Evaluation Summary

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Sun Microsystems T1000
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The Constructive Approach
Evaluation Summary
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© Grebyn Corp. 2006


This page provides a summary of the T1000 evaluation. For the activities that lead here, check out the Chronology page.

We will first calculate Sun's SWaP (Space Watts and Performance) metric, discuss some issues related to the differences in the systems and the utilization of the systems capabilities


The T1000 is a nice small 1U box. In fact, when removing it from the rack to return it (having not actually looked at it in 50 days, I was surprised by how small (and heavy) it was. The Athlon64 and Pentium IV machines, being deskside towers were much larger.

T1000 Athlon64 Pentium IV
1U 4U 4U

Space Requirements


The power consumption numbers were interesting. But based on the configurations (lots of memory and two drives on the T1000, even more drives on the Pentium IV, older system design), it was not unexpected.

T1000 Athlon64 Pentium IV
149 22 133

Power Consumption


In raw performance, the T1000 actually outperforms the Athlon64 and the Pentium IV. Based upon the last set of tests run, executing the solution to an equivalent problem required the following times.

T1000 Athlon64 Pentium IV
3:24:18 4:12:18 4:56:41


Plugging these numbers in, we get the following SWaP values for the three systems:

T1000 Athlon64 Pentium IV
0.32 0.45 0.06


Cost and Price / Performance

Clearly the T1000 configuration under test was not adequately "represented", since the unused memory and disk drives contributed to the cost and the power load. It appears that there are now more different configurations from Sun and it appears that a comparable configuration, consisting of an 8 core system, single SATA drive and 2GB of memory might be available for around $5,000 and would probably have a reduced power requirement (120 used for these calculations).

T1000 (as tested) Athlon64 Pentium IV T1000 (proposed)
$14,445 $600 $1,100 $4,995


T1000 (as tested) Athlon64 Pentium IV T1000 (proposed)
44,000 1,300 17,000 12,000

Price / Performance Ratio

While this appears to make the new configuration competitive with the Pentium IV under test, that system would also have to have its power requirements adjusted for reduced disk load in order to be a fair comparison.

While there were many variables and issues associated with the evaluation that could easily leave it open to criticism as not an apples-to-apples comparison, and while it would be a really neat platform for further research, particularly non-homogeneous multi-threaded applications, the pure cost and price / performance of the original system, and even the proposed replacement system (especially without similar comparisons to other commodity multi-core offerings) for such a compute-bound application make the selection of this system prohibitive.

Perhaps the next-generation Niagara chip (with 64 threads) and advances in manufacturing will continue to increase the performance benefit and reduce the cost of resulting systems. Additional algorithm and implementation improvements to the constructive approach to more effectively utilize the Niagara 64 bit technology and the T1000 architecture (particularly memory utilization and potentially the networking capabilities) could also benefit the application.

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