Using the new Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge processor, Scientific Linux 6.1, Debian GNU/Linux, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, and Solaris 11 11/11 were benchmarked when having a different number of CPU cores enabled to see how well each operating system scales up to six cores plus Hyper Threading.
The testing is similar to the multi-scaling performance of AMD's Bulldozer article from October, but this time around we're using the brand new Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme Edition processor and testing out not only Linux but also getting in FreeBSD and Solaris coverage too. With each operating system a set of performance benchmarks were run with 1, 2, 4, and 6 cores enabled. Lastly, all six cores were enabled and Hyper Threading enabled to allow for 12 effective threads. During the entire time the CPU was overclocked to 4.5GHz and Turbo Boost / EIST power management disabled.
In showing the results, from OpenBenchmarking.org the Phoronix Test Suite results were normalized so we are seeing for each operating system the performance improvement relative to its single-core result.
For the Intel Core i7 3960X system with the new Intel X79 motherboard, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD and Solaris 11 both worked without any issues. As mentioned in the earlier Sandy-E review, the Linux support is in place using the latest kernel and other components. For FreeBSD and Solaris 11 the support is there too for Sandy Bridge Extreme.