At this week's OpenPOWER Summit in San Jose, California, Tyan has introduced its new IBM POWER8-based 1U servers designed for high-performance computing (HPC) as well as in-memory applications. The new machines are designed to target niche markets that do not require extreme processing performance, but need a lot of RAM. The new Tyan GT75 expands the range of Tyan’s POWER8-based machines and helps IBM’s POWER8 platform to compete against Intel Xeon in niche markets.

Nowadays over 95% of servers are based on Intel’s Xeon microprocessors, which does not make producers of servers and operators of large datacenters happy because they have one supplier of key components that controls platform development and prices. Three years ago, IBM teamed up with Google, Mellanox, NVIDIA and Tyan to establish the OpenPOWER Foundation to develop servers based on IBM’s processors collaboratively. So far, IBM POWER-based servers have not gained a lot of market share, but it looks like they are starting to gain traction as companies like Tyan are expanding their POWER8 hardware offerings.

The Tyan GT75 machines (just like the Tyan TN71-BP012 servers launched a year ago) are based on one IBM POWER8 Turismo SCM processor with eight or ten cores and can be equipped with up to 1 TB of memory. The systems feature 32 R-DDR3L DIMM slots using four IBM Centaur memory buffer chips (MBCs) and support 32 GB modules, which are considerably more affordable than 64 GB or 128 GB memory sticks.

Comparison of IBM POWER8 Turismo CPUs Compatible with
Tyan's SC75 and TN71 Servers
  POWER8 8-Core POWER8 10-Core POWER8 12-Core
Core Count 8 10 12
Threads 64 80 96
Frequency (nominal) 2.328 GHz
3.325 GHz
2.095 GHz
2.926 GHz
2.561 GHz
L2 Cache 512 KB per core
2 MB per CPU
512 KB per core
5 MB per CPU
512 KB per core
6 MB per CPU
L3 Cache 8 MB eDRAM per core
64 MB per CPU
8 MB eDRAM per core
80 MB per CPU
8 MB eDRAM per core
96 MB per CPU
DRAM Interface DDR3L-1600, memory connects to CPUs using the IBM Centaur MBCs
PCI Express 3 × PCIe controllers, 32 lanes
TDP 130W

While the GT75 servers (BSP012G75V4H) feature only one CPU, each IBM POWER8 core can process up to eight hardware threads simultaneously thanks to 16 execution pipelines. The chips also have massive caches (512 KB L2 per core, 8 MB eDRAM L3 per core as well as 16 MB per MBC), which are particularly useful for memory-intensive applications.

Comparison of Tyan GT75 Servers
  BSP012G75V4H-B4C BSP012G75V4H-Q4T BSP012G75V4H-Q4F
2.328 GHz
130 W/169 W TDP
2.095 GHz
130 W/169 W TDP
2.095 GHz
130 W/169 W TDP
Installed RAM 8 × 16 GB R-DDR3L 16 × 16 GB R-DDR3L 32 × 16 GB R-DDR3L
RAM (subsystem) Up to 1 TB of DDR3L-1333 DRAM, 32 RDIMM modules, four IBM Centaur MBCs
Storage 2 × 512 GB SSDs 2 × 1 TB SSDs 4 × 1 TB SSDs
Tyan Storage Mezzanine MP012-9235-4I
(4-port SATA 6Gb/s IOC w/o RAID stack)
LAN 4 × GbE ports 4 × 10 GbE ports 4 × 10 GbE ports
Tyan LAN Mezzanine MP012-5719-4C
Broadcom 1GbE LAN Mezz Card
Qlogic+Broadcom 10GbE LAN Mezz Card-
MP012-Q840-4F Qlogic 10GbE LAN Mezz Card

The Tyan GT75-BP012, which is a 1U server that is designed for in-memory computing, HPC and virtualization, can be equipped with up to four 3.5” hot-swappable SAS 12G/SATA 6G HDD/SSDs, four network controllers (1 GbE and 10 GbE) as well as a 750 W PSU. The server uses the PLX PEX8748 PCIe switch and one PCIe 3.0 x8 expansion slot. Tyan did not reveal the price of the system, but said that it would be available already in April.

