Nutanix has updated most of their appliances to G6 hardware using Intel Skylake processor family. Previous G5 Nutanix appliances were using Intel Broadwell processor family. This has caused some confusion when it comes to processor performance, the newer processors typically run at lower clock speed, so quick conclusion would be that the newer processor would be slower.
Or are they?
After reading Josh Odgers’ post “Nutanix Scalability – Part 2 – Compute (CPU/RAM)” where he uses SPEC CINT2006 Rates performance data to prove some of his points, I decided to use same data to compare some of the Intel Broadwell family processors to Intel Skylake family processors with roughly equal number of cores.
To crunch the numbers I used search page at spec.org to collect performance result by processor type and entered those figures into a excel file and used data filtering features (to get results for dual-socket configurations) combined with excel SUBTOTAL function to get average figure per cpu type.
Ding, Ding and the results are as follows:
It seems that except for the entry model Intel Xeon Silver 4108, the new Skylake processors are slightly faster per core than their equivalent in previous generation when comparing CPUs with equal number of cores, even though they run at slower clock speeds.
E5-2667v4 comparison is slightly skewed, as the old processor has 8 cores and the replacement typically used, Intel Xeon Gold 6128 has only 6 cores. These processors are typically used in either GPU accelerated workloads or database type workloads where optimising single thread performance and minimizing core count to lower licensing cost is the key. I am happy to see that Nutanix has selected processor model for Gen6 which boosts single core performance quite significantly while using less cores.
UPDATE: Cool tool for doing CPU generation comparisons: