Press Release

SGI® Sets World Records On Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) Benchmarks


SGI® Altix® 4700 Single-System Image Platform Proven Unbeatable In Performance, Scalability and Flexibility

FREMONT, Calif. — September 9, 2009 — SGI® (NASDAQ: SGI) today announced the SGI® Altix® 4700 platform, powered by Dual-Core Intel® Itanium® Processor 9040 (1.6GHz), claimed three Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) benchmark world records at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) in Garching, Germany. The Altix installation at LRZ—one of three national supercomputing centers in Germany and one of the largest Altix 4700 installations in the world—is optimized to deliver high-application performance and high-memory bandwidth for scientific projects and simulations.

SGI benchmarking experts used a single-system image (SSI) node with 1024 Itanium cores, 4TB of memory and Novell's SuSE Linux® Enterprise 10 operating environment to achieve record-breaking results on three SPEC benchmarks for computer systems: SPECjbb2005, SPECint_rate_base2006 and SPECfp_rate_base2006, thus solidifying Altix's leadership in high-performance computing (HPC) and Internet computing environments.

"The Altix 4700 continues to shatter world records in performance, speed and scalability; it is the leading single-system image platform available," said Giovanni Coglitore, senior vice president and chief products officer at SGI. "The Altix 4700 outperforms its closest SSI competitor by more than five times in some of these important industry benchmarks."

SGI Altix is a large, shared-memory SSI architecture that powers some of the world's most important systems that facilitate research in such fields as global warming, fraud detection and homeland security. The scalable Altix 4700 platform offers a unique modular blade design for superior performance, density and "plug-and-solve" flexibility for technical and scientific users.

"Over the past three years, LRZ has been able to run large-scale OpenMP codes on its Altix 4700 system, which could not be executed on any other machine in Germany," said Dr. Horst-Dieter Steinhöfer, head of the high-performance systems department at LRZ. "With benefits such as the large memory nodes, a large portfolio of standard software applications and the high quality development environment, Altix systems have quickly become well adopted by German scientists, thereby validating LRZ's strategy to provide state-of-the-art supercomputing services."

The Benchmarks:
SPECjbb2005 provides a realistic evaluation of the performance of servers running typical Java business applications for Internet, finance, enterprise and database applications by emulating a three-tier client/server system, with emphasis on the middle tier. The benchmark exercises the capabilities of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), its operating system and the performance of CPUs, caches, memory hierarchy and the scalability of shared-memory systems.

SGI established leadership in this benchmark with 9,611,262 Business Operations per Second (BOPS) with the Altix 4700 with 512 Itanium cores, 1.6GHz and 18MB cache using the Oracle® JRockit JVM. The new result is over 74 percent higher than the previous record. This benchmark leadership further proves that immensely powerful, high-bandwidth hardware, like Altix servers with Intel Itanium processors, paired with JRockit JVM, is a force in the industry for server-side Java performance.

The SPEC CPU2006 rate benchmark measures the capacity of a system to complete a fixed number of tasks. These tests stress the scalability of the operating system, the memory subsystem and, to some extent, the I/O subsystem in large, shared-memory environments. It provides a good indication of the capability of a system to handle a mix of applications and workloads. Altix 4700's scalable, distributed shared-memory architecture and high-performance Linux OS yielded world-record SPEC CPU2006 rate results, proving it is an ideal platform for application fusion.

SPECfp_rate_base2006 puts tremendous stress on the kernel, scheduler, file system, memory bandwidth and I/O bandwidth. Using a partition of the large Altix 4700 system at LRZ, configured with 1024 Itanium cores, 1.6GHz and 18MB cache, SGI achieved the world record with a SPECfp_rate2006 score of 10600, which is over five times faster than the next closest SSI competitor on the SPEC list.

On the same Altix 4700 configuration, the SGI benchmarking team set a new world record for the industry-standard SPECint_rate_base2006 benchmark suite, achieving a score of 9030, which is almost four times faster than the next closest SSI competitor.

"It is exciting to see the SGI Altix excel in these important industry benchmarks for high-performance business computing," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Server Platforms Group. "SGI Altix, powered by the latest Intel Itanium processors, has once again proven itself with significant performance momentum and scalability for the most complex business computing applications."

For more information about SGI Altix 4700 please visit http://www.sgi.com/products/servers/altix/4000/.

Complete SPECjbb2005, SPECint_rate2006 and SPECfp_rate2006 results are available at:
http://www.spec.org/jbb2005/results/res2009q3/jbb2005-20090727-00756.html
http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/res2009q3/cpu2006-20090802-08312.html
http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/res2009q3/cpu2006-20090802-08313.html

About SGI SGI® is a global leader in large-scale clustered computing, high-performance storage, HPC, data center enablement and services. SGI is focused on helping customers solve their most demanding business and technology challenges. Visit www.sgi.com for more information.

Contact Information:

Schwartz Communications, Inc.
Jen Spark
415-512-0770
SGIPR@schwartz-pr.com

© 2009 SGI. SGI and Altix are registered trademarks of Silicon Graphics International Corp. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

SPEC, SPECint, SPECfp and SPECjbb are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Competitive results from www.spec.org as of August 28, 2009.