Intel 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable Linux Performance Evolution Since Launch

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 14 December 2022 at 01:00 PM EST.

As we approach the end of 2022 and with Intel recently having revealed a January date for introducing Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids", here is a look at how the upstream Linux performance has evolved since the debut of the current-generation Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake" processors debuted in early 2021. This article is looking at the Xeon Platinum 8380 Linux performance with benchmarks conducted on CentOS Stream, Clear Linux, and Ubuntu back when Ice Lake SP first debuted against now on the latest Linux OS releases.

Today's article is focusing on how the Linux performance across CentOS, Clear Linux, and Ubuntu has evolved since Xeon Ice Lake processors first shipped back in April 2021. From the same Intel reference server with dual Xeon Platinum 8380 processors, 16 x 32GB DDR4-3200 memory, and 800GB Intel Optane P5800X NVMe SSD, benchmarks conducted back in April of last year were compared to how the latest CentOS / Clear / Ubuntu Linux distributions are now performing at the end of 2022 and on the heels of Sapphire Rapids debuting... Just an interesting look at how the Intel Linux performance has evolved over the course of this generation / a little more than the past year and a half.

Back when the Xeon Platinum 8380 processors launched the latest distributions tested at the time were Ubuntu 21.04, Clear Linux 34630, and CentOS Stream 8. Now at the end of 2022 there is Ubuntu 22.10, Clear Linux 37730, and CentOS Stream 9 up and running on this 80-core / 160-thread dual socket server. To look at the fast-pace of Linux development, the very latest releases of these distributions were used rather than just focusing on the LTS/enterprise releases only that have less churn.

All of these Linux distributions then and now were freshly installed on the Ice Lake SP reference server and tested in their default/out-of-the-box package versions. The system table outlines all of the key software bumps over the past year and a half including notable upgrades to the Linux kernel, GCC compiler, and other software updates.

Intel Xeon Ice Lake Benchmarks EO 2022

With this being an out-of-the-box / default look at how the Ubuntu / CentOS / Clear Linux performance has evolved since Ice Lake launch, let's get straight to the numbers. All the software/benchmarks being tested were kept to the same exact versions as this/last year while the only change is with the underlying operating system.

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