Ampere Altra Max M128-30 Linux Performance Preview
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 28 September 2021. Page 2 of 4. 27 Comments

Given Ampere Altra was working out so well under Linux last year, to no surprise Ampere Altra Max was working out well with modern AArch64 Linux distributions. The AArch64 Linux ecosystem has been maturing very well that from the software side it's becoming as easy as x86_64 servers for running new Linux distributions and not facing any issues, more open-source projects optimizing for Arm extensions, the Linux kernel, the compiler toolchains, and more all being well optimized for AArch64 servers, etc. It's been pleasant carrying out the Linux testing of the Ampere Altra Max given how mature the AArch64 Linux ecosystem is at this stage.

This initial benchmarking was done on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Ubuntu 21.04 while for a follow-up article will be tests from multiple other Linux distributions. Among other follow-up articles will also likely be looking at the state of FreeBSD on Ampere Altra Max, various compiler comparisons, and more. If any Phoronix readers have any other Ampere Altra Max test requests, feel free to let me know.

For the benchmarks in this article all of the servers were running Ubuntu 21.04 with the Linux 5.11 kernel for offering a fresh/up-to-date Linux experience across all of the servers tested for the freshest open-source stack possible. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS was also working out fine on the hardware but we like bleeding edge Linux for performance testing with a newer kernel and toolchain.

All of the servers were tested using a Micron 9300 3.8TB NVMe solid-state drive, 16 x 32GB DDR4-3200 ECC Registered memory, and running the mentioned Ubuntu 21.04 stack with Linux 5.11 and GCC 10.3 as the default system compiler. The only main change to Ubuntu 21.04 worth noting was running each of the servers with the "performance" CPU frequency scaling governor.

For looking at the Ampere Altra Max M128-30 performance in 1P and 2P configurations there was also the Ampere Altra Q80-33 in 1P and 2P configurations plus the 2P AMD EPYC 7763 Milan server and 2P Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 Ice Lake server.

Let's move on to seeing how the Ampere Altra Max performance is looking with up to 256 physical cores per server.

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