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Desktops

IBM tops server speed test

An IBM Unix server using the company's own Power processors beat out an Intel Itanium system in a widely watched server speed test, Big Blue says.

An IBM Unix server using the company's own Power processors has beaten out an Intel Itanium system in a widely watched server speed test, Big Blue announced Tuesday, the opening day of an Intel processor conference.

A $5.6 million 32-processor IBM p690 was able to perform 1.025 million transactions per minute on the Transaction Processing Performance Council TPC-C test. The previous top score for a nonclustered system, 1.008 million transactions per minute, was logged by Hewlett-Packard's Superdome using 64 Itanium 2 processors.

IBM released the speed test results and touted its Power processor on opening day of Intel's Developer Forum in San Francisco. In 2003, IBM announced its last top TPC-C score with a Power-based server the same day it announced its first Itanium servers.

The TPC-C test simulates a computerized warehouse inventory, with numerous outside computers submitting orders and other transactions. IBM also beat HP's score in price-performance, though discounts of high-end gear in the competitive server market can distort the importance of list prices.

IBM's system used Big Blue's version of Unix, called AIX. HP's top scoring system runs the HP-UX version of Unix. Itanium processors can run Windows, HP-UX and Linux, whereas Power processors can run AIX, Linux and IBM's specialized OS/400 operating system.

In addition, IBM's system used the company's DB2 database software, whereas HP's used Oracle.