The new 1U machines complement the Tyan TN71-BP012 launched in March, 2015. The TN71 is a 1-way 2U platform for data analytics and applications, it supports 12 3.5” hot-swappable SAS 12G/SATA 6G HDD/SSDs, four 10 GbE network ports as well as two 1200 W PSUs for redundancy reason. This machine supports IBM POWER8 Turismo SCM processor with up to 12 cores and is generally more powerful than the GT75.

Source: Tyan

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  • Brutalizer - Friday, April 8, 2016 - link

    What has the number of cores to do anything? I am talking about which CPU is fastest, not which core is fastest. And when we compare cpu to cpu, Intel x86 is faster than POWER8.

    So my point still holds; I dont understand why anyone would buy a slow POWER8 when they can buy a faster x86? And cheaper. x86 gives more performance for a cheaper sum. There is absolutely no reason anyone would want to migrate from fast cheap x86, to slow and expensive POWER8.
  • Kevin G - Thursday, April 7, 2016 - link

    Eh? The POWER8 is besting Intel in both performance per core and performance per clock. That is incredibly impressive. The examples in the link you cite as fast require far more cores to reach those performance levels.

    Wow, you never miss an opportunity to post LINKS OVER A DECADE OLD to claim relevance to the present. Seriously, that CNET link was from 2003. Last major release of AIX was in 2014, after that ComputerWorld article. So far IBM had made no indicate that AIX is discontinued.

    As for operating systems, IBM does have another OS that runs on POWER: OS/400 (aka IBM i). That got a major update six years ago.
  • Samus - Friday, April 8, 2016 - link

    The power 8 might be higher performance per core and higher performance per clock, but it also uses more power and costs more, while not being natively x86 compatible (a negligible point for the target market, but a point none the less.

    Either way it's a wash. The power 8 has higher cost of ownership, the Intel is slower. Nothing really surprising about that statement.
  • Kevin G - Friday, April 8, 2016 - link

    Considering that enterprise software is typically licensed on a per core basis, having fewer but faster cores would lead to a lower cost of ownership. Sure, the initial hardware cost and energy consumption might be higher but these are dwarfed by software licensing fees.

    This does put POWER8 at a bit of a disadvantage for running open source software where there is no large scale licensing. Here POWER8 has to be significantly faster to offset those two factors. POWER8 is faster than many of the Intel alternatives but arguably not fast enough to offset the IBM hardware prices (the Tyan POWER8 systems perhaps) and energy consumption.

    Then there are cheap, highly energy efficient chips like Xeon D that'll keep POWER8 out of the low end of the server market. If IBM is going to push openPOWER it needs a chip like the PPC 970 again to compete in that area while the bigger POWER8 chips tackle the Xeon E5/E7.
  • Brutalizer - Friday, April 8, 2016 - link

    "...The power 8 has higher cost of ownership, the Intel is slower..."

    Not really correct. The POWER8 has higher cost of ownership AND being slowest in the cpu arena. Both Intel and SPARC is faster than POWER8, and they are both cheaper.

    Here are SPEC2006 results, convince yourself that POWER8 is slowest:
  • satai - Sunday, April 10, 2016 - link

    Do you really consider Oracle blog a good source of information in such a discussion?
  • Brutalizer - Friday, April 8, 2016 - link

    "...Eh? The POWER8 is besting Intel in both performance per core and performance per clock..."

    Intel scores 715 in SPECint2006 and IBM POWER8 scores 642. I fail to see how POWER8 cpu is faster than Intel cpus in SPECint2006? The same thing in SPECfp2006, Intel is faster too. I fail to see how POWER8 is faster than x86 in either SPECfp2006 or SPECint2006? But maybe you have seen other benchmarks that prove the opposite, in that case you are free to post them. If not, x86 is faster than POWER8.
  • mattrock1988 - Friday, April 8, 2016 - link

    Hey Brutalizer, are you a paid astroturfer? I don't get all the hate on POWER. If anything else, we absolutely need to avoid platform hegemony. Intel having the deck stacked entirely in their hands is rife for potential abuse. Having alternatives like ARM and POWER I feel are essential to keep businesses honest.
  • SovietRambo - Saturday, April 9, 2016 - link

    He is a known Sun/Oracle troll named Kebbabert. Who trolls on numerous forums and message boards. If he is not paid, then thats just sad.
  • Kevin G - Monday, April 11, 2016 - link

    He has been invited to a Sun holiday party at some point per his previous posts:

    Perhaps not paid but had gotten some benefits at the very least.

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