by Sumit Gupta

Every server manufacturer announced support last week for the new Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs in their new models. That includes PC giant Dell, which announced, for the first time, that it is supporting Tesla GPUs in its mainstream Dell PowerEdge R720 servers. And, our new benchmarks demonstrate why.

The PowerEdge R720 is, by far, one of the most popular servers in the Dell server portfolio, one of the highest volume servers in the world, and often a top choice for IT organizations. The plethora of enterprise-ready peripheral options and highly flexible configurations make the server an easy purchase decision.

By including Tesla GPUs in the top-selling Dell server, GPU computing is now truly available to the mass market.  And, the mass market can now take advantage of GPU acceleration for a broad range of applications.

We benchmarked the new Dell PowerEdge R720s with two Tesla M2090s GPUs using the popular computational bio-chemistry applications NAMD, AMBER, and LAMMPS.  Results are below.

In all benchmarks, the Dell systems that included two GPUs were considerably faster than CPU-only configurations – anywhere from three to six times faster.

So the most popular Dell servers just got better…and much, much faster.

The Dell R720 configuration we benchmarked is:

  • Dual socket Intel Xeon® E5-2650L 1.80GHz (Sandy Bridge), 16 cores total
  • 64 GB, 1066 Mhz DDR3 (32 GB per CPU)
  • Two Tesla M2090 GPUs
  • Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.2
  • NVIDIA driver version 295.20

Detailed data below: