[Gate-users] Hyper-threading performance boost for GATE computation

Porter Ian (RBV) NHS Christie Tr Ian.Porter at christie.nhs.uk
Thu Oct 5 16:30:22 CEST 2017

Hello All,
  My apologies if this has been covered before.  I am working on the specification of a compute cluster to replace our current one which is based around Core i5-2500 CPUs.  I have been unable to find any benchmark results for GATE/GEANT where different CPUs are compared, so I have used benchmarks from spec.org - specifically SPECfp_rate2006 - to try to gauge which CPUs would be best considering our budget.  Going on these results, a CPU such as a Xeon E3-1240 v6 appears to give twice the performance as the Core i5 2500 for the same number of cores and at a similar clock frequency.  The difference is that the Xeon has hyper-threading capability, and can run twice the number of threads per core.
  We are currently using the job splitter to split each simulation into a number of jobs that matches the total number of cores on our worker nodes.  I assume that with hyper-threading we would split simulations into twice the number of jobs and send two jobs per core to each node.  My question is whether I can expect roughly double the performance from GATE if I use hyper-threading, or whether the performance gain is likely to be much less in the real world?  If I want twice the performance, would it be better to aim for double the number of cores instead?

Many Thanks,
  -- Ian.
Ian Porter, Dept. Medical Physics,
Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,
Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 4BX.  England. 
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