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SGI Altix Again Crushes World Record for Memory Bandwidth


Clocking 4.35 Terabytes Per Second in STREAM Triad Tests, 1,024-Processor Altix 4700 Beats Current Record Four Times Over

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (July 17, 2006)—Leveraging its coveted high-performance computing (HPC) architecture to claim yet another world record, Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID) today announced that an SGI® Altix® 4700 system has achieved a sustained memory bandwidth of 4.35 Terabytes (TB) per second in STREAM Triad benchmark tests.

The feat was achieved on an SGI Altix 4700 system powered by 1,024 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors running under a single copy of SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 10 from Novell with SGI ProPack™ 5 for Linux. The configuration, which includes 4TB of system memory, is the largest single system image (SSI) attainable on a Linux® OS system.

The world record was posted last week on the STREAM Triad Top 20 page at, after the results were achieved and validated June 1 on an SGI Altix 4700 system now installed at the Leibniz Computing Centre Munich (LRZ).

The Top 20 list also reveals that SGI Altix handily outperforms systems from IBM, HP, Cray, NEC and Sun¹. HPC codes require a balance between the processor and memory subsystem to maintain a constant flow of data. STREAM is a highly regarded performance metric that measures the sustainable memory bandwidth, or flow, of a computing system.

“Today’s systems face ever-increasing memory bandwidth requirements, particularly as processors and system architectures grow more powerful,” said Bill Mannel, director of systems marketing, SGI. “The ability to meet these demands is critical to a system’s ability to shorten time to results for HPC users. By leveraging our unique shared-memory architecture, SUSE Linux Enterprise, and Intel Itanium 2 processors and compilers, SGI demonstrates once again that Altix is the ideal platform to extract insight and innovation from even the largest computing problems.”

NUMAflex Architecture Drives 4X Faster Bandwidth
SGI’s latest STREAM Triad achievement is four times faster than the previously held record of 1 TB/sec, which also was attained on an SGI Altix system, but one powered by 512 processors.

SGI scored both world records using an OpenMP, or shared-memory, version of the STREAM Triad benchmark. Many vendors tout results achieved using the MPI version of STREAM Triad, which puts severe limitations on memory access that can hamper the performance of a significant set of HPC applications. In contrast, SGI’s NUMAflex™ shared-memory architecture allows all the processors in the computer to share the same memory. This results in faster processing and easier programming.

“SUSE Linux Enterprise is once more recognized as a technical leader and as a crucial component of a record-setting HPC solution,” said Roger Levy, Novell vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions. “On the heels of the world’s first 1,024-processor Linux SSI with SGI Altix and SUSE Linux Enterprise, we see again how only SUSE Linux Enterprise delivers what it takes to achieve world-class performance on Linux.”

SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery™
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (OTC: SGID), is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI helps customers solve their computing challenges, whether it’s sharing images to aid in brain surgery, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

Silicon Graphics, SGI, Altix, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks, and NUMAflex and The Source of Innovation and Discovery are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. Intel and Itanium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Novell and SUSE are registered trademarks of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

¹ SGI Altix systems rank No. 1 and No. 2 among all posted systems in the STREAM Triad Top 20 list of shared-memory systems. The closest performing systems from listed competitors are:

* NEC_SX-7 with STREAM Triad score of 872259.1 Mb/sec
* HP_AlphaServer_GS1280 with STREAM Triad score of 431450.0 Mb/sec
* Cray_T932_321024-3E with STREAM Triad score of 359270.0 Mb/sec
* IBM_eServer_p5-595 with STREAM Triad score of 174567.4 Mb/sec
* Sun_F25K with STREAM Triad score of 75402.7 Mb/sec

Details on all STREAM Triad results are available at


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