The first public indication of IBM's Power6 muscle has arrived courtesy of Oracle.
The Register has spotted four 4.7GHz - yep, you read that right - Power6 chips cranking on Oracle 11i. The speedy chips confirm IBM's boasting that Power6 would arrive near 5GHz. They also show that IBM's customers have a lot to look forward to in terms of raw performance.
With 4.7GHz chips (4MB of L2 and 32MB of L3 cache), an IBM p570 server showed an average response time of .625 seconds when handling requests from 2,100 users. That compares to a p570 with 2.2GHz Power5+ chips that had a response time of .983 seconds for 2,000 users.
The benchmarks arrive just ahead of IBM's Power6 server launch. The rumor mill says IBM will unveil its Power6 gear, starting with midrange systems such as the p570, on Tuesday.
Thus far, IBM has been reluctant to discuss the Power6-based systems' performance. But, with chips running at 4.7GHz, IBM should clean up on a wide variety of benchmarks even if customers don't recompile their software as is needed for absolute best results with Power6.
A number of skeptics have told us that IBM will struggle in the near-term to produce 4GHz+ chips in volume. IBM, however, has been telling customers that it will have plenty of speedy chips to go around. (It looks like IBM will offer systems with 3.5GHz, 4.2GHz and 4.7GHz versions of Power6 from what we hear.)
IBM had once planned to ship Power6-based servers in 2006. It could use some new gear to go up against Sun and HP's high-end gear, which have been selling well in recent months. ®
Thanks very much to reader RG for spotting Oracle's benchmarks.