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Comparing Oracle CPU speed on different servers

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJune 29, 2016

Question: What do I do to compare the processor performance of a new Oracle server compared to the old Oracle server CPU performance?  Is there a formula for calculating the differences in CPU processing speed.

Answer:  There are two dimensions to measure CPU speed, CPU response-time (per transaction) and processor throughput (meg per second).  Oracle databases that are optimized for fast response time (first_rows optimization) tend to use more CPU than Oracle databases that are optimized for maximum throughput (all_rows optimization)

I have seen cases where a brand-new 8 CPU server out performs a five-year-old 32 CPU server.  The speed of a CPU depend on more than just the raw chip speed (in Gigahertz) plus the hyper-threaded CPU), and the use of T1 RAM co-located near the processors.

For a new Oracle Sun server, we see the Oracle Sun CMT servers. The Sun docs note they the new CMT architecture considers real-world workloads:   "Sun's UltraSPARC processor engineering team has been obsessed with something entirely different: maximizing the throughput of real-world applications and workloads"

There is no formula to compare CPU processing speeds for a real-world workload, but you can use RAT (Real Application Testing) to capture a real-world workload and then replay that workload on both servers, noting the difference in CPU utilization.  This can then be extrapolated to predict the overall CPU differences between the old and new servers.

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