Nov 22 '05 #8
On Mon, 9 Feb 2004, John Gibson wrote:
Hi, all.

I need to upgrade my dual Xeon PostgreSQL engine.

Assuming similar memory and disk sub-systems, I am considering a Quad
Xeon system vs. a Dual Itanium for PostgreSQL. I believe that the
PostgreSQL code is written for 32 bit and not optimized for the 64 bit
Itanium cpu. That makes me think that the Xeon system would be a better
choice.

Do any of you have thoughts on:

1. Straight performance capability
2. Price/Performance


This really depends on what you'll be doing. If your data set is very
large, then having a fast drive subsystem and lots of REALLY fast memory
matters more than CPU most of the time.

If you'll be doing lots of CPU intensive stuff, then having four CPUs is
likely to be nice.

It really kinda depends on what you're doing, and how fast the memory
busses / caches are in the two machines. The CPUs in a well tuned
database server tend to sit near idle mostly, while the drives spin and
the data in memory gets pumped around.

If the Itaniums have twice the memory bandwidth of the Xeons, it might
well be a wash for most loads.

So, what kinda profile are we looking at for your server?
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Nov 22 '05 #9
Doug McNaught wrote:
John Gibson <gi*@edgate.com > writes:
Assuming similar memory and disk sub-systems, I am considering a Quad
Xeon system vs. a Dual Itanium for PostgreSQL. I believe that the
PostgreSQL code is written for 32 bit and not optimized for the 64 bit
Itanium cpu. That makes me think that the Xeon system would be a
better choice.


Postgres runs on many 64-bit systems, including UltraSPARC, MIPS, and
Alpha, plus the Intel and AMD offerings. What makes you think it's
'not optimized'?

-Doug

Please help educate me. That is why I am asking. :)
....john

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Nov 22 '05 #10

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