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Re: Imported DB runs SLOWER on faster machine

From: Rick Denoire <>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 23:47:07 +0200
Message-ID: <>

Svend Jensen <> wrote:

>I can hardly believe you think a PC with 2000Mhz cpu is faster than a 4
>cpu UltraSparc II with raid !
>I have a tractor with ~170 HP engine, and it can not outrun my small car
>with a 90 HP engine.
>It takes more than clockcycles to perform and you have a long way to go.
>Wasted clock cycles are gone forever, among others....
>/Svend Jensen

You could be surprised. Because of the insulting signs that this very expensive machine was subjectively slow, I did some very different tests, that insulted me further. I could not believe it. I compiled and started long running programs on both, asked collegues, etc. Then I demanded a check from Sun (we have a Gold Service contract), they told me everything was fine. The same story with the disks system: it is a StoreEdge A1000 with a Raid 5 system (note: we mostly read from the DB). I made several performance tests and got insulted: sequential reads occur at 5 to 10 MB/sec. Think about it: there are 9 disks there! Don't know who ingeniered that device that uses a controler with a max. transfer rate of 40 MB/sec. Nowadays, almost any SINGLE hard disk gets close or surpasses this value.

Then I went to and found my peace. Yes, any modern Intel based PC is at least 10 times faster than an E3500 with 4 CPUs, meaning that it is 40 times faster on a per CPU comparison.

Well I knew that UltraSparc II were far behind. I remember a trainer in a Firewall course about three years ago, warning me that I can choose to do my exercises on a Sun machine, but I should not expect any speed advantage from it. This by no way applies to UltraSparc III processors, these are really hot things. But I was shocked about the difference.

Of course, not any PC with a fast CPU is a good server. This is another story. Remember? Scalability, support, throughput, robustness under high load etc. But for a single application, the E3500 is SLOWER. In general, one application won't derive much advantage of several processors. Only several *processes* do. There are specially designed programs though, that are able to parallelize tasks/threads.

Believe it or not, but you could test yourself and find out.

Rick Received on Tue Jul 23 2002 - 16:47:07 CDT

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