SberTech, a technology division of the Russian Federal Reserve Bank (Sberbank), evaluated the Russian-made MCST Elbrus-8C processor in multiple workloads, but the results were completely disappointing. The processor failed the test. When talking about the reasons for the failure, the tester said that there are mainly “insufficient memory, slow memory speed, fewer cores, and low frequency. The functional requirements are not met at all” and so on.
It is reported that the Elbrus-8C processor began research and development in 2009, and the relevant information was officially released in 2014. It is a very powerful 8-core 64-bit processor, built with 28nm process, the default main frequency is 1.3GHz, the frequency is not high, but its floating-point computing performance can reach 250 GFLOPS.
The Elbrus-8C processor also has 4M L2 cache and 16M L3 cache. Each core can execute 25 instructions per clock cycle. It supports dynamic binary translation technology and supports multi-threaded programming technology to ensure effective execution of applications and Operating system, and integrated hardware security technology of special mode, supports C, C + +, Java, Fortran 77, Fortran 90 and other programming languages.
At the Elbrus Partner Day meeting earlier this month, SberTech representative Anton Zhbankov said: “Compared with Intel Xeon’Cascade Lake’, the Elbrus-8C server processor is very weak and lacks memory.[256MB], The memory speed is slow, the core is few, and the frequency is low. The functional requirements have not been met at all.”
In fact, SberTech’s evaluation is the first in-depth test of the Elbrus-8C platform in banking applications. The evaluators compared dual- and four-socket Elbrus-8C machines (16-32 cores per box) with the company’s current dual-processor servers based on the Intel Xeon Gold 6230 processor. SberTech was unable to test the more powerful Elbrus-8CB, because although it has been officially launched, it is not yet on the market.
As one of the largest banks in Europe, Sberbank provides more than just banking services. It has certain requirements for hardware and has its own testing methods to evaluate the machines it considers deploying. This method includes the following.
● Functional test (44 parameters to ensure that a platform can run what Sber needs, and can be managed according to Sber’s needs).
● Synthetic test (using PGbench of the PostreSQL suite and SPEC CPU 2017).
● Application testing (using Java applications).
Elbrus-8C evaluation summary
The SPEC CPU 2017 benchmark test looks slightly better. The quad-chip Elbrus-8C is 2.62 (base) ~ 3.15 (peak) times slower than the dual Intel Xeon Gold 6230 machine. This is not bad, because SberTech engineers expect it to be 20 times slower Up to 30 times the difference. However, it should be noted that neither the X86 system nor the Elbrus machine has reached the peak performance data submitted to Spec.org by the server manufacturer.
At the same time, in the PGbench/PostreSQL test, the Xeon Gold 6230 machine is 1.7 (read-only configuration file) ~ 3.3 (read-write configuration file) times better than the Elbrus-8C server (calculated based on a transaction volume of $100,000), depending on Work load, this is important, but it hasn’t been reduced significantly.
For Java applications or simulated Java workloads, the situation on the Elbrus-8C platform becomes even worse, with response times 23 to 26 times higher, and it does not meet any of Sber’s quality of service requirements.