Performance problems on Intel but not AMD... strange

Discussion in 'Java' started by Chris Roe, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. Chris Roe

    Chris Roe Guest

    We have run into a problem with a few of our clients running Intel
    Pentium 4 (no hyperthreading) processors. Our web application under
    tomcat runs 20 - 30% slower on Intel (benchmarks scores are available)
    than a comparable AMD processor. Our shop uses AMD Athlon processors and
    we have no such performance problems at all.

    We have had clients come to our shop to verify that the application is
    indeed faster here and they always say that it is significantly faster.

    We have developed benchmarks for certain parts of our system (formula
    calculation, and page rendering) and run them on an AMD 2500+ and an
    Intel P4 2.4 Ghz . According to all industry standard (SiSoft Sandra,
    etc) benchmarks we have come across, these machines should perform
    roughly the same, with the AMD performing slightly (5-10%) above the Intel.

    Has anyone come across this problem before?? Are there certain
    operations or combinations of operations in Java that are significantly
    slower on the Intel??

    We are seeing this on both the Client and Server VMs. All machines are
    running JDK 1.4.2_04 on Windows XP SP 1.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    - Chris
     
    Chris Roe, Jun 10, 2004
    #1
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  2. Chris Roe

    Wee Jin Goh Guest

    Chris Roe wrote:
    > We have run into a problem with a few of our clients running Intel
    > Pentium 4 (no hyperthreading) processors. Our web application under
    > tomcat runs 20 - 30% slower on Intel (benchmarks scores are available)
    > than a comparable AMD processor. Our shop uses AMD Athlon processors and
    > we have no such performance problems at all.
    >
    > We have had clients come to our shop to verify that the application is
    > indeed faster here and they always say that it is significantly faster.
    >
    > We have developed benchmarks for certain parts of our system (formula
    > calculation, and page rendering) and run them on an AMD 2500+ and an
    > Intel P4 2.4 Ghz . According to all industry standard (SiSoft Sandra,
    > etc) benchmarks we have come across, these machines should perform
    > roughly the same, with the AMD performing slightly (5-10%) above the Intel.
    >
    > Has anyone come across this problem before?? Are there certain
    > operations or combinations of operations in Java that are significantly
    > slower on the Intel??
    >
    > We are seeing this on both the Client and Server VMs. All machines are
    > running JDK 1.4.2_04 on Windows XP SP 1.
    >
    > Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > - Chris


    Yes, I've encountered this problem many times. The P4 and Athlon have
    very dissimilar architectures. http://www.arstechnica.com has a rather
    good overview of the two architectures in the section called CPU Theory
    and Praxis. I suggest you give that a read.

    The P4 does well in benchmarks like SiSoft Sandra and loop intensive
    code because it has a higher clock frequency than a comparable Athlon
    XP. But once you start throwing branches (if-else statements) in there
    which is unavoidable in some programs, you'll start to see the P4
    stumble. There are many other scenarios where the P4 is very weak
    comparped to the Athlon.

    But without further details of what your app does, its hard to say why
    the P4 is slower.

    Wee-Jin
     
    Wee Jin Goh, Jun 11, 2004
    #2
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