RE: Itanium II

From: Ross Walker <>
Date: Wed 12 Feb 2003 23:46:27 -0000

Dear Ramon,

Here are some example timings I have for Amber 7. Unfortunately I only
have single processor timings for an Itanium 2.

Machine Specs are:

Dual Processor 900MHz Itanium 2, 1GB Ram, 7200RPM IDE Disks, MSC-Linux
Single Processor (Hyper Threaded) 3.06GHz P4, 1GB Ram (533MHz), 7200 RPM
IDE Disks, Redhat 8.0

Job description - Sander v7 - MD LADH approx 76000 atoms, 12A cutoff,
PME, 1fs Step, No Shake, 500ps.

1Processor IA64: Intel Compiler v7 with Itanium2 optimisations: = 1902.0
1Processor IA64: G77 2.96 with standard optimisations = 8217.0 Seconds

Note how poor the performance is with the GNU compilers, I suspect this
is due to the system running some kind of 32 bit emulation - the intel
compilers run in full 64bit mode.

This seems reasonably quick, however if you compare it to a 3.06GHz P4,
(which is about a tenth the price):

1Processor P4 (HT switched off): G77 v3.2 with standard optimisations =
2956.0 seconds
1Processor P4 (HT switched off): Intel Compiler v7 with P4 optimisations
= 2474.0 seconds

So, while the Itanium2 shows good performance for the clock speed it
loses out to the much cheaper and higher clocked 32 bit P4 processors,
Intel should have a 3.3GHz P4 out soon that will come very close to the
Itanium time. Thus my opinion is that Itanium2's are too expensive when
you consider the price performance metric. A dual P4 Xeon would probably
offer better performance at a fraction of the cost.

Hope this helps
All the best

|\oss Walker

| Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine |
| Department of Chemistry | Theoretical Division |
| Tel:- +44 20 759(45851) |
| EMail:- |
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jose Ramon Blas []
> Sent: 11 February 2003 18:51
> Cc: VMD list
> Subject: Itanium II
> Hi,
> does anybody has experience on the performance/speed of the
> new Itanium II
> processor on molecular dynamics simulations??
> Thanks for your comments,
> Jose Ramon
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------
> Jose R. Blas
> Molecular Modelling & Bioinformatics e-mail:
> IRBB, Parc Cientific de Barcelona phone: + 34
> 93 403 71 55
> C/Josep Samitier 1-5,
> 08028 Barcelona
Received on Wed Feb 12 2003 - 15:46:27 PST
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